Lightroom: "Date Modified" for all files being updated when browsing photos if Catalog Settings > "Automatically write changes into XMP" is checked on

  • 3
  • Problem
  • Updated 6 years ago
  • Not a Problem
  • (Edited)
Recently upgraded from LR3 (v3.4.1) from LR2 on OSX 10.6.7 and have always had Catalog Settings > Automatically write changes into XMP turned on.

When browsing files in my Library (not making any Develop changes at all, no keywording, etc.), LR3 is writing to disk — i.e., when I look at files in Finder, almost every viewed file’s “Date Modified” is being set to today’s date and time.

This is really bad, as it's making it impossible for me to use Finder to figure out when I last worked with a file, it is triggering needless Time Machine and Backblaze backups, and unnecessarily churning my disk.

If I turn off "Automatically write..." this behavior stops. Per David Marx at thelightroomlab.com, I tried turning off this preference, manually doing a "Save Metadata to File" for all files, letting that complete, then turning the preference back on. This does not solve the problem.

I could understand this behavior if I were adding keywords or making changes in the Develop module, but just browsing/viewing files should *never* do this.

-- David
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David Pope

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  • upset LR is ruining my pristine files

Posted 8 years ago

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Jim Wilde

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Sounds like you might be applying a change during Import, either a Develop Preset or a Metadata Preset. Is this possible?

I have just tested using a Metadata Preset, and immediately on import the XMP sidecar file is created, as expected - am using RAW, if I was using DNG or JPG the File Modified date/time would have been updated. No XMP when no Preset is applied, also as expected.
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David Pope

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Hi Jim, thanks for your reply. The problem I reported doesn't have anything to do with Importing (and as an aside I don't have any Develop/Metadata Presets anyway).

The files with "touched" Date Modified have lived in my LR2 database since 2009. A couple of months ago I upgraded to LR3 and this week is the first time I have looked at several folders of photos within the Library module of LR3.

I can't say for sure, but it seems this problem may only happen when moving the cursor around in Grid (G) mode, not when viewing photos singly (Loupe/E, if I recall correctly).

Again, this only happens if the "Automatically write" flag is on. I haven't tried the experiment where I turn the flag back on and see if it continues to update Date Modified on files it has already touched, or whether this is a one time occurrence with each file.

To be frank, I am afraid to turn this flag back on. It is ruining all my original negatives by changing the dates, making it very difficult to keep straight what I've worked with when as I publish various photo books with these collections.

Regards,

-- David
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Presumably these are DNGs. If so, then I suspect LR may be adding metadata fields that exist in LR3 but not in LR2, in other words, upgrading the metadata structure that exists in the files to match the metadata structure that is in the converted LR database.

It is possible that nothing has changed in the file and it is merely being opened in read/write mode and the filesystem updates the modification date in that case.

One way to tell if anything has changed is to find/save a copy of the file before LR3 has touched it, and do a binary compare to what it is after LR3 has touched it. I don't know how to do a binary comapre on the Mac. A simple increase in filesize would tell you if metadata was added.

If you have any RAW files that have their metadata in a separate XMP file, then that would be much easier to eyeball a before and after version of to check for changes.
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David Pope

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Thanks, Steve, these are JPGs. That's a good idea to try a binary diff; I will set aside some files that have not yet been touched and then do a comparison.

-- David
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David Pope

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OK, I did a hex dump of DSC_5909.JPG (a file whose Date Modified = Nov 28, 2009 9:03 PM), fired up LR3, turned on the "Write automatically" flag, selected the folder containing that JPG and browsed in the Grid, and watched in Finder.

A few seconds after I highlighted DSC_5909.JPG in LR3, a new file DSC_5909.swp appeared in Finder, remained on screen for a second or two, and then went away, after which the Date Modified on DSC_5909.JPG got changed to "now".

Did another hex dump of the file and used TextWranger to do a diff.

Results: There were 5 diffs, on Lines 1, 7, 14:16, 23:46, and 2930:430466 (the last diff is so big that TextWranger crashes when trying to view it, so it's unclear if there are really any changes since that is probably image data). But there are definitely diffs at the beginning of the file -- I assume that's the EXIF data, so I've posted those diffs below in case someone can interpret them.

Any and all help appreciated -- thanks!

-- David

Line 1 (original):
00000000: FF D8 FF E1 AC 5C 45 78 69 66 00 00 4D 4D 00 2A .....\Exif..MM.*
Line 1 (touched):
00000000: FF D8 FF E1 FF FE 45 78 69 66 00 00 4D 4D 00 2A ......Exif..MM.*

Line 7 (original):
00000060: 00 02 00 00 00 09 00 00 00 C4 01 32 00 02 00 00 ...........2....
Line 7 (touched):
00000060: 00 02 00 00 00 0A 00 00 00 C4 01 32 00 02 00 00 ...........2....

Line 14 to 16 (original):
000000D0: 56 65 72 2E 31 2E 30 30 00 00 00 00 32 30 30 39 Ver.1.00....2009
000000E0: 3A 31 31 3A 32 38 20 32 31 3A 30 35 3A 30 30 00 :11:28 21:05:00.
000000F0: 00 26 82 9A 00 05 00 00 00 01 00 00 02 CC 82 9D .&..............

Line 14 to 16 (touched):
000000D0: 56 65 72 2E 31 2E 30 30 20 00 00 00 32 30 30 39 Ver.1.00 ...2009
000000E0: 3A 31 31 3A 32 38 20 32 31 3A 30 35 3A 30 30 00 :11:28 21:05:00.
000000F0: 00 28 82 9A 00 05 00 00 00 01 00 00 02 CC 82 9D .(..............

Line 23 to 46 (original):
00000150: 03 00 91 02 00 05 00 00 00 01 00 00 03 04 92 01 ................
00000160: 00 0A 00 00 00 01 00 00 AC 44 92 02 00 05 00 00 .........D......
00000170: 00 01 00 00 AC 4C 92 04 00 0A 00 00 00 01 00 00 .....L..........
00000180: 03 0C 92 05 00 05 00 00 00 01 00 00 03 14 92 07 ................
00000190: 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 05 00 00 92 08 00 03 00 00 ................
000001A0: 00 01 00 00 00 00 92 09 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 ................
000001B0: 00 00 92 0A 00 05 00 00 00 01 00 00 03 1C 92 7C ...............|
000001C0: 00 07 00 00 85 AE 00 00 03 60 A0 00 00 07 00 00 .........`......
000001D0: 00 04 30 31 30 30 A0 01 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 01 ..0100..........
000001E0: 00 00 A0 02 00 03 00 00 00 01 10 C0 00 00 A0 03 ................
000001F0: 00 03 00 00 00 01 0B 20 00 00 A0 05 00 04 00 00 ....... ........

00000200: 00 01 00 00 89 0E A2 17 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 02 ................
00000210: 00 00 A3 00 00 07 00 00 00 01 03 00 00 00 A3 01 ................
00000220: 00 07 00 00 00 01 01 00 00 00 A3 02 00 07 00 00 ................
00000230: 00 08 00 00 03 50 A4 01 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 .....P..........
00000240: 00 00 A4 02 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 A4 03 ................
00000250: 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 A4 04 00 05 00 00 ................
00000260: 00 01 00 00 03 58 A4 05 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 24 .....X.........$
00000270: 00 00 A4 06 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 A4 07 ................
00000280: 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 A4 08 00 03 00 00 ................
00000290: 00 01 00 00 00 00 A4 09 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 02 ................
000002A0: 00 00 A4 0A 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 02 00 00 A4 0C ................
000002B0: 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................

Line 23 to 46 (touched):
00000150: 03 00 91 02 00 05 00 00 00 01 00 00 03 04 92 04 ................
00000160: 00 0A 00 00 00 01 00 00 03 0C 92 05 00 05 00 00 ................
00000170: 00 01 00 00 03 14 92 07 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 05 ................
00000180: 00 00 92 08 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 92 09 ................
00000190: 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 92 0A 00 05 00 00 ................
000001A0: 00 01 00 00 03 1C 92 7C 00 07 00 00 85 AE 00 00 .......|........
000001B0: 03 60 92 86 00 07 00 00 00 2C 00 00 03 24 92 90 .`.......,...$..
000001C0: 00 02 00 00 00 03 30 30 00 00 92 91 00 02 00 00 ......00........
000001D0: 00 03 30 30 00 00 92 92 00 02 00 00 00 03 30 30 ..00..........00
000001E0: 00 00 A0 00 00 07 00 00 00 04 30 31 30 30 A0 01 ..........0100..
000001F0: 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 01 00 00 A0 02 00 03 00 00 ................

00000200: 00 01 10 C0 00 00 A0 03 00 03 00 00 00 01 0B 20 ...............
00000210: 00 00 A0 05 00 04 00 00 00 01 00 00 89 0E A2 17 ................
00000220: 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 02 00 00 A3 00 00 07 00 00 ................
00000230: 00 01 03 00 00 00 A3 01 00 07 00 00 00 01 01 00 ................
00000240: 00 00 A3 02 00 07 00 00 00 08 00 00 03 50 A4 01 .............P..
00000250: 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 A4 02 00 03 00 00 ................
00000260: 00 01 00 00 00 00 A4 03 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 ................
00000270: 00 00 A4 04 00 05 00 00 00 01 00 00 03 58 A4 05 .............X..
00000280: 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 24 00 00 A4 06 00 03 00 00 .......$........
00000290: 00 01 00 00 00 00 A4 07 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 ................
000002A0: 00 00 A4 08 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 A4 09 ................
000002B0: 00 03 00 00 00 01 00 02 00 00 A4 0A 00 03 00 00 ................
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Since the differences are not in easily-readable text areas, try using ExifTool to decipher a before and after JPG file and do a diff on the ExifTool output:
http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/e...
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David Pope

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Thanks for the suggestion, will try when I get back in town on Sunday.

-- David
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David Pope

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OK, I just ran a diff as you suggested. When LR3 touches the file it is adding a bunch of new fields to the EXIF data as well as moving some fields around.

Needless to say, LR3 shouldn't be doing this to a file that used to happily stay untouched in LR2.

Any ideas?

-- David

diff Exif5609_original Exif5609_update
2c2
< FileName: DSC_5609_original.JPG
---
> FileName: DSC_5609_update.JPG
5,6c5,6
< FileModifyDate: 2009:11:27 21:32:54-08:00
< FilePermissions: rwxr-xr-x
---
> FileModifyDate: 2011:08:07 22:06:47-07:00
> FilePermissions: rw-r--r--
27a28,29
> ShutterSpeedValue: 1/200
> ApertureValue: 7.1
55d56
< SerialNumber: 3209521
75d75
< Lens: 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6
185,188d184
< UserComment:
< SubSecTime: 00
< SubSecTimeOriginal: 00
< SubSecTimeDigitized: 00
211a208,299
> XMPToolkit: Adobe XMP Core 5.2-c004 1.136881, 2010/06/10-18:11:35
> CreatorTool: Ver.1.00
> MetadataDate: 2011:08:07 22:06:47-07:00
> SerialNumber: 3209521
> LensInfo: 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6
> Lens: 18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6
> ImageNumber: 26634
> RawFileName: DSC_5609.JPG
> SavedSettingsName: Import
> SavedSettingsType: Snapshot
> SavedSettingsParametersVersion: 6.4.1
> SavedSettingsParametersProcessVersion: 5.0
> SavedSettingsParametersWhiteBalance: As Shot
> SavedSettingsParametersIncrementalTemperature: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersIncrementalTint: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersExposure: 0.00
> SavedSettingsParametersShadows: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersBrightness: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersContrast: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSaturation: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSharpness: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersLuminanceSmoothing: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersColorNoiseReduction: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersChromaticAberrationR: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersChromaticAberrationB: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersVignetteAmount: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersShadowTint: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersRedHue: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersRedSaturation: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersGreenHue: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersGreenSaturation: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersBlueHue: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersBlueSaturation: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersFillLight: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersVibrance: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersHighlightRecovery: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersClarity: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersDefringe: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersHueAdjustmentRed: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersHueAdjustmentOrange: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersHueAdjustmentYellow: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersHueAdjustmentGreen: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersHueAdjustmentAqua: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersHueAdjustmentBlue: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersHueAdjustmentPurple: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersHueAdjustmentMagenta: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSaturationAdjustmentRed: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSaturationAdjustmentOrange: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSaturationAdjustmentYellow: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSaturationAdjustmentGreen: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSaturationAdjustmentAqua: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSaturationAdjustmentBlue: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSaturationAdjustmentPurple: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSaturationAdjustmentMagenta: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersLuminanceAdjustmentRed: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersLuminanceAdjustmentOrange: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersLuminanceAdjustmentYellow: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersLuminanceAdjustmentGreen: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersLuminanceAdjustmentAqua: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersLuminanceAdjustmentBlue: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersLuminanceAdjustmentPurple: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersLuminanceAdjustmentMagenta: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSplitToningShadowHue: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSplitToningShadowSaturation: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSplitToningHighlightHue: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSplitToningHighlightSaturation: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersSplitToningBalance: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersParametricShadows: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersParametricDarks: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersParametricLights: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersParametricHighlights: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersParametricShadowSplit: 25
> SavedSettingsParametersParametricMidtoneSplit: 50
> SavedSettingsParametersParametricHighlightSplit: 75
> SavedSettingsParametersSharpenRadius: +1.0
> SavedSettingsParametersSharpenDetail: 25
> SavedSettingsParametersSharpenEdgeMasking: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersPostCropVignetteAmount: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersGrainAmount: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersLensProfileEnable: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersLensManualDistortionAmount: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersPerspectiveVertical: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersPerspectiveHorizontal: 0
> SavedSettingsParametersPerspectiveRotate: 0.0
> SavedSettingsParametersPerspectiveScale: 100
> SavedSettingsParametersConvertToGrayscale: False
> SavedSettingsParametersToneCurveName: Linear
> SavedSettingsParametersCameraProfile: Embedded
> SavedSettingsParametersCameraProfileDigest: D6AF5AEA62557FCE88BC099788BBD3CC
> SavedSettingsParametersLensProfileSetup: LensDefaults
> SavedSettingsParametersToneCurve: 0, 0, 255, 255
> IPTCDigest: d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
228,230d315
< SubSecCreateDate: 2009:11:27 21:32:54.00
< SubSecDateTimeOriginal: 2009:11:27 21:32:54.00
< SubSecModifyDate: 2009:11:27 21:32:54.00
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David Pope

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Hmm, since there haven't been any responses here, I looked around and decided to post this on forums.adobe.com.

Not sure what the difference is between that site and this one -- it is really confusing to know where to go for assistance.

-- David
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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This site is primarily for bug reports and feature requests - the other forum is more for help.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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The "feedback" site has more Adobe people on it.

The behavior you're experiencing is not a bug, just something LR does to update its file-stored metadata to the same version as the database-stored metadata, but only if you tell it you want it to write things to the files in addition to the database.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Official Response
Hi David,

Steve is correct, this is not a bug. There are a few things that changed regarding metadata between versions 2 and 3. There were a bunch of changes in the Develop module, and those new settings need to be stored in the metadata somewhere. Additional changes were also made to bring Lightroom's metadata reading and writing into compliances with the Metadata Working Group specification (http://www.metadataworkinggroup.org/s....

This means that a file's metadata will inevitably be different between versions 2 and 3. If you wish to store a file's metadata only in the Lightroom catalog, then there will be no effect on your photo files. But if you choose write that metadata back to the files (either by having auto-write turned on, or by explicitly choosing to save the metadata to files) then the files will be updated, because the metadata stored in the file, and the metadata stored in the catalog obviously can't be different.

If you were using raw files, that metadata would be stored in XMP sidecar files, so I would not expect the photo file itself to be changed. Since you're using JPEGs, the metadata is stored within the file itself.

This will be a one time change. In other words, once the file has been updated by Lightroom 3, it will not be updated again (unless or until you actually make a change to the file, of course). If you find that this is not the case, please reply here to let me know.

Thanks,
Ben
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Kimmo P

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I consider writing inside of original files a very bad idea. The reasons are described in my writing here:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

Reagrdless if the specification says it's ok to store daa inside jpf (or tiff), there are reasons why it is such a bad idea. One of the reasons being that it ruins any backup strategy based on incremental and/or differential backups when you have larger amount of data to backup.
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stuartpeckphoto

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Seems extremely counter intuitive, especially as the destination field of LR 4 import panel has the ability to import, naming files with a date format. Does it not seem odd not to respect that once in LR?
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stuartpeckphoto

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Not a problem? It is if you want to see things in Date modified