04 Feb 2006

nokia 6600 camera phone photos metadata

i've got a nokia 6600, and its been annoying me for over a year that there is no EXIF information in the photos themselves, so if i start moving files off the phone once every week, i'll get a bunch of photos with the wrong dates.

i just realised while playing around with exiftool and jhead that actually the original date IS stored in the photos, except that it is in the JPEG comments section rather than in its own EXIF header. so all i really have to do is to run it through a script that takes the date in the comments and run it through exiftool to get the DateTimeOriginal set.


btw, exiftool is a perl library and command line tool that does nearly everything you can think of with metadata in files, not just EXIF but PDF, ID3, ASF, Quicktime, etc. it is pretty incredible the amount of coverage it has got.

the nicest feature it has is that it can strip out certain types of EXIF headers. the reason why EXIF headers are so horrible to edit, add and delete is because of all the pointer craziness it has in the specification. all strings are stored somewhere else in the EXIF header and needs to be pointed to by an offset. so if you edit any part of the EXIF header, you'd probably need to rearrange everything. at least that is what i'm seeing by looking at parts of the source.

Phil Harvey has more ranting about the inner evil workings of EXIF and why it sucks.

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