Organizer review: Incorrect photo metadata meets its match
By J.R. Bookwalter
At a glance
iCloud Photo Library answered my mobile photo prayers—until I realized there was no way to adjust date, time, or geolocation data from iOS. This meant my Canon T3i photos shot alongside the iPhone would be out of order in the Moments view if I forgot to adjust the time after the switch to Daylight Savings, triggering my obsessive-compulsive tendencies in the worst possible way.
At first glance, an app with a generic name like Organizer might not sound like the remedy to such first-world problems, but it wound up being the cure for what ailed me. Much to my surprise, developer Genady Okrain gives away this excellent software free of charge. (And does so with grace: There are no ads, but an unobtrusive, in-app “tip jar” is available for those compelled to support such fine work.)
Although rival apps can adjust metadata, they do so only on a copy of the image, leaving unwanted duplicates. This outdated method is no longer acceptable in an era where users can finally edit photos on one device and have changes sync seamlessly across everywhere else within seconds. Organizer works directly on files, and is the only app I’ve come across to fully embrace iCloud Photo Library adjustments this way.
At launch, Organizer presents a list of everything in your photo library, including available photo albums. The app ignores iCloud Photo Sharing content, but the tradeoff is a less cluttered user interface. Scrolling through my 17,000-plus image library was on par with Photos, and aside from the magenta text, this feels very much like an Apple product.
To make changes, select one or more photos or videos—that’s right, you can adjust the time, date, or location on multiple images at once, and even copy metadata conveniently from one to another. There’s also a view option, which displays extensive details about an image that Photos could only dream of.
Date, time, and timezone data for one or more photos can be adjusted independently from a unified screen—similar to how it works with Photos on OS X Yosemite—but Organizer goes a step further by allowing individual files to be reset back to the original date and time. The app can also search for and adjust location data, an option arriving with OS X El Capitan this fall, but this is still your best bet for iOS 8 and later.
Organizer may not be something you’ll use everyday, but it’s a godsend for those who import scanned photos into iCloud Photo Library or occasionally shoot iPhone photos in tandem with a DSLR and want to keep everything in the proper order. It’s a bummer the app isn’t a universal build with native iPad support (and making Organizer available as an extension from Photos also ranks high on my wish list), but otherwise this is an indispensable tool for taming your cloud-based digital photo library.
Organizer fills a gaping hole in Apple’s iCloud Photo Library strategy without having to spend a dime while helping keep image metadata—and OCD—in check.