File descriptions in Google Drive not shown after dedupe

Using Rclone dedupe against Google Drive works, and identical file names in common folders are rescued into new ones. Thanks to the Rclone team!

But - you can get really confused by how the metadata field "Description" in Google Drive (Googles own file metadata in the web interface for Google Drive) appears on the files that have been renamed after dedupe. In these cases, Google gets the file name itself in the description, and does not retain the original file description text (image description as an example goes into this field).

The file metadata itself are still intact - and has retained the custom meta information (ie when you download the file from Google Drive after dedupe). But Google Drive no longer shows it after dedupe in the Drive web interface. In my case, I first thought that the image description for several hundred image files had been lost and replaced by the filename itself after a dedupe in rclone. At first a frightening incident. Fortunately - the files retain custom metadata. Google Drive own meta description field doesn't ...

Could it be that the actual API calls from Rclone does not provide the original file description metadata field during a dedupe? Or is this simply a Googe Drive restriction?

GoogleDrive should retain the original file descriptions after a dedupe. Great if the team could check more into this behaviour in Google Drive after a Rclone dedupe. It is confusing for most users I think.

Let me check I'm understanding you properly

You are doing an rclone dedupe on files where you have set custom descriptions.

I guess you are using rclone dedupe rename?

And the renamed files have had their description overwritten by the file name of the file.

Is that correct? Looking at the code I think that is what rclone does, which it shouldn't be doing on a rename.

I don't understand what you mean by "custom metadata" - can you elaborate here?

I do understand that this can be a little tricky. The actual files and metadata is not being changed after the dedupe (rename), all this would be intact. So file content is not overwritten.
But Google Drive GUI (the web interface for Google Drive) does no longer shows the original Description field content, but the new file name after dedupe. That is pretty confusing to us.

My first thought was that dedupe might use a Google API syntax that serves new metadata exclusively meant for the Google Drive GUI and "Google internal indexes". It's confusing that Google GUI shows the new file name in Description, while the actual files fortunately are intact and not affected by this "overwrite" (as you also now confirmed by looking at the code).

By "custom metadata" I was actually referring to "metadata different from system file metadata", ie file Description, IPTC fields, XMP etc. So these fields is not changed by dedupe, but Google Drive exposed value for Description shows the file name and not the original description content. With me?

I think I see the problem with this - can you try this please on branch drive-description (uploaded in 15-30 mins)

Did you manage to have a go with this @Tom_Lekang ?

I've merged this to master now which means it will be in the latest beta in 15-30 minutes and released in v1.67