Audacity 2.0.6, slight length inconsistency

This might be nothing, but I have to check. I just recorded some stuff and took a 3 hour chunk of it with the selection thing at the bottom of the window, with 0.00.00 as start and 3.00.00 as the end, I made this into a microsoft .wav file.

Now when I put this file into Sony Vegas, it says it’s 3 hours, but if I select it just in the folder its in, Windows says it’s 2.59.59. I would be inclined to say this is just windows being lame, but I have 3 hour recordings made by recordpad, and both windows and vegas identify it as 3 hours.

Is this just an aesthetic bug of audacity’s export process? Because if I am actually missing a second and vegas is confused on the length of the audio, it’ll cause me problems down the line.

I’d guess it’s a rounding difference. Some of the applications may be truncating and others rounding. One second resolution is not that precise. You may need to get down to milliseconds or even down to the sample count. i.e. At 44.1kHz, there are 44,100 samples per second, or 44 samples in one millisecond. If you get the resolution down to the sample count the timing will be exact and I’m sure all of the applications will agree.

But milliseconds was part of it… it’s just everything was at zeros, perhaps I should try ‘length’ instead of ‘end’?

When Audacity exports in WAV format, the length is absolutely accurate down to the nearest sample. So if you export with a sample rate of 44100 Hz, then the exported length is accurate to the nearest 1/44100th of a second (about 0.023 milliseconds). It wouldn’t surprise me if Windows reports it slightly differently.
To check that you have actually exported the right length, open a new Audacity window and import the WAV file. With the entire file selected, check the length in the Selection toolbar “Length” box.