IPTCInfo: extract and modify IPTC (metadata) information on images - port of by Josh Carter <>'

Ported from Josh Carter's Perl by Tamas Gulacsi

Ever wish you add information to your photos like a caption, the place you took it, the date, and perhaps even keywords and categories? You already can. The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) defines a format for exchanging meta-information in news content, and that includes photographs. You can embed all kinds of information in your images. The trick is putting it to use.

That's where this IPTCInfo Python module comes into play. You can embed information using many programs, including Adobe Photoshop, and IPTCInfo will let your web server -- and other automated server programs -- pull it back out. You can use the information directly in Python programs, export it to XML, or even export SQL statements ready to be fed into a database.

1.9.5-8: - copy original file's permission bits on save/saveAs

1.9.5-7: - have silencable parse errors.

1.9.5-6: to have a nice new upload (seems easy_install grabs an old version).

1.9.5-5: fix some issues with "super"

1.9.5-3: use logging module.

1.9.5-2: Emil Stenström pinpointed some bugs/misleading (un)comments
Also a new (mis)feature is implemented: if you don't specify inp_charset (and the image misses such information, too) than no conversion is made to unicode, everything stays bytestring! This way you don't need to deal with charsets, BUT it is your risk to make the modifications with the SAME charset as it is in the image!

1.9.5-1: getting in sync with the Perl version 1.9.5

charset recognition loosened (failed with some image out of Adobe Lightroom).
1.9.2-rc7: NOT READY
IPTCInfo now accepts 'inp_charset' keyword for setting input charset.

1.9.2-rc6: just PyLint-ed out some errors.

1.9.2-rc5: Amos Latteier sent me a patch which releases the requirement of the

file objects to be file objects (he uses this on jpeg files stored in databases as strings).

It modifies the module in order to look for a read method on the file object. If one exists it assumes the argument is a file object, otherwise it assumes it's a filename.
1.9.2-rc4: on Windows systems, tmpfile may not work correctly - now I use
cStringIO on file save (to save the file without truncating it on Exception).
1.9.2-rc3: some little bug fixes, some safety enhancements (now

will overwrite the original image file ( only if everything goes fine (so if an exception is thrown at writing, it won't cut your original file).

This is a pre-release version: needs some testing, and has an unfound bug (yet): some pictures can be enhanced with iptc data, and is able to read them, but some other iptc data readers will spit on it.

1.9.1: a first release with some little encoding support

The class IPTCInfo now has an inp_charset and an out_charset attribute - the first is the read image's charset (defaults to the system default charset), the second is the charset the writer will use (defaults to inp_charset).

Reader will find the charset included in IPTC data (if any, defaults to the system's default charset), and use it to read to unicode strings. Writer will write using IPTCinfo.out_charset (if it is not set, will not write charset IPTC record).

With this, it is possible to read and write i18n strings correctly.

I haven't tested this functionality thoroughly, and that little test was only on my WinXP box only, with the only other IPTC reader: IrfanView.


from iptcinfo import IPTCInfo import sys

fn = (len(sys.argv) > 1 and [sys.argv[1]] or ['test.jpg'])[0] fn2 = (len(sys.argv) > 2 and [sys.argv[2]] or ['test_out.jpg'])[0]

# Create new info object info = IPTCInfo(fn)

# Check if file had IPTC data if len( < 4: raise Exception(info.error)

# Print list of keywords, supplemental categories, contacts print info.keywords print info.supplementalCategories print info.contacts

# Get specific attributes... caption =['caption/abstract']

# Create object for file that may does have IPTC data. # info = IPTCInfo(fn) # for files without IPTC data, use info = IPTCInfo(fn, force=True)

# Add/change an attribute['caption/abstract'] = 'Witty caption here'['supplemental category'] = ['portrait']

# Save new info to file ##### See disclaimer in 'SAVING FILES' section ##### info.saveAs(fn2)

#re-read IPTC info print IPTCInfo(fn2)