Json – Get ffmpeg information in friendly way


Every time I try to get some information about my video files with ffmpeg, it pukes a lot of useless information mixed with good things.

I'm using ffmpeg -i name_of_the_video.mpg.

There are any possibilities to get that in a friendly way? I mean JSON would be great (and even ugly XML is fine).

By now, I made my application parse the data with regex but there are lots of nasty corners that appear on some specific video files. I fixed all that I encountered, but there may be more.

I wanted something like:

  "Stream 0": {
     "type": "Video",
     "codec": "h264",
     "resolution": "720x480"
  "Stream 1": {
     "type": "Audio",
     "bitrate": "128 kbps",
     "channels": 2

Best Solution

A bit late, but perhaps still relevant to someone..

ffprobe is indeed an excellent way to go. Note, though, that you need to tell ffprobe what information you want it to display (with the -show_format, -show_packets and -show_streams options) or it'll just give you blank output (like you mention in one of your comments).

For example, ffprobe -v quiet -print_format json -show_format -show_streams somefile.asf would yield something like the following:

  "streams": [{
    "index": 0,
    "codec_name": "wmv3",
    "codec_long_name": "Windows Media Video 9",
    "codec_type": "video",
    "codec_time_base": "1/1000",
    "codec_tag_string": "WMV3",
    "codec_tag": "0x33564d57",
    "width": 320,
    "height": 240,
    "has_b_frames": 0,
    "pix_fmt": "yuv420p",
    "level": -99,
    "r_frame_rate": "30000/1001",
    "avg_frame_rate": "0/0",
    "time_base": "1/1000",
    "start_time": "0.000",
    "duration": "300.066",
    "tags": {
        "language": "eng"
  "format": {
    "filename": "somefile.asf",
    "nb_streams": 1,
    "format_name": "asf",
    "format_long_name": "ASF format",
    "start_time": "0.000",
    "duration": "300.066",
    "tags": {
        "WMFSDKVersion": "",
        "WMFSDKNeeded": "",
        "IsVBR": "0"
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