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Time::Timecode - Video timecode class and command line program


To install the timecode executable see "TIMECODE UTILITY PROGRAM".

To use with your Perl program:

 use Time::Timecode;

 my $tc1 = Time::Timecode->new(2, 0, 0, 12); # hh, mm, ss, ff
 print $tc1->fps;                            # $DEFAULT_FPS
 print $tc1;                                 # 02:00:00:12
 print $tc1->hours;                          # 2
 print $tc1->hh;                             # shorthanded version
 print $tc1->to_string('%Hh%Mm%Ss%ff')       # 2h0m0s12f

 my $tc2 = Time::Timecode->new('00:10:30:00', { fps => 25 } );
 print $tc2->total_frames;                   # 15750
 print $tc2->fps;                            # 25

 $tc2 = Time::Timecode->new(1800);           # Total frames
 print $tc1 + $tc2;                          # 02:01:00:12

 $tc1 = Time::Timecode->new('00:01:00;04');  # Dropframe (see the ";")
 print $tc1->is_dropframe;                   # 1

 my $diff = $tc1 - 1800;                     # Subtract 1800 frames
 print $tc1->is_dropframe;                   # 1, maintains LHS' options
 print $diff;                                # 00:00:02;00

 # Conversions
 my $pal  = $tc->convert(25);
 my $ntsc = $pal->convert(30), { dropframe => 1 });
 my $ndf  = $ntsc->to_non_dropframe;

 my $opts = { delimiter => ',', frame_delimiter => '+' };
 $Time::Timecode::DEFAULT_FPS = 23.976;
 $tc2 = Time::Timecode->new('00,10,30+00', $opts);
 print $tc2->fps                             # 23.976
 print $tc2->minutes;                        # 10
 print $tc2->seconds;                        # 30


Time::Timecode supports SMTPE timecodes, any frame rate, drop/non-drop frame counts, basic arithmetic, and conversion between frame rates and drop/non-drop frame counts. The only requirements are that the timecode be between 00:00:00:00 and 99:99:99:99, inclusive, and frames per second (fps) are greater than zero. This means that you can create nonstandard timecodes (feature or bug?). Dropframe rules will still apply.

Time::Timecode instances can be created from a a variety of representations, see "CONSTRUCTOR".

Time::Timecode instances are immutable.



Creates an immutable instance for TIMECODE with the given set of OPTIONS. If no OPTIONS are given the package defaults are used.


TIMECODE can be one of the following:

  • A list denoting hours, minutes, seconds, and/or frames:

     $tc1 = Time::Timecode->new(1, 2, 3)
     $tc1 = Time::Timecode->new(1, 2, 3, 0)   #same as above
  • Frame count:

     $tc1 = Time::Timecode->new(1800)   # 00:01:00:00 @ 30 fps
  • Timecode string:

     $tc1 = Time::Timecode->new('00:02:00:25')

    Timecode strings with dropframe frame delimiters

    In the video encoding world timecodes with a frame delimiter of "." or ";" are considered dropframe. If either of these characters are used in the timecode string passed to new the resulting instance will dropframe.

    This can be overridden by setting the dropframe argument to false.


OPTIONS must be a hash reference and can contain any of the following:

  • fps:

    Frames per second, must be greater than 0. Defaults to $Time::Timecode::DEFAULT_FPS

  • dropframe:

    A boolean value denoting wheather or not the timecode is dropframe. Defaults to $Time::Timecode::DEFAULT_DROPFRAME.

  • delimiter:

    The character used to delimit the timecode's hours, minutes, and seconds. Use the frame_delimiter option for delimiting the frames. Defaults to $Time::Timecode::DEFAULT_DELIMITER.

  • frame_delimiter:

    The character used to delimit the timecode's frames. Use the delimiter option for delimiting the rest of the timecode. Defaults to $Time::Timecode::DEFAULT_FRAME_DELIMITER.


All time part accessors return an integer except frames which, depending on the frame rate, can return a float.


Returns the hour part of the timecode


Returns the mintue part of the timecode


Returns the second part of the timecode


Returns the frame part of the timecode


Returns the frames per second


Returns the timecode in frames


Returns the timecode as string described by FORMAT. If FORMAT is not provided the string will be constructed according to the instance's defaults.

  $tc = Time::Timecode->new(2,0,10,24);
  $tc->to_string                        # 02:00:10:24
  "$tc"                                 # Same as above
  $tc->to_string('%02H%02M%S.%03f DF')  # 020010.024 DF

FORMAT is string of characters synonymous (mostly, in some way) with those used by strftime(3), with the exception that no leading zero will be added to single digit values. If you want leading zeros you must specify a field width like you would with printf(3).

The following formats are supported:

%H Hours

%M Minutes

%S Seconds

%f frames

%i in frames (i.e., $tc->total_frames)

%r Frame rate

%s Frames as a fraction of a second

%T Timecode in the instance's default format.

%% Literal percent character

When applicable, formats assume the width of the number they represent.

If a FORMAT is not provided the delimiter used to separate each portion of the timecode can vary. If the delimiter or frame_delimiter options were provided they will be used here. If the timecode was created from a timecode string that representation will be reconstructed.

This method is overloaded and will be called when an instance is quoted. I.e., "$tc" eq $tc->to_string


Returns a boolean value denoting whether or not the timecode is dropframe.


Converts the timecode to non-dropframe and returns a new Time::Timecode instance. The framerate is not changed.

If the current timecode is non-dropframe $self is returned.


Converts the timecode to dropframe and returns a new Time::Timecode instance. The framerate is not changed.

If the current timecode is dropframe $self is returned.

convert( FPS [, OPTIONS ] )

Converts the timecode to FPS and returns a new instance.

OPTIONS are the same as those allowed by the CONSTRUCTOR. Any unspecified options will be taken from the calling instance.

The converted timecode will be non-dropframe.


Arithmatic and comparison are provided via operator overloading. When applicable results get their options from the left hand side (LHS) of the expression. If the LHS is a literal the options will be taken from the right hand side.

Supported Operations


  $tc1 = Time::Timecode->new(1800);
  $tc2 = Time::Timecode->new(1);
  print $tc1 + $tc2;
  print $tc1 + 1800;
  print 1800 + $tc1;
  print $tc1 + '00:10:00:00';


  $tc1 = Time::Timecode->new(3600);
  $tc2 = Time::Timecode->new(1);
  print $tc1 - $tc2;
  print $tc1 - 1800;
  print 1800 - $tc1;
  print $tc1 - '00:00:02:00';


  $tc1 = Time::Timecode->new(1800);
  print $tc1 * 2;
  print 2 * $tc1;


  $tc1 = Time::Timecode->new(1800);
  print $tc1 / 2;

Pre/postincrement with/without assignment

  $tc1 = Time::Timecode->new(1800);
  $tc1 += 10;           # Add 10 frames
  print ++$tc1;         # Add 1 frame
  print $tc1--;         # Subtract it after printing

All comparison operators

  $tc1 = Time::Timecode->new(1800);
  $tc2 = Time::Timecode->new(1800);
  print 'equal!' if $tc1 == $tc2;
  print 'less than' if $tc1 < '02:00:12;22';
  print 'greater than' if $tc1 >= '02:00:12;22';
  # ....


All defaults except $DEFAULT_TO_STRING_FORMAT can be overridden when creating a new instance. $DEFAULT_TO_STRING_FORMAT can be overridden by passing a format to to_string.

$DEFAULT_FPS = 29.97




$DEFAULT_TO_STRING_FORMAT = 'HHxMMxSSxFF' where x represents the instance's frame and time separators.


Time::Timecode includes an executable called timecode that allows one to perform timecode conversions and arithmetic.

Using it requires Perl. Once Perl is installed run the following command to install it: cpan Time::Timecode


  usage: timecode [-h] [-c spec] [-f format] [-i spec] [expression]
      -h --help            option help
      -c --convert spec      convert expression according to `spec'
                             `spec' can be a number of FPS proceeded by an optional `D', `ND', `DF' or
                             a comma separated list of key=value.
                             key can be fps, dropframe, delimiter, frame_delimiter
      -f --format  format    output timecode according to `format' e.g., '%H:%M:%S at %r FPS'.
                             %H=hours, %M=mins, %S=secs, %f=frames, %i=total frames, %r=frame rate,
                             %s=frames in secs
      -i --input   spec      process incoming expressions according to `spec'; see -c for more info
      -q --quiet             ignore invalid expressions
      -v --version           print version information

  Expression can be a timecode, a number of frames, or an arithmetic expression composed one or both.
  If no expression is given timecode will read from stdin.


Convert frames to a 29.97 dropframe timecode

  timecode -c 29.97df 1800

Convert 24 to 29.97 dropframe and output the result as frames

  timecode -i 24 -c 29.97df -f %i 00:12:33:19

Subtract two dropframe timecodes

  timecode -c 29.97 23:00:04.29-00:00:05.00

Convert a list of timecodes from a file to a custom format, ignoring invalid timecodes

  cat > /tmp/times.txt

  timecode -qi 24 -f '%Hh %Mm %Ss and %f frames' < /tmp/times.txt
  02:01:00:12 2h 1m 0s and 12 frames
  02:02:21:00 2h 2m 21s and 0 frames
  02:01:00:02 2h 1m 0s and 2 frames


Time::Timecode source code
xslt-timecode - A pure, dependency free, XSLT 1.0 library for video timecode manipulation
iTunes Store Transporter: GUI - GUI and workflow automation for the iTunes Store’s Transporter (iTMSTransporter)


Made by ScreenStaring.


Jinha Kim for schooling me on dropframe timecodes.

Andrew Duncan (and David Heidelberger) for the nice drop frame algorithm.


For information about dropframe timecodes see: http://andrewduncan.net/timecodes/, http://dropframetimecode.org/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMPTE_time_code#Drop_frame_timecode


Copyright (c) 2009-2018 Skye Shaw. All rights reserved.


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.