How to find the duration of a video file in Python

In this article, we will discuss how to find the duration of a video file with the help of Python. You may need this for your project or experimental scripting purposes.

The solution is extremely simple and can be done just within a few lines.

Installation of the package: moviepy

Handling the video file in its raw binary format will make things complicated instead, we will use an external library based on Python called moviepy.

The first step is to install moviepy and for that, we will use the package manager, pip. To install moviepy, run the following command in your command prompt.

pip3 install moviepy

This is all you need to proceed with the actual code. The package moviepy is based on ffmpeg, which will be installed as one of the dependencies so you need not worry about it. The library supports most of the common video formats that are currently in use.

To test if the package installed correctly, run the following code on the Python shell.

import moviepy

If you have no errors, you are good to proceed.


Python program to find the duration of a video file

Once we are done with the installation of the packages, we are already done with most of the work. The actual code required for this is extremely short and simple which will be discussed now.

We need to import the moviepy library or specifically the editor class of the moviepy module.

import moviepy.editor

Now, create an object of the VideoFileClip class by referencing the location of the video file as a parameter.

video = moviepy.editor.VideoFileClip("D:\path\to\video.mp4")

We can now access the duration member of the class which will contain the duration of the video file in seconds which can be formatted into our desired format.

video_duration = int(video.duration)

The complete code which only consists of a few lines is mentioned below

import moviepy.editor

# Converts into more readable format
def convert(seconds):
    hours = seconds // 3600
    seconds %= 3600

    mins = seconds // 60
    seconds %= 60

    return hours, mins, seconds

# Create an object by passing the location as a string
video = moviepy.editor.VideoFileClip("D:\path\to\video.mp4")

# Contains the duration of the video in terms of seconds
video_duration = int(video.duration)

hours, mins, secs = convert(video_duration)

print("Hours:", hours)
print("Minutes:", mins)
print("Seconds:", secs)


I hope this article was useful in helping you to find the duration of a video file. In case you need to discover more functionalities of the moviepy library, you can refer to its documentation here.

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