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How to find basic codec and compression info of a media file in Linux

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These methods will show you howto find all the basic codec, compression, bitrates, etc. of any video, audio, or other graphical multimedia.

Console basedEdit

file (Unix)Edit

file (Unix) is an amazing little program that will give basic info on just about every file type. It does this by reading certain parts of the file to get basic stuff.

  • Ececute: file FILE_TO_GET_INFO
    • Example: file movie.avi
  • Output: movie.avi: RIFF (little-endian) data, AVI, 624 x 352, 23.98 fps, video: XviD, audio: MPEG-1 Layer 3 (stereo, 48000 Hz)
  • Output: audio.mp3: MPEG ADTS, layer III, v1, 320 kBits, 44.1 kHz, Stereo
  • Output: photo.jpg: JPEG image data, JFIF standard 1.01
  • Normal text file
    • Output: textfile.txt: ASCII text
  • PDF file
    • Output: document.pdf: PDF document, version 1.5
  • Microsoft Word document
    • Output: document.doc: Microsoft Installer


  • identify chop.jpg
    • Output: chop.jpg JPEG 343x350 343x350+0+0 8-bit DirectClass 88.5KB 0.010u 0:00.020
  • identify -verbose chop.jpg
    • Output
Image: chop.jpg
  Format: JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group JFIF format)
  Class: DirectClass
  Geometry: 343x350+0+0
  Resolution: 72x72
  Print size: 4.76389x4.86111
  Units: Undefined
  Type: TrueColor
  Endianess: Undefined
  Colorspace: RGB
  Depth: 8-bit
  Channel depth:
    red: 8-bit
    green: 8-bit
    blue: 8-bit
  Channel statistics:
      min: 0 (0)
      max: 255 (1)
      mean: 194.617 (0.763205)
      standard deviation: 42.601 (0.167063)
      kurtosis: 1.98703
      skewness: -1.64869
      min: 0 (0)
      max: 255 (1)
      mean: 144.857 (0.568065)
      standard deviation: 81.7396 (0.320548)
      kurtosis: -1.52894
      skewness: -0.491915
      min: 0 (0)
      max: 255 (1)
      mean: 128.774 (0.504997)
      standard deviation: 85.5932 (0.33566)
      kurtosis: -1.64887
      skewness: -0.4056
  Image statistics:
      min: 0 (0)
      max: 255 (1)
      mean: 117.062 (0.459067)
      standard deviation: 95.46 (0.374353)
      kurtosis: -1.79467
      skewness: -0.151822
  Rendering intent: Undefined
  Interlace: None
  Background color: white
  Border color: rgb(223,223,223)
  Matte color: grey74
  Transparent color: black
  Compose: Over
  Page geometry: 343x350+0+0
  Dispose: Undefined
  Iterations: 0
  Compression: JPEG
  Quality: 100
  Orientation: Undefined
    comment: CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 100

    date:create: 2010-10-06T14:40:21-06:00
    date:modify: 2010-10-06T14:40:11-06:00
    jpeg:colorspace: 2
    jpeg:sampling-factor: 2x2,1x1,1x1
    signature: 3e8d91d77f3b693f38633f1a877df75b2f943311bc16ed0f9002f4031a988f50
    verbose: true
  Tainted: False
  Filesize: 88.5KB
  Number pixels: 120K
  Pixels per second: 6.003M
  User time: 0.010u
  Elapsed time: 0:01.020
  Version: ImageMagick 6.6.2-5 2010-07-18 Q16


to be added

Graphical basedEdit

to be added


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