What is FITS?

FITS is a free and open source tool for identifying and validating file formats, extracting metadata embedded within files, and outputting the metadata in various formats. It was created to do some of the file processing tasks needed to support digital preservation repositories and applications. 

Who should use FITS?

Anyone who needs to preserve digital content in a broad range of file formats. FITS was designed to be used in cases where many different types of file formats need to be processed, for example as part of the repository intake or ingest process. Another use of FITS is to embed it within a larger application, for example Archivematica.


How can I obtain FITS?

You can download FITS from our on-line Downloads page.

What do I need to run FITS?

FITS requires a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) of version 1.8 or higher. 

How do I install FITS?

Installation instructions are available on-line in the Quick Start Guide.


What is a "wrapped tool"?

It means a tool that could be used independently (like JHOVE) that is included with FITS because it performs either file format identification, file format validation and/or metadata extraction. For additional terms, see the Glossary

Video Support Details:

Video metadata support is done by using the MediaInfo tool. See the following for more information on MediaInfo:


MediaInfo is a tool developed in C++ and has separate native libraries available for each supported platform and OS architecture. FITS will load these libraries dynamically at runtime using the JNA (Java Native Access) 3rd party library distributed with FITS. See the following for more information on JNA:



If you already have MediaInfo installed on your system, the version installed in the system folders by the previous install will be the version picked up by FITS. The version you have previously installed must be the version FITS is using, or you might have incorrect metadata information returned by FITS.

To see if you already have MediaInfo installed, you can try running the following at a command prompt:

mediainfo --­­version

If a version is returned, please make sure it the version of MediaInfo supported by the version of FITS you are using. 

Currently, video support in FITS via MediaInfo will ONLY support 64­-bit OSes with a 64­-bit Java Virtual Machines (JVM).

The FITS MediaInfo tool will detect whether the OS is Windows/Mac OS X/LINUX and dynamically load the associated MediaInfo libraries for any of these OSes.

Out of the box, the FITS MediaInfo tool will ONLY be supporting the following 64-bit OSes: 

        • Windows 7, or higher - 64-bit (only tested with Windows 7)
        • Mac OS - 64-bit
        • Red Hat 6 x86_64 - 64-bit 

Please see the RELEASE.txt file for your particular FITS installation to determine the version of the MediaInfo native libraries which are distributed and compatible with that version.


What if I’d like to add another MediaInfo LINUX Distribution to FITS?

NOTE: Each OS, OS version and architecture has it’s own MediaInfo release.

Below are some hints for adding a different MediaInfo LINUX distribution to FITS:

  1. Go to the MediaInfo downloads page and select the subpage for the OS you'd like to support. MediaInfo Downloads

  2. Figure out which version to download (correct OS, correct CPU).

  3. Download the correct release file (.rpm, .deb, etc.) for the libmediainfo0 and libzen0 files.

  4. DO NOT simply install the distribution. The reason it is not recommended to simply install the distribution is that the files from the distribution will most likely be automatically placed in a system folder. If you update your FITS installation in the future and forget to update your MediaInfo files, your FITS installation might not work properly, due to FITS/MediaInfo release mismatch. Therefore, we recommend you manually extract the release. Instructions for doing this can be found on the internet. For an .rpm file, it is easiest to convert the file format from a .rpm file to a cpio file using rpm2cpio and extract the release. After you extract the distribution, go to step 5.

  5. Grab the correct files from the extracted distribution. The files you need are the libmediainfo.so.0 and libzen.so.0 files (NOTE: You might have to rename the files which are distributed).

  6. Place the files in the tools/mediainfo/linux folder under the FITS installation folder (replacing the files that are already there). FITS will automatically detect that it is running on a LINUX and load the files from that folder at startup.

Please note - One other thing which might be confusing on the MediaInfo installation page is where to find the previous version of MediaInfo to match your FITS installation. For example, at the time FITS was initially released with Video support using the MediaInfo tool, the latest version of MediaInfo was 0.7.78 and the version distributed with FITS was version 0.7.75. It was not clear how to download the older version of MediaInfo to match the FITS release. For example, supposed you wanted to support, lets say, Ubuntu 15.04, i686, version 0.7.75, the link on the downloads page only pointed to the 0.7.78 version:


To get the 0.7.75 version, one could copied the URL link from the web page's link and change it manually in a text editor to point to version 0.7.75:


Then you would paste this revised URL in a web browser and you should get to the desired release of MediaInfo.