Couldn't the metadata be easily standardized then in nearly the same
form as the old 'dewy decimal system' form we old folk grew up with ?
Standardized in this way, it would at least have some 'human readable'
meaning as well at a glance. Granted, the analogy is a rough one, but
trying to include too much specific data in the header leaves too much
of the contents to a judgment call when it won't all fit there.
Increasing the size of the header creates as much of a problem as it
solves, and as time goes on there will always seem to be the need to
store more than will fit. A properly thought out index number along with
files type (as in encoding type, so there is no dependence on file
extension) and sample rate would then cover all the bases as to
describing how to play that file element. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Spencer
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2005 12:59 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] .wav file content information

A bit more...waiting to catch a plane!

Pro Tools, Nuendo, and Pyramix (off the top of my head) all support
saving as BWF.  If you look at the file you have created (as per the EBU
link), it will end with the suffix ".wav".  Don't worry about ".bwf", it
shouldn't be used, and programs that don't utilize the BWF "chunk" will
ignore the information.

You will note that all of these are "multitrack" DAW platforms.

Be careful about what you think you might want to put in there, however,
as we have seen cross-platform incompatibilities regarding the
availability of the header information.  There are BWF reader apps out
there (check

Most of the stereo editing programs (Sound Forge, Adobe Audition, etc.)
that we use DON'T save BWF information - I've always found that a bit

Regarding the usage of MYSQL or other database applications, remember
that the relative size of the metadata "stack" will be MUCH smaller than
the resultant audio files.  We prefer to link the metadata record with a
unique ID in the BWF header that we also record in the metadata
database.  By "loosely coupling" the two, you can add/ make changes to
the individual metadata record without having to load the audio file

I would be more concerned that the metadata that I was collecting was
structured in a manner that would allow for it to move into other
database environments without re-keying the information.

Hope this helps.

John Spencer

> From: Angie Dickinson <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 11:20:07 -0700
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] .wav file content information
> andy kolovos wrote:
>> It's easy to enter data into the RIFF, but how one does it varies 
>> greatly between software packages.  Furthermore not all audio editors

>> support RIFF viewing and editing, nor do all audio editors support 
>> .bwf files.
> So, what audio editors use the bwf extension?  As I understand it, 
> none should.
> John Spencer included a very nice FAQ based link in his reply.  Check 
> out the question "Is the file extension for a BWF file .bwf?"
> Here's another good link.
> 01-repor
> t.cfm
>> On another note, while Adobe Audition 1.0 won't support (or at least 
>> won't let you save) BWF files with .bwf extensions, it seems to have 
>> no trouble opening and dealing with BWF files with .wav extensions.
> Again, John's link should have your answer to this.
> Angie Dickinson
> Avocado Productions