How can I parse a time string containing milliseconds in it with python?


I am able to parse strings containing date/time with time.strptime

>>> import time
>>> time.strptime('30/03/09 16:31:32', '%d/%m/%y %H:%M:%S')
(2009, 3, 30, 16, 31, 32, 0, 89, -1)

How can I parse a time string that contains milliseconds?

>>> time.strptime('30/03/09 16:31:32.123', '%d/%m/%y %H:%M:%S')
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/python2.5/", line 333, in strptime
ValueError: unconverted data remains: .123
1/27/2018 5:38:17 PM

Accepted Answer

Python 2.6 added a new strftime/strptime macro %f, which does microseconds. Not sure if this is documented anywhere. But if you're using 2.6 or 3.0, you can do this:

time.strptime('30/03/09 16:31:32.123', '%d/%m/%y %H:%M:%S.%f')

Edit: I never really work with the time module, so I didn't notice this at first, but it appears that time.struct_time doesn't actually store milliseconds/microseconds. You may be better off using datetime, like this:

>>> from datetime import datetime
>>> a = datetime.strptime('30/03/09 16:31:32.123', '%d/%m/%y %H:%M:%S.%f')
>>> a.microsecond
8/2/2011 7:59:09 AM

I know this is an older question but I'm still using Python 2.4.3 and I needed to find a better way of converting the string of data to a datetime.

The solution if datetime doesn't support %f and without needing a try/except is:

    (dt, mSecs) = row[5].strip().split(".") 
    dt = datetime.datetime(*time.strptime(dt, "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S")[0:6])
    mSeconds = datetime.timedelta(microseconds = int(mSecs))
    fullDateTime = dt + mSeconds 

This works for the input string "2010-10-06 09:42:52.266000"

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