Thursday, November 01, 2007

EXIF Info Hell

Kevin Hoyt has written some nice examples in his blog ( about using EXIF info in AIR applications.

I've been writing an application that is using EXIF info to get the jpg thumbnail from it without having to read the entire file.. Now this is working as a charm BUT..

There are multiple version of the EXIF standard and there are different manufacturers using it different. I have tested my application with the code from kevin hoyt, it worked on my Sony digital camera, but didn't work on another Sony camera and also failed on a Canon camera. Where the failing sony didnt succeed to retrieved jpeg bytes at all. I could retrieve bytes from the canon picture but these are not valid jpeg..

I read through some of the EXIF documentations of the official standard but it can't figure it out how to create a parser that always succeeds.

That plus the fact that most users make their landscape pictures portrait using the windows picture viewer, which just dumps all EXIF information from the JPG. Even when using photoshop to do this is deletes your EXIF.

This all makes it pretty useless for any application to depend on, until someone comes up with a superparser compatible with all manufacturers.

So back to reading the entire file just to show a quick thumbnail (which makes it impossible to create like a thumbnailbrowser).

written by Marcel Panse

1 comment:

Karl P said...

The most robust parser for exif (by far) is perl's exiftool. I know it's not very glamourous, but after trying many different exif libraries in many different languages, I just keep ending up back wishing I could use perl's exiftool in whatever application I was using.

So many applications trashing the metadata or manglining :(