Major need for sequential timestamp

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Major need for sequential timestamp

Postby neilsky » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:10 am

Dear Jim,

Thank you so much for a brilliant utility. Like a bunch of other users, I'd like to add my voice to the request for improved timestamping. This is an increasing need around the world. The basis for millions tearing their hair out on iPads and other iDevices is because Apple, in its wisdom, periodically changes the way photos are automatically sorted in the iDevice Photo app...which pretty much always means they are NOT in the order you want.

In iOS3, sorting was based on the file name (yay...BRU to the rescue!). In iOS4 they changed to Date Taken (boo). In iOS5 and later they changed to Date Modified (boo, hiss, toss rotten tomatoes). So, if you Photoshop several photos in a slide show, they then move to the end of the slide show rather than staying where they were. What was Apple thinking!?

Anyhow, as a result of this mess, there is an immense need around the world to bulk modify the Date Modified in a similar sequential way to File Name. I tried to do that in BRU through the Timestamp option, but couldn't get it to work. In its Date Modified section I entered an initial Fixed start time, and then a Delta of 1 minute, hoping it would sequentially date stamp the selected files in one-minute increments. It didn't: instead it applied the Fixed date-plus-one-Delta to all files, so they now all have the same Modified time. In that case, I don't think I understand what the Delta is for (none the wiser for reading the Help), since entering the Delta'd date/time initially just in the Fixed field would give the same result.

Can you please advise whether I am doing something wrong, or whether BRU needs a tweak to support this bulk sequential timestamp option that so many folks seem to be pleading for (as I see on the forums here)? Just to get the sorting job done before more cleverness is developed for BRU, I'd even settle for manually editing the Date Modified value in-line in the display list, like you can edit the file name! That would be easier than editing the Fixed value in the Timestamp options one by one to apply to each of 300+ photos in a single slide deck...

Thanks again.

Best
Neil
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Re: Major need for sequential timestamp

Postby Admin » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:38 am

Hi, would you like to change the modified timestamp based on the file name sorting? Or according which criteria? Matt
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Re: Major need for sequential timestamp

Postby neilsky » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:05 am

Hi Matt,

I finally I figured out what the Delta timestamp option does: change from the CURRENT individual file timestamp, rather than creating a sequential change from the last stamp in the list. I think I get that now, thanks. I can see that would be really useful to align file dates where a camera wasn't adjusted for time zones while travelling, for example. But that's not the issue here.

Imagine you've taken a major trip and have hundreds (thousands?) of picture files now downloaded onto your computer, and you select a bunch of the best for a slide show. You want to sync them with your iPad and show them off "on the road" with that, or via Apple TV or whatever...but Apple's sort mechanism does HORRIBLE things to your collection. It sorts on Last Modified Date (iOS5 and later), so there will almost certainly be major slide show sequence problems thusly:

You want to Photoshop a bunch of pix in the collection, to crop, to correct brightness, contrast, colour balance or whatever. If you edit say 40 of the slideshow pix, those edited pix will now appear at the END of the iDevice slide show because their Last Modified date has changed..regardless of what file names you allocate.

Even if you edit ALL the slides in the show, unless you save your edits in the order you WANT them to be displayed, that order too is wrong: it's the order you edited them, which might not the be order you want to tell the final story. In practice I usually edit all pix in a slide show in any case, because I make a COPY of selected original files and reduce them to 1920x1080 since the TV "projector" is not going to show any higher resolution (and the camera is much higher res than that). That saves mega-oodles of iPad memory when you have dozens of slide shows and many thousands of pix.

In any scenario, unless you manually order your slides first and finally, before you've even quite decided which to pick and what sequence might be best as you edit them, you end up with a random and hugely frustrating mess on iDevices. One avoids manually re- and re-saving every pix in the desired order, with lossy formats (JPG), for obvious reasons. This results in the tearing out of what little hair is left and much shouting at and about Apple.

(Yeah, I did send a message to Apple to make a user-preferred option of the sorting mechanism in Settings, but I'm not holding my breath for an update. Indeed, the more complex collection "management" [that's in chookie feet because it's Apple "managing" your collection, not you!] that is described for the upcoming iOS7 Photo app are likely to exacerbate the problem rather than lessen it.)

What I, and I would wager most other folks do while editing the slide collection, is to NAME the picture files in the order they should appear, so we can see what the result is in Windows Explore or other PC software. With BRU, so far so good, except when it comes to using an iDevice to carry and share.

So, it seems to me what quite a few commenter on this forum are saying (without being entirely clear, perhaps) is: could there be a timestamp mechanism that works like the file name Numbering mechanism? That is, you enter a start value (in this case date/time) of your choice, an increment value, for example one minute or whatever to give yourself room to change one or two files' order manually later on.

Then when you Rename, the date stamp of the first selected list file is set to your start value, and the following selected files in the list (in its current display order as per the usual behaviour) have their timestamps set sequentially from that start date, each adjusted by the increment value; just as the Numbering section for file names works (though I guess the "padding" option would be redundant).

Having applied the Last Modified timestamp in this way, the slide show will not only show in the correct order on a PC by file name, but also on an iDevice running iOS4 (sorted by Creation Date ) or later (from iOS5 sorted by Last Modified Date). The timestamping principle would apply similarly to all three file dates: Created, Modified, Accessed...and you choose the one you want to edit.

I hope that makes sense, Matt...ask away if not.

Thanks again
Neil
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Re: Major need for sequential timestamp

Postby neilsky » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:31 am

Further to my previous post: this morning I spent two hours going crazy manually setting the time stamp for each of several hundred files so they turned up in the right order on the iPad. This evening, after editing a handful of them on the PC...and expecting to have to adjust their time stamps back on the PC, I find that some blasted process, without asking, has "touched" about two thirds of the photos in the folder (again, hundreds of them and not ones I have edited which was only a dozen or so), to the same time stamp. Far out!!!!!

The only thing I can think of is that this is the result of one of those blasted "media management" tools in Windows that likes to think you gave it permission to take over your photo collection and do what it likes with them...though I do run a very clean and tight ship, so not sure what it would be.

I now have to spend another two hours to manually put the date stamps back in one by one. There you go, an incremented date stamp system would do it in five seconds flat.

I guess they can't hear me screaming in outer space...

Cheers (not)
Neil
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Re: Major need for sequential timestamp

Postby Admin » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:28 am

Hi, you could use the timestamp function and set the times to taken (original) which reset the modified time to the EXIF taken time?
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