Should timecode be time of day or 00:00:00:00 for media that doesn't have a real timecode?

Continuing the discussion from Adding timecode from middle of clip:

Currently, Cortex uses the creation time as the timecode for clips that don’t have a real timecode. The thinking was that this would make it easier to sync this footage to audio recorded with time of day timecode.

But we’ve also had some requests to change the default behavior and use 00:00:00:00 instead of the creation time, for better compatibility with what other editing systems do.

We haven’t made a decision about that yet and I think it’d be good to get more input from the community here before we do so. Please share your thoughts here if you have any.

Why not both? Have an option somewhere that lets the user decide.

I think there will always be a camp who says to use time-of-day and another camp that says to use 00:00:00:00.

That’s possible. But I’m hoping to get a feel for how big each of these camps are :smile:

Quick update on this… in some future version we are very likely to switch things over to default to 00:00:00:00 for files that don’t actually have a timecode. It won’t happen right away, but I wanted to give people a heads up. Please chime in if you have strong opinions!

the 00:00:00:00 option is better for our experience in later conform
some grading soft could read this as frame count or absolute frame number…
also when you have no TC default is normally to start at 00 and count from there…

so this could be a good option to have…


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I’d like to see a choice of either TOD or key in the TC you want to start with. The key in option could default to zeros.

For anyone who has multiple cameras covering an event, such as the shoot of a sitcom, TOD is quite helpful in finding whether you have something usable from the camera in question at a particular time.

If zero or some other arbitrary start would be advantageous in some later process, maybe the way to go is to make it easy to re-stripe TC at that point. Discarding information should be easy, right?

– J.S.


FYI, you can edit the timecode of any clip now… It can be manually entered, or taken from the header or the filename if available.

Even if we move forward with the change to have the timecode default to 00:00:00:00, perhaps we should add an additional option there to set the timecode based on the file creation time (presumably TOD).

Adding the option to start with creation time/TOD might work. Instead of doing it manually on a clip by clip basis, we’d probably want to be able to select and change dozens to thousands at a time.

– J.S.

You should be able to select multiple clips now and edit the timecode…

Also, just to be clear, this discussion is only about clips without a real timecode. Most productions today record their primary footage on cameras that do have timecode and set it to record as Time of Day.

I moved 3 posts to a new topic: GoPro trascodes taking audio TC?