[time-nuts] Audio format with embedded timestamps?

David G. McGaw David.G.McGaw at dartmouth.edu
Thu Dec 1 13:56:24 EST 2016

The AES3 and S/PDIF formats have provision to carry SMPTE time code within the stream.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AES3#Embedded_timecode

David N1HAC

From: time-nuts <time-nuts-bounces at febo.com> on behalf of Tim Shoppa <tshoppa at gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 1, 2016 9:19 AM
To: Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement
Subject: [time-nuts] Audio format with embedded timestamps?

I think I have asked this question at least once here in past years but I
don't remember coming away with a satisfying answer.

Is there a common digital audio format that embeds in the digital stream, a
timestamp marker of real-world-clock-time that the audio was recorded at?

At my "day job" we have many digital "system of record" phone and radio
recording systems. The best they do, is to timestamp the filenames they
generate with the start time.

In decades past at work we had multitrack audio recorders doing this, that
recorded on an independent audio track the IRIG timecode already
distributed throughout the control center. This was really spiffy because
we had a playback station that could display the IRIG timecode even under
fast forward and rewind. I suppose I could do the same with a multitrack
WAV or other common audio format file but I don't know of any software that
would support the nifty IRIG display functionality.

I know that in the TV/video editing world, they have long used SMPTE and
derivative timecodes embedded in the video signal, and I'm guessing (been a
long time since I worked in the video editing field) that modern video
editing formats have progressed the SMPTE functionality.

Tim N3QE
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