I need to check a set of MOV files for broken timecode so I've been attempting to export the entire timecode track of an MOV file using FFMPEG.

I've attempted this:

ffmpeg -i [source] -map 0:d -c copy -f data data.txt

But it only outputs a small text file with just a couple of characters unrelated to timecode.

Then I tried:

ffmpeg -i [source] -map 0:d -c copy data.mov

and got back a timecode only mov file. Which is closer to what I am looking for.

I also tried:

ffprobe -print_format json -show_format -show_streams "input.mov">"output.json"

This showed me the starting timecode in TAG:timecode

I am looking for a means of outputting the timecode for every frame of video to a text file so that I can then scan it with a python script to look for timecode jumps.

  • See stackoverflow.com/q/58677355
    – Gyan
    Feb 4, 2022 at 4:18
  • My experience does not confirm what they are saying about MOV wrappers having only a starting timecode. There are definitely breaks that can be inserted in the timecode track of an MOV file. I've been able to make files that reset timecode in the middle of a video and jump to completely different numbers when you want them to. I haven't been able to find much information on this as I'm not sure if Apple is even developing for this wrapper anymore. Feb 4, 2022 at 4:25
  • Those may not be tmcd tracks.
    – Gyan
    Feb 4, 2022 at 4:28
  • It is an MOV file with a timecode track, exported, with video, from FCP and then sliced up with Quicktime Pro. I'll make a new one later and try to link it to this post. Feb 4, 2022 at 4:45
  • That would be helpful.
    – Gyan
    Feb 4, 2022 at 5:03


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