I'm working on a library that injects/embeds/writes metadata into a .mp4 file to allow the video to be displayed correctly as a 360 video. The input file is a standard .mp4 file in the equirectangular format which I need to inject the proper metadata to get it to display as a 360 video. I know tools like Google's Spatial Media Tool exist but if possible I would like to do it with FFmpeg.

The metadata injected by the Spatial Media tool looks like this and is what I am trying to achieve:

<?xml version="1.0"?><rdf:SphericalVideo
xmlns:GSpherical="http://ns.google.com/videos/1.0/spherical/"><GSpherical:Spherical>true</GSpherical:Spherical><GSpherical:Stitched>true</GSpherical:Stitched><GSpherical:StitchingSoftware>Spherical Metadata Tool</GSpherical:StitchingSoftware><GSpherical:ProjectionType>equirectangular</GSpherical:ProjectionType></rdf:SphericalVideo>

These are all the things I have tried which did not work:

Method 1

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -movflags use_metadata_tags -metadata Spherical=true -metadata Stitched=true -metadata ProjectionType=equirectangular -metadata StitchingSoftware=StreetviewJourney -codec copy output.mp4

I have tried many variations of it like adding GSpherical: and xmp: to the metadata tag.

Method 2

When I extract the metadata using ffmpeg it contains the spherical tag in the logs but not when I output it to a ffmetadata file. This was the command I used: ffmpeg -i injected.mp4 -map_metadata -1 -f ffmetadata data.txt

This is the output of the log:

 fps, 60 tbr, 15360 tbn, 120 tbc (default)
      handler_name    : VideoHandler
    Side data:
      spherical: equirectangular (0.000000/0.000000/0.000000)

Method 3

I also tried to get the metadata using this command: ffprobe -v error -select_streams v:0 -show_streams -of default=noprint_wrappers=1 injected.mp4

This was the logs it outputted:

side_data_type=Spherical Mapping

I then tried to use this command but it didn't work:

ffmpeg -i chapmanspeak.mp4 -movflags use_metadata_tags -metadata side_metadata_type="Spherical Mapping" -metadata projection=equirectangular -metadata yaw=0 -metadata pitch=0 -metadata roll=0 -codec copy output.mp4

2 Answers 2


Metadata is not the same as frame side data. FFmpeg tool currently cannot do this, you need to program own thing using available API.

  • What C# API can do this?
    – TrueCP5
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 12:42
  • FFmpeg is written in C, not C#.
    – user12174
    Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 7:48
  • Of course but you can use FFmpeg in almost any language with a wrapper. But that doesn't answer my question.
    – TrueCP5
    Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 8:00
  • Something like this, but note that that may not be really enough at all as relevant stuff in muxer is not implemented by FFmpeg at all: ffmpeg.org/doxygen/3.3/group__lavu__video__spherical.html
    – user12174
    Commented Aug 22, 2019 at 9:26

you can try something like this if you just want to transcode instead of writing metadata freshly into the file

sudo ffmpeg -i 360video.MP4 -vcodec libx264 -strict unofficial -vprofile high  -acodec aac -f mp4  another.mp4
  • 3
    there is no reason to use sudo here.
    – polemon
    Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 8:33

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