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a Python library to communicate with an instance of Phil Harvey's excellent ExifTool command-line application.
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PyExifTool is a Python library to communicate with an instance of Phil Harvey's excellent ExifTool command-line application. The library provides the class exiftool.ExifTool that runs the command-line tool in batch mode and features methods to send commands to that program, including methods to extract meta-information from one or more image files. Since exiftool is run in batch mode, only a single instance needs to be launched and can be reused for many queries. This is much more efficient than launching a separate process for every single query.

Getting PyExifTool

The source code can be checked out from the github repository with

git clone git://

Alternatively, you can download a tarball. There haven't been any releases yet.


PyExifTool runs on Python 2.6 and above, including 3.x. It has been tested on Windows and Linux, and probably also runs on other Unix-like platforms.

You need an installation of the exiftool command-line tool. The code has been tested with version 8.60, but should work with version 8.40 or above (which was the first production version of exiftool featuring the -stay_open option for batch mode).

PyExifTool currently only consists of a single module, so you can simply copy or link this module to a place where Python finds it, or you can call

python install [--user|--prefix=<installation-prefix]

to automatically install that module.


The documentation is available at


PyExifTool is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

PyExifTool is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with PyExifTool. If not, see

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