palm pre camera

Palm Pre Exif Timestamp

Okay, I wrote this up a while back but now I’m on the HTC Evo with the oh-so-lovely Android OS. I’m putting this out there to help the Pre crowd.

Overall, I was quite pleased with my Palm Pre. In particular, the camera is decent (though really needs some more advanced focusing capabilities) and I use it a lot to serve as an aid to my shoddy memory; however, when the date taken is important in bolstering my memory, it becomes an important piece of metadata.

That’s where the problem is: I noticed that my favorite photo utilities (online and off) were all using the file’s modified timestamp as the “date taken” timestamp. As you can imagine, this seemed like a serious oversight, seeing how Palm went so far as to include geotagging on the photos.

I did some digging, downloaded several EXIF examining programs, scoured Google, looked over the EXIF spec, and more. What I found was that the timestamp I was looking for is actually being recorded, just not in the right place. Palm is using ModifyDate and most photo programs are looking for something else.

Arguably, Palm was using the proper value; however, standards mean nothing if others aren’t conforming to them. The solution: use a utility, ExifTool, to copy the values to the right place.

Here we use the ModifyDate property to replace all the other common date properties for all photos in the current (.) directory :

C:\SomeDirectoryOfPhotos>exiftool.exe "-ModifyDate>AllDates" .

We can also have it recurs sub-directories and only adjust photos from the Palm Pre. I store the following in the root of my photos directory as a BAT file along with the executable:

exiftool.exe "-ModifyDate>AllDates" -if "$Make eq 'Palm'" -if "$Model eq 'Pre'" -if "not $DateTimeOriginal" -overwrite_original -r -m .