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ExifTool 11.13

Read, write and edit metadata in more than 130 file types with this command line tool

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Mac OS X, Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
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Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 10 October 2018
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Downloads To Date: 10762
Developer: Phil Harvey
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ExifTool
Read, write and edit metadata in more than 130 file types with this command line tool

ExifTool is a command line tool which allows you to view, edit and write metadata in a lengthy list of file types: audio, video, images, documents, archives and more.

So the program doesn't just handle the file formats where you can process metadata already (PDF, MP3 and JPG, say). It can also work with a host of proprietary formats: Adobe InDesign Documents, Visio drawings, many RAW formats, and more. And there's support for many file types which you may never have thought of as including metadata at all: RAR, WEBM, SWF and more.

At a minimum, ExifTool will be able to display, edit or write metadata to your chosen files (which can include a complete directory tree for speedy batch processing). But that's just the start. It can also process files based on their metadata, so for instance you're able to rename or organise files into directories according to some specified metadata tag. ExifTool can be used to extract thumbnail images from RAW files, very useful if the full-sized image won't display. And there are plenty of other unusual applications possible, such as geotagging a set of images based on GPS track log files.

There is a problem, though. As we mentioned above, this is a command line tool, so mastering its abilities will require much studying of the switches on offer, and mastery of some complex syntaxes. If you'd like to organise a set of files by their creation date, for instance, you might use a command like this:

exiftool "-FileName<CreateDate" -d "%Y%m%d_%H%M%S.%%e" DIR

Still, you can at least start more simply. Just dragging and dropping an image onto the executable is enough to display its metadata, for example. As you learn other switches you'll be able to add additional abilities fairly quickly. And if all else fails, there are some simple graphical front ends for ExifTool which you may prefer - the author's site has the latest list.

Version 11.13 brings (see full version history for more):

Decode GPS from NextBase 512G dashcam MOV videos (different than 512GW)
Added a new Canon LensType (thanks LibRaw)
Minor improvements to verbose dump of streaming GPS metadata
Reverted change of version 10.71 which resulted in Windows not recognizing PNG CreationTime as written by ExifTool (add this feature to the StrictDate API option instead)
Improved decoding of Nikon CropHiSpeed (thanks LibRaw)
Improved -fast option to reduce memory usage when reading JPG, PNG, QuickTime-based and RIFF-based files via a sequential stream
Fixed DOF calculation to use ApproximateFocusDistance if available
API Changes:

Enhanced StrictDate option to reformat PNG CreateTime according to PNG specification

Verdict:

Once you're over the initially steep learning curve you'll find ExifTool is a hugely powerful solution for metadata manipulation

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Windows 10 October 2018 Update (build 1809)

Free Full Commercial Software

This is the latest version of Windows October 2018 Update. it's a media creation tool that can be used to upgrade an existing installation of Windows or create installation media for another PC. Just make your choice after launching the tool and it'll do the rest.

What was new in Windows 10, when it was released? The OS brought back the Start Menu, though with a Windows 8 twist: live tiles keep you up-to-date with the latest news while also providing an easy way to launch apps. (Don't worry if you prefer the Start Screen, it's still there and you can boot into it if you prefer.)

Apps now work much more like regular desktop programs. They have minimise, maximise, restore and close buttons, and can be resized (to a degree) and organised however you like.

If you've still lost track of a program in the mass of open windows, a new Task Spaces feature can help. Click its taskbar button and you'll see thumbnails for everything running now, a little like OS X's Mission Control - just click something to switch to it.

Better still, Task Spaces also supports virtual desktops. Add extra desktops as required and it'll display thumbnails of each one, making it easy to identify whatever you're after and switch to it.

There's also smarter snapping, new customisation options, and even a bunch of experimental additions to the command prompt.

Fall Creators Update brings a whole host of new features for Windows 10. See the Microsoft Blog for more information.

The Windows 10 ISO here will give you build 1809 which is the October 2018 Update.

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