Jiff Slater
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30 Jul 2021
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Searching and executing for only a set of specific file types by extension
16 January 2021

I recently needed to copy a bunch of videos over a slow performing network and hard disk and didn’t want to copy over extraenous files. I used a combination of rsync and find to make sure that only the files I needed were executed and played.

Sending files over
$ rsync -rv ./ --filter "+ */" --filter "+ *.mp4" --filter "+ *.mkv" --filter "- *" user@host:./

Executing (playing) the files
$ find . -type f -name "*.mkv" -print0 -or -name "*.mp4" -print0 | sort -Rz | xargs -0 -n1 omxplayer -r -o hdmi

Quick break down of the commands.

The -print0 && -0 uses GNU extensions to tell both find and xargs to ignore whitespace and only start a new iteration when there’s a null character (‘\0’). The sort command randomises the output and reads line by line using nul termination ('z'). xargs -n1 means to pass the arguments line by line to the following command.