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  1. Join Date : May 2016
    Posts : 6
    Windows 10
       20 Oct 2016 #1

    Is there a Photo Tag Editor that has this specific feature?


    I'm organizing all my photos right now. I have one folder where the "Date" column is correct with the date/time the photo was taken.

    Most of my images have the "Date taken" info correct to but some of them are blank. I need to fill this in because once all my photos are backed up to Google Photos and if i need to download a photo it ends up changing the correct "Date" to the new date it was downloaded. It doesn't touch "Date taken" so that's good at least.

    Is there any app out there where you can tell it to fill in Date Taken with the info from Date? I know I can use the old app Exifer to manually enter Date Taken info but that's going to take forever. Would be way easier to just be able to copy over Date to Date Taken.

    I know I can batch select same dates then go to properties and details and fill in the Date Taken there too but the issue with that is it changes the time to the current time you're filling in the Date Taken info.
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  2. Join Date : Feb 2014
    Posts : 489
       20 Oct 2016 #2

    As you mentioned, you can use Windows File Explorer/File Explorer Search to select the photos you want to edit the EXIF data for and then use Properties > Details from the right-click menu and put a date into the 'Date Taken' field.

    However as you also mentioned Microsoft don't allow you to adjust the time. With old scanned photos this is particularly problematic because quite often the exact date isn't known and therefore an approximate year is used as 'Date Taken' for lots of photos (I.E. Date Taken = 1970.06.01). But without being able to adjust the time, it will use it's own timestamps and therefore when viewing the photos in something like the Windows Photos app that uses 'Date Taken', the order it will display the photos in will be all over the place.

    When I looked for Batch EXIF editing software a while ago, I didn't come across anything that suited my needs, so I ended up forgoing a user interface and using a command-line tool called ExifTool instead. ExifTool is capable, but it's not for the faint hearted, the website/documentation even less so... However, if you don't mind using this type of tool from Command Prompt, then maybe the below will help.

    1) Download "Windows Executable: exiftool-10.30.zip" from this link:
    ExifTool by Phil Harvey

    2) Extract "exiftool(-k).exe" from the zip file, save it somewhere and rename it to "exiftool.exe" for command-line use.

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    3) Put the photos that are all going to be of the same 'Date Taken' in the same folder. I.E.

    1970.12.25 Christmas
    1971.03.15 Peter Pan's Wedding
    1971.06.20 Holiday in Timbuktu

    4) Whilst in that folder, hold the Shift Key and Right-Click mouse, then select 'Open Command Window Here' to open the command prompt at that folder location

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    5) Use the following code:

    IMPORTANT: Make a copy of the folder and do a dummy run first. That way you will have a copy of the original folder you can always go back to if you don't like the results.

    Code:
    "C:\Users\USERNAME\Software\ExifTool\ExifTool 10.28\exiftool" -overwrite_original -datetimeoriginal="1971:01:30 00:01:00" .
    
    "C:\Users\USERNAME\Software\ExifTool\ExifTool 10.28\exiftool" -overwrite_original -fileOrder FileName "-datetimeoriginal+<00:00$filesequence" .

    Note:
    Change the above paths to exiftool (C:\Users\USERNAME\Software\ExifTool\ExifTool 10.28\exiftool) to match the path where you saved the exiftool executable.

    Change "datetimeoriginal" to the date the photos were taken

    What the above code does is goes through the photos in the folder in File Name order (Hence the -fileOrder FileName) and changes the date taken to 1971.01.30 at 00:01, then goes to the next image in the folder and changes the date taken to 1971.01.30 at 00:02, then the next and changes the date taken to 1971.01.30 at 00:03... and so on. Although the times aren't obviously accurate, the minute increments will put the photos in a sequential order.

    It's done in this way for two reasons, firstly for me all my digital images already have the correct 'Date Taken' field, so this is targeted specifically towards scanned images. Secondly, I've always found file timestamps such as Date Created, Date Modified and Date Accessed to be largely unreliable to base batch processing off, so I would use my own dates even if it meant that it's more time consuming. That said, you may be able to find a way to use filemodifydate to populate the Date Taken field, but like I said it's not something I've wanted to use. ExifTool has also has it's own forum if you can't find what you're looking for on Google Search.

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    6) The 'Date Taken' field will now show the date taken, with time in minute increments so they display in the correct order in applications that use 'Date Taken'.

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    Something to be aware of, ExifTool is only 32-bit, therefore if your photos need dating before 1 January 1970 (or after 19 January 2038) it's a bit more complicated as you will need to install ActivePerl and then use the Perl version of ExifTool. As the Perl version is 64-bit it can handle dates before 1 January 1970. Installing the 'Full Perl Distribution' instructions can be found HERE.
    Last edited by ARC1020; 20 Oct 2016 at 08:15.
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  3. Join Date : Feb 2014
    Posts : 489
       20 Oct 2016 #3

    Following on from the above post, the code below should create a 'Date Taken' field from the file 'Date Modified' timestamp, however I haven't tested this extensively.

    As per the above caution, always make a copy of the folder(s) first and do dummy runs first to make sure it's behaving exactly as required before using it on real data. Keep the original folder/files safe, that way you will have a copy of the original folder you can always go back to if you don't like the results.

    Also as previously mentioned, you're going to need to be incredibly careful to make sure the 'Date Taken' dates it's populating are actually correct. I've always found file timestamps such as Date Created, Date Modified and Date Accessed to be really, really unreliable and not much good for anything to be honest. Because of this I recommend that you don't do it this way. My recommendation is still to do it manually as shown previously, because although the time itself maybe incorrect, at least it won't show a completely different date altogether.

    Code:
    "C:\Users\USERNAME\Software\ExifTool\ExifTool 10.28\exiftool" -ext jpg -ext tif -if "not $DateTimeOriginal" -overwrite_original "-datetimeoriginal<filemodifydate" .

    Take care not to miss the dot right at the end

    I put -if "not $DateTimeOriginal" in there as a precautionary measure which *should* prevent it from overwriting the 'Date Taken' field on any photos that already have a 'Date Taken' field populated.

    -ext jpg -ext tif means it will only apply to JPEG and TIFF files with those file extensions.


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  4. Join Date : May 2016
    Posts : 6
    Windows 10
       20 Oct 2016 #4

    thanks guys for the huge amount of info! Yeah, command line sounds scary but ill definitely give it a try. I'm surprised there isn't an app that lets you fill in fields with info from other fields easily like say MP3Tag does with MP3s.
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  5. Join Date : Feb 2014
    Posts : 489
       21 Oct 2016 #5

    vice86 said: View Post
    I'm surprised there isn't an app that lets you fill in fields with info from other fields easily like say MP3Tag does with MP3s.

    The problem is where will it get the date from?

    If there's no 'Date Taken' field, then I don't know of a reliable place that software will be able to get a 'Date Taken' date from. As soon as a user does anything to photos such as rotate them, edit them, save-as, move them from one drive to another, etc. the Date Created, Date Modified and Date Accessed dates change.

    Looking at my photos for example, the 'Date Created' and 'Date Accessed' dates all show 2 October 2016 (which is when I last installed Windows). And 'Date Modified' dates, although a bit more reliable, also can't be trusted. I'm looking at digital photos taken before 2010, but show February 2014 as the 'Date Modified' date (I have no idea why). Even something as simple as adding EXIF tags, or just rotating a photo in the Photos app is enough to change the 'Date Modified' date.

    So none of those dates can be trusted as a reliable source for the 'Date Taken' date, therefore the date would have to come from some other metadata, but as far as I am aware, there isn't any other universal field that can reliably be used for this. And of course, with scanned images no metadata will be able to give a 'Date Taken' date, that always requires an 'organic computer'.
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  6. Join Date : Oct 2013
    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 1,144
    Windows 10 Pro x64 - XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       21 Oct 2016 #6

    Take a look at adobe Bridge It should be able to find the date and other metadata and allow you to manipulate it as you want (it's free BTW)

    I use it's big brother Lightroom and I use the embedded data to automatically create my file structure based on Date taken on import, I also name files based on data and time taken. Obviously I deal with RAW images rather than JPEG or the like so may have better control but hopefully Bridge will do enough to help

    I only view my images within Lightroom so the fact that an Image is named 2016-10-17.11-55-09-Edit.jpg is not that important as I see the name of the file contained in the metadata not the filename, the structure of the filename does help with sorting of course
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  7. Join Date : Oct 2013
    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 1,144
    Windows 10 Pro x64 - XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       21 Oct 2016 #7

    As you are familiar with phil harvey's Exif Tool you could also look at the old program GeoSetter to see if it meets your needs better ( it's a graphical front end that uses ExifTool )
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  8. Join Date : Feb 2014
    Posts : 489
       21 Oct 2016 #8

    Barman58 said: View Post
    Take a look at adobe Bridge It should be able to find the date and other metadata and allow you to manipulate it as you want (it's free BTW)

    I use it's big brother Lightroom and I use the embedded data to automatically create my file structure based on Date taken on import, I also name files based on data and time taken. Obviously I deal with RAW images rather than JPEG or the like so may have better control but hopefully Bridge will do enough to help

    I only view my images within Lightroom so the fact that an Image is named 2016-10-17.11-55-09-Edit.jpg is not that important as I see the name of the file contained in the metadata not the filename, the structure of the filename does help with sorting of course

    If you're dealing with camera RAW images, then you already have the 'Date Taken' field, so there's no need to add it. The OP has photos without any 'Date Taken' fields and wants to automatically create them. But if there's no 'Date Taken' metadata in the first place, where can software reliably get the true date?

    Here's an example from within Adobe Bridge:

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    I too name my files in reverse date order, however more and more programs (such as the Windows Photo app) ignore file names and use the 'Date Taken' field instead. So the 'Date Taken' field is pretty important, even for scanned images or digital art files to make sure they are always shown in the correct chronological order. But the date also needs to be accurate, not just taken from Date Created, Date Modified and Date Accessed and hope for the best. Which is where the problem lies for the OP because he wants to batch process a load of images which may or may not have correct dates to take a 'Date taken' date from. That's why I think he needs to go through them manually because computer software won't know if the 'Date Modified' dates are correct or not.
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  9. Join Date : Oct 2013
    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 1,144
    Windows 10 Pro x64 - XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       21 Oct 2016 #9

    The need for a large amount of manual input is a "given" with any situation where the data is either corrupted, wrong or missing

    I suggested what I did as both options use a graphical interface which is more user friendly, and the "organic computer" can use visual clues to sort and tag the images more efficiently than a command line option.

    The initial dating metadata can be added to future new images, as they are transferred into the library, once the initial manual sort has taken place - Both options I suggested have manual build options for metadata that is not present automatically when the files are imported and once a template is built this should hopefully minimise the manual entries
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  10. Join Date : May 2016
    Posts : 6
    Windows 10
       21 Oct 2016 #10

    ARC1020 said: View Post
    The problem is where will it get the date from?

    If there's no 'Date Taken' field, then I don't know of a reliable place that software will be able to get a 'Date Taken' date from. As soon as a user does anything to photos such as rotate them, edit them, save-as, move them from one drive to another, etc. the Date Created, Date Modified and Date Accessed dates change.
    Well most of the photos have the correct date and time under the DATE column. If you could say with some command "Take from Date and add to Date Taken" that would make this infinitely easier.
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