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Tue, Mar 04, 2014 11:35 pm

Obtaining info on an audio file with afinfo

You can obtain information on an audio file, such as an MP3 file on a Mac OS X system from the command line using the afinfo command.
$ afinfo Waterfalls.mp3
File:           Waterfalls.mp3
File type ID:   MPG3
Num Tracks:     1
Data format:     2 ch,  44100 Hz, '.mp3' (0x00000000) 0 bits/channel, 0 bytes/packet, 1152 frames/packet, 0 bytes/frame
                no channel layout.
estimated duration: 3642.644850 sec
audio bytes: 72852897
audio packets: 139445
bit rate: 160000 bits per second
packet size upper bound: 1052
maximum packet size: 523
audio data file offset: 2228
audio 160637484 valid frames + 528 priming + 2628 remainder = 160640640

The command will tell you the bit rate and the estimated duration if you choose to play the file. In the example above, the MP3 bitrate is 160 kbit/s, which is a mid-range bitrate quality for an MP3 file. Common bitrates for MP3 files are as follows:

The estimated playing time of the MP3 file in the example above is 3642.644850 sec. You can convert that to minutes from the command line by passing a command to python to convert seconds to minutes.

$ python -c "print 3642.644850 / 60"

If you wanted to convert that to hours, you could just divide by 60 minutes per hour by adding another "/ 60" at the end of the command.

$ python -c "print 3642.644850 / 60 / 60"

If you just want to know the bit rate, you can pipe the output of afinfo through grep and awk:

$ afinfo Waterfalls.mp3 | grep "bit rate" | awk '{print $3}'

If you just want to know the duration in seconds, you can use the following commands:

$ afinfo Waterfalls.mp3 | grep "estimated duration" | awk '{print $3}'

If you want the value in minutes you can also use awk to print that value instead.

$ afinfo Waterfalls.mp3 | grep "estimated duration" | awk '{print $3 / 60 , "minutes"}' 
60.7107 minutes

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