[time-nuts] Audio format with embedded timestamps?

Chris Albertson albertson.chris at gmail.com
Thu Dec 1 11:18:55 EST 2016

I think you have answered your own question.  Use SMPTE.  The video
container file can hold audio.

One other idea:  Use a stereo audio format and record your audio to one
track and a time code (like IRIG) on the other track.   IRIG works even on
analog multitrack tape recorders.  Use it the same way on digital
multitrack recordings.  Google IRIG Time Code.

On Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 6:19 AM, Tim Shoppa <tshoppa at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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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Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California

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