Allow Custom Framerate Timecode


One of my primary use cases for Audacity is audio review in my video editing pipeline. While Audacity is a fantastic tool in this respect, I am frustrated by the limitation to certain timecode framerates in the “Audio Position” dialog (e.g. hh:mm:ss + 24fps, 25fps, 72fps), as I often work in 48fps for greater resolution within 24fps film.

It would be lovely if Audacity had the option to set a custom framerate for sub-second time increments.

I can hear the developer running to hide behind the garage.


SMPTE Time Code® is not an arbitrary thing. It has very specific characteristics designed for all the television and film framerates. Adding an arbitrary one means going back through all the others to make sure you didn’t break anything.

Check out Drop Frame NTSC where nothing ever comes out even.

This could be relatively simple, but I sure doubt it.

SMPTE does have space for User Bits. People have been known to put their own time data in there.


That’s a good point, I had forgotten about the oddities of drop-frame and related. That said, this works in Adobe Audition, presumably just by coercing the sub-second unit to the desired second-fraction (I’m going to guess Audacity uses a decimal-like construct to store timecodes internally, judging on what I’ve seen it export). As to how accurate this is over a large period of time, I cannot attest, but it seems to be accurate enough for my use. And realistically, it doesn’t seem to me that exponential accuracy loss would be a significant issue, assuming that Audacity uses the aforementioned internal timecode.

Obviously I’m not a decent sample for the needs of the Audacity userbase, but it’s something that’d be nice to have.