Making Recording Logs: Quick Tip

The following information and xsl parsing file was made generously by Owen Green in 2015. Reproduced here with thanks as it really takes the headache out of generating your spreadsheet of audio data.

NOW DEPRECIATED in favour of BWFMETAEDT, but still very interesting and useful

From Owen:

Making recording logs can be very tedious if you’re entering lots of data by hand (sample rates, durations etc.), and surely that data already exists somewhere? Why should it be done by hand? Better uses of time and energy abound.

The video below explains a quick tip using the OS  X terminal to produce an Excel-readable file with file names, durations and so forth. It’s a thinly veiled attempt to convince you all of the virtues of becoming au fait with the terminal as a way of really taking control of your computer work-flow. The file you’ll need for this, along with the command itself is below the clip:

You need a XSL (XML Stylesheet) to make this work. By default it needs to be in your documents folder. You can use this command in terminal to download it (copy + paste):

curl -o ~/Documents/; unzip -d ~/Documents ~/Documents/; rm ~/Documents/

Or just grab it in a zip file here. It still needs to go in to your ~/Documents folder though (unless you change the command)


Here’s the command that does the magic:

mdfind -0 -onlyin . "kind:wave OR kind:aiff-c" | xargs -0 mdls -plist - | xsltproc ~/Documents/PlistAudioMetaData2CSV.xsl - > SampleMetaData.csv

You need to have navigated to the top of the folder tree you want to document, using the cd command. A quick tip is to type cd at the prompt and then you can drag a folder from the finder in to terminal to give the complete path.