SMPTE timecode (/ˈsɪmptiː/ or /ˈsɪmtiː/) is a set of cooperating standards to label individual frames of video or film with a timecode. The system is defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers in the SMPTE 12M specification. SMPTE revised the standard in 2008, turning it into a two-part document: SMPTE 12M-1 and SMPTE 12M-2, including new explanations and clarifications.
Timecodes are added to film, video or audio material, and have also been adapted to synchronize music and theatrical production. They provide a time reference for editing, synchronization, and identification. A timecode is a form of media metadata. The invention of timecode made modern videotape editing possible and led eventually to the creation of non-linear editing systems.