Timestamp of exported (from selection) wav file


I have a feature request here. I need to elaborate a bit to get to the point.

I have a sound recording device that I use to document different sounds. This stores the sounds as regular wav files on a sd card. When I arcive the sound files I need only one (or maybe several) smaller part(s) of the sound file.

Now, the problem I faces is that time (clock) is essensial and all exported wav files (from Audacity) are having the time stamp that reflect the time when I edit/strip the sound, and not when the sound actually occured.
So basically all the files I have exported has wrong time.

Up to this time I have made myself a text file in same folder as the exported wav files is stored and having a list of the file names and the time the sound occured.

Requested feature: Preserve time when exporting
So if I was to choose a result for this, it would be that in the save/Export dialog box, there should be an extra chechk button that is labeled “Preserve time stamp” or something similar.
Since most of the records is several minutes in length, the time stamp should add the start time (of selection) to the original file (wav file opened in Audacity) time stamp. That will prevent two exported areas of a sound having same time stamp.

Just for references Irfanview have such a choice when saving an image with a new file name (or size).

Thanks :smiley:

Thanks, I moved this to the correct “Adding Features to Audacity” board.

So you have two different requests, is that so? You want a checkbox as you describe in Irfanview to preserve the time stamp of an imported file, and you want a feature to add a string to the file name corresponding to the start of the timeline being exported? Would a string corresponding to the region being exported (start and end time) be better?

Note that Audacity does not open audio files directly but imports their audio into a project. So we also have the case that user may not have imported any file, they may have recorded something into Audacity. Or user may have imported multiple files into the same project. We have the same difficulty with requests for an “export overwrite” feature, in particular, the overwrite could only easily be to the file name of the first imported file and at the moment the export dialogue does not automatically open at the directory a file is opened from. So this is the more complex of the two requests.


Two? I thaught I had one. But one wouldn’t had any value without the other.

No and yes. Additional string to the file name is not what I tried to propose but the file modification time to the file/filesystem.

Adding a string to the original file name is a solution I frankly haven’t decided. It works, I think - but I like to avoiding long file names.
And yes, it would be better than having a separate list file any way.

In my case I always have existing audio files that having correct timestamp.

I think I didn’t get what you ment with that :question:

Some people would find it useful I think to add the Timeline selection into the file name. I thought that was what you meant. You want (I think) to create a new file having the time created stamp of the imported file? But how can you “add” the time of the selection into that timestamp? What file property do you want to add that into? Or if the file creation time is 23:00 April 26th, and you select from one minute into the file, you want the time created to be 23:01 April 26th?

As I said, Audacity does not open the file, so it is not as obvious to Audacity as it is to Irfanview which file is supposed to have the timestamp left unchanged. The fact that when you import a file, File > Export does not go to the directory you imported from does not help.


Yes, that is what I tried to suggest :smiley:

OK I will add your votes (it’s still two separate ideas).

But, aren’t the file creation times unreliable anyway? If you make a five-minute recording from 23:00 to 23:05 and save it, isn’t the timestamp 23:05? Or do you already have a way to modify the time created stamp to 23:00?


I think to get a creative solution to this question, it’s necessary to know exactly why you need to have the files timestamped. Obviously, something will be done with them later that requires timestamps, but what is it? Do you need to sort them by timestamps? Is there another program that will access them and can only use timestamps, and not filenames, to sort or manipulate the files?
While I’ve only done some minor coding and programming, it seems to me that it’s not as difficult to write a script that records the original file’s timestamps, and also save a file with a name based on that timestamp, than it is to actually alter the system timestamp itself.

Here’s an alternate solution to get relative timestamps in file names, although it takes a bit of effort.
Note the timestamp of the original file and type it into notepad (just for now), and copy the text of it.
Add a label track.
Now at each cut, add a label and paste the timestamp in and append the Selection Start time, so if your timestamp was 12APR2012.12.57.55, and your selection start is at 20.1 seconds, the label would be 12APR2012.12.57.55_20.1. Yes, I know it’s a long name, but depending on how exact you need the timestamp, you can cut some of that out.
Then you can Export Multiple to get files with these names.

One small improvement to Audacity could make this easier: In Export Multiple, add another option to name files by Prefix before Label/Track Name - I could see that being useful in other situations, too.

OK I’ll add a vote for that, too.


Hi. Yes, you’ve right on that.
On my recorder, the file modification time is set to the stop time, and the file created time is set to the start time of clip.

Hi. Good idea. I will try that and see if it can improve my workflow.

Agree. Vote on that too :smiley:

Program for manually altering timestamp (Windows)
I’ve done some research and found a working program on the internet that is capable to alter timestamp on individual files. The program I refer to is SKTimeStamp :wink:


There is another one worth mentioning as it bundles many other tools with timestamp changing, including advanced renaming, find and replace text in files and deleting files that are locked by some process or other: http://www.lopesoft.com/en/fmtools/info.html .