Author Topic: DELETING or CHANGING SERIAL NUMBERS batch or individually  (Read 6466 times)

cakeboss

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DELETING or CHANGING SERIAL NUMBERS batch or individually
« on: April 08, 2010, 04:12:41 AM »
My ultimate goal is to be able to delete these serial numbers, the one listed for the camera itself AND the lens as well.

Can someone help me be able to delete the serial numbers in the exif, either with the GUI or with exiftool itself? pretty please!!!!!????

And is there a batch process way to do it? step by step for the dummy in me?? i looked through the instructions but could not figure it out by myself.

 :-*

Phil Harvey

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Re: DELETING or CHANGING SERIAL NUMBERS batch or individually
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2010, 07:13:31 AM »
The first step is to determine the tags you want to change.  Typically the serial number tag is called SerialNumber, but there are other tags which also carry similar information (such as LensSerialNumber and InternalSerialNumber).  Use the -s option to see the actual tag names when extracting information (and read FAQ 3 if you need more help).  With the Windows exiftool application, just change the file name to "exiftool(-k -s -g).exe" then drag and drop images onto it.  Here I have also added -g because it will be useful for the next step.

The next step is to change the tags.  You can not delete individual makernote tags so for these you must set the value to something else (like "0" for instance).  To do this you can change the name of the exiftool application to "exiftool(-k -serialnumber=0 -lensserialnumber=0).exe" (or whatever other tags you want to change) then drag and drop files and folders onto the application to change all of the image files.

You can also use a windows shortcut to avoid having to rename the application each time.  Just add the options to the Target property of the shortcut.  (ie. set the target to "exiftool(-k).exe -serialnumber=0 -lensserialnumber=0").

I hope this helps.

- Phil
...where DIR is the name of a directory/folder containing the images.  On Mac/Linux, use single quotes (') instead of double quotes (") around arguments containing a dollar sign ($).

cakeboss

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Re: DELETING or CHANGING SERIAL NUMBERS batch or individually
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2010, 01:18:49 PM »
wow is it really that simple? i will try it. thanks for the step by step and clearness.

so whatever tags i would like to change, i can let's say make a copy of the exe and rename it exiftool (-k -serial........) etc for whatever tags i want to change. but is your last sentence another syntax for the same thing? exiftool(-k) -serialnumber=0, as opposed to exiftool(-k -serialnumber=0) ?

and where does the (-g) come into play? sorry for stupidity. i think you said (-g) will come into play, but never mentioned it afterwards. i think i got most of it, i can read the faq again. Thanks again for now!

i am using the standalone application if that makes any difference.

EDIT: just tried changing serial numbers it works! now, it's nice that it creates a copy called original appended, but how do i just bypass that whole thing? do you think i can figure out everything if i reread the faq carefully?

« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 01:42:31 PM by cakeboss »

Phil Harvey

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Re: DELETING or CHANGING SERIAL NUMBERS batch or individually
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2010, 02:55:10 PM »
so whatever tags i would like to change, i can let's say make a copy of the exe and rename it exiftool (-k -serial........) etc for whatever tags i want to change.

Yes.  Or instead of making copies I suggest creating Windows shortcuts.

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but is your last sentence another syntax for the same thing? exiftool(-k) -serialnumber=0, as opposed to exiftool(-k -serialnumber=0) ?

You're lucky: I just happen to have a PC handy right now so I can be more specific.

Normally the "Target" property in a Windows shortcut contains just the name of the program.  In my case since I'm running Windows XP and exiftool(-k).exe is on my desktop, the Target is:

Code: [Select]
"C:\Documents and Settings\Phil\Desktop\exiftool(-k).exe"
Note that the target name is quoted -- it must be in this case because the path specification contains spaces.

When adding options to the shortcut, they appear after the program name just as if it were typed at the command line.  If you put them inside the brackets with the -k, then Windows wouldn't find the program any more because that is not its name.  So they go after the program name, like this:

Code: [Select]
"C:\Documents and Settings\Phil\Desktop\exiftool(-k).exe" -serialnumber=0
Here, you should also add quotes around any arguments which contain special characters such as spaces, like this:

Code: [Select]
"C:\Documents and Settings\Phil\Desktop\exiftool(-k).exe" -serialnumber=0 "-artist=Phil Harvey"
This is the exact same as what you would type on the command line except that no file is specified.  When you drag and drop a file on the shortcut, Windows adds the corresponding file name and runs exiftool with that command line.

I hope this makes sense.

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and where does the (-g) come into play?

It just prints the group names as headings in the extracted information.  See the options in the exiftool application documentation for more information about this and other options.

Quote
EDIT: just tried changing serial numbers it works! now, it's nice that it creates a copy called original appended, but how do i just bypass that whole thing? do you think i can figure out everything if i reread the faq carefully?

Excellent.  The first step is the hardest.  Reading the FAQ is a good idea for other reasons, but it is just one of the options I was talking about that you need to use if you don't want the "_original" file:  The -overwrite_original option.

- Phil

Edit:  I explained what the -g does but not why it is useful.  Sometimes there are tags with the same name in different groups.  If this is the case, you can specify the group name to indicate which you want to write.  For example, you may want to do this: -makernotes:serialnumber=0.  Without the "makernotes:", exiftool would set all serialnumber tags to zero, which would also result in the creation of a new XMP:SerialNumber tag, which you probably don't want.  Read the "Group Priorities" section on the ExifTool home page for an explanation of why this happens.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 03:16:37 PM by Phil Harvey »
...where DIR is the name of a directory/folder containing the images.  On Mac/Linux, use single quotes (') instead of double quotes (") around arguments containing a dollar sign ($).