Are album dates migrated?

MikeLaurelMikeLaurel Southern CaliforniaRegistered Users Posts: 67 Big grins
I have several albums containing scanned photos from years ago. These photos have no EXIF metadata to indicate the date. In Phanfare, I manually set the album date ranges. Is this information in any way transferred to SmugMug?

I haven't done my transfer yet. Based on comments from others, I'm trying to prepare data in my Phanfare albums to ease the transition (for example, I'm prepending the year on all my albums, since I've learned that the migration has left people with a bunch of disorganized albums)
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Comments

  • leftquarkleftquark Former SmugMug Product Team Registered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,759 Many Grins

    As of now the album dates aren't migrated however we're investigating doing something like that!

    dGrin Afficionado
    Former SmugMug Product Team
    aaron AT aaronmphotography DOT com
    Website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com
    My SmugMug CSS Customizations website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Customizations
  • MikeLaurelMikeLaurel Southern CaliforniaRegistered Users Posts: 67 Big grins
    Thanks for the response. So the migration tool is still undergoing changes and I should wait to see if there are improvements? Any idea when you'll know if you're making more changes? We only get one shot at the move.

    Carbonite took down all the API documentation after they bought Phanfare. I don't know if the album date was exposed in the API. I found some Perl code online that makes me think it might be. I had migrated some content from Phanfare to SmugMug a few years ago with Smugglr and it had several deficiencies that SmugMug wasn't interested in fixing. I'm hoping the migration tool is improved over the Smugglr codebase now that Carbonite has done a deal with SmugMug.
  • darryldarryl Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,001 Major grins

    Album date is available in the API. I have some creaky old PHP code that is broken, but digging into it, each album had an attribute "album_end_date", which I was taking as the album date. (I guess there must've been album_beginning_date too.)

    One problem I see though (as noted in another thread) is that AFAIK, SmugMug doesn't have an Album Date field (at least not one that is exposed in the UI or editable as Phanfare's was). So no place useful to put that data, or do anything with it, really. :-/

  • darryldarryl Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,001 Major grins
  • darryldarryl Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,001 Major grins

    @MikeLaurel said:
    I haven't done my transfer yet. Based on comments from others, I'm trying to prepare data in my Phanfare albums to ease the transition (for example, I'm prepending the year on all my albums, since I've learned that the migration has left people with a bunch of disorganized albums)

    This is smart. Wish I had waited. Could probably write a script to rename all your albums based on the albumdate, so "Grand Canyon" would become: "1975.07.04 - Grand Canyon".

  • MikeLaurelMikeLaurel Southern CaliforniaRegistered Users Posts: 67 Big grins
    > @darryl said:
    > One problem I see though (as noted in another thread) is that AFAIK, SmugMug doesn't have an Album Date field (at least not one that is exposed in the UI or editable as Phanfare's was). So no place useful to put that data, or do anything with it, really. :-/

    One thought is that it could dump it in the description of the gallery so you have the information.

    Right now, I've been prepending the year on all my albums so I have some hope of organizing them better once they've moved over. I might need to put other date information in them, too. Otherwise I might end up with something like ten "Christmas" albums. I'm curious to see if leftquark offers an opinion on whether they're making additional changes. I don't know how many people were left at Phanfare or how many have converted yet.
  • leftquarkleftquark Former SmugMug Product Team Registered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,759 Many Grins

    If we grabbed the album date at some point in the future we'd most likely go back and retroactively apply it to all the galleries that were already migrated, plus all future ones. We're continuously monitoring the feedback and making any improvements we can, so there may be something to waiting but most likely anything we didn't do in the beginning we'd do our damndest to add to photos already migrated.

    dGrin Afficionado
    Former SmugMug Product Team
    aaron AT aaronmphotography DOT com
    Website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com
    My SmugMug CSS Customizations website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Customizations
  • eisenseeisense Reston, VARegistered Users Posts: 8 Big grins
    "if we grabbed the album date"? Why wouldn't SM want to do that? Who could possibly be interested in album dates? ;-).
  • leftquarkleftquark Former SmugMug Product Team Registered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,759 Many Grins

    There's a number of album dates that we use: date uploaded, date modified, date taken, etc. Since this was a migration, the uploaded and modified dates would have been from this month, even though you uploaded them to Phanfare previously. We have to make sure that we 1) migrate the dates properly and 2) it doesn't cause any issues with the system, since the new dates wouldn't exactly be the date they were uploaded to SM. We're just making sure we can provide a great experience for you and not introduce future headaches!

    dGrin Afficionado
    Former SmugMug Product Team
    aaron AT aaronmphotography DOT com
    Website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com
    My SmugMug CSS Customizations website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Customizations
  • eisenseeisense Reston, VARegistered Users Posts: 8 Big grins
    Thanks. The most relevant date for many users is the date taken. In any event that's the default date used by Phanfare to organize folders at the highest level. Users can override the default date setting if desired (e.g., as one must do when uploading digitized copies of old photos). So the question that is still hanging out there for many of us is why the date taken data isn't an option for organizing one's entire SM site.
    -Eric
  • darryldarryl Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,001 Major grins

    @leftquark I'm not sure SmugMug has an Album Date Taken. It certainly has a Photo Date Taken field for images that had that information embedded (digital cameras after say, 2000).

    Using those dates from images, you could certainly programmatically figure out an Album Date Taken, which is what Phanfare did.

    But because an album can have images from multiple dates, Phanfare calculated an album_beginning_date and album_ending_date, and also gave you the option to override those fields, since there are cases like @MikeLaurel where images were scanned, and so the Photo Date Taken is definitely not going to be correct.

  • KarinaExPhanfareKarinaExPhanfare Melbourne, AustraliaRegistered Users Posts: 93 Big grins

    Agree Darryl. I am an archivist so I am scanning photos and negatives going back many many decades. So while my "current" photos are uploaded with date and time taken data that makes for easy chronological sorting - scanned images do not.
    And as Mike said - yep its resulted in dozens of albums named "Christmas" so to speak as each of my annual albums had sub albums with matching names each year.

    Also - on many of my subsites my photos were sorting into "story order" - which was not relevant to any specific date or time data in the image itself.

    So I am still on my current daily project of sitting here with smug and phan opened in two browsers side by side on my screen as I do a side by side comparison of every album and every section etc and moving things back into "my" order. And feeling the stress of having to set aside multiple other personal projects that had deadlines - in order to complete this - with 60,000 photos and videos - before Phanfare removes all our access to everything.

  • stevelewisstevelewis Henderson, NVRegistered Users Posts: 10 Big grins
    I already did the Phafare Migration. I have almost 800 albums that were once beautifully organized in Album Date Order and now in SmugMug I have 800 Random folders albums like others in this discussion. To fix this to me seems overwhelming. It's been hinted above by @leftquark that SmugMug might figure out a way to help us. I can't express strongly enough how much many of us need this help to use SmugMug with our existing Albums so please try to come up with a creative solution. My other big SmugMug wish is that the SmugMug mobile App allows users to organize and move around photos on the IPad and IPhone in the way the Phanfare IOS App works which has very strong organizing features on mobile devices. In fact, our family just uses Phanfare on our IPads and did all the organizing on it. It's worked beautifully that way for years. The present and future is mobile so it will be a great feature for SmugMug. So SmugMug, your help with this is so appreciated. -Steve (Ex-Phanfare User)
  • eisenseeisense Reston, VARegistered Users Posts: 8 Big grins

    @darryl said:
    @leftquark I'm not sure SmugMug has an Album Date Taken. It certainly has a Photo Date Taken field for images that had that information embedded (digital cameras after say, 2000).

    Using those dates from images, you could certainly programmatically figure out an Album Date Taken, which is what Phanfare did.

    But because an album can have images from multiple dates, Phanfare calculated an album_beginning_date and album_ending_date, and also gave you the option to override those fields, since there are cases like @MikeLaurel where images were scanned, and so the Photo Date Taken is definitely not going to be correct.

    I think we're in wild agreement. All many are asking for in the end is an easy to implement option (i.e., few steps, global impact) to organize albums by the dates that span their content.

  • stevelewisstevelewis Henderson, NVRegistered Users Posts: 10 Big grins

    That works for Galleries inside a folder. Most of my 700 plus Galleries are not inside a folder. Is there a way to still accomplish this? We so appreciate your help with this.
    -Steve

  • leftquarkleftquark Former SmugMug Product Team Registered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,759 Many Grins

    @stevelewis said:
    That works for Galleries inside a folder. Most of my 700 plus Galleries are not inside a folder. Is there a way to still accomplish this? We so appreciate your help with this.
    -Steve

    (Sorry, I jumped the gun. We're working on pushing a change to copy over Created Dates for the albums and hope to have it out soon. I had previously reported it was implemented but we're not quite there yet. More details to follow)

    Galleries always live inside a folder, even if it's your "Root Folder" (top level). Clicking on your top level root folder should also allow you to sort by Date Created.

    dGrin Afficionado
    Former SmugMug Product Team
    aaron AT aaronmphotography DOT com
    Website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com
    My SmugMug CSS Customizations website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Customizations
  • darryldarryl Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,001 Major grins

    @leftquark said:
    (Sorry, I jumped the gun. We're working on pushing a change to copy over Created Dates for the albums and hope to have it out soon. I had previously reported it was implemented but we're not quite there yet. More details to follow)

    Wait wait - by Created Dates for album, do you mean when the day that a user clicked on "Create Album" on Phanfare, or uploaded and created a new album? Because that's not what we're asking for. Or are you looking to take the album_beginning_date from Phanfare and use that?

    Also: would this feature only be implemented on new migrations, or are you planning to go back and add Created Dates all the existing migrations? That seems... tricky, especially if people have already started manually reorganizing their albums.

  • MikeLaurelMikeLaurel Southern CaliforniaRegistered Users Posts: 67 Big grins

    @darryl said:
    Also: would this feature only be implemented on new migrations, or are you planning to go back and add Created Dates all the existing migrations? That seems... tricky, especially if people have already started manually reorganizing their albums.

    There's hope you'll get a retroactive fix...

    @leftquark on April 22:
    If we grabbed the album date at some point in the future we'd most likely go back and retroactively apply it to all the galleries that were already migrated, plus all future ones.

    Since I haven't started my migration yet (I was planning on starting it today), I think I'll wait to hear for sure if they are able to retroactively do it. If they maintained some kind of ID mapping table between Phanfare and SmugMug, it should be quite doable, but if they don't have such a table and have to match on album/gallery names, that could be a mess.

    I'm impressed that SmugMug is working to improve the migrations, even retroactively. If only Carbonite had told us a few months ago this was happening and involved users in working with SmugMug to test the migration. I don't think Carbonite ever had a clue about how many things in Phanfare worked, so it would be difficult for them to advise SmugMug on the migration use cases. I remember talking to Carbonite support about some Phanfare features not working and instead of fixing the problem, I'd get a response telling me it was a little-used feature that they've discontinued. Of course, they also didn't bother to remove the "discontinued" feature from user interface or list of Phanfare features.

  • KarinaExPhanfareKarinaExPhanfare Melbourne, AustraliaRegistered Users Posts: 93 Big grins

    @MikeLaurel said:

    There's hope you'll get a retroactive fix...

    Can we opt out of a retroactive fix please - given I have just spent every day since Easter putting mine in the order I need/want - while I am still able to do side by side comparisons with Phanfare open. I dont want to have to redo that with over 60,000 images and videos !!

  • leftquarkleftquark Former SmugMug Product Team Registered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,759 Many Grins
    edited May 8, 2017

    @KarinaExPhanfare said:
    Can we opt out of a retroactive fix please - given I have just spent every day since Easter putting mine in the order I need/want - while I am still able to do side by side comparisons with Phanfare open. I dont want to have to redo that with over 60,000 images and videos !!

    If you've set your sorting method to be Manual as it sounds like you have, then you wouldn't be impacted. This would just allow you to switch it to Date Created and have it automatically sort that way.

    dGrin Afficionado
    Former SmugMug Product Team
    aaron AT aaronmphotography DOT com
    Website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com
    My SmugMug CSS Customizations website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Customizations
  • eisenseeisense Reston, VARegistered Users Posts: 8 Big grins

    So what is the status of the "Date Created" fix idea and whether it could be applied globally to one's entire SM collection? Separately, I see that one can upload folders via the Organizer. Does this allow multiple folders to be uploaded at a time? If there are files within a folder that are not SM compatible will the upload abort or is that file simply ignored? Wondering if I can take use the nicely ordered (by date) albums generated by the Carbonite Phanfare Mirror applet and upload them to SM via the Organizer upload option.

  • stevelewisstevelewis Henderson, NVRegistered Users Posts: 10 Big grins

    I'm also just checking in on the new "Gallery Created Date" sort. When you make this work it will be great. Keep in mind to compliment this feature it would be nice and really necessary to be able to change the Gallery Created Date so old photos can be put in the Gallery and the Gallery created date could be changed to the correct time period of the photos and that Gallery would be listed in the correct order of Galleries. If we have that we can do everything we need to continue working as we did in Phanfare.

  • darryldarryl Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,001 Major grins

    @eisense said:
    Wondering if I can take use the nicely ordered (by date) albums generated by the Carbonite Phanfare Mirror applet and upload them to SM via the Organizer upload option.

    Ah, I forgot to try the Phanfare Mirror applet today. Does it name folders with the date? That would be perfect, if so.

  • MikeLaurelMikeLaurel Southern CaliforniaRegistered Users Posts: 67 Big grins

    I'm also wondering about the status. I was going to start my Phanfare -> SmugMug conversion on Sunday, but held off hoping to hear more news on this. @leftquark is it a good idea to hold off until you get more certain, or should I move ahead with the conversion?

  • leftquarkleftquark Former SmugMug Product Team Registered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,759 Many Grins
    edited May 9, 2017

    @eisense said:
    So what is the status of the "Date Created" fix idea and whether it could be applied globally to one's entire SM collection?

    We've started retroactively going back and copying the Album Created Date from Phanfare and migrating it to SmugMug's Gallery Created Date. It will take some time to go through the many galleries migrated from Phanfare into SmugMug and I'll post here when it's complete. When that happens, you'll be able to sort your Folders by "Date Created". We will not be importing the Phanfare Gallery Start Date due to some incompatibility issues. I would have loved to do this but after talking with our team we felt it was the best experience for all of you to start by sorting with Date Created and then manually re-sorting it.

    @eisense said:
    I see that one can upload folders via the Organizer. Does this allow multiple folders to be uploaded at a time? If there are files within a folder that are not SM compatible will the upload abort or is that file simply ignored? Wondering if I can take use the nicely ordered (by date) albums generated by the Carbonite Phanfare Mirror applet and upload them to SM via the Organizer upload option.

    Yep! The Folder Upload will automatically create the Folder and Gallery structure based on the folder structure on your computer. SmugMug supports up to 5 sub-folders (so 7 levels deep) and 5,000 items in each folder. We'll skip any unsupported file types, so you could certainly use the applet to download and then re-upload.

    @stevelewis said:
    it would be nice and really necessary to be able to change the Gallery Created Date so old photos can be put in the Gallery and the Gallery created date could be changed to the correct time period of the photos and that Gallery would be listed in the correct order of Galleries. If we have that we can do everything we need to continue working as we did in Phanfare.

    This sounds very much like a manual sort, since you'd be manually altering the Gallery Created Date. We won't be adding the ability to modify the Galleries Date Created but once you have the galleries initially ordered by Date Created, you can always click and drag to move the galleries into the order you'd like. This is usually what I do on my own site, especially since I don't upload photos / galleries in the order that I took the. Sometimes it might be months before I upload a new gallery and I just use the manual sorting to drag the galleries into the order I'd like.

    @MikeLaurel said:
    I'm also wondering about the status. I was going to start my Phanfare -> SmugMug conversion on Sunday, but held off hoping to hear more news on this. @leftquark is it a good idea to hold off until you get more certain, or should I move ahead with the conversion?

    You should be fine to move ahead with the conversion. All new migrations will have the dates brought over and we'll retroactively update the ones already migrated. I'll make a formal announcement when the retroactive update is complete.

    dGrin Afficionado
    Former SmugMug Product Team
    aaron AT aaronmphotography DOT com
    Website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com
    My SmugMug CSS Customizations website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Customizations
  • darryldarryl Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,001 Major grins

    @leftquark said:

    @eisense said:
    So what is the status of the "Date Created" fix idea and whether it could be applied globally to one's entire SM collection?

    We've started retroactively going back and copying the Album Created Date from Phanfare and migrating it to SmugMug's Gallery Created Date. It will take some time to go through the many galleries migrated from Phanfare into SmugMug and I'll post here when it's complete. When that happens, you'll be able to sort your Folders by "Date Created". We will not be importing the Phanfare Gallery Start Date due to some incompatibility issues. I would have loved to do this but after talking with our team we felt it was the best experience for all of you to start by sorting with Date Created and then manually re-sorting it.

    >

    @stevelewis said:
    it would be nice and really necessary to be able to change the Gallery Created Date so old photos can be put in the Gallery and the Gallery created date could be changed to the correct time period of the photos and that Gallery would be listed in the correct order of Galleries. If we have that we can do everything we need to continue working as we did in Phanfare.

    This sounds very much like a manual sort, since you'd be manually altering the Gallery Created Date. We won't be adding the ability to modify the Galleries Date Created but once you have the galleries initially ordered by Date Created, you can always click and drag to move the galleries into the order you'd like. This is usually what I do on my own site, especially since I don't upload photos / galleries in the order that I took the. Sometimes it might be months before I upload a new gallery and I just use the manual sorting to drag the galleries into the order I'd like.

    This is disappointing. Yes, manual sorting works for ordering a few galleries here and there. But we're talking about thousands of galleries where Date Created is not the same as when an event took place.

    I suppose being able to sort by that might help when sorting by Created Date (especially with the problem of albums with duplicate names like Christmas, Thanksgiving, First Day of School, etc.). But generally, meh.

  • stevelewisstevelewis Henderson, NVRegistered Users Posts: 10 Big grins

    Darryl is right. The correct date needed is Album Start Date, not Album Created date. You can create an album today and then upload pictures from a wedding 3 years ago so the Album (Gallery) would make it look like the wedding was recent from this year. To rectify this please let us be able to change theGallery date. Doesn't matter what it is called. Then we can still make it Galler order correct ourselves.

  • darryldarryl Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,001 Major grins

    @darryl said:

    @eisense said:
    Wondering if I can take use the nicely ordered (by date) albums generated by the Carbonite Phanfare Mirror applet and upload them to SM via the Organizer upload option.

    Ah, I forgot to try the Phanfare Mirror applet today. Does it name folders with the date? That would be perfect, if so.

    Finally got the applet kicked off. Weird that one of my Macs says that the app is "damaged" and refuses to run, but my other one is fine with it. Oh, probably has to do with the Java version. On the one that works I had to install an old version of Java 6.

    ANYWAYS... I see that it's creating a folder structure like:

    • 2007
      • Alpine Meadows
      • D680
      • Diamond Peak

    Within each of those subfolders (which contain all of the images) is a very useful Description.txt that includes Album Name: and Album Date:

    So, it'd certainly be possible to write a script that extracts the 2007-03-11 date from the "Alpine Meadows" Description.txt file and rename the folder: "2007-03-11 - Alpine Meadows" and then drag that into SmugMug Organizr.

    Interestingly, for stuff I've put in Featured, it created a top-level folder called Timeless. No album dates in those, which... makes sense.

    I wonder what format Album Date will take when an album spans multiple dates. I'm guessing it'll be something like "2007-04-01 - 2007-04-07" which would be fine.

  • darryldarryl Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,001 Major grins

    More on the Phanfare Mirror applet:

    • Albums that span multiple dates have an Album Date field that looks like this "2007-04-01 to 2007-04-07"
    • The applet downloads your originals (from crops, image rotations), so unless you do some cleanup to exclude *.orig.jpg files before uploading, those will end up on SmugMug as well.
    • At the current rate, my download is looking to take 11 days. And I'm on a very fast connection. The way files are trickling in, it does not like it does any kind of parallel processing whatsoever. :-/
    • My wifi connection blinked out for about an hour, and the applet kept churning. After reconnection it picked up again, but it looks like I lost 15 images that I guess it gave up on during that time period.

    Separately from the Phanfare Mirror applet:

    • I've pieced together the commands that will let you download just the metadata about your albums, so, things like album names, descriptions, dates, # of images, # of clips. I'll see if I can put it on a website so that folks can at least get that information out of Phanfare before it disappears. (Basically after authenticating it just runs a GetAlbumList call to Phanfare's API, which dumps all this information out in XML format.)
  • leftquarkleftquark Former SmugMug Product Team Registered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 3,759 Many Grins

    @stevelewis said:
    Darryl is right. The correct date needed is Album Start Date, not Album Created date. You can create an album today and then upload pictures from a wedding 3 years ago so the Album (Gallery) would make it look like the wedding was recent from this year. To rectify this please let us be able to change theGallery date. Doesn't matter what it is called. Then we can still make it Gallery order correct ourselves.

    Using Album Created Date will get most of you to a good place, though we realize it won't work for all of you where you've been manually entering album start dates. Unfortunately that's not something that SmugMug has supported and trying to hack it in won't be a great experience. We looked at using the Album Start Date instead of Album Created Date, if one existed, but unfortunately Phanfare allowed bogus dates to be entered and there's a surprisingly large number of values that wouldn't work on SmugMug. Typically there isn't a huge need for a special Album Start/End Date because our customers upload one or a few galleries at a time and using the manual sort has worked like a charm; it becomes an issue here during this large migration because (as darryl pointed out) we're moving hundreds or thousands of galleries. I certainly understand where all of you come from: I organize my own galleries based on a chronological order, but I've been able to get it into that order quite simply using the drag/drop manual sort interface in the Organizer.

    One way to help organize the photos would be to create new Folders and move the galleries into a more defined structure, similar to what @darryl outlined above: Folders for "Year" and perhaps "Month" (depending on how many galleries you have). You can use the Organizer to drag/drop folders into those, and that'll make it easy to find the galleries, even if they're not perfectly sorted into Gallery start dates.

    I know this won't work for everyone but I wanted to make sure we were honest with the work we're currently undertaking and what we plan to continue to improve. We're doing our best to make the migration as seamless as possible but unfortunately that means we won't be able to have all the same features that Phanfare had ... and in many cases you get a much richer, deeper product. We're 100% committed to improving the experience for all of you and we'll work for the next year (and more) to make sure all of you become happy SmugMug customers.

    dGrin Afficionado
    Former SmugMug Product Team
    aaron AT aaronmphotography DOT com
    Website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com
    My SmugMug CSS Customizations website: http://www.aaronmphotography.com/Customizations
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