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Why does DropBox rename photos based on modification date rather than creation date?

Why does DropBox rename photos based on modification date rather than creation date?

Michael N.28
Helpful | Level 5

Previously, DropBox renamed camera uploads based on the photos creation date (EXIF: Date/Time Original). This makes sense because you want the photos to be name-sorted based on when they were taken.

 

screenshot 2021-10-06 at 05.18.05.jpg

 

 

Now DropBox renames camera uploads based on the modification date (EXIT: File/Modification Date/Time). This makes no sense because the files are now out of chronological order when sorted by name.

 

screenshot 2021-10-06 at 05.21.12.jpg

 

 

9 Replies 9

Re: Why does DropBox rename photos based on modification date rather than creation date?

Jay
Dropboxer
Hi @Michael N.28, thanks for contacting us!

Are you modifying the images in your camera roll at a later date, or adding filters to them?

Are these normal photos, or Live Photos?

Any other info or screenshots would be helpful!

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Why does DropBox rename photos based on modification date rather than creation date?

Michael N.28
Helpful | Level 5

The images are modified on the camera roll.

 

These are normal photos.

 

I often edit photos before uploading via DropBox. (I do the upload manually since giving DropBox access to location services all the time ended up being a huge battery hog.)

 

To the best of my recollection, DropBox used to rename the photos based on creation date. But recently I began to notice that photos edited on the phone were out of creation date order in the Camera Uploads directory. The assigned name was the modification date.

 

Here's an example. This photo was edited on the camera.

 

2021-10-05-090004-000.jpg

 

EXIF: Create Date: 2021:10:05 09:00:04

EXIF: File Modification Date/Time: 2021:10:05 18:05:22+07:00

Name Assigned by DropBox Camera Uploads: 2021-10-05 18.05.22.heic

 

As you can see, the assigned name is nine hours later than the creation date. 

 

What I've done now to "fix" this is write a shell script that includes the following exiftool statement which renames the files based on create date:

 

exiftool -d '%Y-%m-%d-%H%M%S%%-03.c.%%e' '-filename<CreateDate' ~/Dropbox/Camera\ Uploads

 

I shouldn't have to do that.

Re: Why does DropBox rename photos based on modification date rather than creation date?

Jay
Dropboxer
Just to clarify, is the original photo uploaded automatically to Dropbox, and then a second copy is uploaded, or is the original image overwritten, or never uploaded in the first place?

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Why does DropBox rename photos based on modification date rather than creation date?

Michael N.28
Helpful | Level 5

@Jay 

 

Each image is uploaded only once. That is, when I hit the "Photos" button in the DropBox iOS app. There is no automatic upload.

 

If I have edited the image before uploading, then DropBox names it using the file modification date.

 

If I have not edited the image before uploading, then the creation date is the same as the modification date. I'm assuming that DropBox always uses the file modification date. I think that's the wrong thing to do. 

 

DropBox should rename photos using the EXIF CreateDate or, if there is no EXIF data (like a screenshot or other non-camera image) then DropBox should use the file creation date.

 

Here's an example. In this case DropBox set the file name to: 2021-10-06 14.14.19.heic

 

If you look at the EXIF date data below, you will see that the creation date is:   2021:10:06 14:13:39

 

I edited the file on the iPhone using the Photos app at: 2021:10:06 14:14:19+07:00. That's the date DropBox used to rename the file.

 

What follows is the date info from the EXIF file:

 

MrMuscle:Camera Uploads mnewman$ exiftool "/Users/mnewman/Dropbox/Camera

  Uploads/2021-10-06 14.14.19.heic" | grep "Date"


File Modification Date/Time : 2021:10:06 14:14:19+07:00
File Access Date/Time : 2021:10:06 17:21:26+07:00
File Inode Change Date/Time : 2021:10:06 17:21:24+07:00
Date/Time Original : 2021:10:06 14:13:39
Create Date : 2021:10:06 14:13:39
Modify Date : 2021:10:06 14:13:39
Date Created : 2021:10:06 14:13:39
 

Re: Why does DropBox rename photos based on modification date rather than creation date?

Jay
Dropboxer
If you're using the automatic camera upload feature, then there's no need to tap the Photos button to have the image upload. It should be doing it already before then. Technically, edited images should have two images on Dropbox, the original, and the later edited image.

Whenever an image appears in the camera roll, that is the date and time that appears on the Dropbox site when renamed. Essentially, new images are 'modified' at the same time as the creation date.

Images that are later edited have a new modification date, and that is what is used when uploaded. Is a second image created on the camera roll, or is the original overwritten in the camera roll?

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Why does DropBox rename photos based on modification date rather than creation date?

Michael N.28
Helpful | Level 5

I give up.

 

It's clear that I'm not able to explain myself clearly.

 

Sorry for the trouble.

 

Anyway, since I now have a workaround to correct what I see as incorrect file names assigned by GrabBox, the point is mute.

Re: Why does DropBox rename photos based on modification date rather than creation date?

messagedj
New member | Level 2

@Michael N.28, I know exactly what you mean, you explained the problem 100% clear. And it is quite stupid that your question is not understood.

 

I have exactly the same issue. Yesterday, I started taking pictured at 13:15 I made several pictures from a location I visited for my work. I use these pictures for presentations. I know what time I was where. But all my pictures in dropbox are renamed

2021-10-13 19.46.06-1

2021-10-13 19.46.06-2

2021-10-13 19.46.06-3

2021-10-13 19.46.06-4

2021-10-13 19.46.06-5 and so on

 

19.46 is 7 hours later that I actually took them. All my settings are set right! It has always worked out perfectly.

 

Dropbox changed the way files are being renamed. There is no question about that! 

Re: Why does DropBox rename photos based on modification date rather than creation date?

Michael N.28
Helpful | Level 5

Thank you so much for confirming that I am not alone in noticing this change in DropBox Camera Uploads behavior. It is quite annoying.

 

If you are at all command line capable, then you can use the following one liner to change the file name back to matching the EXIF create date. I'm sure there are GUI tools that can do the same thing.

 

You will need to install exiftool.

 

The file names will look like this:

 

2021-09-29-104154-000.heic

 

exiftool -d '%Y-%m-%d-%H%M%S%%-03.c.%%e' '-filename<CreateDate' ~/Dropbox/Camera\ Uploads

 

 

Re: Why does DropBox rename photos based on modification date rather than creation date?

messagedj
New member | Level 2

Thanks. I already used that tool to fix the issue. 

 

It is really strange that no other user is reporting this problem. I assume a lot of users use this to organise the photo.

 

Just to complete my info:

Device: iPhone 12 Pro Max

IOS: 15.0.1

Account Dropbox Plus

App version 254.2.12

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