Mac video

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!

3 Responses to “Mac video”

  1. Chris Robertson says:

    It appears as though the Unix underpinnings are showing through a bit for you. I’d expect that kind of effort to be required on my Linux machine.

    At least you got it to work. Hooray for more Darths & Droids!

  2. Crested Eaglet says:

    How are you stepping in QuickTime? On all videos I’ve tested, pressing the left and right arrow keys results in movement by one frame. In videos I’ve encoded myself at 25 frames per second, pressing the same key 25 times results in a one second change on the timeline. This applies in both the classic QuickTime 7 and new QuickTime X.

    You probably already found this, but the QuickTime Edit->Copy menu item (command-C) copies the current frame to the clipboard.

    Your previous post stated that QuickTime didn’t want to open your files at all. Sadly, this is not unusual – QuickTime is quite weak when it comes to codecs. Yes, this is odd given the reputation of the Mac as a multimedia machine. For what it’s worth, if QuickTime will load a file at all, it will also navigate smoothly. While I keep VLC for files QuickTime won’t open, I’ve always found that its navigation is very idiosyncratic. I recommend transcoding the Darths & Droids videos (or re-ripping them) to a format QuickTime can load. Even if you don’t use QuickTime Player itself, you’re much more likely to find other video player / editing tools working nicely with your files.

    Did Inkscape run without hassle? I found that it expected X11, which is lo longer part of Mac OS as of 10.8 “Mountain Lion”. Instead, it has been renamed as XQuartz and must be downloaded manually.

  3. I used the arrow keys to step. Each step looks like it’s skipping a few frames, and 4 or 5 steps advances the timeline by 1 second. So presumably each step is about 5 frames. I might give it another try to make sure.

    And yeah, I had to install XQuartz to get Inkscape to run. A bit of a pain, but I managed to get it running.

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