Rotating Videos and Preserving Metadata

So this is a pet peeve that’s been biting me for a sometime.

Often when you take a picture with you phone or digital camera, the camera rotation sensor (gyroscope?) gets it wrong and ends  up taking a picture that is sideways (ie, rotated +/- 90 degrees).
Surely enough you can use your phone’s photo library app to rotate it and job done, sanity restored.

However, the really really annoying thing is when you camera gets the orientation of a video wrong. Rotating a video is just not a functionality that the photo library offers off the shelf. That’s because rotating a video involves actually re-enconding it from the scratch. Some nice video players (eg, VLC) allow you to rotate while playing the video, but this is fiddly and hard to remember to do every time you play the video.

So in any case, here are a few bash lines that I cobbled together to rotate a batch of videos trying to preserve as much of the metadata information as possible.

for i in $( find *.mov ); do
  IN=$i OUT=${IN}.m4v && \
  ffmpeg -i ${IN} -c:a copy -map_metadata 0:s:0  -vf "transpose=1"  -c:v libx264 -crf 23 -preset medium ${OUT} && \
  exiftool -tagsfromfile ${IN} -makernotes -make -model ${OUT} && \
  exiftool ${OUT} && \
  rm *_original
done

NOTE: To run these you will need to have ffmpeg and exiftool installed in your system.

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