[FFmpeg-devel] ffprobe closed_captions json output not set while text output is set

Pieter Viljoen pieter at viljoen.com
Thu Mar 17 20:30:12 EET 2022

Please reconsider an abandoned patch to allow consistent behavior in closed
caption detection between ffprobe with and without "-print_format json".

I also asked for solutions on reddit, videohelp, IRC, ffmpeg-user,
resorting to asking on ffmpeg-devel.

I would like to add the ability to detect and remove closed captions from
video streams using ffmpeg, in an open source tool I maintain that cleans
up media files for direct play on Plex, Emby, Jellyfin, etc. (

When I run ffprobe in JSON output mode, it is not setting the
"closed_captions" attribute.
When I run ffprobe in default output mode, it does correctly identify
closed captions in video streams and prints "Closed Captions" in the stream

The divergent behavior appears to be a ffprobe bug.

Details of the problem is described where I asked for help on reddit and

I did not get any help, but after lots of googling I did find an abandoned
patch that describes exactly the problem I am experiencing:

The proposed patch seemed trivial, but I do not understand the nuances of
the objections.

I'd like the patch to be please re-considered, or an alternative proposed
that allows ffprobe's JSON output to return correct closed_captions values.


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