Apple’s 10.5 Leopard file creation dates get wrong

times.gifExcuse the bad Engrish, but when Apple still can’t fix OS-X to properly maintain and track file creation and modification dates (one of the points that I griped about before) then there is no reliable way to track your media assets in Apple’s Mac OS.

I always use Creation and Modification dates to sort my various projects and files on today’s massive hard drives. I hate that Windows (at least XP) won’t intermingle files and folders when sorting by last modified, but at least it gets the dates right and properly maintains a file’s creation date when copying to and from external hard drives and servers.

But not Leopard. That’s a dealbreaker right there…

creation.jpg As shown on MacFixIt, users are able to Get Info on a file, while also looking at the same file in Column view and the OS shows two completely different creation dates. This is deplorable in what is supposed to be an “advanced” and (at version 5, after 7 long years of continual development) a “solid” OS.

Sayeth one poster:

“I have recently backed up all my files onto a LeCie external HD, then wiped the G5 HD. I reloaded all software onto the G5 from discs, then copied all files back onto G5 HD. All these files now show a created/modified date as being the one when the files were transfered, not originally created.” Responds another: “Having the identical problem. “Seems the Finder is changing the creation and modification dates ever since upgrading to 10.5.”

Given that 10.5 offers professional video producers little in the way of advanced features over 10.4, I again recommend not getting it. Spaces is cool, but is available with several thirdpartyutilities.

Why is it that OS-9 / Classic, which never had these basic, fundamental file issues, wasn’t good enough to keep using?


2 thoughts on “Apple’s 10.5 Leopard file creation dates get wrong

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  1. I have not seen the MacFixIt article, but I have looked up some of the other problems people have been reporting. Here’s a couple thoughts/questions/comments.

    1) Do you have Spotlight On. (I know some editors have this turned off for performance reasons) This may cause some problems being off, especially in 10.5.
    2) If you have Spotlight On, try rebuilding your Spotlight Index.
    3) For the LaCie External HD, was the HD format as HFS+ or was it DOS?

    I have been using Leopard since Day 1 on my edit system (FCP Studio 2), spite a few glitches, it has been rockin’! This creation date/modification date is all new news to me. I have my system constantly connected to a Mac OS X 10.4 Server for a lot of our content as well as my several media drives, and everything has been rock solid in the dates department. We have several other Leopard systems as well, and we haven’t seen this problem as well.

    To comment on the switch to Leopard from Tiger, one of the biggest advantages of Leopard vs. Tiger, for me, is the improvements in the Quartz Composer side. This especially plays with Noise Industries FX Factory and the ability to create custom plug-ins.

    The biggest downside to the Leopard upgrade is the wait for certain updates for some devices and plug-ins out there. Bottom line, the upgrade decision is a case-by-case basis.

  2. Yes, this reiterates my “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset when considering updates for your main production computer. Updates for major software packages (and other accessories you may depend on) are not there when a major OS update like this arrives.

    So, wait.

    Wait till all the pieces are in lace and then make the jump- IN BETWEEN JOBS. Never in the middle of a job.

    Some people never upgrade a machine once it works flawlessly. They use it for a year, or two, and then just get a new machine, configure it, make it work smooth, and then move all their projects to the new machine.

    This last method avoids a lot of the “bleeding edge” problems because you never mess with your production machine and projects until your new “house” is built and stable.


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