Use exiftool -csv to back up metadata values

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  • Updated 7 years ago
This is just a quick note for those of us who are a little anal about metadata values. There are situations where one can lose metadata, either due to program error, user error, disagreement about standards, or misunderstanding how metadata should work.

I am only starting to experiment with it, but I just found out that exiftool has a -csv option to save metadata values in a comma-separated values (spreadsheet) file, and to read them in later. This means that if you get all your Capture Date and Digitized Date values exactly as you want them, you can then save the values, and as long as you don't move anything around on disk, or rename files, you can restore these values later if anything goes wrong.

Note that this is very different than what a backup allows. In a backup you can revert to older saved files. In this case, you can restore exactly the metadata values that you want to restore, while retaining, say exposure, cropping and keyword values that you added later.

I am in the process of saving particular metadata values for all my image files, "just in case". It is quite slow for a large number of files, not surprisingly.
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Alan Harper

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  • thankful

Posted 7 years ago

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Rob Cole

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Thanks Alan,

Is there an 'Idea' for Adobe here too? Or just a user to user tip...
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Alan Harper

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Just a user tip. I am about to use this myself to restore metadata to a large number of files.
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Rob Cole

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May be fodder for a plugin idea here...

I'm reluctant to say more here, since this is not intended as a user-to-user forum.