I have a file with a timecode in one channel and audio in the other (LTC). Can InqScribe detect the timecode?

InqScribe does support embedded timecodes for certain digital media formats.

But a question we get a lot goes like this:

“I have a WAV (or MP3) file with timecode in one channel and audio in the other. Can InqScribe detect the timecode?”

Unfortunately, in this case the answer is no.

When an audio file has “timecode in one channel” it usually means the timecode was encoded as linear timecode or LTC. LTC is an analog signal and has to be converted to some other digital format before InqScribe (or QuickTime, or any other piece of software) can understand it.

Note: You can still transcribe these files. Just set InqScribe to play only the left channel (the timecode signal is on the right). You should be able to hear the audio if you set the balance to left only. If the timecodes are contiguous, then you can just adjust the timecodes you entered to match the starting time of the clip.

The analog to digital conversion process is surprisingly hard to do, which probably explains why there’s a very short list of applications that can do it. We’d love to support it if we can. In the meantime, we’ll list the few applications we’ve found in case you find them useful. (Note that we have not tried all of these applications.)

  • Final Cut Pro users may find FCP auxTC reader helpful.
  • TCode may be an option for some users; it’s unclear whether TCode can detect LTC in media files, or just from live feeds.
  • Traditionally media folks use hardware to read LTC; some devices have interfaces to allow computers to access the current timecode. (Note that InqScribe doesn’t talk to such devices.)

We’d love to see a conversion utility that can take a LTC channel and convert it to a QuickTime timecode track. Or an application that can listen in during playback and decode LTC on the fly. If we find such a solution, we’ll post it here.

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