Video Production Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have tons of videos of my children and they have been moved from drive to drive many times over the years. Is there a way to easily get the date the video was taken? I'm importing them into iTunes currently, but I can find nothing that shows the date the video was taken?

share|improve this question

MediaInfo gives you a way to check the file metadata, including the creation date for the video and audio streams. This is free, cross platform and open source and also provides a GUI for you to check.

If you're up for using the command line, with MediaInfo:

mediainfo in.mp4 | grep "Encoded date" | head -n1 | cut -d: -f2-

With FFmpeg's ffprobe:

ffprobe -v quiet -print_format flat -show_format in.mp4 | grep creation_time | cut -d= -f2-
share|improve this answer
If it was, it is no longe free! Oh well. – Kyle Rogers Feb 14 '13 at 21:51
Of course it's free. It even says so on the homepage and I've been using it for years. Where are you prompted to pay? – slhck Feb 14 '13 at 22:05
If you're on a Mac and follow the main page link you will go to the Mac App store where it's not free: But if you go on the main page to the link below it you will arrive at the free version: – Saaru Lindestøkke Feb 15 '13 at 15:24
Oh, you got caught in that Mac App Store trap some developers think they have to set up. On the MediaInfo download page, just look a few pixels down to where it says "free GUI". – slhck Feb 15 '13 at 15:26

If you have ffmpeg installed you can type

ffprobe filename.mp4

and it will give you a list of information about the file with in the end the creation time.

I'm sure it is possible to automate this with a bash script and maybe even to extract the creation time out of the list of info, but I wouldn't know how exactly.

share|improve this answer

It entirely depends on what information the camera embedded in the video file. It may or may not have actually stored the date. If the information is in the meta data, then any advanced video player or editing tool should be able to see the meta data and tell you the date associated. Also, it is possible that the file date may be accurate, though there are a lot of things that can cause the file date to change. The meta data, if present is the most accurate and best bet though if it is present.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.