How can the play-time of a .flac file be determined?

$ metaflac --list 01\ Mrs.\ Robinson.flac

METADATA block #0
  type: 0 (STREAMINFO)
  is last: false
  length: 34
  minimum blocksize: 4096 samples
  maximum blocksize: 4096 samples
  minimum framesize: 14 bytes
  maximum framesize: 11923 bytes
  sample_rate: 44100 Hz
  channels: 2
  bits-per-sample: 16
  total samples: 10238256
  MD5 signature: 42aabab0b89db824243448fe361ac399

METADATA block #1
  type: 3 (SEEKTABLE)
  is last: false
  length: 432
  seek points: 24
   point 0: sample_number=0, stream_offset=0, frame_samples=4096
   point 1: sample_number=438272, stream_offset=644857, frame_samples=4096
   point 2: sample_number=880640, stream_offset=1468851, frame_samples=4096
   point 21: sample_number=9285632, stream_offset=19168477, frame_samples=4096
   point 22: sample_number=9723904, stream_offset=19982848, frame_samples=4096
   point 23: sample_number=10166272, stream_offset=20488823, frame_samples=4096

METADATA block #2
  type: 4 (VORBIS_COMMENT)
  is last: true
  length: 403
  vendor string: reference libFLAC 1.3.0 20130526
  comments: 10
    comment[0]: TITLE=Mrs. Robinson
    comment[1]: ALBUM=Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits
    comment[2]: ARTIST=Simon & Garfunkel
    comment[3]: COMPOSER=Paul Simon
    comment[4]: GENRE=Contemporary Folk
    comment[5]: WM/MCDI=E+96+449A+6F0E+CA0A+EA6A+120E8+1535B+18ABF+1BA64+21009+ …
    comment[6]: TRACKNUMBER=1
    comment[7]: YEAR=1972
    comment[8]: ALBUMARTIST=Simon & Garfunkel
    comment[9]: WM/WMCOLLECTIONID={b5020207-474e-4720-b58b-782e0ed68300}

Perhaps it can be calculated using the seek points.

P.S. This site has amazingly few tag descriptions.

1 Answer 1


Total Samples / Sample Rate (Hz) = playback/recording time (s)

In this case:

  • Total Samples = 10238256
  • Sample Rate = 44100 Hz

Thus: 10238256 / 44100 = 232.160068027210884 seconds


The sample rate is the number of samples recorded in a specific amount of time. In this case, the sample rate is expressed in Hz which means "per second" - kHz would mean "per one-thousandth of a second" and MHz would be "per one-millionth of a second".

Dividing the total number of samples by the rate that the samples are played/recorded gives us the number of time units required.

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