20 Replies Latest reply on Feb 24, 2017 7:42 PM by sherazch

    Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?

    Rumboogy22

      Lightroom has/had a long-time problem with ignoring time zone information when importing MP4 files.  The result was that the MP4 file would have the GMT time after import.  Does anyone know if this problem was fixed in LR6?

        • 1. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
          Geoff the kiwi Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I suggest you ask at Photoshop.com where bugs are reported.

          • 2. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
            DdeGannes Adobe Community Professional

            Are you sure you have your Camera synced to the local time if you are travelling?

            I do not adjust my camera time so it is always synced to my home location. Its easy for me to adjust. If I shot in Italy its +6 hours last year when I was in Peru it was - 2 hours.

            • 3. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
              Rumboogy22 Level 1

              The MP4s are from a cell phone so the time adjusts automatically to the location.  But the issue occurs even when I am in my home time zone because LR uses the GMT time stamp in the MP4.

               

              Yes I can adjust the capture time by hand - that is what I am currently doing.  But it is a pain.  If I import 1000 files with 100 video files I have to select the video files and adjust the time.  I need to make sure the MP4s don't cross a daylight savings boundary.  Also, I need to fix any videos that ended up in the wrong day folder (I organize by day).  And of course I need to be aware if I was in a different time zone when some of the MP4s were shot.

              • 4. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                Your problem may or may not be LR's fault.  It could be a problem arising from the MP4 standard itself, a problem with the way your camera is recording metadata, a bug in LR, or the way the camera and LR interpret an ambiguous standard.   Please upload a sample video to Dropbox or similar, and we can put it under the microscope.  Also include the exact camera make and model (not always included in the video metadata).  It would be good to get details of your situation to help Adobe improve its handling of video metadata (which is pretty bad).

                 

                Background: There is a similar bug report for QuickTime (.MOV) videos recorded by iPhones: Lightroom: iPhone video Capture Time is shifted upon Import | Photoshop Family Customer Community.  (The MP4 standard is based on QuickTime and nearly identical.) In that situation, the problem was partially caused by a misfeature of the QuickTime standard which calls for capture times to be recorded in metadata as UTC, with no time zone information (what was Apple thinking?).  Apple did record the time zone of the capture date in another field that not all cameras apparently record, and Apple's specification is extremely vague about the format of date/times recorded in that field.

                 

                I sampled a few of my MP4s.  MP4s recorded by my Sony RX100 record local time in the capture date (typical of most cameras that don't have a concept of time zone), while MP4s recorded by my Roadhawk dashcam record UTC.

                • 5. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                  Rumboogy22 Level 1

                  Thanks for offering to help.

                   

                  Here is a link to a video in Google Drive:  VID_20160502_151339.mp4 - Google Drive

                  The video is shot on a Nexus 5 phone running the latest updates.

                  • 6. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                    johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                    Here is a link to a video in Google Drive:  VID_20160502_151339.mp4 - Google Drive

                    This video has a metadata Create Date of 2016:05:03 22:13:39, and no time zone is recorded in the metadata.  When I import it into my LR CC 2015.5.1 / OS X 10.11.4, LR shows the same capture date/time.  LR 6 (the perpetual license version) will have the same behavior as LR CC 2015, since they are identical programs in nearly all respects.

                     

                    Which version of LR are you running?  What do you see under the grid thumbnail and in the Metadata panel for Capture Date/Time?

                     

                    Johns-MacBook-Pro-2:Downloads john$ exiftool -a -G VID_20160502_151339.mp4 | grep -i date
                    [File]          File Modification Date/Time     : 2016:05:03 10:51:04-07:00
                    [File]          File Access Date/Time           : 2016:05:03 10:52:30-07:00
                    [File]          File Inode Change Date/Time     : 2016:05:03 10:51:04-07:00
                    [QuickTime]     Create Date                     : 2016:05:02 22:13:39
                    [QuickTime]     Modify Date                     : 2016:05:02 22:13:39
                    [QuickTime]     Track Create Date               : 2016:05:02 22:13:39
                    [QuickTime]     Track Modify Date               : 2016:05:02 22:13:39
                    [QuickTime]     Media Create Date               : 2016:05:02 22:13:39
                    [QuickTime]     Media Modify Date               : 2016:05:02 22:13:39
                    [QuickTime]     Track Create Date               : 2016:05:02 22:13:39
                    [QuickTime]     Track Modify Date               : 2016:05:02 22:13:39
                    [QuickTime]     Media Create Date               : 2016:05:02 22:13:39
                    [QuickTime]     Media Modify Date               : 2016:05:02 22:13:39
                    

                     

                    • 7. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                      Rumboogy22 Level 1

                      I am running LR5.  I took a look at the metadata using ExifTool and came to the same conclusion as you that there is no time zone data in the file.

                       

                      LR5 is showing the capture time to be 11:06:28 PM (see image below).  This is the same as the "Create Date" in the metadata according to ExifTool.  I don't know where this time of 11:06:28 PM is coming from.  The time stamp in the file name is 151339 which indicates a time of about 3:13PM which is when I took the sample video.

                       

                      So it looks like the solution to my problem is to find some pre-processing tool that can read the file name, extract the capture time from the name, and write that capture time (in the shoot location time zone) into the MP4 file.  Then I can import it into LR5.

                       

                       

                      Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 2.44.33 PM.png

                      • 8. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                        johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                        To test my understanding: this second sample file has a QuickTime: Create Date field set to 2016:05:02 23:06:28 and no time zone stored in the metadata.  But it was captured at about 15:13:00, and the filename has that second time embedded in it.

                         

                        Curious.  Some more questions:

                         

                        1. What's the time zone of the clock of the computer running LR?

                        1. Which version of Windows or Mac?

                        2. Which software did the renaming of that file?  The Nexus 5 camera app, some other app on the Nexus, a desktop app, or LR?

                        3. How exactly was the file transferred from the phone into LR? 

                        4. Was a USB cable involved?

                         

                        I just tested LR 5.7.1 on Windows and Mac importing an MP4 that had QuickTime: Create Date but no time zone, using a renaming template that produced filenames of the same form as above.  LR set the filename and its own notion of capture date to QuickTime: Create Date, as expected.

                        • 9. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                          Rumboogy22 Level 1

                          Just to be clear, I uploaded only one sample file.  The name of that file is VID_20160502_151339.mp4.  Below is all the metadata extracted with ExifTool for that file.

                           

                          ExifTool Version Number     : 10.15
                          File Name                   : VID_20160502_151339.mp4
                          Directory                   : /Users/AAW/Google Drive/Google Photos
                          File Size                   : 2.3 MB
                          File Modification Date/Time : 2016:05:02 16:08:25-07:00
                          File Access Date/Time       : 2016:05:03 18:53:57-07:00
                          File Inode Change Date/Time : 2016:05:03 14:41:41-07:00
                          File Permissions            : rw-------
                          File Type                   : MP4
                          File Type Extension         : mp4
                          MIME Type                   : video/mp4
                          Major Brand                 : MP4 v2 [ISO 14496-14]
                          Minor Version               : 0.0.0
                          Compatible Brands           : isom, mp42
                          Movie Header Version        : 0
                          Create Date                 : 2016:05:02 23:06:28
                          Modify Date                 : 2016:05:02 23:06:28
                          Time Scale                  : 600
                          Duration                    : 1.30 s
                          Preferred Rate              : 1
                          Preferred Volume            : 100.00%
                          Preview Time                : 0 s
                          Preview Duration            : 0 s
                          Poster Time                 : 0 s
                          Selection Time              : 0 s
                          Selection Duration          : 0 s
                          Current Time                : 0 s
                          Next Track ID               : 3
                          Track Header Version        : 0
                          Track Create Date           : 0000:00:00 00:00:00
                          Track Modify Date           : 2016:05:02 23:06:28
                          Track ID                    : 1
                          Track Duration              : 1.02 s
                          Track Layer                 : 0
                          Track Volume                : 0.00%
                          Image Width                 : 1920
                          Image Height                : 1080
                          Graphics Mode               : srcCopy
                          Op Color                    : 0 0 0
                          Compressor ID               : avc1
                          Source Image Width          : 1920
                          Source Image Height         : 1080
                          X Resolution                : 72
                          Y Resolution                : 72
                          Bit Depth                   : 24
                          Buffer Size                 : 102331
                          Max Bitrate                 : 0
                          Average Bitrate             : 19082616
                          Video Frame Rate            : 29.452
                          Matrix Structure            : 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
                          Media Header Version        : 0
                          Media Create Date           : 2016:05:02 23:06:28
                          Media Modify Date           : 2016:05:02 23:06:28
                          Media Time Scale            : 44100
                          Media Duration              : 1.30 s
                          Media Language Code         : eng
                          Handler Type                : Audio Track
                          Handler Description         : IsoMedia File Produced by Google, 5-11-2011
                          Balance                     : 0
                          Audio Format                : mp4a
                          Audio Channels              : 1
                          Audio Bits Per Sample       : 16
                          Audio Sample Rate           : 44100
                          Movie Data Size             : 2453198
                          Movie Data Offset           : 1641
                          Avg Bitrate                 : 15.1 Mbps
                          Image Size                  : 1920x1080
                          Megapixels                  : 2.1
                          Rotation                    : 0
                          • 10. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                            Rumboogy22 Level 1

                            To answer your qeuestions:

                             

                            1. What's the time zone of the clock of the computer running LR?

                                 Actually the time zone is set for Flagstaff AZ which happens to be the same time as CA where I am located.  Obviously I will fix this.

                            1. Which version of Windows or Mac?

                                 Mac

                            2. Which software did the renaming of that file?  The Nexus 5 camera app, some other app on the Nexus, a desktop app, or LR?

                                 The file was not renamed.  It Nexus 5 gave it that name when it created it.

                            3. How exactly was the file transferred from the phone into LR? 

                                I used Google's backup mechanism to move it to their cloud and then back down to the Mac.

                            4. Was a USB cable involved?

                                 No.

                            • 11. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                              johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                              I think you might be running Exiftool on a different file.  I re-downloaded the file, and both of my downloaded copies show a Create Date of 2016:05:02 22:13:39, not 2016:05:02 23:06:28.

                               

                              Regardless, it's clear what's going on.  The Nexus has followed the QuickTime/MP4 standard strictly and recorded UTC time in Create Date (UTC is 8 hours ahead of PST, 7 hours ahead of PDT).  But the Nexus used local time (15:13:39) to name the file when it was recorded.  

                               

                              LR used the Create Date field for its capture time (2016:05:02 22:13:39).  Unfortunately, because the QuickTime/MP4 standard doesn't provide any place for cameras to record the time zone, and because many cameras record local time rather than UTC in Create Date, there is no practical way for LR to use standard metadata fields to know whether the field is in local time or UTC.   Blame Apple for this mess.

                               

                              See this post for someone else who just experienced the same problem problem: Lightroom CC sets improper timestamp on MP4 files from Sony RX10 II

                               

                              You could add your vote and details of your issue (camera model, video format) to this topic in the official Adobe feedback forum: Lightroom: iPhone video Capture Time is shifted upon Import | Photoshop Family Customer Community. That would help inform Adobe that more of its users are experiencing this issue.

                               

                              I don't think there's anything practical that Adobe can do about this in the short term, but it can pressure manufacturers to implement the XMP standard for video, which would allow dates/times to be recorded with time zones (among other things).  Adobe defined the XMP standard years ago, and it's been widely adopted for still images.

                              • 12. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                                Rumboogy22 Level 1

                                I agree with your conclusion that the only time available in the metadata is the UTC version so LR just uses that. 

                                 

                                So it seems like my only solution now would be to find/write a program that reads the date/time from the file name and writes it into the metadata.  I think I could write this relatively easily with some Bash shell scripting and using ExifTool.  Adobe could implement a feature to extract this info from the file name given that it is a problem for some of their users.

                                 

                                The only mystery that remains is why you are seeing a Create Date of 2016:05:02 22:13:39, and I am seeing it as 2016:05:02 23:06:28.  I re-ran ExifTool and got the same result.  Also LR5 gave me that result (see screenshot above).  If it was an offset of one hour that might be easier to think up a reason for what is causing this but given the difference of ~1:07 it is really strange.

                                • 13. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                                  johnrellis Most Valuable Participant
                                  So it seems like my only solution now would be to find/write a program that reads the date/time from the file name and writes it into the metadata.

                                  Another possible solution that would be simpler: If the file date created (as shown in the Finder) is preserved during the transfer to your Mac, you could use the Metadata > Edit Capture Time command with the Change To File's Creation Date option.   You could do all the newly imported videos at once.

                                   

                                  But you'll need to check that the file date created is preserved during the transfers.  There is a long-standing Mac tradition of apps preserving file date created, but in recent years more and more apps and services (including Apple's own) don't preserve it.

                                  • 14. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                                    johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                                    The only mystery that remains is why you are seeing a Create Date of 2016:05:02 22:13:39, and I am seeing it as 2016:05:02 23:06:28.

                                    I re-downloaded from the Google Drive link just now and still got 2016:05:02 22:13:39.   The Finder shows the size of the file as 3,063,957.  Try downloading from that link and see what you get for Create Date and Finder file size.

                                    • 15. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                                      Rumboogy22 Level 1

                                      There are two ways to get photos off of an Android phone and onto a Mac.  One is to use Google cloud services as I mentioned before.  This changes the create & modify dates to be the time of download.  The other is to use a USB cable and a program called Android File Transfer.  Using this all dates are preserved.   

                                       

                                      I will look at the "Change To File's Creation Date option".  Sounds like it would solve the problem.

                                      • 16. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                                        Rumboogy22 Level 1

                                        Looks like a serious bug from Google.  I downloaded the file and ran ExifTool on the original and the downloaded MP4.  Then I diffed the two text files that came out of ExifTool (using Beyond Compare) and got the following: Diff.pdf - Google Drive.  You can see that my downloaded version (the right column) has the same creation date as you got 2016:05:02 22:13:39.  I guess next time I will share a file using Dropbox instead.

                                        • 17. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                                          Rumboogy22 Level 1

                                          Just to be clear on what is happening I also diffed the two MP4 files directly and they were completely different.  So Google is doing some heavy processing on the MP4 when you download it via a shared link.  Don't know why but it is clearly happening.

                                          • 18. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                                            johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                                            A Web search indicates that Google Drive is definitely reencoding the videos, but I didn't find any clear explanation of why.  This thread describes the very bug you encountered: Google Groups. I've never had issues with Dropbox modifying files, including videos and photos.

                                            • 19. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                                              Rumboogy22 Level 1

                                              Well I guess that's it.  All the mysteries are solved!  Thanks for all your help.

                                              • 20. Re: Does Lightroom 6 handle MP4 time zones correctly on import?
                                                sherazch

                                                I've had the same issue with MP4 files from my cameras over the last four years.  Recently, I thought of a simple workaround to fix this issue.  I simply set the time zone in the camera to London with Daylight Savings Off (this is UTC time).

                                                 

                                                Once I did this there has been no issue since the camera does not have to convert the time for MP4 files to UTC so there is no confusion in how different software handles the timestamp in a MP4 file.  To me the time zone being London (I am based on the USA East Coast) is not an issue as long as the time and date are correct.

                                                 

                                                Hope this helps.

                                                 

                                                -Sheraz