My apologies for coming into this topic a bit late.

The question of RF64 comes up each year, and each year the
wisdom of the ARSC group comes down in favor of NOT using 
RF64 for archiving until RF64 is more consistently and widely 
supported by DAWs and players.

RF64 is fine as an intermediate format.  But for the purposes
of archiving, it is best to split those files into smaller
non-RF64 chunks for maximum compatibility between DAWs and 

I'll be the first to agree that not using RF64 as an archival
format is inconvenient, less efficient from an archiving 
process point of view, and increases the number of files
that must be managed.

Without a doubt, the pressure to use RF64 in archiving is
ever present.  That said, like many on this list, I'm anxious 
for the day when RF64 has sufficient support that we can 
archive BWF files using RF64.

Has RF64 reached that long-awaited critical mass?

Have there been enough new DAW software releases to justify
a test of RF64 data exchange between them?

I know that our good friends at Indiana University (Konrad
Strauss and crew) have done such data exchange tests in the
past using the software that they had available in their

I'd be happy to assemble a list of popular DAWs and audio 
editors used among the subscribers of this list, and start
mailing around DVD-R discs containing RF64 files to see
who can read and not read them in each software version.

Cost would be effort and postage.  I'd be happy to volunteer
to the lead and manage the effort, and consolidate and report 
results if others are willing to participate.

To that end, I have in my facility:

     Cube-Tec Audiocube 6.10
     Steinberg Wavelab 6.10

While we are at, we could embed BWF metadata and WAVE-RIFF
INFO_List fields and see what happens to those as well as
the files get moved around among software packages.  It's
good to see how well each software vendor supports the
standards (ie. does any data get lost, truncated, or 

Has anyone already done this?  If not, is this the right 
time to do this?  Any takers?

Eric Jacobs

The Audio Archive, Inc.
tel: 408.221.2128
fax: 408.549.9867
mailto:[log in to unmask]
Disc and Tape Audio Transfer Services and Preservation Consulting

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of WIlliam McQuay
Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2009 9:54 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Archiving sound files that exceed the 4Gb limit of

We increasingly find we are creating digital sound files that exceed  
the 4Gb limit of the BWAV format. This will only become more so as we  
begin to archive our multi-channel field recordings. We are  
considering several options for addressing this.

1.) The files, if stereo are split into two files, Left Channel and  
Right Channel. Since both files relate to a single asset, they should  
be assigned the same catalogue number. We are then faced with the  
problem of distinguishing the left from the right. A possible  
solution is to add alphanumeric character like L or R or -1, -2 etc.  
to the catalogue number. This diverges from our current naming  

2.) The stereo file is segmented in time. Again, a file naming  
convention needs to be used to distinguish one from the other.

3.) You implement the RF 64 wav format which allows files greater  
than 4Gb. Unfortunately, none of our current flavors of DAW's and  
related software implement the RF64 file format and we have not yet  
seen any that do.

Has anyone else had to address the 4Gb limit of BWAV? If so, any  
thoughts you have based on that experience would be appreciated.



William McQuay
[log in to unmask]
Supervising Audio Engineer
Macaulay Library
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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