Snip snip snip...Oh no my music!
October 9, 2007 8:03 AM   Subscribe

At work, we have to deal with many many requests for audio clips. That is, receiving a CD, cutting 30, 60 or 90 seconds (or some other arbitrary length) from some or all of the tracks and turning them into MP3 or FLV files for use on our websites. I'm searching for a way to better automate this process, as it is unbelievably tedious process as you can imagine. My ideal solution would be able to insert a CD (or take a set of mp3 files) and run a program that would let me select start and end points for all tracks or each track individually, select a format (mp3 required, swf/flv nice but not absolutely necessary) and press a button to have it executed. Does anyone know of such a beast?
posted by softlord to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Which operating system are you on? If you are on XP, then AutoIt is usually the program recommended. If you are on some form of linux or unix, then I recommend a shell script. If you are on a Mac and don't want to do the shell script, check out Automator.

Autoit is a simple scripting language designed for automating the Windows GUI. Such scripts proved useful for "hands-free" completion of highly repetitive tasks.
posted by philomathoholic at 8:24 AM on October 9, 2007

I forgot to say that the idea is to take the programs that are currently doing the job and then automate the process, without having to get some new programs.
posted by philomathoholic at 8:26 AM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: At the moment, we're sending them out for external encoding, so there is no previous software used. I'd much rather use a program specific to the task.
posted by softlord at 8:33 AM on October 9, 2007

Audacity supports setting a start and endpoint and saving that selection as some file. Its pretty easy to use to boot. I'm not sure if it can deal with an Audio CD directly, but there are a ton of programs that can rip the audio off of a CD with minimal interaction.
posted by mmascolino at 9:01 AM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: Yeah we've used Audacity, it just doesn't do the batch encoding like we need.
posted by softlord at 9:13 AM on October 9, 2007

Does Audacity have a command-line mode? If so, it should be pretty easy to script it all so you can batch-process the encoding.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:49 AM on October 9, 2007

There's an old program that I still use that came with the SoundBlaster 16 install CD called Wave Studio. If I needed to, I could uncompress and mp3 to wave, cut/paste a highlightable selection along a soundwave graph, paste it to a new file and add fade-in/out effects, save it and re-encode. I had a brief stint as a musician's site admin and made preview mp3s this way. Or is that just as tedious as you mentioned? heh
posted by Quarter Pincher at 10:26 AM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: Yeah it is... i dont need to add any fading, just set entry + exit points, and choose format.
posted by softlord at 11:12 AM on October 9, 2007

This is a very easy problem to solve, since the tools all exist; you just want a different (simpler) interface. Your local high school computer club probably has someone who'd be willing to do it for relatively cheap.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 12:32 PM on October 9, 2007

Loudeye spent untold millions building massive ripping/encoding/clip generation systems and databases of audiot files and clips. Many hundreds of thousands of CDs worth.

If they are still around, it might be worth investigating buying the clips from them.
posted by trinity8-director at 1:16 PM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: er...yeah, they got those CDs from us (shouldve clarified, i work at a record label)
posted by softlord at 1:39 PM on October 9, 2007

If you have access to a Linux/OSX box, this is trivially scriptable from the command line, cdparanoia can rip only a given range of a track and piping that through an encoder is similarly easy. Of course you'd have to have a linux/OSX box for this to be of any use at all.
posted by Skorgu at 1:47 PM on October 11, 2007

Best answer: Looks like i get to answer my own question.

I found two utilities

for Mac: MP3Trimmer.
For PC: MP3 Cutter/Joiner.

Neither one is PERFECT but they each seem to do enough. I hope this is helpful for others looking for similar solutions.
posted by softlord at 3:35 PM on October 16, 2007

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