Good grief! No tips on how to go to a specific time work!

I’m running Audacity 2.3.2 under 64-bit Windows 7 Pro.

I’m screaming in my head about the absurdly frustrating challenge Audacity presents by making the simple task of jumping to a specific time in an audio file like trying to build a 747 in my basement! AARGH!!

Searching the forum and the online manual to answer this question yielded only two relevant results, both of which were completely wrong! No, entering the desired time into the audio position or start and end of selection fields does NOT work – in fact, it does nothing at all. Why is this extremely basic and simple operation so fiendishly difficult for non-experts? Why isn’t there an Edit or Select or Tools or Extra menu option that simply says: “Jump to time…”? Or something at least as obvious and trivial for the user?

Now I know why I’ve always preferred Goldwave.

Ok, folks, how the hell do I jump to a specific start time and make it’s location clear?

And Audacity developers? Shape up! I’m a developer myself, and there’s simply no excuse for the byzantine complexity surrounding the simplest of operations.

Enter the required time in the “Start” time control.
(See: Selection Toolbar - Audacity Manual)

Alternatively, press the “[” key, then enter the required time.
(The full list of default keybaord shortcuts is here: Commands and Keyboard Shortcut Reference - Audacity Manual)

I’ve been using Audacity since it was first released and again this morning after listening to a track in VLC and noting the time I wanted to just input that time in Audacity and start playback from there.

It seems quite odd that this explicit feature is still missing from Audacity.

As Steve tells you in the above post - just enter the start time in the “Start and End of Selection” box and press play.

Note that entering a time in the “Audio Position” box does not work for resetting the play cursor. Basically this is an output information box (and really should not be capable - of being user-modified - this is logged as en enhancement “bug” in our bug-tracker:


In the bottom toolbar, in selection put the time you want, then press two times SHIFT-z

Using version 3.4.2 in 2024 on Windows 11.

To anyone who comes in the future, here is how I was able to figure-out how to jump to specific time-stamps. First of all, make sure to click anywhere on the track so that the thin vertical black line on the tracks that indicates where you are is visible. Then like the commenters above hinted at, go to the “Selection” box in the bottom-right corner, it has two identical rows of digits which correspond to an HH:MM:SS:[deci-seconds]:[centi-seconds]:[milli-seconds] format. Next, select any digit on the lower of the two bars in order to get the cursor onto that bar, now the digits on that bar will behave much as if you were in any normal text-editor. Enter zeroes into all of the ‘digit-slots’ on that second bar—this part is essential. Now move to the upper of the two bars (“Shift”+“Tab” works here). Now just enter your time-stamp into the first bar. The thin vertical black line on the tracks that indicates where you are will move in real-time as you enter digits into that first bar (so long as you ‘zeroed’ the second bar). If you don’t zero the second bar then no matter what you do it will try and make a ‘selection’ of the track for you.

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Made an account just to thank you for giving the perfect answer.

The method works exactly how a normal “skip to time” function normally works in other programs

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