VFEdit supports Pure (raw amplitude data), VBase/40 (indexed format) and Wave (multi-track) files.
Pure files contain only the digitized sound, with its loudness characteristics. The indexed files also contain additional format, control and annotation information, a kind of sound file "style sheet", if you will. This enables you to make each separate sound file just the way you want it, but then store all of these special settings in a file header that gets saved with the file, and then you can play these back by number, without having to individually adjust everything again. Wave files .......[more needed here ].....
The Index Menu is your doorway into and out of these library collections of styled sound segments, much like the File Menu is your doorway into and out of the files themselves. You might as well say that an "Indexed" file is a sort of archive library. It is a whole collection of smaller sound bites, all stored as sub-files, within the larger library file. Even without using compression, the Index Menu is like using PKZIP and PKUNZIP. Having your sound bites arranged into an Indexed file is like an audio CD, where each piece of music can be accessed by its number.
|1||Index, Select < Alt > IS [< Ctrl > E]|
|6||Index, Previous < Alt > IP [< Ctrl > Q]|
|7||Index, Next < Alt > IN [< Ctrl >W]|
|8||Index, Text Edit|
|ESC||Backwards Out Of This Menu|
But before you can have the Index Menu available, you must choose the FileType of Indexed Audio (*.vap) in the FileNew dialog box.
This dialog box is automatically displayed as the second choice you make when the program startup,
or thru the File,New pulldown menu choice,
or by the FileNew control button.
If you choose WaveAudio (*.wav), or Pure (*.vox), the IndexMenu will be disabled.
And as soon as you do choose IndexedAudio (*.vap), VFEdit shows you the FileInput/Output dialog box, and asks you to "Enter index count:", which means how many indexes do you have?
The next screen / dialog box is Index Operation, where you select the Index of your choice.
So, VFEdit allows you to manage as many indexed audio collections as you desire, limited, of course, by available disk space. This is reminiscent of changing subdirectories, except I don't notice it asking which disk drive letter to use. Oh, it must ask that when we get to File,SaveAs.
The Index menu allows you to select an audio segment that already contains recorded data, or create a new segment containing no recorded data. You can also delete an old or unused segment. VFEdit automatically expands and contracts the indexed file to accommodate new recordings or to eliminate any wasted space.
[ I think there might be a need to access Wave files by different tracks, but then could that be an add-on called from another vendor's music software??? Do you allow OLE calls to the major music software products? Just an idea. ]
When I think of trying to go thru my huge collection of audio cassette memorabilia, and rescuing the best parts, by copying the sound to disk, for editing, the Indexed Menu and the Indexed style of file gives me an Indexed Audio Message Filing System. This means that I can more easily organize all those audio momentos and remark what each sound bite is, in the annotation. This gives me a kind of "Table of Contents" to that huge file. [ Then, I can print out the "Table of Contents", on each Index file, to help me handle the sound bites. We can't print it out yet, can we?] This is like doing DIR in a subdirectory.
Suppose that I own a radio station, and I want to make a new commercial. I have a collection of sound bites in various Index files, and I can go thru my "Table of Contents" lists, to find out where that sound of a fire engine got put. Oh, there is that segment of the kitty purring. Gee, this could be a kind of clip-sound collection, like a clip-art collection.
Suppose that I want to re-organize my whole audio cassette collection, retrieving the short good parts on each 90-minute or 60-minute tape, and save those into an Indexed archive. I can't seem to forget this, with all those cassettes laying out there, waiting to be edited.
Then when I have the editing and order of segments figured out, I can write a macro to copy out the selected sound bites to a new file, on hard disk. Then, I can listen to that new big file, and if it sounds good, I can copy off all the good parts, maybe 10 minutes out of each 90- or 60-minute cassette, to a new audio cassette tape. Then, I can recycle all those used audio cassette tapes, for capturing future memorable moments.
[ We can't do a macro yet, can we? That means that we are not a virtual programmable CD player yet. We are just a plain old tape player/recorder. ]
I can also copy off the large hard disk file, and also the Index files, to removable disk cartridges,
enclosing copies of the printed "Table of Contents" lists for each Index file. I now have a system for archiving my sound files.
This tool might really come in handy, when you have to prepare for that speech to your club, or in any kind of teleprompter use, like studying for a big test, maybe the bar exams. There is even a school of thought that if we play tapes to ourselves while we sleep, that we will learn easier. It couldn't hurt to try it, just not the night before the big exam. It is still safest to study for your tests.
Like the programmable CD-ROM player stereos, you could set up the playback of the Indexed audio sound bites, to play back in a certain order, as a reminder system of all the self-talk, prayers and affirmations, to help you become more focused into a chosen path. In other words, brainwash yourself for constructive purposes. Make yourself mind yourself.
In a computer telephony application, you could have canned messages pre-stored by number, in Index files, and then, call them to play back thru the telephone, in response to caller selections.
I don't know if you have playback from a list included in the software yet. Still dreaming.
[ Just ignore any suggestions that are enhancement ideas. File for later, if you see a good one. ]
The Index,Select menu command chooses which audio segment to work on, within an Indexed audio file. It is kind of like "Open,AudioSegment", instead of "Open,File".
The Index,Create command is also an Index,InsertBefore command. The insertion will occur just before the current selected segment. [ This doesn't seem to be working right yet, on the beta version. ]
If you are really sure that a certain audio segment is a throw-away, first have it selected, with the Index,Select command, listen to it, with the Play,Once, and if that is the one you want to get rid of, for sure, then use the Index,Delete command.
These commands make it easier to flip thru your audio card catalog of audio segments, more like a tab stop in a word processing program. First and Last are like the Home and the End keys, and Next and Previous are like the PageDown and the PageUp keys.
To start at the beginning of the Indexed Audio file, and listen to the first sound segment, you can get it selected quickly, by use of the Index,First menu command.
To start at the end of the Indexed Audio file, and listen to the last sound segment, you can get it selected quickly, by use of the Index,Last menu command.
To select the one closer to the first one, you can use the Index,Previous menu command.
To select the one closer to the last one, you can use the Index,Last menu command.
The VFEdit Indexed Audio Filing System has a built-in "Table of Contents", kind of like a "long file names" list. This is a great time-saver, in finding which audio segment you want to select. Each audio segment can have an attached annotation. Otherwise, you would have to listen to them all again, until you found the right one. Imagine what would happen if you had all your floppies sitting around, without any paper labels on any of them. This is the same situation you would be in, without the Index,TextEdit command, especially since each audio segment does not have its own filename.
As an extra feature, VFEdit now lets you change the font of the text annotation attached to the audio segments.
The Revert command is a failsafe insurance plan, a builtin backup mode. Suppose that you have done a lot of editing, or loudness adjustments, or special effects, especially when you are just learning how to use the software. You can always throw away the changes, and Revert back to the last okay version: Index,Revert.
Anytime, if you realize you have made a mistake, you can use the Edit,Undo menu command, and if that did not work, you can always go back and use the Index,Revert command.
[ Not for publication ]
Why not? Gone out and found some patch cords, and the micro-cassette recorder. Rewind it, check the volume, rewind it, and now, the LineIn patch cord. I could hear the talking coming out of the speakers, but VFEdit seemed to hang up. I think that an actual tape recorder turning on generates an interrupt that confuses the driver.
Maybe it only works from the microphone. I will try it in WaveAudio and WaveAudio(*.wav) mode. Same thing. It seemed to hangup when I turned on the micro-cassette recorder. Maybe it made an interrupt. Maybe it gives a power surge, when it first turns on. We might need surge protectors for the sound card ports. Could we edit that out with software?
I put it on the microphone hole, and if I started the recorder/player first, then started the RecordOnce, it looks like it is running. Maybe there is hope. Uh oh, a volume problem. Decibels way off the chart, over 100. I turn the volume dial way down, where I can't even hear it, and see what happens. I can't hear it coming out of the speakers either. Wait until I see the graph. Volume came in too low. I tried to up the volume, with VFEdit, and now am trying the ReduceNoise. At a full 60-seconds, it looks like a thick line. Maybe it would sound better with a mono plug. I used a stereo patch cord, with a mono tape recorder.
This might have to be a special volume setting for the sound card software and eeprom itself.
The good news is that the audio segment came out in the right order, with both waveaudio settings.
Will I be accused of hearing voices, if I forget and leave the recorder plugged in? How about a microphone electrode pasted on our right temporal lobe? I have that suction cup microphone. Maybe it could be a brainwave recorder. What if the computer could record its own frequencies
I tried the ChangeFrequency, and it compressed the whole thing to half the length, and I sound like Mickey Mouse. I could not get that file back. Revert did not work. Starting over, with slightly louder volume, on the recorder. Trying another 60 seconds. Too loud still. Trying a stereo/mono plug. With the volume barely on, it recorded pretty good, with the stereo/mono plug. It sounds better now. I am afraid that we need digital volume control, like the microwave oven, for both record and playback, for this to work right. Too much fidgeting around.
Maybe I can buy one of those Zip disks, and really edit my cassettes!!!!! Some vendors only have orders on back order.
I have VFEdit running the sound segment on Play,Loop, and I did a PrintScreen, and then I did the <Alt>Tab to the Clipboard Viewer, and when I was trying to do a printout, somehow, I started hearing a sound like an engine, so I did a reset. Guess we are not ready for this market. Of course, people might want to switch tasks, and start something else going, while they listen to an old song or whatever. Maybe Clipboard Viewer is not VFEdit compatible.
The hardware or the hardware drivers are not ready for this yet. Back to square one.
Suggestion: try just playing the tapes into the microphone itself. This appears to be a safer, less time-consuming method. I could do more of this, later on.