8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 1, 2010 2:01 AM by switchr
Rod Christiansen Level 1 (5 points)
I have a very well organized iPhoto library with 11000+ pics, a great part of them scanned.
All correct dates were entered through iPhoto, going back years to 1950. My problem is that I am building libraries for my mom, dad and aunt for their new macs and to sync with their iPhones. But when I tried to export the pictures all dates were wrong.

First I went through a normal sharing with Bonjour inside iPhotos (with two macs), the pics were copied without any dates info at all. Then I tried exporting them out from my library into theirs, same result.
I learned that the dates in iPhoto are not reflected into the EXIF info of the files. They currently have the scanned date there, so when I copy or export them, they get that date.

Question is: How do I force iPhoto (or a 3rd party app) to write the iPhoto dates into the EXIF info of the photos?

MacBook 13" (mid-2009), Mac OS X (10.6.4), 128GB SSD
  • Old Toad Level 10 (133,235 points)
    Scanned photos do not have EXIF fields in the file and cannot have EXIF Capture Dates added. There may be some UNIX command that will do the trick but I don't know of any way. The best you can do is to change the file created and modified date to the one you want. There are some 3rd party apps that can do the trick. Go to VersionTracker.com and do a search for "change date", "change file date" or something like that. You'll get a list of potential candidates.

  • tilman Level 4 (1,235 points)
    One trick that I frequently use is to select all the affected pictures, then select "Photos -> Adjust And Time", change the time by 1 second, and click on "Modify Original Files". That will do a small non-consequential adjustment to the timestamps, but also write the new timestamp into the EXIF data of all the pictures. If the 1 second change bothers you, you can repeat the step, but this time subtracting one second from the time.
  • Rod Christiansen Level 1 (5 points)
    Oh tilman... After reading your simple and obvious idea I had a "Why didn't I think of that?" moment. So I fired up iPhoto and added 1 second to every photo with the modified original checked.

    Results? Well.... not really.... After it did it, the correct dates were in fact added to the EXIF! But when exporting, or bonjour sharing they STILL went to a random January 31st 2000. Only a few had the correct date and when checking the EXIF of the imported files, there was no date there! I have no idea why.

    As a side effect, after adding 1 sec to the photos about 3000 pics lost their GPS info as well. Why would it do that, from changing the dates I wouldn't know.

    I went back to my backed up library of before any changes...
    Such a simple thing, so complicated.
    Thanks for the input.
  • ChromePlanet Level 1 (90 points)
    I have been struggling with iPhoto's lack of EXIF functionality and compatibility for YEARS. It has never worked right and has never been fixed.

    My solution has been to modify my workflow. A program called Graphic Converter will do everything you need and more. It used to be bundled with Macs, but now you have to buy it.


    Use it to modify file date/time, EXIF info, GPS info, IPTC info, and pretty much anything you could ever do to a graphics file. It is not very user-friendly and has a less-than-stellar interface but once you figure it out, it will do just what you need.

    Work on all your files with it, getting the dates right and so forth, and then your final step should be to import to iPhoto for viewing and safekeeping.
  • tilman Level 4 (1,235 points)
    Or use a tool like Phoshare (Open Source at http://code.google.com/p/phoshare) to export your iPhoto library with all the iPhoto information (title, description, keyword, ratings, date, faces, places) merged into the metadata.
  • ChromePlanet Level 1 (90 points)
    You might want to disclose that you actually wrote Phoshare yourself.

    I took a look at it but haven't tested it. Its claimed functionality looks promising, but I don't see a way for a user to import the folder tree the program creates to get everything back into iPhoto. The interface is a bit rudimentary and has a misspelling.

    I clicked on the Documentation link on the Google page and was told I didn't have access.
  • tilman Level 4 (1,235 points)
    Sorry about the documentation link, that is fixed now. Yes, Phoshare was written by me, but it's free to use, shared as Open Source Software. It has been available for about a year (previously known as iphotoexport). It's main purpose is to make your iPhoto library contents accessible to other programs, which is what the original post was asking about (e.g. exporting your library with the EXIF data properly populated).
  • switchr Level 1 (0 points)
    Love the link option - but my macosx shows that the links are the same size as the original file. Is this just the way 'finder' displays things?