[ardour-users] Snapshots and filing best practice

Peter Lutek plutek at infinity.net
Wed Oct 26 17:49:38 PDT 2005

Mike Jewell wrote:

>I've been using Ardour for a year or so now and recently have been off
>and on working on a little script to rename an ardour project per a
>couple of recent threads on this list.  Nothing like trying to automate
>some process to help you really learn how the process works and what any
>problems are!   8^)
>Anyway, I think I have come up with a "best practice" for saving your
>Ardour projects using snapshots as well as some suggestions for future
>improvements for Ardour filing.  I was thinking I might actually try to
>contribute this to the Ardour Wiki manual if the consensus here is that
>I'm on the right track.  I'd really like to do something to return to
>the Ardour community a little of the benefit I've gotten from this great
>So, please let me know if you agree or disagree with my take on this
>subject.  My conclusions are based on empirical info (experimenting),
>day to day usage (not advanced) and quite a few years working in a
>"Unix" environment.  I'm especially interested in Paul D's feedback
>since he (obviously) knows the inner workings of Ardour better than
>Here's my documentation so far:
>General Ardour filing usage notes:
>Some of the defaults in Ardour reflect questionable filing practice.
>The most glaring example is the naming of snapshot files.  With these
>files, it is very important to be able to see at a glance, the time
>order of creation and/or last modification.  To do this the names should
>contain the date and time in order of most significant portion to least.
>For example, something like: 2005_07_08_16_03_21_Fri.ardour clearly and
>simply represents Friday, July 8th, 2005 at 4:03:21 PM. Notice there are
>no spaces or special characters in the name and if you do a simple
>listing, these files will list in the correct order of their creation.
>Until this gets fixed, using snapshots in Ardour will always be
>problematic.  But there are some things you can do to improve the
>After researching for and writing a script to change Ardour project
>names it became clear that the best way to use the current Ardour filing
>is to simply always write snapshots and never do a "save" after
>"open"ing one but rather just write another snapshot.  They are cheap
>and, if you don't re-save them, the filenames (even with the bad
>practice of containing spaces) will at least contain correct time/date
>info, though they won't list in proper order if you use Ardour's
>defaults.  But that too can easily be worked around by a simple, one
>line script in your personal bin directory. I call mine dt (date/time)
>and it contains:
>   date +'%Y_%m_%d_%H_%M_%S_%a' .
>You can have a small term window somewhere where you just type dt, do a
>"Shift-Ctrl-C" and then a "Shift-Ctrl-V" in the ardour snapshot name
>pop-up window and you now have names that make sense.
>Don't worry (unless you are low on disk space) about not being able to
>get rid of unused source audio files after doing a cleanup (since they
>are used in one or more snapshots) until you are all finished with your
>project.  At that time (or any time you are sure you don't need certain
>snapshots) you can delete all the old un-needed snapshots, do your
>cleanup and maybe even rename the final good snapshot to
>"projectname.ardour" .
i like it, mike. unfortunately, it requires quite a few keystrokes to do 
a save. seems to me we should have a keyboard shortcut for snapshot 
save, plus the ability to define the date/time format for snapshot 
names. then it would be a simple matter of hitting the shortcut and, 
bam, it'd be done. frequent saves should be encouraged.

i especially like your idea of simply always saving snapshots. nice to 
have unlimited undo!

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