Picasa 3.8.0 saving my albums with an 1899 date.. unable to save it with a different date

Posted on 2011-03-12
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Any ideas?

I am getting fed up with Picasa.  It is a bit messy if one wants to migrate the albums and edits to another computer.

Question by:easycapital
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Accepted Solution

BillDL earned 250 total points
ID: 35122006
Hello easycapital

Unfortunately with free software you are often left without real product support and have to discuss issues on user forums.

I found 2 discussions about the date format here:

The user created a new album with the correct date and then dragged all the images over into it:
That isn't an acceptable fix.

This article discusses hidden "picasa.ini" fles in each of the folders that is monitored by Picasa.
Apparently there is a Date in them that shows in the format:
and they have figured out that the xxxxx number is the number of days that has elapsed since 30th December 1899.  This is referred to as a "Serial Date".  This kind of date is often used in tracking storage of perishable foods and so on (Julian Date), and is a nuisance to convert unless you have a chart.

Microsoft Excel and other such applications use a "Serial Date" which counts the "Number of days Since ..." but many of them use a different starting date.

The people in that discussion have posted a link to a coding project (from back in 2002) where the programmer created some program code to convert the "Excel Date" to human readable format:

In this discussion the user seems to have figured out that the date set in images by a Kodak digital camera (similar "serial date") is actually wrong, and that it is confusing Picasa.  It's a bit hard to follow though:
The person in this discussion used a utility named "ExifGUI Tool" to view the metadata in the images:

Of course, this still does not fix things for you, but it might explain where the problem lies.

Assuming that Picasa is OK and that it might be the data in your images that is wrong, can I suggest tat you open some of the images in ANOTHER image viewing application that is able to show the metadata stored in the images by the digital camera and examine the dates.

Do you have another image viewing application, or would you like recommendations?

Use the "ExifGUI Tool" and see if the dates in the images are wrong:
There are a lot of other similar programs around that display the metadata in images.

If that is all OK, then maybe it is something to do with the dates in the INI files.

Set your Windows Explorer so that you can see all the hidden files, then go through the folders containing your images and look for files named "picasa.ini" (or similar).  An *.INI file is usually in plain text and opens in Windows Notepad.  Compare a few of them and see if they are stuck with the same date number.

Right-Click the *.INI files, choose "Properties", and see if they are "Read-Only".  Perhaps they won't work if they are Read-Only, or maybe it's the opposite and they must be read-only to stop something else writing to them.

If you don't see any of those INI files, then maybe some cleanup utility is deleting them and the default starting date is being applied to the images and albums.

To rebuild the Picasa database it looks like you have to uninstall and erinstall it, and in so doing tell it which folders to monitor the content:

I don't use Picasa simply because I am familiar enough with where I store my images and I use a reasonably good image naming convention that lets me find them easily enough, so I cannot really test out anything for you in Picasa.

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Assisted Solution

Merete earned 250 total points
ID: 35154761
The thing is unless you used Picasa's Backup and restore tool it may prove difficult.

Try this
Import old webalbums into new version of Picasea

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35203633
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 35205177
Thank you easycapital

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