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Attempts to extract meaningful information from a filename, typically the date and time a recording started.


parseFilename(file, format = NULL, timezone = NULL)



A filename (or list of filenames).


Optionally force a given format (see Details). If NULL (default) an attempt is made to automatically detect the format for each file. If "match" and a list of filenames is given then an attempt will be made to find a format that matches all files. This may give incorrect results if the filename is ambiguous (see Details).


Optionally set a timezone.


A list of file, type of match, datetime.

It is possible to determine additional properties from some files, these will be added to the list.


Determining the format

It is sometimes impossible to accurately determine the format of a filename, e.g. when an eight-digit 'AudioMoth HEX' only contains numbers it could be confused with a YYYYMMDD format. If a list of filenames is given and the "match" format is specified then an effort will be made to determine the most likely format that applies to all filenames.

Supported formats

  • AudioMoth - The newer format for AudioMoth devices consists of a standard YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.wav format. Specifying 'AudioMoth' forces a call to the audiomoth() function from the seewave package (Sueur et al. 2008) .

  • AudioMoth HEX - Older format for AudioMoth devices consisting of eight hexadecimal characters. Conversion is handled by a call to seewave::audiomoth().

  • timestamp - A standard date-time format. Uses the R standard origin of 1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC.

  • Wildlife Acoustics SM2 - Can also be used for Wildlife Acoustics SM4 devices. Conversion is handled by a call to seewave::songmeter().

  • Wildlife Acoustics SM3 - Conversion is handled by a call to seewave::songmeter().

  • YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS - A standard date-time format.


Sueur J, Aubin T, Simonis C (2008). “Seewave, a free modular tool for sound analysis and synthesis.” Bioacoustics, 18(2), 213--226.


#> $filename
#> [1] "5E90A4D4.wav"
#> $match
#> [1] "AudioMoth HEX"
#> $datetime
#> [1] "2020-04-10 16:54:44 UTC"