Clarifying the use of File.DateTime.Local vs. File.Datetime in IMatch views

Started by twofid, February 13, 2024, 11:05:47 PM

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Okay, this may have been beaten to death in earlier Posts, but I'm new here, so please bear with me....   :-[

From my very first Post (which I put in the wrong queue), I was able to correct (with the help of Mario) my understanding of how files are group/displayed in the Timeline view.

I'd like to further that understanding by checking if the following is accurate or am I still hopelessly confused.
Many thanks for your patience and feedback.

Here goes:

File.DateTime.Local is basically File.DateTime (as determine by iMatch) expressed in your PC's Time-Zone
File.DateTime.Original is the date-time it was taken, expressed in the Time-Zone where it was taken.
File.DateTime normally defaults to File.DateTime.Original if it exists in the photo or is generated by iMatch.

File.DateTime.Local is used to layout the Timeline and Events views as well as the default for Renamer's Processing Instructions. This can and does result in odd mismatches within these views. This is where I got confused. When I saw files (Timeline view) with a date older (14th) than the dated folder they where in (13th) it messed with this old head of mine....

I had assumed that the Timeline folder would use the Original date of the file, which in all honesty it does, just displays it after converting it to the PC's Local tine-Zone. Which in my case was quite different (i.e. +13:00 vs -7:00).
It also looks like the Events view does the same thing. An event for the 15th contains photos shot on the 16th.

Do I have this correct? Or am I still out to lunch....
I personally would prefer using the Original Time-Zone for these views, but expect there many reasons for choosing the Local Time-Zone.



Did you read How IMatch uses Date and Time Information, which explains this, with examples.
It also explains how IMatch produces original, local and UTC timestamps from metadata found and the "mode" configured by the user.

You can control which timestamp you display in File Window layouts, use in the Renamer, for sorting etc.
Events and Timeline use the local time, since this is what most users expect. It matches what other software uses, what Windows uses etc. Also, for the majority of users, original time matches local time anyway, I believe.

Offering options tu organize the Timline based on an "original date" would be doable. Or on UTC.
But only small number of file formats carry time zone information and even for images it is optional. When there is no time zone information (very usual), IMatch defaults the local time zone anyway.
-- Mario
IMatch Developer
Forum Administrator  -  Contact & Support - Follow me on 𝕏 - Like on Facebook


Yes several times and I must say it does a great job in explaining this area.
It's just a lot to take in given the flexibility and breadth of iMatch.

We do quite a bit of travelling and my wife keeps a very accurate
travel diary and heaven help me if I get things wrong.... So I try to ensure
the Time-zone information is included in the photos and videos I take.

I'm just having a hard time understanding why a Timeline of all my media wouldn't
represent the date/time where they where taken. If I or my wife wanted to look for a
specific time during our New Zealand trip, we would almost always remember the date
when we where there (in New Zealand time) and use it to find the photos using that date
on the Timeline. Having to backdate/convert to Edmonton time to do it seems a bit time
consuming..  sorry about the pun ;-)

An event such as Octoberfest, may not show up in its' created event with the dates we where there
if it was converted back to Edmonton time before being displayed.

I have use the Renamer to create the correct folders and rename/copy the files into them.
Fantastic tool by the way. But it's a bit disconcerting when the TimeLine view doesn't line up with
the Media & Folders view.

I ran into the same problem (i.e. no time or time-zone in some of the files) when I was creating my
Powershell/Exiftool consolidation script (10 years worth of photos/videos, from 8 different cameras).
I also decided to use the Windows file:Modified date to sort/file. Now that I have iMatch I can add the correct Time-Zones as well. It's not perfect but as long as I copied them close to when I took the pictures it works.

If you could add this as an option, that would be fantastic. IMHO this would add to iMatch's strength as
a top tier DAM. I can only guess how many feature requests you get, so please consider this a low priority.

Many Thanks




IMatch uses the File.DateTime for the default sorts, File Window layouts, TimelineView, Event View, date filter etc. Basically for everything in need of a timestamp. This ensures consistency across these features.

While this may cause issues for some world-traveler users, it's simple, consistent and reliable across all file formats IMatch can manage - most of which have no time zone data at all.

Feel free to open a feature request so other users can comment and like it. If a substantial number of users favors a switch of the Event View and/or Timeline View to original time or whatever, I will definitely consider it.

I know already, that this would require quite a number of changes all over the place, from the database to IMatch Anywhere WebServices to I don't know yet. For example, the Event View retires events sorted from IMWS which sorts them using a default sort profile implemented in the IMatch Graph etc. All this needs to be checked, implementation changed and so on. That's why I've used the substantial number of users limiter above.
-- Mario
IMatch Developer
Forum Administrator  -  Contact & Support - Follow me on 𝕏 - Like on Facebook


Quote from: Mario on February 14, 2024, 11:07:19 AMFeel free to open a feature request so other users can comment and like it. If a substantial number of users favors a switch of the Event View and/or Timeline View to original time or whatever, I will definitely consider it.

I'm one of those users and I currently get round the way IMatch handles dates by making sure that all photos I take have no timezone information. Original time at the location the photo was taken is the only time that I'm interested in, apart from matching to a GPS track log where I have to enter the timezone offset as that is in UTC. Local time and UTC are the same for me which makes it simpler.


I have opened a feature request regarding this.
Please add any comments or questions.