[Solved] Google Photos incorrectly sorts images

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matti
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[Solved] Google Photos incorrectly sorts images

Post by matti » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:38 pm

Google Photos sorts some images with valid EXIF dates incorrectly. Do you have experience which metadata field might cause this and how to fix it?

I have scanned 1000 old photos as .tif, edited and exported as .jpg from Lightroom. Renamed and inserted Captions, Keywords, locations, ratings and EXIF dates with GC.

I want to publish them to relatives via Google Photos (the best but far from perfect free or even commercial solution I have found for this task).

But Google Photos incorrectly sorts some random old images as newish. I have experienced this in my previous projects and then, as a brutal workaround, have zapped ALL metadata and copied all metadata from a backup image with GC. But I’d rather not do this with all those otherwise perfect 1000 images.

I haven’t yet tested which field Google Photos might use instead of the correct EXIF date when sorting the images. Yesterday I quickly glanced one offending image with exiftool and there was a suspicious "digital creation date" and there seemed to be an exiftool command (*) to zap it or copy EXIF date to it.

Before I go and zap all metadata or do a thorough test to find the root and fix for the problem, I’d like to hear if someone else already has an explanation and a fix for this. Which metadata should I try to zap or modify with GC without touching important fields? Does Lightroom export unnecessary newish fields for this workflow?

* http://u88.n24.queensu.ca/exiftool/foru ... pic=8077.0

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forum_adm
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Re: Google Photos incorrectly sorts images

Post by forum_adm » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:20 pm

Please forward two files for testing to support@lemkesoft.de
Please zip to keep all metadata unchanged.

matti
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Re: Google Photos incorrectly sorts images

Post by matti » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:15 pm

I sent three example files to GC support address illustrating the problem.

One type of problem files could simply be fixed by rebuilding metadata in GC, then trashing the *.jpg_original files. That was an easy fix although it is difficult to spot such files in advance.

But I spotted other files where only removing all metadata and editing it back (EXIF date, EXIF preview, location, Caption, Keywords, Rating) did make Google Photos to sort them correctly. But that is labor-intensive and error-prone and spotting such files in advance is also difficult.

I hope to find a way to zap or modify metadata with GC without touching those important fields.

In addition to those files, Google Photos also sorted bunch of other files in reverse order. I noticed that fixing just those few files also corrected the sorting of the other files I didn't touch. Weird. It seems Google Photos sorting algorithms are buggy and flimsy, see also:

https://www.cnet.com/news/google-photos ... r-earlier/

...off topic but please chime in if I'm missing something:

Google Photos was the best free or even commercial solution I found for my noncommercial photo publishing needs (I also tried Dropbox, Apple and Microsoft cloud, Picasa, Flickr and SmugMug):

+ Other users can subscribe to the shared album and receive notifications when it is updated. Also non-subscribed users can view the album via an URL. Subscribed users can optionally comment or "like" individual photos. Trusted users can even granted admin rights to the album (I have not tried how well this works).

+ The albums can be viewed via a computer web browser or a mobile app (works fine in iOS).

+ Users can view the albums as web pages with multiple photos automatically neatly arranged on one page, clicking an image zooms into individual image mode with an optional neat sidebar showing the scrollable Caption text, date and time, image name, resolution, size, and location map (clicking the map in Google Photos opens a more detailed Google Maps in another page). Captions, Keywords, dates and location maps are crucial for my needs.

+ Subscribed and nonsubscribed users can download individual images or the whole zipped album with original quality images.

Google Photos has some major drawbacks:

- Low-resolution images do not automatically fit the window. It is possible to zoom in with cmd/ctrl + but then other GUI elements get too large.

- Captions are automatically imported and neatly displayed but linebreaks are ignored and moderately long Captions are clipped, so linebreaks must be clumsily re-edited or whole Captions pasted back in Google Photos.

- It is not possible to view Keywords.

- Captions, dates and locations can be edited in Google Photos, but the edited metadata does not download with the images. This is why I must clumsily maintain the album in GC and periodically remove and re-send all images to Google Photos so other users can download the images with updated metadata (I must then also remember to re-paste long Captions and edit the linebreaks back)!

- EXIF dates older than 1902 are displayed incorrectly. Sometimes incorrect date fields are used for sorting and display instead using correct EXIF dates.

- I miss an option to share non-image files inside the shared album. As a workaround I have an image with a Caption text URL pointing to a Dropbox .xls file.

- The worst: It is not possible to search Captions or Keywords! Can you believe there is a Google product that can't search!! Search is only possible at the Google Photos main window, not inside albums. To do a Caption or Keyword search (I don't know if it searches both) users have to add the album to their own photos and do the search there, or download and open the album in other apps like GC. This is a great pity because I have an album with dozens of carefully picked Keywords per image. Currently other users don't have an easy access to filter those 1000 images via Keyword searches.

Here is an example of a Google Photos album:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/B8FoHCDkTyfZ8j4p8

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forum_adm
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Re: Google Photos incorrectly sorts images

Post by forum_adm » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:24 am

Hi Matti,

the files contain different date values in the Modify Date entry (that must be written by Adobe Lightroom).
Because GraphicConverter sets the metadata date fields all the same.
Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 08.29.14.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 08.29.14.jpg (86.43 KiB) Viewed 141 times
I added now a context menu item to set all metadata date fields to the exif date.

http://www.lemkesoft.org/beta.html
Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 09.21.25.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 09.21.25.jpg (204.22 KiB) Viewed 141 times
Thorsten

matti
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:13 pm

Re: [Solved] Google Photos incorrectly sorts images

Post by matti » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:13 pm

Thanks! I have missed this option because I don't want any of the numerous other date fields conflicting with the EXIF date when sorting the images chronologically.

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