Recover damaged audio file on Mac
For Mac OS X users, assuming your OS is intact
Note: This article by far doesn’t cover the complete issue, however it is especially about damaged audio files left after an application crash during recording. No professional assistance required.
Use at your own risk.
Crash during recording an audio file (tested in Logic Audio and MaxMSP). The result (.aif) still appears in Finder, but despite it’s apparent file size (definately more than just a few hundred KB) it shows a play length of zero seconds. The file does not load or play in any application. As if it would contain only header data, but no audio? Wrong.
Using a 24-bit/44.1KHz stereo interleaved file as an example.
• Download Tom Erbe’s Soundhack (must-have freeware).
• Rename file extension in Finder from .aif or .wav to .txt
• Open .txt file in Soundhack using “File -> Open any”. The file will appear as a mono 8-bit file (other variations, see user comments below), without header.
• Press Apple-H or go to “Hack -> Header Change.” Change header to original no. of channels (2), and original bit resolution, but eventually swap bytes (try this first – if the bytes are in wrong order, then you’ll get white noise later).
• Try playing the result (press space bar). If you just hear digital noise, close the result, open .txt file again, and use the “linear” instead of “byte swap” option when changing header.
• Save working result using “File -> Save as Copy” using your original file type and resolution.
I hope that helped :)
Thank you, Tom Erbe.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane is K.O. aka jayrope is a Berlin-based composer, producer and musician.
More info: jayrope.com