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Timecode

Timecode is a method of counting video frames, developed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE; often pronounced “simp-tee”). SMPTE timecode is counted in hours, minutes, seconds, and frames. It counts 30 frames per second, from 0 up to 23:59:59:29, or just under one day. Therefore, there’s a timecode hour 0 but no timecode hour 24.

The advantage of timecode is that it provides an absolute address for each frame of video—that is, each frame has a unique and unchanging number. The number acts as an address or identity, so just as a street address helps you find a specific place, timecode helps you find a specific frame.


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