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Samorap

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 2, 2019
28
7
I have a mid-2012 MacBook Pro. My business relies on files showing the original date of creation (example: 4/3/2015) and the modified date or the download date (today). In the past, files downloaded on my MBP showed the original date of creation as different from the modified date (or date of download). I haven't changed anything. But now every file I download shows the creation date and modified date as the same day of download.

Please help me change the file creation dates back to the original date. I could get in trouble legally if the file doesn't show the original creation date.
 

Slartibart

macrumors 68030
Aug 19, 2020
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2,498
which version of macOS? What kind of files are affected? Which program do you use to download (related: does this happen for the same file using a different program to download)? Can you kindly provide an example e.g. in form of a link to a file? How do you get the information about date created/date modified?
 
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wegster

macrumors 6502a
Nov 1, 2006
563
243
What you want is the ‘touch’ command. In a terminal, type: man touch or look for online references, e.g. https://ss64.com/osx/touch.html

There may well be UI tools to make it easier. This is more ‘cleanup after the fact’ but for more, we’d need some of the info @Slartibart asked for, e.g. how exactly are you copying them and viewing them, etc.
 
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Samorap

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 2, 2019
28
7
which version of macOS? What kind of files are affected? Which program do you use to download (related: does this happen for the same file using a different program to download)? Can you kindly provide an example e.g. in form of a link to a file? How do you get the information about date created/date modified?
Hi, the MacOs version is High Sierra on a mid-2012 MBP 15 inch. I download hi-res photo files via Firefox under a paid licensing agreement with a popular online photo service.

I use Photoshop to edit a copy of the photo file so the original file is stored untouched on my computer. Attached is a Photoshop meta data of a photo created on 4/24/2017. The modified date is the date I edited the file.

The 2nd attachment shows meta date of a photo that was taken in 2015. But the creation date and modified date are both the same.
 

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  • example-photo.jpg
    example-photo.jpg
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  • today.jpg
    today.jpg
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Slartibart

macrumors 68030
Aug 19, 2020
2,736
2,498
Hi, the MacOs version is High Sierra on a mid-2012 MBP 15 inch. I download hi-res photo files via Firefox under a paid licensing agreement with a popular online photo service.

I use Photoshop to edit a copy of the photo file so the original file is stored untouched on my computer. Attached is a Photoshop meta data of a photo created on 4/24/2017. The modified date is the date I edited the file.

The 2nd attachment shows meta date of a photo that was taken in 2015. But the creation date and modified date are both the same.
Still some more info would help:
  • Which version of High Sierra?
  • Which version of Firefox? What extensions and which version of these? Did you try a different browser? How are the dates if you download using e.g. Safari or Chromium?
  • Do you download the uncompressed files or any kind of archive (.zip, .tar, .rar, …)?
  • If you download such archive: how is it decompressed/unarchived (what program, which version)?
  • Can you kindly check immediately after download (before opening in PS) via terminal using GetFileInfo -d your-image as well as: stat -x your-image and report the output of both commands here?
  • Which version of Photoshop? just saw in the screenshots that it seems to be CS6 - how do you open these files in Photoshop (e.g. is Bridge involved)?

nota bene: you mentioned that you could in legal trouble due to this - generally it is trivial to change the creation data of a file, which makes this unlikely. In case of your already affected files you can do this e.g. in Adobe Bridge, trough scripting PS, or as @wegster already pointed out, from the terminal using touch,and there are tools like ExifTools.
 
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Samorap

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 2, 2019
28
7
Still some more info would help:
  • Which version of High Sierra?
  • Which version of Firefox? What extensions and which version of these? Did you try a different browser? How are the dates if you download using e.g. Safari or Chromium?
  • Do you download the uncompressed files or any kind of archive (.zip, .tar, .rar, …)?
  • If you download such archive: how is it decompressed/unarchived (what program, which version)?
  • Can you kindly check immediately after download (before opening in PS) via terminal using GetFileInfo -d your-image as well as: stat -x your-image and report the output of both commands here?
  • Which version of Photoshop? just saw in the screenshots that it seems to be CS6 - how do you open these files in Photoshop (e.g. is Bridge involved)?

nota bene: you mentioned that you could in legal trouble due to this - generally it is trivial to change the creation data of a file, which makes this unlikely. In case of your already affected files you can do this e.g. in Adobe Bridge, trough scripting PS, or as @wegster already pointed out, from the terminal using touch,and there are tools like ExifTools.

Hello, the MacOS version is 10.13.2. I installed Chrome today and downloaded a file from the photo service. The creation date is the same as the download date. The file I downloaded is a full high resolution JPG (2000 MB). I downloaded it via Firefox version 115.0.3.

I did not use a program to download the image.

To clarify: the date created is the day the image was taken.
The date modified is the day the photo was downloaded or edited.

My computer used to show the correct creation dates for all files, but now all dates are the same as the download date.

I tried to get the file info via Terminal. The message stated: "no developer tools were found at '/Applications/Xcode.app', requesting install. Choose an option in the dialog to download the command line developer tools."

As for legal issues, I have been sued for copyright violation by photographers looking to make a quick buck. They never email me to ask if I have a licensing agreement. They just file a lawsuit and hope that I pay quickly. I have an IP attorney on retainer for this reason. The lawsuits are dropped because I have a licensing agreement. It's a pain in the as*. That's why I'm careful to keep the original, unedited photos that show the original creation dates have not been modified. But now all of the files show the creation date as the download date. That's very bad for me in my line of business.
 
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Slartibart

macrumors 68030
Aug 19, 2020
2,736
2,498
You verified with the service provider that the image should contain meta data and that there is no change in e.g. their image processing pipeline which produces the JPEG variant which actually strips the meta data, I presume?

There are/can be several dates associated with a file: date created, date (last) modified, and date written to the macOS inode (that’s the date you seem to see). EXIF/meta data can be stripped from an image file in a transfer. Are you using an extension in Firefox for downloading these images? Are all images you download from wherever affected, e.g. here is a gallery of sample images and here is one JPEG (36Mb) and this is its basic EXIF included:

IMG_2782.jpeg


please check on your system for this photo (not sure about CS6, but usually ⇧ + ⌥ + ⌘ + I opens the EXIF-panel in PS).

—————————————

I would expect that an image from the service you use contains some EXIF/meta data like the above. Depending on the image type not necessarily the camera type, aperture, ISO, etc., but at least a copyright entry. - can you check whether there is any?
 
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Samorap

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 2, 2019
28
7
I'm happy to announce that the issue is resolved! I used a maintenance utility to clean my Mac today. Now when I download photo files and view them in Photoshop, the creation date is different from the modified date (see attachment below).

I won't post the specific maintenance utility here. Any utility that deletes logs and purges system/application caches will work.

Thank you to everyone who contributed your expert advice in this thread! 😀
 

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  • Screen Shot 2023-08-07 at 6.48.34 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2023-08-07 at 6.48.34 PM.png
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Samorap

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 2, 2019
28
7
Are you using an extension in Firefox for downloading these images?

Hello, I don't use an extension to download photos. The photo service provides a download link for every image. I click the link to download and save the image in a folder. The meta data in each file is very extensive. It is not stripped.

At any rate, the issue is resolved. I used a maintenance utility to clean my machine. It deleted logs and purged caches while repairing corrupt system files. Now the photo creation date and modified dates are correct.
 

izzy0242mr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2009
575
389
I won't post the specific maintenance utility here. Any utility that deletes logs and purges system/application caches will work.
A shame you won't share the specific tool you used in case someone else like you has the same problem.

You don't know all other utilities like that will work since you didn't try them all.
 
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f54da

macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2021
280
105
This thread makes no sense, file creation times are not preserved for network downloads (i.e. downloads over http) because it's a file system dependent concept. Last modified might be locally set during a download to the time reported by server, but not all browsers follow this (https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=4574). Some container formats (e.g. zip) might store timestamp attributes, but this is not handled uniformly. I think the only concrete case I can think of in which creation date is preserved is when you create a zip file on mac, in which case it along with other extended attributes are encoded in appledouble dotfile (https://www.ee.columbia.edu/~dpwe/resources/appledoubledates.html)

Also file creation times can be manipulated easily, I doubt they would hold up in any kind of legal setting.
 
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NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
5,275
3,755
Agree with things not adding up here, probably due to missing information.

Mac “maintenance” programs that clear cache etc have nothing to do with filesystem timestamps.

Links provided point to this being an Adobe problem since the link and related links are pointing out to Windows, exFAT, NTFS showing same problem. And judging from the quick scan of the links, seems like either incorrect XMP being generated for files and or Adobe tools not parsing correctly.

So, guessing the problem will come back again at some point.
 

Slartibart

macrumors 68030
Aug 19, 2020
2,736
2,498
This thread makes no sense, file creation times are not preserved for network downloads (i.e. downloads over http) because it's a file system dependent concept. Last modified might be locally set during a download to the time reported by server, but not all browsers follow this (https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=4574). Some container formats (e.g. zip) might store timestamp attributes, but this is not handled uniformly. I think the only concrete case I can think of in which creation date is preserved is when you create a zip file on mac, in which case it along with other extended attributes are encoded in appledouble dotfile (https://www.ee.columbia.edu/~dpwe/resources/appledoubledates.html)

Also file creation times can be manipulated easily, I doubt they would hold up in any kind of legal setting.
The OP had a problem with the creation date in the EXIF data of an image - of course this can be preserved when downloading over http -> go ahead and download e.g. any photo from the example in #10, if it’s EXIF creation date is gone on your system, you face a similar problem as the OP.
 

Slartibart

macrumors 68030
Aug 19, 2020
2,736
2,498
Agree with things not adding up here, probably due to missing information.

Mac “maintenance” programs that clear cache etc have nothing to do with filesystem timestamps.

Links provided point to this being an Adobe problem since the link and related links are pointing out to Windows, exFAT, NTFS showing same problem. And judging from the quick scan of the links, seems like either incorrect XMP being generated for files and or Adobe tools not parsing correctly.

So, guessing the problem will come back again at some point.

Yep. In hindsight a better approach to address this scenario would be to check with another tool what dates are written/saved (via Show Preview in the Finder, iPhoto/Photos, GetFileInfo and EXIFtools, etc.).
If this reveal no EXIF/meta data present in the files, it‘s time to dissect the process how the affected files are getting on to the system.
Otherwise the next step should be the check the EXIF/meta data preferences of the used/“affected” program, whether the display of the particular info is indeed activated.
From there additional steps depend on what’s found. E.g. a quick web search reveals - as @Samorap showed - that this is not a unique problem (similar related: EXIF prefs in Adobe Bridge ) - but IMHO this should ideally happen as a first step.

Personally I wish I would understand what solved the issue - but the info provided is sparse. Anyway: good for the OP that their problem dissapeared.
 
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