The National Archive has released a file-profiling tool, originally developed to support its archiving effort.
The open source tool, called Droid (Digital Record Object Identification) has been designed to scan millions of files at a time and identify hundreds of different file formats, including most document, audio, video and image files in common use. Droid can identify more than 770 formats, using a combination of file format extensions and 300-plus digital signatures that look inside the file itself to determine its format.
Jessie Owen, head of digital continuity at the National Archives, said: "Droid was devised as a simple solution to the increasingly complex problems associated with managing digital data. The National Archives has made it available to anyone wishing to manage their files better, from personal computers to businesses, charities and Government departments. The latest version is faster and more accurate than ever before."
The Droid program is written in Java and licensed under the BSD open source licence, It can be downloaded and run without restrictions free of charge.