Metadata variable: playing time

I’m looking for a variable for the playing time of an audio file.
We need to generate metadata (Broadcast WAV) for tens of thousands of digitized audio files for a public library. And I don’t feel like entering the playing time manually.
All other variables are there - but apparently there are none for the audio playing time.

Variables like @ Id3v2 … @ are unfortunately not filled automatically.
Playing time is important as this and other information must be displayed on web pages.

Maybe I’m doing something wrong. Maybe someone can help me?

You are right, this is missing :frowning:
In which time format would you expect this value? Something like 1 h 12 mn 32 s,
or 01:12:32

Thank you.
Best would be 1 h 12 mn 32 s.
Perhaps someone will read this in 100 years and then will not know the units of measurement. This is currently about the own tape recordings (1950 - 1980) of composers who are no longer living. That will be preserved for posterity.

By specifying the playing time, interested parties also know whether it is a shortened excerpt or the full length.

This will be possible in the upcoming WaveLab 10.0.50 :wink:
With 3 new variables (3 time formats), called @Duration1@ @Duration2@ @Duration3@

Hi thambrecht. I just wondered where duration is placed in any metadata as I’ve never seen it before, in files purchased frm HD Tracks, Amazon, or Apple, and thought displayed duration on web pages and players was derived from some other characteristics of the file besides standard metadata entries. I know there’s a “Time Reference” in BWF but that’s for Time Code start time of the file afaik, and there’s “TIME” in ID3v2 but apparently that’s defined as 4 characters only and HHMM only, and could be the creation time depending on your reading of the document on

Is it somewhere else in metadata that the file HHMMSS duration is placed?


In this document about BWF, page 38!!PDF-E.pdf

Duration (TD):
10 ASCII characters containing the time duration of the sound sequence.
Format: « hh:mm:ss:d »
Hours Minutes Seconds 1/10s
hh: 0…23 mm: 0…59 ss: 0…59 d: 0…9

I think Duration (TD) is the field, if not PG will correct me :wink:
and if I check in Cubase there is a field for Duration and sure in other apps too.

regards S-EH

S-EH is right, this is the only official place that I know (the BWF Coding History panel in WaveLab metadata editor).
But nothing prevents writing this info anywhere else where textual information is possible. Some ID3v2 fields, iXM, aXML…

There is also a comment function in the metadata.
aXML and Id3v2. And a description field in BTW.
You can write in the type of tape machine, playback speed, etc.
Likewise the devices used and the recording chain.
And here the client demands also the playing time. Since the state finances the funds, I can’t talk into it.

Of course the file will reflect its playing time.
But if someone cuts the audio file from 21 minutes into 7 pieces of 3 minutes each, we see in the aXML oder Id3v2 comment that there is an uncut original with 27 minutes.
That’s why I need a function that writes the playing time as a variable in the comment.

Note: what WaveLab 10.0.50 will write, is the duration of the source file. If you apply time stretching to the file, the written time will not match the stretched file.

Thank you for the explanation. That’s an impressive amount of metadata.

Thanks S-EH. I hadn’t even thought of that, and didn’t realize that was visible in Cubase (not in Wavelab). In BWF MetaEdit tech (is that the chunk?) Duration is fixed and can’t be edited, so I assume it can’t be edited by the user in Cubase either?

and if I check in Cubase there is a field for Duration and sure in other apps too.

Where do you see a Duration field in Cubase?


That is the problem.
The playing time is not editable and changes itself if someone manipulates the file. We do never see the original.
This was done correctly with the MD5 checksum. The total there remains the same, even if someone manipulate the file.

I don’t think this Duration is standard WAV/BWF metadata, this is something internal to the media bay.

What about BWFMetaEdit app
is that Duration field correct ?

or is it where the Duration is written in BWF audio file?

regards S-EH

I think this is the duration guessed from the contents (like file size), not metadata.