[FFmpeg-user] Reading Tempo/BPM information from audio files

Adam Harries harries.adam at gmail.com
Mon Sep 17 14:24:54 EEST 2018

Dear all,
I'm hoping to use ffmpeg as a generic, cross-platform, tool to read
metadata from audio files - specifically title and BPM information.

>From what I cant tell, ffmpeg easily supports this for mp3 files. For
example, the following command:

    ffmpeg -i ~/Music/Archive.org/Jumpin\'\ at\ the\ Woodside\ -\ Count\
Basie\ And\ His\ Orchestra.mp3 -f ffmetadata jumpin_metadata.txt

Produces useful output of the (shortened)  form:
    Input #0, mp3, from '/home/adam/Music/Archive.org/Jumpin' at the
Woodside - Count Basie And His Orchestra.mp3':
    album           : Jumpin' at the Woodside
    title           : Jumpin' at the Woodside
    TLEN            : 196.48
    artist          : Count Basie And His Orchestra;Count Basie
    track           : 01
    encoder         : LAME 64bits version 3.99.5 (http://lame.sf.net)
    TBPM            : 2

(Where TBPM is the bpm tag).

Unfortunately, when I try to use a similar command with any other audio
format (such as ALAC, FLAC, or M4A), ffmpeg doesn't appear to return any
BPM information. This is true even for files which I can verify (with other
tools) that they have bpm/tempo metadata attached.

Is this a limitation to ffmpeg, or should I be invoking it in some other
way? If this is simply not possible, I could work on adding a path to
support bpm tags in other formats, but that is rather a worst case


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