Downloading Pictures From My Camera Changes The Dates! - Adventures in Switching to Linux

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Downloading Pictures From My Camera Changes The Dates!

I've been loving my Linux experience so far. Sometimes things just work the way or better than you expect. Sometimes, like today, they don't.

Today I got home from spending time with the family for Christmas and decided instead of booting into Windows to copy my digital photos off my camera, I would use Linux. I was very confident it would work because the camera shows up as a generic mass storage device which I know is well supported by Linux. My 500GB external hard drive shows up this way and it works flawlessly.

I plugged in the camera and up popped a "Photo Import" dialog. Sweet!

As in Windows, I decided to import my images manually though so I clicked ignore. I have a system for this, ok! I also was not sure what the whole import would do. Turning on the camera had added a "disk" icon to my desktop so I just browsed there, created my local folder on the NTFS partition where all the other images are, and then moved them over. Now I wish I would have just copied them.

After moving all the files, I wanted to sort them by the date they were taken. In Windows, that is the same date as the file. But oh no, not in Linux. The move operation had changed the modified date (the files was NOT modified, just moved) so they were all times of just a few minutes ago. Gnome will show you the picture taken date that is embedded in the EXIF data but only on a per image basis so there is no sorting to be had. Good thing the file names are sequential. I still would like to have the file dates the same as the date they were taken.

I did a little searching and found I am not alone in wanting to sort by date the picture was taken in Gnome. We are both without an answer though. Someone suggested F-Spot which is a photo collection application that comes pre-installed in Ubuntu. I might try that out sometime soon to see if it can rename the files for me. There has to be a utility or script to change the file modified date to the picture taken date somewhere!!!

UPDATE 3/7/08: After some more research I discovered this problem is limited to NTFS and there is a fix thanks to Ubuntu Backports.

1 comment:

Forrest said...

There is a little utility called jhead that should be able to change the modified date to the image taken date in the EXIF data. Use the command 'jhead -ft *.jpg'. There are other command options too.