Please Stand By

June 9, 2012 | By

Daffy also discovers what happens when he encounters Scott.

Well, the plan was to launch the new media site Friday, and things were almost done… and then along comes something called Scott Studios, but I’m getting a bit ahead of things in this cautionary tale of a simple case of erroneous selection that destroyed considerable work.

I’ve been using Sound Forge for years – like way back to version 4.0, when it was part of Sonic Foundry – and within the more recent version 9 are more selections for saving audio in different formats. Of course, if you’re editing a raw file to create a master, it’s smart to stick to the old wav format, which I did… albeit with a sense something wasn’t quite right: each time I saved a file, regardless of whatever folder, it was saved under the name SP0000.wav.

I initially figured it had something to do with propriety info within the MP3 container of the original audio file as recorded on a Sony digital recorder. Not so: within SF 9 there are two wav formats you can choose – standard Microsoft, and some ‘thing’ called Scott Studios Wave.

SSW is reportedly used for radio production because it allows for more meta data logged in a separate file, but its design and limitations are baffling: even though you can assign it a name, it only saves under the default name, SP0000.wav. It disallows the creation of a second ‘backup’ file within a singular folder. Ergo: whatever changes you make are always saved to the same file, with no built-in undo factor, and no second, differently named file in the same folder.

In the Save and Save As menu, the SSW file option comes before the MS wav format in SF’s list of available audio formats in which you can save an audio project, so apparently what happened is at some point I erred and mis-selected SSW in place of good old MS wav.

In trying to understand why I couldn’t rename a recently completed, perfectly edited Q&A with a TIFF curator, I chose to create a test file: I recorded 2 seconds of sound, and saved it under a different name in the same folder to check how it would name the file, since the SP-prefix is assigned after it’s been saved, with you, the user, not given any option to alter the nomenclature or numeric suffix.

What happened? 12 minutes of perfectly cut audio was replaced with 2 seconds of test material. SSW doesn’t create any temp or TMP files because the overwriting of new data is TOTAL. Nothing is saved in a temp folder; nothing can be recovered using even ERD Commander 2000.

Basically, you’re fucked, which brings me to the big question: Why the hell would someone invent a destructive file format with a suicidal ability to nuke itself with no safely measures for the user?

Maybe the alphanumerical file name has a function within production & broadcasting… but then why can’t you create a different number? Why would you want each folder to be populated by SP0000 files?

I’ve got reviews to edit & post this weekend, so the new site’s formal debut, with two informative Q&As, will unfortunately have to wait until Monday… because of Scott, who may be a nice guy who meant well in making things easier for radio play, but in light of wasting my time and mandating a total re-edit & remixing of the affected time, I’d like to say Fuck You.

Yes, this is a rude little rant, and it could’ve been worse. But seriously: why create a proprietary format that will always write onto itself, delete all prior changes, delete all markers for edit points, and disallow the Save As option?

What moron disallows the Save As option?

Tell Porky Pig to duck, and cue the Dodo song for Scott.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

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