Ask the Omnia Guy: Cleaning Up Your Audio Library
In continuation from an earlier Ask the Omnia Guy blog (How Do I Know if It's an MP3?), the Omnia Guy offers some additional advice on making sure your audio is the best it can be.
It was about two hours into a long drive across the country from Phoenix to Texas back in 2001 and I was listening to some music I downloaded onto a CD. That was really the first time I had critically listened to what were (clearly) poor 128kbps MP3 files. In the broadcast world, you’ll get this unnatural metallic and “swishy” artifact in the audio—also, less stereo image and detail.
While I understand there’s not a lot you can do about dubs of spots from agencies and clients, there’s a lot you can do to make sure your audio is the best it can be.
One of them is getting rid of MP3, M4A, MP2, AAC, or audio ripped from YouTube from your storage.
I want to say thanks to Jordan Tomlinson from Boise for responding to my Q&A piece last year about detecting MP3s in your playout system.
He suggested a $20.00 tool for Windows, Mac, and Linux called “Fakin’ The Funk”, and I thought it was valuable enough to share here with you.
Here’s how it works:
Pick a directory of audio files. It will check them and tell you the supposed bitrate of each file, telling you if the audio in your system has been transcoded or “upscaled” from a lower bitrate. It can check up to 1,000 files in 40 seconds on a fast CPU.
It doesn’t modify the files in any way, but it does allow you to copy, rename, or move them if something is “funky.” In the program, it shows up as “FAKE.” They allow you to try it for free on 100 files, so give it a shot and let me know what you think.
I recently suggested it to a customer, and they found about 35-40% of their library was previously compressed or transcoded.
Twenty dollars seems like a small price to pay to know what titles you have in your library that might need replacing, which beats replacing an entire library or examining each file.
This isn’t a paid plug; I just wanted to share something pretty cool.
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