Video import in Shotwell creates wrong date

Bug #900501 reported by Christian González on 2011-12-05
This bug affects 13 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
shotwell (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When importing mp4 videos from e.g. an Android device Shotwell creates the video under the wrong event (always Jan 1st 1904).
This is known since long time but was never fixed.
This is a severe bug as it renders your Foto collection completely unusable with videos of Android devices.

See and

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.10
Package: shotwell 0.11.6-0ubuntu0.1 [modified: usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/gschemas.compiled]
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.0.0-13.22-generic 3.0.6
Uname: Linux 3.0.0-13-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: wl
ApportVersion: 1.23-0ubuntu4
Architecture: amd64
Date: Mon Dec 5 22:44:20 2011
InstallationMedia: Kubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" - Release amd64 (20111012)
 PATH=(custom, user)
SourcePackage: shotwell
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Christian González (droetker) wrote :
Changed in shotwell (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Christian González (droetker) wrote :

Sorry, comment #2 was for the wrong bug.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

the upstream bug suggests that it's the camera which is buggy, though shotwell could be trying to workaround it...

Changed in shotwell (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Christian González (droetker) wrote :

Don't think so. I have a Galaxy S (not S2) and the same bug as the author in the upstream bug (with a Galaxy S2).
Maybe someone here can try and confirm this with another Android mobile? Motorola? Huawei?
If itÄs a "camera" bug, then it's an Android bug, not a camera's.

Matthew Dobson (matthew-dobson) wrote :

I see this behavior as well, though for some reason my video event dates are offset 66 years and 1 day earlier. That is, a video shot on Jan 7, 2012 appears as Jan 6, 1646. I can't seem to do anything about this date.

My phone is a HTC Desire Z running CyanogenMOD 7.1.0, so this may be a more generic Android issue.

Laura Khalil (loura) wrote :

I have updated the issue upstream at to reflect that this issue may be more widespread. I am able to replicate on an HTC Evo running Android 2.3.3

Until this issue is fixed, there is a simple workaround. Select your video in Shotwell and from the drop down menu select Photos > Adjust Date and Time. Once you've manually set the time it will appear in the appropriate Event.

aaron-bru (aaron-bru) wrote :

this happens for me with videos as well, .avi from a "KODAK EASYSHARE C183", and also with videos created from video editors.
The only problem with using Shotwell to change the video date is that i don't think it saves to the file, so it is still incorrect when viewed in another application/OS.
One possible fix to this problem in general is to use the file modification time as a fallback, this would resolve the issue for me. This is already reported as a possible fix for images at I think it should go for videos as well (as a default off option of course) I will post at that bug.
In Windows Explorer/Live Photo Gallery, the date column automatically uses the modification date as a backup as well.

Robert Ross (robertross) wrote :

My photos from my Motorla Atrix are all correct, but all videos are Dec 31, 1903.

svaens (svaens) wrote :

I see this also, with my android htc one v.
Checking the date/time from the camera itself, shows the correct date and time.
After import in shotwell, it claims a year always of 1946 (the other details are ok).

peterrus (petorrus) wrote :

All my Android device's videos suffer this issue. (HTC Desire/Cyanogenmod 7, HTC One X / Stock HTC Jelly Bean). This might be a android related bug, but due to android's slow update cycle a workaround in shotwell might be desired.

I have an HTC Desire S which I recently upgraded from Android 2.3 to 4.0 (official HTC ROM). Shotwell still does not recognise the correct date.

Did you know they already had HD in the 1940's? Shotwell places videos exactly 66 years back in time. Videos taken in 2012 end up in 1946 and the most recent ones from 2013 in 1947...

Matthew Harrison (mpharrison) wrote :

Also with HTC One X. Android 4.1 Ubuntu 12.10, shotwell 0.13.1

Matthew Harrison (mpharrison) wrote :

Menu Action: "Photos/ Adjust Date and Time..." sorts it out for me

Matthew Harrison (mpharrison) wrote :

(although it creates a duplicate event for the date. but if I drag the video to the original event, the duplicate goes away)

@Matthew: yes, I know how to fix that, but I prefer if it works correctly in the first place. BTW, it works correctly when videos are copied manually into Shotwell's library folder instead of using that import feature.

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