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I have a video I made for physics class, which I intend to use to measure just how long an event took to take place. I can find the start frame and end frame easily using VLC's frame-by-frame feature.

However, VLC's timer seems only to be precise to a single second, giving me no more precise an answer than "5 seconds."

Is there a way in VLC, or any other program, to identify at precisely what time a particular frame in a video takes place?

I have easy access to Ubuntu and Windows, and acquire a Mac if need be.

If precise timer is not available, what number frame I am on will also work, since I know the framerate.

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All right. For the moment I'm just going to give in and count frames by hand. However, the question is still open for future reference. Thanks! –  Matchu Jan 13 '10 at 18:42

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Give Avidemux a try. It should be able to do what you want and is freely available for Windows and Linux.

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I ended up counting frames, but then had to perform a similar task again, for which Avidemux was a great help. Thanks! –  Matchu Jan 24 '10 at 18:28

Well, seconds are integers. Video players rarely go below them to more precise measurements.

But if you know at what frame you're currently at (which is fairly commonly displayed), and you know the frame rate, you can usually calculate it to much more of a second. Or you can skip frame by frame while on a time measurement, and the moment the next second "hits", switch to frame measurement and then calculate the percent of the next second in which the particular frame occurs.

... just some crazy ideas ... have never had the need for this, so all this is untested ...

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I don't see a current-frame measurement on VLC, but I'm also fairly new with it. Is there a way to have VLC display it? –  Matchu Jan 12 '10 at 18:45
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I think VLC cannot display them. VLC was designed as a network player, therefore the concept of frames is a little vague to it. However, most of these can superuser.com/questions/45803/… –  ldigas Jan 12 '10 at 19:11
    
along with the steps to jump frame by frame are in there –  ldigas Jan 12 '10 at 19:11
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videos are measured, recorded and encoded in frames, not seconds. depending on the video, there might be 24 frames shown per second (US film style), 25 frames per second (PAL standard), or 30 frames per second (NTSC standard). you're right, tho, that video players usually don't get that precise. you probably need a video editor for that. –  quack quixote Jan 13 '10 at 4:53
    
Yep, I get the concept. So I'm in search of something that either shows frames or seconds, as stated. Thanks for clarifying for anyone else who needs it, though :) –  Matchu Jan 13 '10 at 17:51

This isn't free ($19), but Womble MPEG-VCR has frame accurate times with frame by frame stepping.

If you do a search use the key words "frame accurate", I'm sure there must be something freeware, especially for Linux.

Hope this helps.

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Any professional NLV (Non-Linear Video editing) app should handle this. They normally support a standard called SMPTE timecode, which is something like 3 or 4 digits of precision per second. Software in this category would include Sony Vegas, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, etc.

For Linux, try Cinelerra (fairly outdated and horrible to install), KDEnlive, or Pitivi. I'm sure that Cinelerra will do it, should you be able to get it running, but not so sure about the others.

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