Hector Lee

Finding a Media File’s Format Info using QuickTime Player

Sometimes we need to find out the bit depth and sample rate of an audio file, or the quality of the audio stream in a video file. Here I will show you a way that is really quick and does not require any third party app.

Open the file with QuickTime Player. Under the Window menu in the menubar, click on ‘Show Movie Inspector’ or use the Command + I shortcut.

In this inspector window above, it tells us that this audio file is a stereo 24-bit 48kHz linear PCM wav file. I like that it is able to show me what time of encoding is used such as linear PCM, A-law or otherwise. It is also able to give you information about compressed audio file formats such as mp3 or aac files. You can try this with video files and it will provide you with information of both the video and audio streams.

This is much faster than launching your DAW or paying for another third party app. I find that the output from QuickTime Player is detailed enough for majority of my use cases. Sure there are times when you might need another app for more specialised information but I hardly find myself using anything besides QuickTime Player for majority of the time.