Hidden Gem in Totem

This morning Nicu sent me a video to show his usage of the GNOME Shell as he promised in response to my GNOME Shell Usability Test Plan.
As I was viewing the video in totem I wanted to pause on particular parts of the animation on Nicu’s desktop to try to get a better feel for how it was behaving. I really needed to step slowly through, frame-by-frame, to find the exact frame I was looking for. I looked in the totem menus to see if such a control existed, but I did not find it, so I mentioned in IRC, ‘ i wish there was a way to get totem to go frame-by-frame.’
Turns out there is! It’s a hidden gem – keep hitting the ‘.’ key with a video open in totem to progress through the video frame-by-frame. To move frame-by-frame backwards, in future versions of totem you’ll be able to hit the ‘,’ key. When I was talking to totem hacker extraordinaire Bastien about how to use the feature and how useful it was, he added some suggestions for improving the feature that will make it even easier for me to review usability videos in detail:

It turns out Bastien added this feature to totem some time ago now, so I thought I would share this little tip in case it helped anyone else out!


  1. Dolorias says:

    This Feature is implemented in mplayer too.
    Sry for bad English.

  2. Woah, time-travel.
    But seriously, it looks like the date on this post has been mixed up.

    1. Whoops I'm not sure how that happened, fixing it now!

  3. Sorry for the bad video quality… but was really impossible to run gtk-RecordMyDesktop for a good looking screencast, I would have probably needed a monster CPU for that.

Leave a Reply to mairin Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.