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What video players out there exists that have frame by frame playback feature ?

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closed as not constructive by slhck Dec 29 '12 at 8:25

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I can't submit my own answer since this is closed, but I just found PotPlayer. D is previous frame, F is next frame. – leetNightshade Dec 10 '14 at 20:18
Also the command line MLT melt can function as a player, and has "h = previous frame, l = next frame" – sdaau Feb 23 '15 at 17:49
This was a very constructive topic for me. Perhaps not in your opinion. – P a u l Aug 4 '15 at 18:16
up vote 4 down vote accepted

SMPlayer can do that.

Pause the movie

from the menu choose Play > Frame step or press . (dot)

SMPlayer is free and open source. a portable version is also available.

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It's lame that it allows only frame step "forward" and not back. – pelesl Aug 9 '12 at 0:13
That feature is available in the "base" mplayer, too. But it sucks. I'd suggest to use a NLE program like virtualdub or kdenlive. – dom0 Jul 30 '13 at 16:08
You can step backwards according to this feature request. Not a clue how, have asked on the thread though. – Louis Maddox Mar 23 '15 at 17:40

Media Player Classic (Home Cinema) Sourceforge

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An official download link might be nice. – Ben S Sep 23 '09 at 19:22
Added, thanks. – outsideblasts Sep 23 '09 at 19:24
To access that function, all you need to do is pause the video and press the left and right arrow to go back and forth by one frame. – alex Sep 23 '09 at 21:06

I've landed on this page quite often when trying to watch video clips frame by frame. Having tried many of the suggestions, I'm still frustrated with the lack of availability or ease of use of such a feature, which I find indispensable in an analytic environment (I'm not trying to go frame by frame on Leia's slave costume).

Today having tried VLC only to discover it has a frame by frame forward but not backward, and subsequently landed on the VLC forums where many users ask for the feature, I learned something. It is apparently not an easy thing to do for certain codecs (as far as I can tell, the ones designed for streaming, or "multi-frame" compressions). For example, ImageJ will save AVI files which are evidently a sequence of JPEG images more or less concatenated into a single file. So here frame by frame is easy---the "codec" is "frame based". Take an MPEG movie, where if, on frame 512, the top left corner has not changed since frame 265, video players are unable to go backwards and render the image correctly for frame 511 without theoretically loading some unknown number of previous frames to build a "history" of the image.

Needless to say I do not believe any manipulation of data is impossible with a computer and certainly if these video players can render to the screen they could keep a buffer in RAM with a history of rendered frames to at least allow some amount of frame by frame, but this is not feasible for an entire HD movie and thus, at least in VLC's case, they don't see the point of implementing it for clips of some maximum duration.

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There's a plugin for that! – Louis Maddox Mar 23 '15 at 17:26

Quick time can do it.

Hold down K and tap J or L – allows you to scrub the video in slow motion, viewing in either rewind or forward frame by frame

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Or pause with space bar and use left-right arrow keys. But of course, QT is Mac/Windows only. The question doesn't specify the OS, but if it is for Linux there seems to be no player with the ability to go back frame by frame. I have to use a WinXP VM with QT for that. – mivk Nov 30 '13 at 13:17


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The KMPlayer will do this.

Space to pause and then f to advance frame (Shift+f to step back).

Review of KMP.

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mplayer will can do this. You can press . to go to the next frame

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I use Zoom Player. Control frame-by-frame playback using the mouse scroll wheel. both ways.

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Downloaded 2012-08-08. I found the mouse wheel zooms by default. The frame-by-frame seems unreliable for an AVI created in MATLAB; the player acknowledges "next frame" and "previous frame" but the image does not always change. Perhaps compression really trips up these players which are aiming for a huge feature set. – pelesl Aug 9 '12 at 0:22

ImageJ can load some videos as a stack which makes frame-by-frame easy in either direction.

It's significantly limited as far as codecs.

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