recording timestamps

Does Ardour (A3 in particular) store a timestamp (system time-of-day) of recorded audio anywhere?

The use-case I have in mind goes like this: I record one or more stretches of time which I later edit; eventually I export segments of the original recording into several separate audio files. When converting the exported audio to a format that supports metadata (eg, Ogg, MP3), I would like to include an accurate timestamp for the start time of that piece of audio.

I figured that if I knew the “absolute” time for some easily identifiable point - say, the beginning or end of a region - it should be easy (with the GUI at least) to calculate the start time of a range to be exported, using the delta between them. (I realize regions can be moved around after recording; the region boundary idea is just intended as an illustration.)

In the very simple case of creating a new session, recording just one set of tracks for some period of time, and then exiting, I found that the modification time of the directory interchange/session/audiofiles seems to be pretty close to the start time of the recording, since (AFIACT) the audio files are created then. I had initially expected the mod times of the individual audio files in that directory to be close to the time I had stopped recording - however, it appears the files are written once more when Ardour exits (if not before) so the original recording end time is lost.

Which leads me to a different but related question… It appears that if one records multiple segments of audio on a track, with some time between them – in my case, enabling and disabling recording on a track as recording continues on other tracks – the audio data from all the segments is written to one wav file. I had initially discovered this when I accidentally dragged a boundary of one of the (separate) regions thusly recorded beyond its initial location – instead of hitting a stop, I wandered into audio from a different segment of the recording. At first this was quite confusing, and when I figured out what had happened I wondered whether there was any advantage to this design. Would it make any more/less sense to write each recording segment to a separate file? Or possibly provide an option to constrain region boundaries to stop at (or maybe be “magnetically attracted” to) time discontinuities in the underlying audio file? At the end of the day this isn’t a big deal, but for me it would be nice to know when recording started and/or stopped on each segment.

I’m probably missing something obvious with all this… I tried Googl’ing for recording timestamps and Ardour. I found were references to broadcast wav and positioning of imported audio files, but I didn’t see anything about Ardour’s own recording files.


There is no time-of-day stamp stored anywhere. Timestamps are always taken from the timeline (playhead position, more or less).