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We hate to be the ones to tell you this, but not everything about your Vegas vacation stayed in Vegas. iPhoto’s Info button can show your pictures’ resolutions, shutter speeds, and so on -- but it can also reveal more private stuff, like the location of your hotel room and the time an image was captured. That’s metadata, and there’s plenty to explore inside every photo on your Mac. To see it all, you’ll need a metadata reader like iExifer. Apple’s Preview can do the job for free, but iExifer’s interface tweaks make it worth a look when looking into your pics.
iExifer’s roomy previews show off pics and their metadata, but they also eat up screen real estate.
iExifer reads EXIF and IPTC metadata, two popular formats used by cameras and some image-editing apps like Photoshop. There’s also limited support for maker data -- proprietary camera info that varies by manufacturer -- for cameras from Nikon, Canon, Olympus, and Fujifilm. iExifer’s Image Browser is like a Finder window that displays only supported image files on your Mac (RAW Canon CR2, Nikon NRW and NEF, Pentax PEF, and JPEG and TIFF formats), complete with resizable thumbnails beside their metadata. You can also launch files in their own windows, though too many of these will quickly fill up small screens (a Preview-style window letting you view multiple full-size images at once would be welcome). Whichever view you choose, shots with location data can be viewed on a map, just like iPhoto. But iExifer offers no direct integration with your iPhoto library, so you’ll have to export those pictures to the Finder or drag them directly to iExifer’s Dock icon to see their information.
Metadata is organized by collapsible categories that let you see at a glance what’s in your shots. If you know what you’re looking for, you can also search metadata to drill down to specific images. Better still, unlike Preview, iExifer lets you copy metadata to other apps. But there’s the rub -- most of that data can already be found in Apple’s catch-all image app, Preview. Still, iExifer displays a handful of minor data types Preview doesn’t, and its layout is much easier to read.
The bottom line. If you’re looking for more metadata than iPhoto offers but don’t want to click through Preview’s cramped Inspector window to get it, iExifer fits the bill nicely, especially for a mere two bucks.
Mac OS 10.6 or later
Searchable, easy-to-read metadata can be copied to other apps. Large preview of images with thumbnails.
Reproduces many features in the free Preview app. Can’t view multiple images in a single window.