Video-meta is a Perl script by Mike Schilli that displays attributes of a video file, helpful in “video forensics”, when you need to know what codec and frame rate a video was shot in, quickly and easily. Video-meta invokes the Video::FrameGrab module, which in turn invokes mplayer.

Video-meta achieves the same results as the mediainfo tools (mediainfo and mediainfo-gui), which are included in the default Slackermedia queue file, so strictly speaking this is doubling up on functionality. You may find it useful, however, since it gives less information than other tools, in an easy-to-read format, and tends to favour the most useful and common information rather than every last detail that 90% of the time you will not need.


The installation is easy but unique in that it involves Perl, which has its own way of installing modules. It also depends upon perl-yaml, available from

Once you have yaml installed, install video::framegrab perl module with the command:

$ su -c "perl -MCPAN -e \
'install Video::FrameGrab'"

If this is the first time you have used CPAN, you will be prompted to allow perl to setup the CPAN environment. It is safe to answer yes.

When that install process is over, install the Data::Dump perl module with the command:

$ su -c "perl -MCPAN -e \
'install Data::Dump'"

The script video-meta itself requires no installation, although the initial line of the script needs modifying so that the script can find Perl on the system:

$ wget \
$ sed "1s#/local##" > video-meta
$ chmod +x video-meta
$ su -c 'cp video-meta /usr/local/bin/'


Invoke video-meta before the name of a video file:

$ video-meta foo.avi

The metadata attributes associated with foo.avi are printed in your terminal.

See Also