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README
ExifTool - Enhanced Java Integration for Phil Harvey's ExifTool.
http://www.thebuzzmedia.com/software/exiftool-enhanced-java-integration-for-exiftool/


				=================================================
				  See ExifTool in action at http://imgscalr.com
				=================================================


Changelog
---------
1.2 (In progress...)
	* Added support for the "CreationDate" QuickTime tag to the Tag enum.
	* Merged support for WRITING meta tags from Fabien Vauchelles

1.1
	* Initial public release.


License
-------
This library is released under the Apache 2 License. See LICENSE.


Description
-----------
This project represents the most robust Java integrations with Phil Harvey's 
excellent ExifTool available.

The goal of this project was to provide such a tight, well designed and performant
integration with ExifTool that any Java developer using the class would have no
idea that they weren't simply calling into a standard Java library while still
being able to leverage the unmatched robustness of ExifTool.

All concepts of external process launching, management, communication, tag
extraction, value conversion and resource cleanup are abstracted out by this 
project and all handled automatically for the caller.

Even when using ExifTool in "daemon mode" via the -stay_open True command line
argument, this project hides all the details required to make that work, 
automatically re-using the daemon process as well as eventually cleaning it up 
automatically along with supporting resources after a defined interval of 
inactivity so as to avoid resource leaks.

The set of EXIF tags supported out of the box is based on the EXIF tags supported
by the most popular mobile devices (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc.) as well
as some of the most popular cameras on the market (Canon point and shoot as well
as DSLR).

And lastly, to ensure that integration with the external ExifTool project is as
robust and seamless as possible, this class also offers extensive pre-condition
checking and error reporting during instantiation and use.

For example, if you specify that you want to use Feature.STAY_OPEN support, the
ExifTool class will actually check the native ExifTool executable for support 
for that feature before allowing the feature to be turned on and report the 
problem to the caller along with potential work-arounds if necessary.

Additionally, all external calls to the process are safely wrapped and reported
with detailed exceptions if problems arise instead of just letting unknown
exceptions bubble up from the unknown system depths to the caller.

All the exceptions and exceptional scenarios are well-documented in the Javadoc
along with extensive implementation details for anyone wanting to know more about
the project.


Example
-------
Usage is straight forward, let's say we wanted to get the GPS coordinates out of 
an image:

  File image = // path to some image
  ExifTool tool = new ExifTool();
  
  Map<Tag, String> valueMap = 
  	tool.getImageMeta(image, Tag.GPS_LATITUDE, Tag.GPS_LONGITUDE);
  	
  System.out.println("Lat: " + valueMap.get(Tag.GPS_LATITUDE) +  
  					 ", Long: " + valueMap.get(Tag.GPS_LONGITUDE));

The fundamentals of use is that you give ExifTool a File handle to the image you
want to query as well as a list of Tags you want to pull values from it for and
it will give you back the results in a Map.

If you want to use ExifTool in daemon mode, you only change one line:

  ExifTool tool = new ExifTool(Feature.STAY_OPEN);
  
and then keep that "tool" reference around and re-use it as necessary. Under the
covers the ExifTool class will re-use the same ExifTool process for all the queries,
usually taking 1/20th or 1/30th the time to complete.


Performance
-----------
You can benchmark the performance of this ExifTool library on your machine by
running the Benchmark class under the /test/java repository. 

Here is an example output on my Core2 Duo 3.0Ghz E6850 w/ 12GB of Ram:

Benchmark [tags=49, images=10, iterations=25]
	250 ExifTool process calls, 12250 total operations.

	[-stay_open False]
		Elapsed Time: 97823 ms (97.823 secs)
	[-stay_open True]
		Elapsed Time: 4049 ms (4.049 secs - 24.159792x faster)

You can see that utilizing the -stay_open functionality provided in ExifTool
you can realize magnitudes times more performance.

Also the bigger of a test you run (more iterations) the bigger the performance
margin increases.


History
-------
This ExifTool library was incubated within imgscalr as an extension library that
I originally intended to be a simple way to pull the 'Orientation' EXIF flag out
of images in order to service automatic orientation support in imgscalr. After 
working on the integration layer for a few days I realized the potential for the
class and the opportunity to provide the best Java integration with ExifTool
available today.

From there I branched the code into its own project (the one you are looking at)
and continued to work on making the implementation as robust as possible.

Once the project had been branched, many of the more advanced features like
daemon mode support, automatic resource cleanup thread, most-popular-tags support,
tag value parsing, etc. all became self evident additions to the class to make
usage as easy and seamless as possible for Java developers.

My goal was ALWAYS to provide a class so well designed and performant that any
Java developer using it, wouldn't even realize they weren't using a Java library.


Troubleshooting
---------------
Below are a few common scenarios you might run into and proposed workarounds for
them.

	* I keep getting UnsupportedFeatureException exceptions when running ExifTool
	with Feature.STAY_OPEN support.
	
	This exception will only be raised when you attempt to use a Feature that
	the underlying ExifTool doesn't support. This means you either need to upgrade
	your install of ExifTool or skip using the feature.
	
	
	* I downloaded the newest version of ExifTool, but I keep getting 
	UnsupportedFeatureExceptions.
	
	What is probably happening is that your host system already had ExifTool
	installed and the default EXIF_TOOL_PATH is simply running the command "exiftool"
	which executes the one in the system path, not the newest version you may have
	just downloaded.
	
	You can confirm this by typing 'which exiftool' to see which one is getting
	launched. You can also point the ExifTool class at the correct version by
	setting the "exiftool.path" system property to point at it, e.g.:
	java -Dexiftool.path=/path/to/exiftool com.myco.MyApp


	* Can the ExifTool class support parsing InputStreams instead of File 
	representations of images?
	
	No. Phil has mentioned that enabling daemon mode disables the ability to 
	stream bytes to ExifTool to process for EXIF data (because ExifTool listens
	on the same input stream for processing commands and a terminating -execute
	sequence, it can't also listen for image byte[] data).
	
	Because of this and because of the expectation that ExifTool in daemon mode
	will be the primary use-case for this class, limited support for InputStream
	parsing was designed out of this class.
	
	
	* Do I need to manually call close() to cleanup a daemon ExifTool?
	
	This is done automatically for you via the cleanup thread the class employs
	when a daemon instance of ExifTool is created. Unless you modified the
	"exiftool.processCleanupDelay" system property and set it to 0 or less, the
	automatic cleanup thread is enabled and will clean up those resources for
	you after the specified amount of inactivity.
	
	If you DID disable the cleanup thread by setting "exiftool.processCleanupDelay"
	to 0, then yes, you need to call close() manually when done to cleanup those
	resources.
	
	
	* Is it better to manage cleanup myself or let the cleanup thread do it?
	
	It is better (and more consistent) to let the cleanup thread handle cleanup
	for you. You can always adjust the inactivity interval it uses by adjusting
	the value for the "exiftool.processCleanupDelay" system property, but by
	default the cleanup thread waits for 10 minutes of total inactivity before
	cleaning up the resources. That should be good in most cases, but you could
	always set that higher to something like an hour or more if you wish.
	
	If you really want to disable it and manage everything yourself, that is fine. 
	Just remember to be consistent.
	

Reference
---------
ExifTool by Phil Harvey - http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/
imgscalr - http://www.thebuzzmedia.com/software/imgscalr-java-image-scaling-library/


Contact
-------
If you have questions, comments or bug reports for this software please contact
us at: software@thebuzzmedia.com
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