Here is the primary web page for the BWF standard. If you read through the
specs, you will see "nchannel" described. Using interleaving of the audio
data, it is possible to combine many "tracks" into a single audio file.
I'm not saying that is good, I am just saying that it can be done. Some DAW
applications (Nuendo, Pyramix?) can save multitrack data as a single BWF.
It is doubtful this file could be opened up on every platform, however.
1 track = 1 BWF is how the NARAS Deliverables document handled this hot
potato. That might make it easier for subsequent file migration.
As a side note, most of the current recording projects that we work on have
800-1000 BWFs per project - and the file counts are only headed upward with
each new generation of recording applications and hardware.
It does underscore the fact that digital archives will have routine file
maintenance as part of their workflow.
> From: Mike Richter <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 12:33:21 -0800
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] ARSCLIST Digest - .BWF backward compatibility
> At 02:27 PM 3/27/2004 -0500, Dave Radlauer wrote:
>> In a message dated 3/26/04 9:02:12 PM, [log in to unmask] writes:
>> << But...are .bwf files (which I've never heard of) accessible to any other
>> applications than the specialized program used to create them?
>> Accessibility, >>
>> Yes, bwf files are widely accessible to applications: basically they're an
>> extension of .WAV and backward compatible with .wav applications. pretty much
>> in the manner you describe for MSword. Its just that the text fields won't
>> available in many other applications.
>> A more likely incompatibility is that hi-rez files of ANY format (resolution
>> higher than 16-bit, 44.1Khz sampling) will not be backward compatible with
>> older audio apps not equipped to handle the larger files.
> My ignorance will be showing again - but that's not a problem.
> What format(s) have standardized structures for more than two channels?
> Clearly, while that is of little interest for most historic recordings,
> true quadraphonic releases date back more than three decades, 5.1 and 6.1
> audio is now in commercial distribution and even more channels are in use
> in studios. Ultimately, archives will want to preserve those in a
> standardized format. That requirement may lead to favoring one file system
> over others.
> [log in to unmask]