Markers Import - Export

I’ve been trying to move back and forth between DAWs, mostly because of my work, while most projects require the use of a destructive editing such as Audition or RX, some other projects see benefits of Non Destructive editing, and for those where I need to move location information between different DAWs, it’s been pretty hard to work with Ardour (or Mixbus for that matter), I am able to recreate locations from the MP4 markers on the export function, and I can take those into an excel sheet and modify them to match ProTools or Audition standards, that’s annoying but easy…

But importing to Ardour however… is there any way so far we can do that? at least in the same format that Ardour outputs the MP4 list?

I know I did this once, but I had to go deep into the session XML to grab or insert markers, a complete nightmare, ideas?

With a standard shell script, this should be pretty easy, and with a package that does nice XML parsing, even easier. LUA could handle this? I don’t know what the target output should be (i.e. what does ProTools want?), otherwise I could comment more.

Seeing the XML shows that it’s pretty straight forward on the Ardour-side:

$ for file in */*.ardour
> do
> echo $file
> grep '<Location' $file
> echo ' '
> done
  <Locations>
    <Location id="340" name="session" start="0" end="7161081" flags="IsSessionRange" locked="0" position-lock-style="AudioTime" timestamp="1650042697"/>
    <Location id="13713" name="Loop" start="207568" end="415135" flags="IsAutoLoop" locked="0" position-lock-style="AudioTime" timestamp="1653671352"/>
    <Location id="14030" name="SOURCE" start="21516973" end="21516973" flags="IsMark" locked="0" position-lock-style="AudioTime" timestamp="1653674307"/>

It does seem to me that with programming knowledge this shouldn’t be as hard, for example, this is an output from Ardour’s MP4 txt List:

“00:00:00.000 Intro
00:00:00.000 raz_myteacher_lc63_title_text
00:00:09.247 raz_myteacher_lc63_p3_text
00:00:13.732 raz_myteacher_lc63_p4_text
00:00:15.964 raz_myteacher_lc63_p5_text”

Then I took this, replaced " " with a “tab-key”, sent that to Excel and transformed the Timecode to Samples, so my Audition markers CSV output is:

“Name Start Duration Time Format Type Description
Intro 0 0 44100 Hz Cue
raz_myteacher_lc63_title_text 0 0 44100 Hz Cue
raz_myteacher_lc63_p3_text 407793 0 44100 Hz Cue
raz_myteacher_lc63_p4_text 605581 0 44100 Hz Cue
raz_myteacher_lc63_p5_text 704012 0 44100 Hz Cue”

And Audition can read this perfectly, and you can also import the same CSV file with timecode instead of samples, just need to specify the parameters.

Protools has a similar markers output, and of course they are not compatible, I use excel sheets to transform them, so my point with this thread is not to address that compatibility, but the functionality, of being able to not only export markers (without exporting any audio), but also to import markers, independently of the CSV arrange, it would be amazing of course if we had compatibility for markers from Audition, RX, Protools etc, but that’s another thing.

As I only use Ardour from time to time, it is likely that I am just missing something, perhaps this has been addressed already?

If you export the markers from pro-tools as MIDI you should be able to import them directly into Ardour.

Some field recorders from Sound Devices and Tascam embed marker information in their metadata that can be imported by some DAWs and audio editors, including Reaper, Audition, Audacity, and Acon Acoustica. There was a discussion about bringing the ability to Ardour awhile back and I remember sending Paul a .wav file recorded on a Sound Devices recorder with markers embedded.