General format

We specify time in hours:minutes:seconds.
So 1:23:45 means 1 hour 23 minutes 45 seconds.
(Or 1h 23m 45s for short.)

Example 1h 54m 30s + 1h 5m 40s
Enter 1:54:30 + 1:5:40
Result 3:00:10

Simple format

When there are no seconds, you can ignore it.

Example 2h 15m – 1h 35m
Enter 2:15 – 1:35
Result 0:40

Perception of time

Consider 2:45.
You can see it as 2h 45m. It can also mean 2m 45s.

For some calculations, you can ignore the hours.

Example 2m 45s × 2
Enter 2:45 × 2
Result 5:30

That is, no need to enter  0:2:45 × 2


Mixing formats

Sometimes you need to use the full  h:m:s  format
to avoid ambiguity.

Example 1h 54m + 5m 40s
Enter 1:54 + 0:5:40
Result 1:59:40

Notice the ‘0:’ before ‘5:40’.
This is how Magic Number calculates:

How time adds


The time is now

The time is now 5:17 am. The journey takes 55 minutes.
We will arrive at…

5:17 + 0:55

Of course your current time will be different.
You can enter via:

Menu:  Insert ▸ Time
Shortcut:  ⌃ :    (control + colon)


Tip Type less zeros

To enter 6 minutes, instead of typing 0 : 6, just type : 6.

Magic Number automatically inserts the zero for you.
This is similar to typing ‘.6’ for ‘0.6’.

So for 6 seconds, just type : : 6 and you get 0 : 0 :6.

Arithmetic

You can treat time just like a number.

2:15:30 - 2 × 1:05 = 0:05:30
(4:45 + 5:15) / 2 = 5:00


Percentages

5:30 + 20% = 6:36
2:45 ∆% 5:30 = 100%


Finding unknown

? / 4 = 2:40  ⇢ ? = 10:40
1 / 2 × (? + 3:15) = 3:00  ⇢ ? = 2:45


Time as angle

h:m:s is analogous to d° m′ s″

30:40:50 = 30°40′50″

For sin 30°40′50″, enter sin 30:40:50.

sin 30:40:50° = 0.5102510808

You can find them under Calculation ▸ Extra Functions ▸ Time.
Alternatively you can access them via ⇧⌘F.

Extra Functions

Convert to Time ( ▸ time )

This converts a decimal number into time.

7.25▸time = 7:15

You can interpret it 7.25 hours is 7 hours 15 minutes or
7.25 minutes is 7 minutes 15 seconds.

Convert to Number ( ▸ num )

This converts time into a decimal number.

7:15▸num = 7.25

Finer conversions

How many minutes in 1:20:30?
And how many seconds are there?

Time to Minutes and Time to Seconds can give you the answers.
They are parts of the family. (See Calculation ▸ Extra Functions ▸ Time.)

Time Conversion Menu

Time to Minutes ( t ▸ m )

How many minutes in 1:20:30?

Enter 1 : 20 : 30 t ▸ m

Time to Minutes

Notice Magic Number automatically encloses 1 : 20 : 30 in parentheses to avoid ambiguity.

Time to Seconds ( t ▸ s )

How many seconds in 1:20:30?

Enter 1 : 20 : 30 t ▸ s

Time to Seconds

Time to Hours ( t ▸ h )

Sometimes it’s easier to think of time as duration.
For 180 minutes, it’s perfectly fine to type 0 : 180.

Time to hours - 180 minutes

What is 36 million seconds (36×106) in hours?

Time to hours - 36 million seconds

Time to Frames ( t ▸ f )

Our video is 240 frames per second. Its duration is 1 minutes 25 seconds.
How many frames does it have?

Time to frames

To set the frame rate, go to View ▸ Timecode


Automatic time conversion

You may be wondering is there a Minutes to Time function or something similar. There isn’t one. Because Magic Number can do it automatically.

To convert 80.5 minutes into time, type 0 : 80.5 and press

Time Conversion Auto - minutes

For 4830 seconds, type 0 : 0 : 4830.
(You can also type ::4830.)

Time Conversion Auto - seconds

For 2.5 hours, type 2.5 : 0.

Time Conversion Auto - hours

When a number has colon ‘ : ’ as in ‘2.5 : 0’, you are letting Magic Number know you want the result as time.


Tips

  • As usual, you can assign these functions to F1 and F2.
  • You can fit 4 functions under 1 button.
    Let’s say F1 is assigned to Time to Frames.
    By pressing F1 repeatedly you cycle through its related functions.

    Time Conversion Cycling

    In other words:

    F1 t ▸ f
    F1F1 t ▸ s
    F1F1F1 t ▸ m

You can convert between time and number quickly.

Shortcut: ⌘:

It easier to try for yourself.


Example 1

  1. Enter 0:45
    (but don’t press return)
  2. Press ⌘:
    (0:45 is transformed to 0.75)
  3. Press ⌘: again
    (0.75 is transformed to 0:45)

In other words:

0:45 transforms to 0.75


Example 2

You can transform the result of an expression.

  1. Enter 2.5 ÷ 6
  2. Press return for the result.
  3. Press ⌘: to transform the result.
    Press it again to transform back.

You should see this:

2.5 / 6 transforms to 0:25

Video is a series of still images which, when viewed in rapid succession, creates an illusion of motion.

How rapid? For films, it’s 24 images or frames per second or 24 fps.
This is the frame rate of film.

Suppose we are adding music to a film. The music starts at ½ second. As time format, this is 0 : 0 : 0.5. But our video app prefers timecode instead, in the form of hours : minutes : seconds : frames.

We will use Magic Number to find the timecode.

Type 0:0:0.5 and press

0.5sec - no fps

To see the result as timecode, select View ▸ Timecode ▸ 24 fps.

Timecode Menu

As expected, ½ second equates to 12 frames.

0.5sec - 24 fps

Our music is 3 minutes and 7.25 seconds long.
Let’s see exactly where it ends in the film.

Type + 0:3:7.25

Timecode Add

You can think of timecode as time with the extra frame component.
Dealing with 4 components can get cumbersome. The next tip will help.

Tip #1 — Type less zeros

Once again, you can ignore the leading zeros.
For 6 frames, instead of 0 :0 : 0 : 6, you can simply type : : : 6.

Example: 0 : 03 : 07 : 18 + 6 frames
Enter: : 3 : 7 : 18 + : : : 6
Timecode Add Frames

Tip #2 — Know your frame rate

When you have 0 : 0 :0 :12, its actual time depends on the frame rate;
it can be 0.5 second for 24 fps or 0.4 second for 30 fps.

To see what frame rate you’re using, press ⌥⌘. (option-command dot).

Timecode Status

To see the frame rate permanently, right-click (secondary-click) the window’s title.

Timecode Window Popup

Then choose Timecode.

Timecode Window Title

Tip #3 — Toggle timecode on or off

The menu None ↔︎ Recent fps (⌥⌘:) switches between no frame rates and your most recently used frame rate. It’s a quick way to turn timecode on or off.


Custom frame rate

The last frame rate from the Timecode menu is customizable.

Timecode Menu - Custom fps

Example

The iPhone can shoot slow motion videos at 240 fps.
If we have 1 minute 25 seconds of video, how many frames are there?

Let’s begin by setting the frame rate.
Go to View ▸ Timecode ▸ Customize* and enter 240 for frame rate.

Timecode Sheet - Custom fps

Normally you would calculate how many seconds in 0:1:25.
Then you multiply the result by 240.

There is an easier way. You can use the Time to Frames function ( t ▸ f ).

Time to frames