Lightroom Desktop: Need efficient Capture Date Change

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  • Updated 4 months ago
  • (Edited)
Please provide a way to enter a corrected Capture date/time directly by typing the entire thing out.

When I converted from LR 6 to LR CC last year, the conversion lost the capture date for over 1,000 videos. I have found no way to fix or get the correct date back through any sort of automated import...so I have grudgingly begun to work through correcting the capture date in Lightroom CC (fortunately, my filenames have this information so know the correct date/time stamp).

The problem is that the dialog for editing the creation date is horribly inefficient, requiring 2 mouse selections and multiple tabbed typing edits. You cannot modify either the month nor the AM/PM setting with your keyboard, and you cannot enter 24h format time. Added to this, the ordering of the dialog date format is not a standard order for a sortable date...so it requires swapping the order around for every entry.

This inefficient editing of capture date in my case is just adding insult to injury after you lost all the correct dates that were in LR 6 during the catalog import process.

Thank you!
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Sam Birch

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Posted 4 months ago

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Sam Birch

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Ultimately, I would love to have a "SET" call for Lightroom Cloud's Catalog REST API that I could use to simply push all the right dates into the Cloud directly without having to type out the 1,000+ dates manually...but it seems that the REST API has all but stalled, with nothing but upload functionality presented.  

What is the future of the REST API?  Will we ever be able to edit our catalog with it? (or download photos?)
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Sam Birch

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Well, I guess I'm in a small camp for having this problem...

Since the only solution I could hope for from Adobe would include my waiting on a completed REST API for Lightroom CC's cloud services (unchanged for years...), I hacked out an AutoIt script to control the Lightroom CC GUI.  

It solved my problem, and if anyone wants my script to adapt and use (at your own risk), I'll send it to you...or  (which upgrades from LR6 to LRCC (going through Classic, since that was the directed path at the time)

https://adobe.ly/2Ugb8fp

The above linked script is NOT to be used directly...you will need to edit the code to make it work (and not break things) on your computer.

I used AutoIt (https://www.autoitscript.com/site/) to write a script that reduces an average of 30 seconds/correction to a 3 second/correction and blissfuly unattended.  I ended up spending about the same amount of time in the end...but I learned something for future tasks instead of mindlessly clicking and typing through the inefficient dialog for editing the date.  It would have been much faster if the GUI in Lightroom CC didn't have such a laggy response frequently.

My problem set...what the script was written to do:
  • Lightroom CC has lost all your actual capture dates for videos
  • My practice has always been to encode the date-time stamp somewhere in my filenames in an order that is naturally sortable (YYYYMMDD-HHmmSS).  I used several variations over the years, some with prepended strings, some with separators, some with appended strings...and this matched all my use cases with some Regular Expressions.  In fact, the Regular Expression pattern might be the most useful thing in the script...here is the key pattern I used:

Here's a link to the regex pattern matching test:
https://regex101.com/r/NvQF0h/1
I'm sure there are better solutions, but this one worked well for me...

The caveats to the script are many:
  1. It is a Windows solution...
  2. Since Adobe doesn't build GUIs in a standard way (under the hood...at least for a Windows app), there are aspects to the script that are tied to a very specific set of Display settings (Resolution matched exactly to mine, Font scaling turned to 100% (no scaling), etc.)
  3. Also, Lightroom CC needed to be manually placed into a specific view (Photo Grid filtered so ONLY the videos were on the grid, First one selected, Information panel visible)
  4. While these could all be easily changed by a person with knowledge of AutoIt (and this was my first project in it)...it requires work.  I seriously doubt anyone could take this script and use it without modification.
  5. It requires the BETA version of AutoIt (at least as I wrote it, because I wanted to use the Map variable type)
  6. If you try it, you do it at your own risk.  It worked for me, but if the AutoIt script ever gets out of sync with your Lightroom GUI (because of some small resolution...) it could do things you don't want.