ffmpeg -i myvid.mp4  -r  25  -t  100  image-%d.jpeg 

Is the command I'm using to extract frames and it's working just like I expected. However I'd also like to look at the timestamps of the frames. At whatever precision. 100 miliseconds is good enough for me. Can ffmpeg do this?

Providing additional details,

When I run the above command i get around 100 JPEGs, I guess there is a 1 to 1 (or many to 1) correspondence between these JPEGS and frames of the video. I would like to know the timestamp of the frame that was output as a JPEG image 'i'.

Additionally I tried ffprobe but I find it reports even the video duration inaccurately :(

  • As what? AFAIK jpeg has no such metadata. The EXIF timestamp is for capture time.
    – Rajib
    Nov 18, 2014 at 19:04
  • Sure the JPEG doesn't have the metadata, but the mp4 might. Can I direct ffmpeg to pull it along with the frames which it later encodes as JPEGS and dump the time stamps in a file?
    – Srini
    Nov 18, 2014 at 19:06
  • Please include the complete ffmpeg console output from your command.
    – llogan
    Nov 18, 2014 at 20:19
  • ffprobe can give you the timestamp information from the mp4 video stream. Are you asking as if frames may be duplicated or dropped then what is the correspondence to the original mp4 timestamps? In that case I would explore increasing the verbosity settings to see if you can get the frame by frame during execution. Could you expand on what you mean by "timestamps associated with frames".
    – dstob
    Nov 18, 2014 at 21:41
  • @dstob The timestamps associated with frames are the presentation timestamps of the input video, i.e. when each frame should be shown, relative to the start of the video.
    – slhck
    Nov 19, 2014 at 20:19

1 Answer 1


What you can do is "simulate" the image writing process by filtering with the fps filter, then using ffprobe to show the timestamps of the generated frames. This means that at 25 fps, the 50th frame (like your 50th image) will have a PTS of 2.00 seconds.

You do it like this:

ffprobe -f lavfi -i "movie=input.mp4,fps=fps=25[out0]" -show_frames -show_entries frame=pkt_pts_time -of csv=p=0

Will output:


These are the timestamps for each output image. You can actually combine the list of frames and the timestamps:

ls -1 image-*.jpeg > images.txt
ffprobe -f lavfi -i "movie=input.mp4,fps=fps=25[out0]" -show_frames -show_entries frame=pkt_pts_time -of csv=p=0 > frames.txt
paste images.txt frames.txt > combined.txt

Will create a file with:

image-0001.jpeg 0
image-0002.jpeg 0.04
image-0003.jpeg 0.08
image-0004.jpeg 0.12

Note that this may result in extraneous lines if there are too many frames or too many lines of info output. It seems a little inaccurate there.

  • Is this the timestamp in relation to a constant framerate placed on the output or the correspondence of the outputted jpegs to the original mp4 timestamps that could be any framerate and have any timestamp values?
    – dstob
    Nov 21, 2014 at 4:13
  • This timestamp is based on the requested output framerate. It relates to both the output pictures as well as the original input video frames those pictures came from—there is only one time base. This works because when changing the framerate, ffmpeg will (of course) not play the video faster, but "stretch" the presentation time of each frame, and drop unneeded frames.
    – slhck
    Nov 21, 2014 at 7:25
  • Why does there have to be only one time base when you are manually creating the output time base? This won't always be the case of course but on the first 60 fps video I threw at it, ffmpeg just created its own time base ignoring the time stamps of the input.
    – dstob
    Nov 21, 2014 at 19:01
  • 1
    Not sure I understand what exactly you're getting at. ffmpeg selects as input timebase whatever it parses as the first input file's timebase. You can of course also tell ffmpeg to throw away the input timestamps with -vsync drop, but that happens after filtering, IIRC.
    – slhck
    Nov 21, 2014 at 19:57

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