Editing EXIF data outside of PhotoStructure

I had someone just email me these questions:

Is it best to edit the EXIF data in the PhotoStructure library or in the original files?

It depends.

If PhotoStructure has already imported the images, and you’re using sidecars to edit metadata, you can change either file, as the previously-seen SHA will be used to keep the variants together.

If you’re updating the metadata on the original images in-place (ala exiftool -overwrite_original -DateTimeOriginal=2021:04:01 image.jpg), it’s best to edit both copies, as the SHA of the files will change, and PhotoStructure will consider the file that you edited should be moved to a new Asset with the updated captured-at time.

To elaborate: when you edit only one of the captured-at tags, PhotoStructure’s de-duper will consider those files as belonging to different Assets (one Asset for the old time, and one Asset for the new edited time).

Sorry this is such a hassle: be sure to vote for this feature!

If the library has imported the picture, can I remove it from that folder and put it on a external usb drive. So it won’t be imported again?

Yes, but only if you’re using automatic organization, which means the original file has been copied into your library: you can move the original file anyplace you’d like, and PhotoStructure will still have the copy in your library to reference.

Generally, you can rename, move, and delete files as you wish.

However, if you delete the last asset file variant for a given asset, and all prior variants are still in your “scanned paths”, PhotoStructure will remove that asset reference from your library (as it doesn’t know where any prior variants are anymore).

If I edit the exif data in the photostructure library will the picture change from folder if I change the taken date for instance or does it just stay there? Because no the library is in different years and dates.

No: PhotoStructure doesn’t currently move or delete any files.

Deletion is coming soon though: Deleting / hiding photos

And I believe this feature is pretty much what you’re asking for: Move files when captured-at time is modified or different to directory datestamp

And if I change the exif data, do I need to rebuild or rescan the library or should I just let it go and it will change the next time I start photostructure?

You can resync just one asset manually via the Asset view menu.

If you’ve changed a bunch of files, you can run “restart sync” from the nav menu, but this takes much longer (as it’s running a full sync for all your scanned paths).


Do I infer that when you say “both copies” that you’re talking about when you are using automatic organization?

How about if you update the exif date and you are not using automatic organization? From what I’ve observed, it seems to work just fine, but I figured I’d ask just to clear up the ambiguity!

Yes: sorry for being vague!

I should have said all asset file variants of a given asset, so if you’ve go a mess of duplicates (like I do) outside your library, and you’re updating the file itself, and not the sidecar. (I personally only use sidecars because of this, and because I’ve messed up original images in the past when I updated them in-place).

If you only have one copy of a photo or video, update it anyway you want: if PhotoStructure doesn’t pick up the change correctly, please file a bug with steps so I can reproduce it on my end.