How to Get the Duration of a Video in Python?

Problem Formulation: Given a video file. How to get its duration in seconds using Python code?

The video can have any of the following video formats:

Method 1: Using Subprocess + ffprobe

Within your Python shell, you can run any external command with the module subprocess. The external tool ffprobe helps you determine many video statistics such as the length of the video.

“ffprobe gathers information from multimedia streams and prints it in human- and machine-readable fashion.”

import subprocess

def get_length(filename):
    result = subprocess.run(["ffprobe", "-v", "error", "-show_entries",
                             "format=duration", "-of",
                             "default=noprint_wrappers=1:nokey=1", filename],
        stdout=subprocess.PIPE,
        stderr=subprocess.STDOUT)
    return float(result.stdout)

The code is obtained from here and here.

You can download ffprobe for Windows, macOS, and Linux here.

Method 2: Using the moviepy Module

This code is even more concise—and it retrieves the duration of a given video very quickly using the moviepy module.

from moviepy.editor import VideoFileClip
clip = VideoFileClip("my_video.mp4")
print(clip.duration)

This code is obtained from here. However, it is reported that method 1 with ffprobe is 10x faster than the method with moviepy.

Method 3: Using the pymediainfo Module

An alternative to the previous method is provided by the pymediainfo library:

from pymediainfo import MediaInfo
clip_info = MediaInfo.parse('my_video.mov')
duration_ms = clip_info.tracks[0].duration

This code is obtained from here and here.

Method 4: Using the opencv Module

One of the fastest method to retrieve the duration of a video is provided by the opencv module:

import cv2
video = cv2.VideoCapture('my_video.webm')
duration = video.get(cv2.CAP_PROP_POS_MSEC)

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