Anyone know of a program that will add a visible date and time stamp to a video file? Preferably, I can just put in the start time of the video and it will just keep incrementing the time as the video plays.

6 Answers 6


You can use ffmpeg to display current localtime:


ffmpeg -i input -vf "drawtext=fontfile=/usr/share/fonts/TTF/Vera.ttf: text='%{localtime}': x=(w-tw)/2: y=h-(2*lh): fontcolor=white: box=1: boxcolor=0x00000000@1" image%03d.png

See Can ffmpeg extract images from a video with timestamps? for more examples.


Timecodes can be added in Sony Vegas. It's possible to adjust the vertical and horizontal allignment and scale of the timecodes as well as the format (Time, Frames, Feet).

Open or create a new project in Sony Vegas and switch to the 'Video FX' tab, find the Timecode effect, click and drag one of the formats onto your media event. In my example I've chosen to use the 'Time & Frames' timecode which displays in hours, minutes, seconds and frame number (HH:MM:SS:FF)

enter image description here

If you don't own this software, and you only intend to add a time stamp, you can download a free 30-day trial from the Sony Vegas website.


Most pro non-linear editors (NLEs) such as Vegas or FinalCut include something to do that. Search the documentation for "timecode burn" or "window burn". I know in Sony Vegas it's one of the text effects. While it's possible that the prosumer NLEs like Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, Vegas Studio may have that functionality, I just don't know about those products for sure.

good luck!

  • Moviemaker does allow you to do a fixed date stamp as a caption, but you can't easily add a changing timecode.
    – Dr Mayhem
    Jun 6, 2012 at 18:00
  • Good info to know! I suspect that may be the case with most prosumer/consumer products.
    – dwwilson66
    Jun 6, 2012 at 18:20
  • Windows Movie Maker does not have this function
    – Ambo100
    Jun 22, 2012 at 18:48
  • Thanks for the general answer, the ones referring to specific paid programs aren't particularly useful if the OP doesn't list a program they own. Dec 20, 2014 at 0:53

For example Motion has textgenerators for this task. Just look for "Timecode" and "Time & Date" in the effect-library.

But most compositing and editing applications can do that.


Adobe Premiere has this functionality.

Search for "Timecode" in Effects tab.

  • That doesn't actually seem to put the date/time of when the clip was taken. Is that normal?
    – hendry
    Mar 9, 2014 at 13:37

There is a tool for Sony Vegas Pro (not free) that can grab the recording metadata and burn it on the movie.


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