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How To Find MP3 Bitrate Using Command Line

Ubuntu 13

In the world of digital audio, bitrate is a crucial factor that determines the quality of an MP3 file. It refers to the number of bits processed per unit of time, measured in kilobits per second (Kbps). The higher the bitrate, the better the sound quality. However, higher bitrate also means larger file size.

In this article, we’ll guide you through various methods to find the bitrate of an MP3 file using the command line. This can be particularly handy if you’re dealing with a large collection of files and need a quick and efficient way to check their quality.

Quick Answer

To find the bitrate of an MP3 file using the command line, you can use tools like MediaInfo, the file command, mp3info, ExifTool, or ffprobe. These tools provide detailed information about audio files, including the bitrate. Simply install the desired tool, run the appropriate command, and you’ll be able to quickly check the bitrate of your MP3 files.

Prerequisites

Before we begin, ensure that you have access to a terminal or command line interface. This guide is primarily focused on Unix-based systems like Linux or MacOS, but Windows users can also follow along using a tool like Cygwin or Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Method 1: Using MediaInfo

MediaInfo is a convenient tool that provides detailed information about audio and video files. To install it, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install mediainfo

To find the bitrate of an MP3 file, use the following command:

mediainfo Aphrodite_-_Superman_\(dnb\).mp3 | grep "Bit rate"

In this command, mediainfo is the tool we’re using, Aphrodite_-_Superman_\(dnb\).mp3 is the name of the MP3 file, and grep "Bit rate" is used to filter the output to show only the bitrate information.

Method 2: Using the File Command

The file command is a built-in utility in Unix-based systems that provides information about files. To find the bitrate of an MP3 file, simply use the following command:

file song.mp3

Here, file is the command and song.mp3 is the name of the MP3 file. The output will include various details about the file, including the bitrate.

Method 3: Using mp3info

mp3info is a utility specifically designed for manipulating MP3 files. To install it, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install mp3info

To find the bitrate of MP3 files in the current directory, use the following command:

mp3info -r a -p "%f %r\n" *.mp3

In this command, -r a specifies that we want all information, -p "%f %r\n" formats the output to show the filename and bitrate, and *.mp3 specifies that we want to process all MP3 files in the current directory.

Method 4: Using ExifTool

ExifTool is a powerful tool for reading, writing, and editing metadata in a wide variety of files. To install it, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install libimage-exiftool-perl

To find the bitrate of an MP3 file, use the following command:

exiftool -AudioBitrate GoldLion.mp3

In this command, exiftool is the tool we’re using, -AudioBitrate is the parameter that specifies we want the audio bitrate, and GoldLion.mp3 is the name of the MP3 file.

Method 5: Using ffprobe

ffprobe is a tool included in the FFmpeg project that provides information about audio and video files. To install it, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

To find the bitrate of an MP3 file, use the following command:

ffprobe example.mp3 2>&1 | grep Stream

In this command, ffprobe is the tool we’re using, example.mp3 is the name of the MP3 file, 2>&1 redirects error output to standard output, and grep Stream filters the output to show only the stream information, which includes the bitrate.

Conclusion

Understanding the bitrate of your MP3 files can help you manage your audio collection more effectively. Whether you’re aiming for the highest quality or trying to save disk space, these command line methods provide a quick and efficient way to check the bitrate of your files. Choose the method that suits your needs and happy listening!

What is bitrate?

Bitrate refers to the number of bits processed per unit of time in a digital audio file. It is measured in kilobits per second (Kbps) and determines the quality of the audio. Higher bitrate generally means better sound quality but also results in larger file sizes.

How can I find the bitrate of an MP3 file using the command line?

There are several methods to find the bitrate of an MP3 file using the command line. You can use tools like MediaInfo, the file command, mp3info, ExifTool, or ffprobe. Each method has its own set of commands and requirements. Refer to the article for detailed instructions on how to use each method.

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