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I'm running VLC 2.0.5 on Mac OS X 10.6.8.

I have a .mpg video paused, and I would like to know the frame number for this moment in the video. Is there a way to reveal that in VLC?

P.S. I scrubbed back and forth through the video to reach the point it is currently paused at.

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    For playing back videos and examining the frame details, there is a little known jewel: DJV (I think it's written by a former Lucas' employee). This is not a player (no sound). With some configuration effort you could display the current frame number with VLC but DJV has a much more consistent interface. DJV is open source.
    – mins
    Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 21:26

5 Answers 5

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I wanted to do the same but I couldn't find a way to do it with VLC.

But, according to this, you can use the drawtext filter in ffmpeg to overlay the frame number to the video permanently. So if you watch it on a player of your choice, you can always see the frame number.

For example:

ffmpeg -i video.mov \
    -vf "drawtext=fontfile=Arial.ttf: text=%{n}: x=(w-tw)/2: y=h-(2*lh): fontcolor=white: box=1: boxcolor=0x00000099" \
    output.mov
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    Tip: one might want to add fontsize=72 (or whatever) to the options to produce something more readable
    – Rag
    Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 17:58
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Apple's Quicktime Player 7 (free download @http://support.apple.com/kb/DL923) has a dead-easy way to view frames; all you have to do is click the time in the bottom left corner and select "frames". (It also supports frame-by-frame stepping with the arrow keys.) Such a pity the feature was removed in QTX, the one that ships with OSX 10.6.8. Dont worry, though, you can install then both and they won't interfere with each other.

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    This really doesn't answer the question.. Other software recommendations do not answer the question asked.
    – Seth B
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 18:55
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I don't have an OS X version, but it should be similar to the other versions. On Windows select Tools->Media Information. From the window that opens select the "Statistics" tab. Under the video section you'll see the statistics for displayed and lost frames. The frame # should be those two numbers added together.

VLC Screenshot

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    That assumes you've played the video from the beginning Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 17:35
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    Yes, that is true, but I don't think there is any way to get an absolute frame number. AFAIK that information is not typically embedded in video streams.
    – heavyd
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 17:37
  • I tried this with a nonstandard frame rate in OSX, and it didn't work at all (by the way, command-I to open it in OSX). I don't think VLC has this feature. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 17:42
  • @heavyd Thanks for the quick reply! I did find the Media Information window, but unfortunately I scrubbed back and forth through the video, so the frame count would not be accurate...
    – hpy
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 18:35
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    From user Blauhirn: Concerning Tools->Media Information->Statistics: If I compare the frames counter before and after pressing e, the number doesn't increase by 1. (but, instead, randomly by up to 300). Not knowing of another way also, I think it's simply not possible using VLC.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 3:52
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With VLC 2 or 3 on OS X, one can estimate the frame number as follows:

A. ADDON: Install Jump to time Previous Frame via the macOS menu VLC > Addons Manager or the Ubuntu menu Tools > Plugins and extensions > Addons Manager tab > Extensions. In VLC 3, click the "Find more addons online" button. The online install page is here. Restart VLC. Use VLC > Extensions > Jump to time (Previous frame) [Get time >>] button to show the HH:MM:SS,mmm lapse time.

B. CALCULATE/ESTIMATE: Convert HH:MM:SS,mmm to total lapsed seconds SS.mmm. Then total_lapsed_seconds * frame_rate_per_second = frame number.

Note: Jump To Time version 3 extension may need to be manually installed. At this time (2023.02.23) the Addons Manager is installing version 2.1.

Jump To Time extension

C. TIME: Use the "Time v3.2 (intf)" VLC Extension to display the running time _,mmm on the screen in a playing video. A [Efps] format option provides a elapsed time * fps estimate. The fps value needs to be supplied in the format, e.g. [E25]

Time Extension

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    how do you get the .mmm to show up? That's really all I want!
    – Michael
    Commented Feb 8, 2020 at 17:51
  • @Michael Currently, the _,mmm values shows in the "Jump to time" window; and, this extension does not show mmm in VLC itself. Click to Time format button to rotate through various _,mmm formats. Commented Feb 8, 2020 at 20:47
  • @Michael One could also install the Time extension for _,mmm display only. Commented Feb 8, 2020 at 23:49
  • I do not understand this extension. I am ~7 seconds into the video, and the various "Get time" formats are 2125:16:51,000, 127516:51,000, 7651011,000, 88/13:16:51,000.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 20:44
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This is not exactly an answer to the OP's question, but since I tried all the above methods and found them only partially suitable for my purposes, I now use LosslessCut.app, which can display the frame number and natively allows frame-by-frame jumping back and forth, along with many other interesting features.

LosslessCut.app Navigation Bar

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  • LosslessCut displays the accurate frame time, which is great, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to single-step frames accurately. I have source video recorded at 120 fps. It steps smoothly frame by frame in VLC media player, but in LosslessCut, pressing period to advance frames doesn't always advance to a new frame. I wonder if it advances by a fixed timestep which isn't correctly matching the video frame rate?
    – yoyo
    Commented Jan 9 at 4:11

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