This guide will show you how to get info on media files (.avi, .mkv, .mp4 etc) – such as the codecs used for audio and video – in macOS.
Using the small and free App MediaInfo, you can quickly get detailed info on any media file. If you need to figure out which codec a certain file is using, this is the App for you. It can be super-helpful when trying to figure out which media player will open a given file etc. Let’s jump right in!
Update: at some point in the last 3 years MediaInfo became a $0.99 Mac App Store download. Fortunately, a slightly older version remains free – and it’s the same one that’s used in this guide. On the download page (linked below) locate version v20.09, the one that’s not from the Mac App Store
- Head over to the MediaInfo download page and download the App. Once the download has completed, open the .dmg and drag-and-drop MediaInfo.app to your Applications folder to install it. Then double-click it to open it for the first time.
- In the very upper-left corner of the MediaInfo window there’s a Open Media File button – click it.
- Navigate to a media file that you want to get information about then select it and click the Open button.
- MediaInfo will read the file and then display the results in a neatly organized window.
- There are 3 main parts to the ‘info’ window – General, Video and Audio. The names are pretty self explanatory. As illustrated in the screenshot below, the file I’ve opened in MediaInfo was created with the HEVC video codec – which is relatively new.
- As illustrated in the screenshot below, the .avi file I’ve opened was created with the motion JPEG video format – which is relatively old, and was often used by digital cameras and webcams.
- MediaInfo can even get info on audio files, such as .flac, .shn, .wav etc.
Now you know how to determine the info for any given media file in macOS!