I've been using a Zoom H4N to record bird vocalisations paired with a dictation microphone for behaviour observations. When I'm trying to sync up my data, the dictation mic .mp3 file has the correct date/time created, but the Zoom recording .wav file has the date created as Dec 31, 1969 at 8:30pm. The date modified is the correct day, but the time doesn't line up with the dictation mic time (which I know is correct).

I've checked that the date/time is correct on the Zoom H4N recorder but don't know what else to do. Photo added for more info, left is zoom recording and right is the dictation mic.

enter image description hereLeft is Zoom .wav file with date created wrong, right is dictation mic with date created correct. Time modified is also off on the Zoom recording files.

  • 2
    What are you using for the dictation mic? I noticed that you're using different file formats, wav for Zoom recs vs mp3 for dictation. Have you tried downloading the Zoom recordings as mp3 to see if the date/time is correct?
    – YBarkley
    Jul 18 at 23:55
  • 2
    Hey! This seems like it may be a computer issue, and therefore better suited for SuperUser. :( Jul 19 at 1:27
  • There seems to be scope for a Meta discussion here...true it is a computer (OS?) issue, though there are parallels to users posting specific software/package questions that may be considered potential SO posts? Will make a Meta post sometime soon (or feel free to do so too).
    – Thejasvi
    Aug 2 at 12:34
  • Following on @Anthony answer below - how are these files being named? Are you manually updating the name with the "modified on" date after the fact? I think Zoom typically just names 0001, 0002, etc.
    – selene
    Sep 1 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


If those are the filesystem created/modified datestamps then you shouldn't rely on them at all. If you move the files between computers (with exceptions) those datestamps will be changed anyway.

The best thing to do is use the save the datestamp into the filenames. Check to see if there's any metadata inside the file you can use.

Try using ffprobe to see if there's any metadata in the files you can use. If you post some examples I might be able to update the answer with some better suggestions.

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