Monday, October 12, 2009

EXIF and the Tools to remove them from Images

EXIF or Exchangeable Image File Format is an image file format specification which is mainly used by the digital cameras.
According to wikipedia:
The specification uses the existing JPEG, TIFF Rev. 6.0, and RIFF WAV file formats, with the addition of specific meta data tags. It is not supported in JPEG 2000, PNG, or GIF.

A lot of information can be found from the Exif meta data tags such as
1.Model and make Of Digital Camera.
2.Date and Time when the photo was shot.
4.Description and copy right information.
5.Camera settings such as orientation,focal length and shutter speed.

If you are planning to share the images on the web then the Exif meta data can expose some of the privacy information about you.Sometimes you might require to remove the Exif meta data tags before sharing on the web to protect your privacy.While there are numerous tools (both free and commercial) available in the market to remove Exif meta data tags ,I will talk about a few of them.

Online Exif Remover
This will help you in removing the Exif without installing any additional software.I found two online services exifremover and exif-remove for the same purpose.exifremover has a size limit of 10 MB and exif-remove has a size limit of 8MB.I tried a JPG image of size 1MB and exifremover crashed giving the following error.exif-remove worked perfectly with the same file.
Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 16 bytes) in /home/qtcharts/public_html/jpg_cleaner_function.php on line 35

While online Exif removers are helpful ,they do not allow you to remove the Exif in bulk at once.That is when I looked at the popular image editing tool IrfanView.

How to remove Exif in Bulk using Irfanview?

Install Irfanview from here.
Exif functionality comes to IrfanView through a plugin.So install the IrfanView plugins here.
Check if you are able to see the Exif Info .Open a JPEG file using IrfanView and click on Image->Information (shortcut I).Click on "Exif Info" to see the Exif meta data values.

Now that the setup is ready let us see how can you remove the Exif in batch.
1.Open IrfanView and click on File->Thumbnails (Shortcut T).This should open a new IrfanView Thumnails window.
2.Browse to the folder containing the images.Select All images by Ctrl-A.
3.Select File->JPG Lossless Operations->Lossless rotation with selected files.4.Select "None" under transformation.
5.Select Custom and make sure to uncheck "Keep EXIF" and "KEEP IPTC" under JPG App maker options.

6.Make sure to take a backup of all the files as this will override the existing files.
7.Click on start and wait till the process is over.

You can also read about How to resize multiple images at once using IrfanView.

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