Metadata takes FOREVER to upload

When I’m uploading observations to the upload identification screen on my laptop, the photos upload relatively quickly, the location responds reasonably well, but the metadata can take up to 10 minutes per observation. Is this “normal,” or do I perhaps have a setting misset, or…?

What browser are you using?
MS Edge is buggy, it used to crash on me before I switched to Google Chrome

With an old chrome Versie 53.0.2785.11 Meta data also took long time.(600seconds) .i thought one year ago it was faster with this version.

Likely to be load from CNC?

I’m using the latest version of Firefox, on a Windows 10 PC. CNC probably has made it worse this weekend, but it’s always really slow, on the order of 3-4 minutes per observation. i usually get everything else done and go away and do something else for a while.

Out of curiosity, would the number of obs in the batch affect the per obs speed? I tend to work in batches of 10 or more. Dangerous, since much can go wrong, but there it is!

It’s normal. Most digital cameras and phones automatically embed thumbnails in the metadata of the photos they create. These are typically only a few kilobytes in size and can be extracted (along with the rest of the metadata) before the main part of the file is loaded. The thumbnail of the photo can therefore be displayed quite quickly, and the same goes for processing whatever other relevant information is included in the metadata.

This still leaves the rest of the file to be uploaded, though. The exact time this takes will of course depend mainly on the size of the original file and the capabilities of your internet connection. If you upload your photos in batches, the iNat uploader can improve matters somewhat by processing several at a once in parallel. But there’s really no way to avoid the overall cost: uploading large amounts of data via a standard internet connection is never going to be a quick operation.

The only real issue here is the “Loading metadata…” message that is shown whilst all of this is happening. It would be helpful if at some point the message changed to something like “Loading main file (5Mb) …”, so that it’s clearer what is actually causing the delay. This would also give a strong hint that it pays to crop all your photos before uploading them. Quite apart from the time this will save you, it is also a very community-friendly thing to do, since (amongst other things) it makes it clear what the subject of your photo is and improves the chances of it being identified.


I did an experiment - batch-saved a dozen pix to half size and then uploaded. You were right - it made a huge difference to the upload speed. The only downside is that if identifiers need to zoom in for detail, the amount stored is now limited, but hopefully most of the time this won’t be an issue.

And changing the message would be helpful - I foolishly thought it was the metadata taking so long to update :-)

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