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    When is a WAV not a WAV ?


    Hi,

    I'm really new here. Looks like an interesting place, and I think I have some unique sounds that I can contribute to the collection, as soon as I figure out how everything works.

    I've downloaded a number of sound samples and have a question concering WAV files:
    do WAV files come in more than one format -- formats which may not be mutually compatible? I've not heard of this before, but . . .

    The reason I ask is that while some of the WAV files I've downloaded play just fine, others either crash my browser if I attempt to listen to a sample, or even lock up my entire system when I attempt to play them off-line, forcing me to hard-reboot.

    The offending WAV files will not run in any of the several players I've tried them with, including Windows Media Player, WinAmp, SonicStage, DigitalOrchestrator, or DartPro. With Windows Media Player they often produce a "class not registered" error, after which a repeat attempt to play the file will lock up the system and force me to reboot.

    I was actually able to open some of the 'bad' files in DartPro and -see- the waveshape,
    but attempting to play the file locks the system. I also attempted to resave the files in another format, but that locks the system, too. Suspecting corrupted files, I re-downloaded several of them, but got the same result.

    For reference, one of the files that does this is

    46522__stomachache__stomp3.wav

    I searched the "bugs" forum before posting, but didn't find any threads that seemed to address this particular issue, so... here I am.

    What am I missing here?

    Thanks.

    --
    Bis

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    Possiby a bit-depth problem. Some hardware/software will only play 16bit wavs, and will choke on a 24 or 32bit wavs.

    .

    The bit depth of Freesound samples appears in "Type" immediately below the waveform diaplay.

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    14 sounds
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    I had this problem with some old software I use for compositions. I had to open the offending file in Audacity and export it as a wav.

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    I had an problem just like this one but when i looked further I saw that it wasn't an WAV file but an PCM 'cause in the name stand .WAV but the properties say it is an PCM file. smile
    at least that was the problem with me neutral
    so like Big_D123 said export it with audacity. :wink:
    that's the best option

    the YVJOFLO moviemakers
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    illegale harry
    I had an problem just like this one but when i looked further I saw that it wasn't an WAV file but an PCM 'cause in the name stand .WAV but the properties say it is an PCM file. smile
    at least that was the problem with me neutral
    so like Big_D123 said export it with audacity. :wink:
    that's the best option

    Hmm... so a WAV is not a WAV when it's a PCM, eh?

    I checked the properties on the file named in my OP and you're right -- 'properties' says it's a PCM file. Except I wonder if it's really even a PCM file?

    I can open the file, and even play it, with Audacity.

    But when I export it as a WAV file, the 'properties' on the new WAV file say that the file is corrupted. Audacity will open and play the new WAV file, but no other program will.

    Windows Media Player attempts to open the file, plays a very interesting sound that is NOT the correct sound, and then crashes windows with a Fatal Exception. None of my other software that handles WAV files will open it at all -- they all say that the WAV file is corrupted.

    Are there any settings in Audacity to control the parameters of files exported to the WAV format? I haven't been able to find any. If not, any other suggestions?

    Thanks everyone.

    --
    Bis

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    1913 sounds
    1743 posts


    I believe it is possible to convert 32 & 24 bit wavs to 16 bit wavs using Audacity.

    Once exported as 16bit versions they should be playable on most software/ hardware.

    I think the bit depth of export is set in "preferences" on Audacity (1.3): press "Ctrl"+"P", then select "Quality".

    You can import audio of any sample rate or bit depth and Audacity will resample and convert it to the project rate and bit depth on the fly, as well as upon Export. You can choose different sample rate conversion qualities for playback and Exporting.

    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/manual-1.2/tracks_audio.html

    All you ever wanted to know about the wav format (e.g. it is PCM) ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WAV

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    all wave files are PCM files. (PCM just means pulse code modulation, a description of the way wave files used to be made).

    but not all wave files are created alike!

    wavefiles may have different samplerates (the number of samples per second that are in the wavefile, the higher the higher the quality of the sound) and bitdepths (the number of "bits" per sample, or the accuracy of each sample, again, the higher the better). Audio CD's use sound at 44.1kHz samplerate and 16bit bitdepths. AUdio on DVD's is mosly 96kHz and 24bit. Most audio editors alow you to even go higher.

    Older hardware might not support anything other than 44.1kHz/16bit. But most SOFTWARE will convert whatever it is that you are playing to something compatible with your hardware (on the fly).

    Try playing the files with something a bit more modern, or a bit more "geeky" than a browser wink
    On windows try foobar2000 or winamp, on mac try Cog or Wave Editor from AudioFileEngineering.

    I hope this helps!

    - Bram

    Warning: if you break the rules, see my avatar. Freesound Admin, Moderator, Ex-Freesound-Coder & Benevolent Dictator For Life.
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    Bram
    all wave files are PCM files. (PCM just means pulse code modulation, a description of the way wave files used to be made).

    Thanks for the detailed response. I know what PCM is, but I didn't know that WAV was in PCM format -- I thought it was some proprietary Microsoft format.

    but not all wave files are created alike!

    wavefiles may have different samplerates (the number of samples per second that are in the wavefile, the higher the higher the quality of the sound) and bitdepths (the number of "bits" per sample, or the accuracy of each sample, again, the higher the better). Audio CD's use sound at 44.1kHz samplerate and 16bit bitdepths. AUdio on DVD's is mosly 96kHz and 24bit. Most audio editors alow you to even go higher.

    I knew about sample rates, too, but I rarely encounter anything higher than 24 bit
    in what I do (in fact, I don't think I've ever encountered anything higher). My software and hardware can generally handle both 16- and 24- bit, but I've occasionally encountered the odd file that confused it. I was surprised at encountering so many files here that did so.

    Older hardware might not support anything other than 44.1kHz/16bit. But most SOFTWARE will convert whatever it is that you are playing to something compatible with your hardware (on the fly).

    I have several programs that allegedly convert bit-rates for files. Since most files seem to have worked with most of what I wanted them to work with (up till now, anyway) I've not done too much tweaking of this kind, so I'm in learning mode here.

    Try playing the files with something a bit more modern, or a bit more "geeky" than a browser wink

    On windows try foobar2000 or winamp, on mac try Cog or Wave Editor from AudioFileEngineering.

    Actually, the browser is the one thing that I didn't try to play the files with. As noted in the OP, I tried a number of programs, including Windows Media Player, Winamp, DartPro, and a few others. Actually, DartPro will convert files form one sample rate to another failrly easily --if-- the file will open in DartPro in the first place. The files in question were locking up my system when I opened them in DartPro. Audacity seems to open and play the files OK, I just need to figure out how to re-save them in some more generic format.

    I hope this helps!

    - Bram

    I'll look into foobar (I'm on PC; hardly ever use Macs).

    Thanks again.

    --
    Bis

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    Timbre
    I believe it is possible to convert 32 & 24 bit wavs to 16 bit wavs using Audacity.

    Once exported as 16bit versions they should be playable on most software/ hardware.

    I think the bit depth of export is set in "preferences" on Audacity (1.3): press "Ctrl"+"P", then select "Quality".

    You can import audio of any sample rate or bit depth and Audacity will resample and convert it to the project rate and bit depth on the fly, as well as upon Export. You can choose different sample rate conversion qualities for playback and Exporting.

    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/manual-1.2/tracks_audio.html

    All you ever wanted to know about the wav format (e.g. it is PCM) ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WAV

    Thanks for the information. I'm making some (slow, plodding) progress, I think. Here's what's happened:

    1) Determined from Audacity that the files in question have been sampled at 32-bits.

    2) Used the info you pointed me to to open a 32-bit file, adjust the sampling to 16-bit, and then save as a WAV file.

    Exited Audacity, and tried to open the file with Media Player --BLOOEY!... Media player farts (loudly); Fatal Exception; BSOD; system crashes.

    3) After reboot I opened the new WAV file in Audacity and found that it still shows as a -32- bit file. OK, this time I convert to 16 bit, and save as an AUP file (Audacity format). I exit Audacity, restart it, and reopen the new AUP file -- voila! now it shows as 16-bit. So I export as a WAV file.

    Try to play the new, allegedly 16-bit WAVE file with media player... BLOOEY! again, with full system crash.

    4) Reboot, open the new WAV file with Audacity. It opens right up, and is confirmed to now be a 16-bit file. Plays fine in Audacity.

    So I exit Audacity and try to open the file in DartPro -- I get a message saying "Unable to read file header."

    I exit DartPro and check the right-click properties of the WAV file. Under "details" there is a message saying "Unknown file length. File is either corrupted or in an unsupported format."

    5) Just for kicks, I try opening the WAV file with Media Player again ... BLOOEY!

    I'm not sure exactly what's going on here, but it would seem that one of the things going on is that when Audacity creates the 16-bit WAV file it is not creating a standard 16-bit WAV file. It's doing something funky that IT can read, but other software can't. Unfortunately it's also apparently the only currently installed software I have that can open these files at all.

    Also, the manual you pointed me to says that when you change the bit-rate you can Export to WAV at that bit-rate, but that doesn't seem to be true. I've tried this several times and in order to get the conversion to happen I have to a) change the bit-rate; b) save the file as an AUP file; c) close and re-open the file; and d) Export to WAV format. If I don't do it that way, the WAV file stays at the original (32) bit-rate.

    <sigh> Oh well, I might have know this wasn't going to be easy. I think I'll try that Foobar2000 program Bram recommended, and then report back.

    Thanks again.

    --
    Bis

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    Hi Bisb,

    The problems you are encountering don't happen to the vast majority of freesound users, so I doubt there is any intinsic problem with the files or the way the freesound server handles them.

    The fact that you have similar problems with such a variety of software and the way your system crashes suggests to me that the problem might lie with your computer; specifically your sound card. You could check how old/modern your sound card is and update/re-install it's drivers. If your sound card can't handle higher bitrate/depths that would explain everything.

    Good luck.

    Heaven in the sky is to die for, Heaven on earth is to live for.

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