Shotwell does not link movies to events when migrating existing collection

Bug #1073823 reported by melenzb on 2012-11-01
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
shotwell (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Please read the update below concerning v 0.18

When I start to use Shotwell, I already have a vast collection of photos and camera movies. Thay are all stored in date based Folders. I want to merge it into shotwell and have photo's and movies on the same date linked to the same event. This can in theory be done based on the creation date of the avi, mts etc files.

The current situation (v.12.?) is that all movies are put into the category "No event". It is very difficiult to link all (1000+) movies back to their original event manually. It is very difficult to find a movies that was shot in relation to a certain event.

The behavior should be like that for camera card imports where movies are indeed linked to the event correctly.

In this situation it is almost impossible to migrate from i.e. digikam to shotwell.

Yes I think this is a bug. It inhibits normal usage of the program.

I think Shotwell is a great alternative, but this issue must be tackled before I can recommend it to my fellow ubuntu users and or use it myself instead of bulky digikam.

melenzb (woodhouser) on 2012-11-01
summary: - Shotwell does not link movies to events when migriating existing
+ Shotwell does not link movies to events when migrating existing
description: updated
Lucas Beeler (lucas-yorba) wrote :

Hi melenzb,

Reading date and time metadata out of video files to classify them into events is much harder than reading the same information out of photo files. Nevertheless, Shotwell can do this for a number of video formats (see, for example, this ticket [] in the Shotwell bug tracking system). What kind of video files (both container format and CODEC) are you seeing that Shotwell can't read metadata from?


Changed in shotwell (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
melenzb (woodhouser) wrote :

Thanks for responding.

It concerns the .MTS files (avchd, i think h264) from my panasonic camera. They are stored on the SD card in a bluray file structure. During import from the camera card, shotwell is able to gather information about the video files. Once they are on my harddisk it doesn't work anymore. This is of course the case for my vast existing collection.

I notice that it also doesn't work for avi mjpeg files from my old Minolta camera.

If there were a "last resort" that simply uses file creation date, this problem would not exist.

Lucas Beeler (lucas-yorba) wrote :

> During import from the camera card, shotwell is able
> to gather information about the video files

When Shotwell is able to gather video metadata, have you connected the camera directly to the computer or have you simply mounted the camera's memory card (say, via an internal SD card reader on your computer) without connecting the camera itself? I ask because, when Shotwell talks directly with cameras, communication is mediated via libgphoto2, a standard Linux camera access library. In some cases libgphoto2 is able to gather metadata that Shotwell itself cannot.

melenzb (woodhouser) wrote :

In fact I insert the SD card into my cardreader. No camera involved.
As I mentioned before, the movie files are stored in a Bluray disc filesystem compatible format on the card. Maybe more info is present elsewhere in that structure, which is lost after files are stored on the harddisk. After download they are stored in date coded folders as they have been with my previous photo management tool.
Would it be an idea, that when metadata is not present in the file, it will simply base event catagorisation on file creation date? That should be extractable from the existing files, shouldn't it?

melenzb (woodhouser) wrote :

The impact of this issue might be mitigated once we have:

Nevertheless it would save lots of time when as a last resort file creation date would be used for ordering in events.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for shotwell (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in shotwell (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
melenzb (woodhouser) wrote :

Little more than a year later I tried once again if it was possible to import my existing collection of photoś and movies into shotwell. The movies however still do not get categorized based on their creation date to the events. This is still just like the initial problem. They all get tagged "no event"

So I tried a work around: Put all my photo's and movies on an external medium, in a folder named DCIM and see if shotwell can be led to believe that a camera card has been inserterd and start importing from it. However shotwell seems smart enough to see the difference between a usb harddrive and an sd card. It simply won't work, as in it will not detect this drive as a photo carrier to import from!

Now this is still the thing that is preventing me from using Shotwell. I really need to have my existing collection categorized in date based events, inlcluding movies. Things would be simple if shotwell would simply take the creation date of the movie file as a last resort for categorizing.

I am wondering if there is really no work around for this..

Changed in shotwell (Ubuntu):
status: Expired → New
description: updated
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