What is the best way to display a start time in a video that is greater than the one hour mark? It looks good as 34:57, but not so much as 01:08:54. Should I instead just write 68:54 or is it not intuitive to go over the hour mark?

Also, to clarify--there is a list of chapter titles and the related times. For example

Chapter 1 0:00

Chapter 2 3:44

Chapter 3 55:38

Chapter 4 1:05:08

  • Where are these videos hosted?
    – Mervin
    Mar 10, 2014 at 20:35
  • On our own servers for now. AWS.
    – jcs150
    Mar 10, 2014 at 21:07

2 Answers 2


It depends on how your video renders times longer than an hour.

If your video rendering site is something like youtube and renders times longer than one hour as something like 1:05:36 then I would recommend going with the hour:mm:sec approach as users can quickly see the start time and get the particular point by hovering over the video bar as shown in the example given below

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However, if it for some reason renders time as 68:34 then you might be better off going the route of showing the total sum of minutes as users will use that as the reference point to define the start point and will scan across the video play bar to determine where to click.

However be careful not to mix the both time options i.e. showing time as 68:43 when your video shows the time in hh:mm:ss format and vice versa as that would put a mental load on your user to translate the times from one format to another.

  • This, imo, is the correct answer, as you want consistency.
    – Dirk v B
    Mar 10, 2014 at 21:21

In addition to Mervin Johnsingh's method you could consider writing out the time using time units:

Chapter 1: 1 hr 45 min

Chapter 2: 23 min

Chapter 3: 2 hr 01 min

Chapter 4: 3 hr 56 min


  1. You have the units clearly written so user don't have to guess if 02:34 is 2 hour 34 minutes or 2 minutes and 34 seconds
  2. Users don't need to make calculations in their head to convert 68:54 to 1 hour 8 minutes and 54 seconds.



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