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Utility to TOUCH File DateTime using EXIF? Solved!

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#1
CharlotteTheHarlot

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First Question ... ( Solved! ) Trying to change the file date and time of lots of photos to match the EXIF original.

I thought for sure one of the utilities I had could do this. Apparently not. So far I have tried a bunch of tools which do many useful things ...

  • Friedemann Schmidt Exifer ... link
  • CodeLake WindowsTouch ... link
  • Funduc FsTouch ... link
  • JoeJoe RenameMaster ... link
  • Mihov EXIF-Renamer ... link
  • NirSoft BulkFileChanger ... link <--- Bingo!!
  • NirSoft ExifDataView ... link
  • NirSoft FileDate-Changer ... link
  • Scarabée Siren ... link
  • TawbaWare EXIFRead ... link
... but not TOUCH. UPDATE: Nir Sofer to the rescue with BulkFileChanger!

I have a 2nd question ... Is anyone aware of some strange slideshow or thumbnail built-in feature to Windows Vista or 7 that for some spectacularly stupid reason actually modifies the file date/time and adds a bunch of metadata to the files? I am recovering photos for someone from an NTFS HDD and am finding this a lot with identical photos with differing timestamps and with some extra data inserted. Note, these are not ADS ( alternate data streams ), the stuff is preserved when copied to FAT disks. The modifications are to the metadata, adding some HTML code.

I'll try to include a before-after example. Hopefully all the crazy binary characters will allow it to show up ...

--- BEFORE ---
Spoiler


--- AFTER ---
Spoiler


EDIT: added more utilities, added links

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 08 November 2012 - 08:37 PM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...



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#2
CharlotteTheHarlot

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Okay, might have found one. Be right back ... Bingo! ... Nirsoft BulkFileChanger. I see that Jaclaz also nailed it below while I was away. :thumbup

It is a GUI solution, not command-line and works perfectly. The first thing I did was attach it to the context menu for Folders so that a right click would quickly get me into the utility with the desired folder already set.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\Folder\Shell\Nirsoft_BulkFileChanger]
@="{Nirsoft} BulkFileChanger ..."
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\Folder\Shell\Nirsoft_BulkFileChanger\Command]
@="(Your File Path)\\Bulkfilechanger.exe %1"


Note that the @default name I used is arbitrary, use anything you want. I just prefer to have it stand out in the context menu which has so many entries already. What I see is {Nirsoft} BulkFileChanger ... when I right-click on a folder.

Minor Problem: that registry pointer is defeated by the last folder path being saved by the program, somewhere. That location is a mystery! It is not in the local configuration file: Bulkfilechanger.cfg, nor can I find it in the registry anywhere. Regardless, the way it works is to check for existance of the last saved path and if it exists, it uses it, otherwise it accepts the %1 pointer passed by the registry entry. I tried three different parsings of that registry entry just to be sure ...
@="(Your File Path)\\Bulkfilechanger.exe %1"
@="(Your File Path)\\Bulkfilechanger.exe \"%1\""
@="\"(Your File Path)\\Bulkfilechanger.exe\" \"%1\""


Okay, so after you right-click a folder and launch BulkFileChanger, the GUI opens with a blank window, but it is actually using either the most recently used folder or the right-clicked folder as its current directory ...

Posted Image


... As soon as you click the "Add Files" icon it will look into that folder where you can now grab some files to process ...

Posted Image


Note that the files are then placed into the window but are unselected. You will have to highlight some or all of them to proceed. Now you can click the "Change Time / Attributes" icon ...

Posted Image


... and the important dialog appears. This is where I had originally missed the option. You want to click the box for "Copy Time From" and then the drop-down box where the option: "EXIF - Generated Time" can be selected. After that, tick off the Target fields that you want changed. I selected all three: Modified, Created and Accessed. Then you simply click the "Do It" button and it is done ...

Posted Image


Back in the main window you will see them now updated.

Posted Image


Excellent job as always by Nir Sofer. :thumbup One wishlist suggestion would be that he adds a possible column for the EXIF DateTime field so that when you are looking at a list of files you can decide to only select those that in fact have EXIF data for processing. I test a few files that had no EXIF data just to see what would happen, and after clicking through the dialogs, the program leaves the original date/time stamps untouched ( as you would expect ). So it's all good.

EDIT: added more details

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 08 November 2012 - 05:03 PM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#3
CharlotteTheHarlot

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[ this is a work in progress that will eventually grow into a new specific thread ]

New Plan: I had to change strategy and search for a photo comparator, one that can safely skirt the EXIF and other metadata and compare only the image data. This is because of vast amounts of data tampering by various viewers and slideshow viewers.

Requirements and Wishlist:
  • GUI source folder select, not just an entire drive!
  • Allow pasted source folder path, not just GUI select
  • Allow drag-drop source folder path, not just GUI select
  • Accept command line source folder path, or dropped on EXE or LNK
  • Ability to traverse entire directory tree, not just a single folder
  • Ignore EXIF or other metadata, and compare actual image
  • Output window in "Details View", not just thumbnail previews
  • Display EXIF data (or lack of) in Output Window, to aid in decision making
  • Ability to generate a list of results
Guillaume FOUET aka Ozone VisiPics v1.2.5.239 (freeware) ... Tested OK

Michael Thummerer AllDup v3.4.0.13 (freeware) ... Tested OK

Renegade Minds Duplicate Photo Finder v1.3.0.0 (freeware) ... .Net 4.0

FirmTools Duplicate Photo Finder v1.1.0.148 (trialware) ... Tested OK

MindGems Visual Similarity Duplicate Image Finder v4.2.0.1 (trialware) ... Tested OK

AshiSoft Duplicate Finder v4.2.1.0 (free???) ... .Net 4.0

Nils Maier SimilarImages v2006.3.0.081 (freeware) ... Tested OK

Nils Maier SimilarImages v2010.9.0.232 (freeware) ... Tested OK

CodePlex (Open Source) DupliFinder v1.0.0.0 (freeware) ... Tested OK

Prismatic Software DupDetector v3.0.0.0 (freeware) ... ***

Prismatic Software DupDetector v3.3.0.2 (freeware) ... Tested OK


NOTES!:

.Net 4.0 ... I have tried yet again to get the Microsoft installer to work on Windows XP SP3 to no avail. All the previous versions are in place though. Has anyone figured out a way to just manually insert the files into the Windows folders and what registry entries are needed?

*** ... I originally had a download called KeronSoft Dup Detector listed separately. It uses an obscure installer ( see below ) so I could not extract it. I executed it and grabbed the setup files from the TEMP folder. Now I have determined that contrary to the indications on their website, the application is in fact an older version ( v3.0 ) of Prismatic Software DupDetector ( v3.302 ). As to whether KeronSoft is some kind of affiliate or just another scam artist I cannot determine, but I will be contacting Prismatic to let them know that this outfit is distributing their freeware without any mention of them as an author ( the files inside appear okay and not tampered with ). The red flag for me is that Prismatic distributes them in a normal Inno setup package, but this other website has them in a non-extractable installer.

About that *INSTALLER* ... it is from KeronSoft called DupDetector dated 2002. It is identified as "Pivonics installer" which so far cannot be manually extracted by any tricks I know. ~sigh~ I will probably just run it sandboxed to grab the files but I always try to get them out of the install wrapper before virus scanning them. Update: done. The executed file simply dumps the setup files into TEMP where they can be grabbed before actually letting them proceed. It would still be nice to locate and extractor for this odd setup packager. Here are some of the signature strings and related info I tracked down ...

Spoiler

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 21 November 2012 - 11:57 AM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#4
jaclaz

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http://www.nirsoft.n...le_changer.html :whistle:

BulkFileChanger is a small utility that allows you to create files list from multiple folders, and then make some action on them - Modify their created/modified/accessed time, change their file attribute (Read Only, Hidden, System), run an executable with these files as parameter, and copy/cut paste into Explorer.

BulkFileChanger is a replacement for the old FileDate Changer utility.
.....
Version 1.20:
Added 3 new options into 'Copy Time From': EXIF - Generated Time, EXIF - Stored Time, and EXIF - Modified Time. You can use these options to copy the date/time stored inside EXIF data of digital camera picture into the created/modified time of the file.




That CRAP looks a LOT like Adobe XMP (and you thought that Windows 8 was the bottom of the barrel, didn't you? :unsure: )
http://metadatadelux...92219/Adobe XMP
There is in theory a field for the specific app that wrote the metadata, but obviously the good MS guys dumbified it by writing UNconditionally "http://ns.microsoft....com/photo/1.0/" and "MicrosoftPhoto"
http://www.exiv2.org...osoftPhoto.html

BTW, see here:
http://metadatadelux... function, jpeg
try accessing:
http://www.iptc.org/...Core/1.0/xmlns/
or:
http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/
and the corresponding:
http://ns.microsoft.com/photo/1.0/

It's the senseless "PhotoGallery" since Vista :ph34r:
http://blogs.msdn.co.../16/702780.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.co.../23/715340.aspx
and probably the "enhanced" search too. :unsure:

jaclaz

#5
CharlotteTheHarlot

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It's the senseless "PhotoGallery" since Vista :ph34r:
http://blogs.msdn.co.../16/702780.aspx <------- That's It
http://blogs.msdn.co.../23/715340.aspx
and probably the "enhanced" search too. :unsure:

You got it! It is indeed a Vista/7 feature and of course it is enabled by duhfault. After asking the owner about this I have come to the conclusion that it specifically happened when they used the "photo gallery", likely from digging through the My Documents or Libraries minefield and then clicking on something that most would consider harmless like 'View Slideshow' or similar.

What is interesting is this: there was no way that this user could have commented or rated this many photos ( in the thousands ). They may have commented a handful at most. With no hard evidence I can guess that the mechanism went right through the entire folder structure and splatted metadata (probably generic placeholder information) into every single file. Then on a different day it did the exact same thing, rinse and repeat. Now there are many versions of the same photos with slightly differing data rendering binary file comparisons completely useless. Now you would need to use a specialized utility that diffs files by carefully working around the metadata section. Good luck with that.

The worst part is that the files not only have this metadata injected, but that area is not a fixed sized field. So, the different files are also different sized, meaning those specialized utilities to compare the photos will have to include a very carefully designed layer of logic to be considered reliable. I would not automatically trust such a utility especially when dealing with photos. When it pronounces: "identical", I need assurance. At least Windiff and some others come with a long track record of success and I do not mind deleting data based on their results. But if it is something called "Acme Photo Compare and De-duplication Utility", well, I don't think so.

Anyway, from the link that Jaclaz located, here is part of their rather lame explanation ...

In the past, you may have used third-party image management applications that allowed you to add tags (or other metadata) to your photos, only to find out later that those tags were locked in a private database that only that application could read. This makes it inconvenient to share your photos (or back them up), since the metadata didn’t travel with the file. In Windows Vista, our goal is “the truth is in the file”. That means that metadata you apply to your photos is part of the photo, and available to any application that knows how to read it. But how do we accomplish that?


They go on to rail about how great this duhfault data mangling is, because this metadata is now available to all applications! This is because if they had used a separate index file instead, the metadata would only be useful to Microsoft ( huh? ). Yes, but the data would not have been mangled right? Rationalizations. ~sigh~ I guess we should be thanking them. Actually this blog entry is spectacularly unimpressive in my opinion ( and this is an official Microsoft source too, blogs.msdn.com ), it reads a bit rushed and amateurish to me. It also begs the question, what the heck do we even have ADS for? I could have sworn they promised resource forks that ensured metadata would be kept separate, guaranteeing the important thing: user data is kept safe.

So the final question remains, how to disable this crazy thing? To be continued.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#6
jaclaz

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The worst part is that the files not only have this metadata injected, but that area is not a fixed sized field. So, the different files are also different sized, meaning those specialized utilities to compare the photos will have to include a very carefully designed layer of logic to be considered reliable. I would not automatically trust such a utility especially when dealing with photos. When it pronounces: "identical", I need assurance. At least Windiff and some others come with a long track record of success and I do not mind deleting data based on their results. But if it is something called "Acme Photo Compare and De-duplication Utility", well, I don't think so.

As a matter of fact the WHOLE JPEG format is made of "dynamic" fields :realmad: and it is ALREADY complex enough to parse :ph34r: without the good Adobe guys inventing this "feature" and the other good guys from MS adopting it "mainstrem" not before (as said) having dumbified it, by removing from it the actual useful info about the app that did it and pointing to a non existing site.

jaclaz

#7
jaclaz

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Actually this blog entry is spectacularly unimpressive in my opinion ( and this is an official Microsoft source too, blogs.msdn.com ), it reads a bit rushed and amateurish to me.

Do you want a more "professional" source?
Here you are:
http://msdn.microsof...3(v=vs.85).aspx
http://msdn.microsof...1(v=vs.85).aspx

I guess :unsure: that you need to remove the WIC codec :w00t:
http://en.wikipedia....aging_Component

jaclaz




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