[FFmpeg-user] Extracting starting timecode info using ffmpeg/ffprobe

Francois Visagie francois.visagie at gmail.com
Wed Sep 2 11:03:27 CEST 2015

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ffmpeg-user [mailto:ffmpeg-user-bounces at ffmpeg.org] On Behalf Of
> Kieran O Leary
> Sent: 02 September 2015 01:03
> To: ffmpeg-user at ffmpeg.org
> Subject: Re: [FFmpeg-user] Extracting starting timecode info using
> ffmpeg/ffprobe
> On Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 11:43 PM, Kieran O Leary <kieran.o.leary at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > From some googling, I've had occasional success with the following
> command:
> > ffprobe.exe -show_entries format_tags=timecode -of
> > default=noprint_wrappers=1 inputfile
> >
> > I've found that I had to use "format_tags=timecode" as
> > "format=timecode" would not return a value (only mentioning this as
> > the ffprobe tips page uses the latter in its examples).
> So I took another look at the ffprobe tips, and I realise that I should have
> been using -show_entries stream instead of format. This has produced a
> much more consistent output. I'd still welcome any feedback.

What is the exact command-line that works better for you now, along with some sample output?

The reason I ask is that after trying much I gave up on ffprobe for this purpose and started using exiftool instead. Instead of storing the original starting timecode in the file, I wrote a script that renames video files to "CCYYMMDDHHMMSSFF.ext ", using the earliest timecode reported by exiftool. Apart from being useful for ordering files, subsequent processes can then also use the filename to seed timecode counting e.g. for display purposes during editing, much as you seem to intend.

I'm unsure whether exiftool is available on platforms other than Windows.

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