So here’s my current summary of trying to find a video player for MacOS that will allow me to step frame-by-frame forwards and backwards:
- VLC: Only steps forwards, not backwards. There is a Lua script which enables backward stepping, but after installing it, it doesn’t seem to do anything. I’m not sure if I’ve installed it correctly.
- MPlayer MAC OSX: Only steps forwards, not backwards.
- MPEG Streamclip: Apparently needs the Apple MPEG-2 Playback Component to be installed to get it to work. This is a $30 purchase from the Apple download store.
- QuickTime: Step function both directions, but it is about 4 frames at once, not frame-by-frame.
- Avidemux: Managed to get this working by following some online advice and deleting two of the library files in the install (since MacOS Mountain Lion apparently has those libraries already installed in the system). After some fiddling I finally figured out that on opening a video file it needed to write an index file, and for some reason I didn’t have permission to write into my video files directory. I gave myself write permission, and it loaded the file. But to display it at the right aspect ratio I actually have to set up a video filter and show the processed video. But once all that’s done, I can step frame-by-frame in both directions! Yay!