[ardour-users] Snapshots and filing best practice

Peter Lutek plutek at infinity.net
Fri Oct 28 15:14:41 PDT 2005

Peter Lutek wrote:

>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!
mike.... i've now used your system through the first stage of a big 
commercial project. it's solid.
it's great to have a parsable snapshot list and base session directory, 
and it's sure nice to have all those backups sitting there, "just in case".

thanks again!


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