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Re: Embedding text into wave files

Subject: Re: Embedding text into wave files
From: Walter Knapp <>
Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2003 02:09:21 -0400
Marty Michener wrote:

> Click View->Wave Properties and then the TEXT FIELDS tab, and a form opens 
> up where you can type and [tab] your way through fifteen blanks, using the 
> standard RIFF (Rich Information File Format) system invented way before IBM 
> or Apple by Atari.  The AIFF sound file by Apple is also a RIFF file, able 
> to contain any RIFF chunks you stick in, such as copyright, author, title, 
> comment, even a bitmapped picture file within the parent sound file. It is 
> also easy for any software to find any of the chunks in the file it wants 
> to, without disturbing any of the unrecognized chunks of data.  It is quite 
> a simple system, with each chunk having its own four byte ID code and 
> telling all just how far down the file you have to go to find the next 
> chunk.  According to Walt, it is regrettable that none of the Apple 
> software manufacturers have allowed Mac users to regularly access this 
> valuable attribute.

As I've noted in the past, using this system carries the risk it won't 
be supported in the future. It's fine to use it, but be sure and have 
all the data somewhere else, which is probably going to mean typing it 
in at least twice. If you burn that aiff or wave file onto a audio CD, 
it all goes away. You have to keep it in the original format, and hope 
that your future software will read it.

I really cannot be so blanket as to say all mac software won't read the 
metadata, but what I use does not. Peak can save to 11 different 
formats, only three of which have metadata in their specifications as 
far as I know. Spark XL works with a number of formats too. Many of 
which would not preserve the metadata. That lack of consistency in 
metadata across all sound formats and a general lack of interest in it 
is the most likely reason. They'd have to implement all kinds of 
warnings every time you were about to loose the data and probably 
rightly decided not enough folks wanted it to be worth the extra 

I view it more like we have moved away from this sort of thing. Only old 
timers even know it existed. I try to move away from things that don't 
look like they will be around. I'll leave it to Marty to try and drag 
computers back to what he's used to. Atari has been scarce for a very 
long time. And computers and OS's have evolved considerably since then. 
And I'd like to see them evolve a lot more, they still carry way too 
much user unfriendly baggage from that past.



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