Monthly Archives: March 2005

Two tools I really want

In the past six months or so I’ve become more involved in working with sound in digital environments. This proceeds by punctuated equilibria: I work with a set of hardware and software tools, and am periodically forced into rethinking the how and why –usually with the consequence that new tricks must be learned and new affordances purchased.
MP3 players are designed and equipped with the passive listener in mind, but I expect that some not-so-distant generation of the technology will allow the user to set markers and return to them. Now my only available method is to open the MP3 in an editor (Audacity, SoundForge, etc.) and clip/copy the section I want.
The point is that I have more and more occasion to manage sound files, but nowhere near enough appropriate tools for the tasks that arise, soooo:
(1) To make a sound file truly useful and repurposeable, I want the capability to call out a section, and ideally to encode that callout in a URL. I know this is possible, thanks to Jon Udell’s MP3 Ins and Outs and MP3 Sound Bites, BUT I don’t know just how to realize the possibility, and make it truly practical in the situations I’m working in.
(2) The other desideratum is a combination of utilities that makes it easy manage transactions with sound files: to mark the beginning (and ideally also the end) of a section, so that it can be dealt with easily as an editing task, and to make it easy to manage metadata for sections, so that the growing library of sound clips can be accessed and used at will.