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  • November 20, 2018, 09:32 PM
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Author Topic: IDEA: edit decision list preparation for long audio files, subtle GUI...  (Read 175 times)


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Hello all - I have an idea for a small programme, hopefully quick for the ninjas here....

It's kind-of an audio player, but with an additional layer of annotating/organising/editing what's being played

use case: - long source audio files (e.g. 3 hours) with multiple songs or parts of discussion/book etc etc
I want to prepare an edl (Edit Decision List) at work, listen/mark/name/reorder/join etc which creates a txt-based edl  file saved alongside (same name as) source audio file, then finally when I'm satisfied with the edl and how it plays, dump out edited waves with filenames as defined in the edl.

ideally run as portable executable without install (or at least the option to do that), run on any operating system from vista to current.. (I'm mostly in win7_64 but likely to change soon at work)

Interface must be small, minimal, (no big wave display etc). I.e. it's unobtrusive on a pc in an office at work, so these long audio files can be worked steadily through on headphones without much taking eyes off doing whatever boring office job, and without making the boss think you're doing anything much else.

Just non-garish display of time position (click for time remaining this track, time remaining whole file), track number+name, and then some transport (play/pause/prev/rew/fwd/next/repeat) and mark/split/join/up/down/ignore buttons, info button and file open/save/save.
click on the track name to type in a name.
click 'mark' to mark a point in a track. uh.. some method to unmark as well?
'split' to split a track at the most recent mark. actually, thinking about it, maybe split and mark can be one and the same...
'join' to heal/join a track to whatever precedes.
'move up' to move a track up the order.
'move down' to move a track down.
'ignore' moves a track to the end of the edl and calls it e.g. ignore01, ie a file won't be created for that track when they're all output - renaming it will bring it back into the output list (and put it back before all the ignores).

This kind of simplicity is found on e.g. old portable minidisc recorders. there is no visualised element, just listening and not-too-heavy thinking, but full capability to make a complex non-linear TOC (Table of contents i.e. an edit decision list on a minidisc) from whatever originally got recorded. e.g.

cuts/joins must not involve encode/reencode, fadeout, crossfade or anything else - it's pristine/bitperfect and could be rebuilt with no loss.

Perhaps ideally cut/join at zero crossings

must have mono/stereo capability of 8 to 32 bit samples, and any sample rate supported - ie very basic system sounds to very very high quality audiophile/studio sound. I'm looking at pcm wav files initially, don't really care about other formats (e.g. i believe there are issues about trying to spilt mp3s at arbitrary positions without alteration - it's unnecessary extra complication for v1.0).

In a concession to actually being on a computer with a nice big screen an info button might open up a bigger overview screen showing the full edit decision list, track names (renamable?) etc, maybe click to play. maybe the edit times might be editable.. if there's been a lot of joining/moving then this screen will be interesting, could be several lines of edits for one 'track'. also this screen could be useful for getting out of a jam, or doing some 'undo'... i'm not sure about this..

'open file' chooses the source audio file to make an edl for: opens file and immediately creates an edl file for it.
'save edl' saves the current progress of building the edl file - closing the programme will bring up this as a question.
'output files' makes new wavs according to the edl. [dialogue box to ask for where to save to, and also if there should be a common prefix. add track no etc..]

clicking 'repeat' cycles between 1,all,none,(shuffle? - plays all non-ignored sections)
clicking 'rew'/'fwd' cycle between several speeds of audio scrubbing with the intention that you can quite accurately place a mark point by ear, but also fairly swiftly wizz through ten minutes of dross..

Possibly, in a further concession to being on a computer with a mouse, a very small (but I suppose fairly wide) clickable position indicator line representing the whole file, to allow for very rough navigation, so you'd not need to hold 'fwd' down for ages to get two hours into a three hour file...

v2.0, ie things that might be sweet for some folk but i don't care about and will probably just add complication:
- recording capability,
- other formats of audio file,
- edit the times in the edl overview window
- save wavs can save in other formats too (more palaver, metadata etc?)
- crossfade joins (and associated palaver, curve shape, onoff etc)
- bring multiple source files into one edl (more associated palaver, where does the edl get saved? different formats?)
- output xml based edl - maybe compatible with some video e.g. FCP  ones?