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ARSCLIST  May 2015

ARSCLIST May 2015

Subject:

Re: another file format question - file header inspection and modification

From:

Karl Fitzke <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 18 May 2015 14:57:07 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (116 lines)

Tom, and everyone else,

If you've never tried, it can be fun (if not almost lifesaving) to use a 
"Hex Editor" to inspect file contents and see what is stored where in a 
wav file.  Such editors show the binary data (in hexadecimal) on the 
left, and the ASCII text it represents on the right (of course not 
everything is ASCII represented, sample data for example is just binary).

With wav file specs in hand, or at least an informative webpage on wav 
and/or bwf format in particular, one can see what's in a file (or not), 
use that to determine what format it is to the best of your abilities, 
and whether everything looks alright or not.  I just fixed a recorded 
interview a week or two ago that simply would not play in any 
application we tried.  Upon inspection in the hex editor, it looked like 
the recorder was simply shut down before the file length was written.  
By putting valid data where it needed to be, all was right with the 
world again.  I achieved god-like status in at least one person's eyes 
that day.

On the Mac, try the "HexEdit" application. 
http://download.cnet.com/HexEdit/3000-2352_4-7828.html

I hope I don't insult anyone with a reminder to copy any files before 
you work on them, so you can always go back to what you started with, 
if/when you become concerned that you "went under the hood" like this 
and may have broken something even worse. Working on files this way 
takes some getting used to.  I've been saved by this safeguard a few 
times now, or at least gotten reassurance when I went back to repeat 
some work I thought may have gone wrong.

-Karl

P.S.  Something to cut one's teeth on:  Edit a known-good file to play 
back at a sample rate other than the original. Chipmunks singing or 
roaring lions could make your day, depending on whether you speed up or 
slow down your favorite singer by a factor of two, four, or more.

On 5/18/15 2:16 PM, Dave Rice wrote:
>> On May 18, 2015, at 2:02 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> Ditto on the thanks to Dave Rice.
> aw, you guys (‘-’*)
>
>> I have learned quite a bit about this topic today. I still won't use FLAC as my primary PCM-write format, but I use it all over my house and studio as a backup and stream-access format.
>>
>> It's also worth noting, along the lines of what Paul Stamlber said, that because FLAC files reduce the storage need per second of audio, it's a great format for transmission and also for the new generation of portable players such as by Sony, Pono and A&K.
>>
>> Given that no other major company except Apple seems to have patent-lawyer issues with FLAC's open-source-ness, I will opine that this is a phantom menace created by Apple to justify sticking with their proprietary lossless format.
> Apple voluntarily moved its FLAC-competitor, the ALAC encoder and decoder, to an open source license: http://alac.macosforge.org/. As others have mentioned Apple's use of ALAC was often focused on transmission and saving data behind the scenes using AirPlay and other services.
> Dave
>
>> If lossless downloads ever catch on mass-market with Amazon and Google, it's more likely that Apple gadgets and computers will deal with FLAC natively, and less likely that mass-market retailers will go to the trouble of selling proprietary ALAC alongside open-source FLAC. For what it's worth, on a modern (circa 2013) Windows 7 Lenovo workstation, ripping a CD to FLAC using dBPowerAmp takes less than 1/4 the time of ripping the same CD to ALAC in the latest iTunes for Windows.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Monday, May 18, 2015 1:46 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] another file format question
>>
>>
>>> Hi, Tom,
>>>
>>> iZotope has an option to save all metadata (as apparently does FLAC (the container)). Otherwise, only metadata the program knows about is saved.
>>>
>>> Hi, Dave,
>>>
>>> One thing we have is the ability to embed MD5 checksums in WAV files with the custom-written software BWFMETAEDIT. However, I have found this software a bit problematic from time to time. It was sponsored by a US Federal Government initiative.
>>>
>>> Thanks for the further insight. This was the type of discussion I was hoping to engender when I posted the original message.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>>
>>> Richard
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 2015-05-18 1:25 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>>> Hi Dave Rice, et al:
>>>>
>>>> Another question about the WAV file format. Why is dBPowerAmp's CD
>>>> ripper able to write tag metadata to WAV files, and all of my various
>>>> player software able to read them (Foobar2000, iTunes for Windows,
>>>> Logitech server and player software), but if I open the WAV file in Sony
>>>> Soundforge, do anything to it and then save it, the tag information is
>>>> gone? Also, someone I sent one of these WAV files claimed his software
>>>> -- either Protools or Logic -- said the file was "corrupted." So what's
>>>> going on there? Soundforge and Harrison Mixbus software for Windows have
>>>> no trouble opening these WAV files, but seem to discard the tag info or
>>>> at least don't save it when work has been done on the file.
>>>>
>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>
>>> -- 
>>> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
>>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
>>> http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
>>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.
>>>

-- 

Karl Fitzke
Audio Engineer
Macaulay Library
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850

607-254-1100

[log in to unmask]

Our Mission:
To interpret and conserve the Earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.

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