Exiftool Tutorial Series
This four-part series of video tutorials, created by Kathryn Gronsbell is focused on Exiftool, a command-line application that can read, write, and edit embedded metadata in files. The tutorial series provides detailed support to users looking for an approachable and practical introduction to Exiftool. Featured exercises have wide-ranging applications, but trend towards improving digital preservation workflows through step-by-step exploration of Exiftool’s basic features and functions.
Higher quality versions of the tutorial videos below can be viewed and downloaded via the Internet Archive:
ExifTool tutorial series – Part 1
ExifTool tutorial series – Part 2
ExifTool tutorial series – Part 3
ExifTool tutorial series – Part 4
The Exiftool Tutorial Series by AudioVisual Preservation Solutions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://www.avpreserve.com/tutorials.
PART 1: INTRODUCTION TO EXIFTOOL
Part 1 serves as an introduction to Exiftool, detailing its abilities to read, write, and wrangle a variety of embedded metadata formats across a diverse set of media files. This preliminary exploration of the tool addresses how Exiftool is already in use in various disciplines and how users can employ its command line iteration in their own organizations.
PART 2: BASIC SYNTAX AND STANDARD OUTPUT
Part 2 provides a brief introduction to fundamental command line functions, including navigating around a file system, followed by demonstrations of how Exiftool commands are formatted and samples of what those commands produce. Information presented in Part 2 provides a strong foundation for more advanced use of the tool, which will be discussed in Parts 3 and 4 of the tutorial series.
PART 3: USING OPTIONS AND PARAMETERS
Part 3 covers the basics of identifying and employing Exiftool options in commands. This includes option syntax, how to discover and choose options, and manipulating output for different end uses. Part 3 also provides instruction for exporting to CSV and creating item level profiles using Exiftool.
PART 4: CREATING COLLECTION PROFILES
Building on the information introduced in Parts 1 through 3, Part 4 demonstrates how to create a collection profile in CSV by employing options and setting parameters.
|Command Syntax||AVPS Tutorial #|
|$cd [directory or “.”, “..”]||(common)|
|$exiftool [filename or directory]||2|
|$exiftool -s [filename or directory]||3|
|$exiftool -S [filename or directory]||3|
|$exiftool -g [filename or directory]||3|
|$exiftool -G [filename or directory]||3|
|$exiftool -gs [filename or directory]||3|
|$exiftool -filesize [filename or directory]||3, 4|
|$exiftool -csv [filename or directory] > [destination file]||4|
|$exiftool -csv -G [filename or directory] > [destination file]||4|
|$exiftool -csv -filesize -filetype [filename or directory] > [destination file]||4|
|$exiftool -csv -filesize# -filetype [filename or directory] > [destination file]||4|
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
- ExifTool by Phil Harvey: Read, Write and Edit Meta Information
- exiftool(1) – Linux man page
- ExifTool comes to the rescue when I need to fix the date and time in a batch of photo files by Fitzcarraldo, 2011
- Exiftool Forum (Exiftool for Dummies, thread begins in 2011) – Doug Hackney, Sample “Welcome to ExifTool” sticky post
- Firefox Plugin description for reading IPTC in JPEGs – “Extracts and displays the Exif, IPTC-NAA/IIM (International Press Telecommunications Council / Newspaper Association of America / Information Interchange Model), and IPTC Core (Adobe XMP, Extensible Metadata Platform) metadata, as stored by digital still cameras, in both local and remote JPEG images.
- Hack Your Exif Data from the Command Line: Five Fun Uses for Exiftool by Preston Scott, 2012
- Photo File Surgery: Use ExifTool and Mac Automator to Hack the Contents of Your Photo Files by Preston Scott, March 6, 2011
Chris Lacinak, AVPS
Kara Van Malssen, AVPS
Seth Anderson, AVPS
Jefferson Bailey, METRO
Shira Peltzman, AVPS
Katie Knight, AVPS
Erica Titkemeyer, LoC/Smithsonian Institution Archives
Julia Kim, NYU-MIAP
Rebecca Fraimow, Dance Heritage Coalition