Change order of photos

Discussion in 'iPad OS' started by LannyC, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. LannyC

    LannyC
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    I have photos on my iMac organized into folders. These may include images taken with my iPad, another iPad, or scanned from slides or prints, and may be edited on the Mac. When I sync my iPad, they currently appear in the From My Mac section of iOS Photos (the stupid interface seems to change with every major iOS update). However, I cannot figure out how to display them in the correct order on the iPad. Despite instructions from various online sources, dragging does not work.

    Why is this so hard?
     
  2. twerppoet

    twerppoet
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    The only place you can drag-and-drop photos into a new order are in the albums you create in the Albums tab under My Albums. There, it works as you would expect, though the photos can take a while to move out of the way to let you drop them in place.

    The first photo becomes the key photo, displayed when you view the album’s icon.

    The main Photos tab can not be re-organized. Nor can the automatically create albums like selfies, panoramic, etc. The Photos tab it’s sorted by time, with some categorization by date and location. The albums are just straight time/date sorted. You can get third party apps like Metapho that will let you edit the photo’s date, but that’s not a good way to rearrange things (unless wrong dates are the cause to begin with).


    Side Note: It is possible to sort the order of the created albums. Tap the ‘See All’ in the My Albums section, then ‘Edit’ at the top right. With the exception of All Photos and Favorites you can drag-and-drop the albums to change their order. Careful of the read minus signs. Tap those and you’ll be deleting albums.
     
    #2 twerppoet, Jun 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  3. LannyC

    LannyC
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    Thanks, tp, but I knew all that about albums. I need to reorder the photos that sync with a folder on my Mac. Otherwise, slide shows are useless.
     
  4. twerppoet

    twerppoet
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    I’m using a lot of guesswork here, but let’s see if I’ve got the right idea of what is going on.

    You have a folder on your Mac that you are syncing to an album on the iPad via iTunes or another app. You want to re-arrange the photos in the synced folder so you can use it as a slide show.

    If that’s right, yep, it’s not going to work. When you sync folders to Photos through iTunes (or other apps) you get exactly what you synced. Since a folder does not have a way of custom arranging photos, neither does the album. Asynced album is going to mirror the folder. Syncing is not copying. It maintains a one-to-one relationship to the original folder, so that future syncs won’t get messed up.

    What would work better is to import that folder to the iPad and create a local album. That can be re-ordered. There are several apps that can to this.

    Or you could use Photos on the Mac, and create and sync your photos that way. You albums will sync both ways, which means you can change the order on either device.

    Or, you could import the photos to a third party slideshow app.

    Or something else I have not thought of.

    Photos is a good basic photo app, but it’s isn’t terribly flexible and lacks advanced features.
     
  5. LannyC

    LannyC
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    The photos are in the correct order in their folder on the Mac, which honors their numerical file names. In iTunes, I designated that folder as the photo sync source. The folder came in as an album, as expected, but iOS chooses some other, unknown parameter for order, not file names.

    I suppose I could just dump everything into Camera Roll and alias each photo into an album, but that's awfully messy.

    Sometimes Apple is unbelievably stupid.
     
  6. twerppoet

    twerppoet
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    You seem to be thinking of your folder on the Mac as a photo album. It is not. It’s a folder. The sort method is determined by the file system (or app viewing them), not the files themselves.

    Photos does not support ordering by file name. You can’t even see the filenames unless you use a third party app. It sorts by date and time. That’s it. If the photo does not have a time and date in the metadata, then it uses the time the photo’s file was created or modified. (I’m not sure which).

    (The file’s creation date/time can be, and often is different from the date and time stored in a photo’s meta data.)

    It’s valid to argue that Apple doesn’t give us enough control over photo sorting and arrangement in the Photos app. Expecting folders to sync/copy their sort order is pie in the sky. No OS does this. It would cause more issues than it solves.

    I do sympathize with your problem. You would’t be trying this round-about method if the tools you need existed in Photos. Even if it worked, having to rename photos to re-order them is a hack that shouldn’t be necessary.
     
    #6 twerppoet, Jun 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
  7. LannyC

    LannyC
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    The issue is the disruption of order that seems to result from cropping, color correcting, or otherwise editing an image using anything other than the sadly inadequate tools in Photos, and keeping the image editable.

    I guess the real problem is that I'm not in Apple's target audience. I couldn't care less about stickers, emojis, tacky "filters," or social media fads. I have never taken a selfie! I put the photos on my iMac because that's where my professional tools live.

    When an iPad takes a photo, it's assigned a numeric file name (e.g., IMG_1234.JPG). How hard could it be to sort by that? After editing and exporting a new JPEG file, just reuse its original name. No metadata to parse. Apple treats us like children.
     
  8. LannyC

    LannyC
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    I fixed the image order with brute force, using the "touch -t" command in Terminal on each errant file, which changes both creation and last-edited times. I still don't know which date/time determines order, and have no desire to experiment further.

    But for the changes to show up, I had to remove the subfolder from the main sync folder on the iMac, sync to delete the album from the iPad, then replace the subfolder on the iMac and sync again.
     

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