How to determine which codec a video is encoded in

Christopher Chan christopher.chan at
Tue Jul 6 00:44:52 UTC 2010

On Tuesday, July 06, 2010 03:19 AM, Dotan Cohen wrote:
> On 5 July 2010 12:35, Olivier Nicole<Olivier.Nicole at>  wrote:
>>> I have some video files that I need to know what codec is used to
>>> decode them. I know that the Windows software G-spot will help, is
>> Have you tried the command file(1)?
>> # file les-tontons-flingueurs.avi
>> les-tontons-flingueurs.avi: RIFF (little-endian) data, AVI, 672 x 400, 25.00 fps, video: XviD, audio: MPEG-1 Layer 3 (stereo, 48000 Hz)
> Wow, thanks, I did not even think about using file! Although it does
> not give me the detailed output that you got, it does give me some:
> ✈dcl:toDesktop$ file Little\ E\ playing\ piano.3gp
> Little E playing piano.3gp: ISO Media, MPEG v4 system, version 1
> ✈dcl:toDesktop$ file d02-001.3gp
> d02-001.3gp: ISO Media, MPEG v4 system, 3GPP

but it does...3GPP Mpeg4 encoding. The version for mobile phones. Look 
up mpeg4 or 3gpp.

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