[clug] Broadcast wav format

Mike Carden mike.carden at gmail.com
Fri Mar 23 09:45:31 GMT 2007

On 3/23/07, Ian Matters <ian at matters.id.au> wrote:
> There's an article on BWF in Wikipedia.  Maybe this will help.
> See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcast_wave_format

Thanks Ian. I'm familiar with that and with the EBU links to the
'standard' at the end of the wiki article. I reckon by now I'm also
well acquainted with every web page on the net that has any indexable
content on the format and on its close friend WAV. :-)

BWF extends WAV in ways intended to make it suitable for professional
and archival use, but it appears that it's a case of building a vault
on quicksand. WAV is proprietary, poorly documented (to my surprise)
and rarely implemented twice the same way. BWF has lofty goals, but
almost nobody has implemented them. Those that have done so[1],
appear to have mucked it up, and even if it's done right it relies on
WAV being done properly everywhere. Which it isn't.

So when someone well-meaning creates some 'archival quality' stereo
audio at 96000 samples per second and 24 bits per sample linear pulse
code modulation, it turns out that the resulting file is only useful
if players ignore important formatting bits of the headers. So anyone
trying to move such a file to a more sustainable format like, for
instance, FLAC, will find themselves with a nigh unplayable but
perfectly valid FLAC file.

After all that waffling, I'd better CC the list.

[1] via Cube-Tec's Quadriga

> Cheers.
> Ian Matters
> Canberra, Australia
> --
> On 23/03/2007, at 5:05 PM, Mike Carden wrote:
> > Apologies for a slightly off topic question here, but this is the
> > easiest way I know to tap into a large brains trust. :-)
> >
> > Has anyone encountered any software capable of encoding audio in the
> > broadcast wav format (BWF) at more than 16 bits per sample?
> >
> > I have some BWF samples encoded at 96kHz 24 bits per sample via a
> > popular commercial encoder and it appears to be doing the wrong thing
> > when encoding the headers. I'd like to find an alternative encoder for
> > comparison but so far I haven't found anything that makes BWF files.
> >
> > It should go without saying that my preference is for something that
> > is happy on Linux, but I won't spurn something that works on Win or
> > Mac if I have to use it for this one thing.
> >
> > Any ideas?
> >
> > Ta,
> > MC
> > --
> > linux mailing list
> > linux at lists.samba.org
> > https://lists.samba.org/mailman/listinfo/linux

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