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Adobe Soundbooth CS4 Beta -- Transcripts & Metadata

You can try out the beta of Adobe Soundbooth CS4, to clean and sweeten audio clips, and to automatically generate music soundtracks (see previous post).

But there's another less-obvious addition beyond editing individual clips -- a focus on collecting and tracking metadata associated with your clips, to make it easier to search and manage your growing collection of clips and projects.

As a bonus, Soundbooth now supports speech-to-text transcription -- making it easier to search to find a particular clip, and to shuttle though clips to find a specific edit point while you watch the associated words highlighted in the transcript.

The transcription process is not magic -- It works best with professional-recorded broadcast-quality clips, and less well with more challenging clips. The product supports multiple language models, including variants such as American or British accents.

But, argues Lawson Hancock, product manager for Soundbooth in his Inside Sound blog, it's not just about the accuracy of the transcription.

... "Even with a 50% accurate transcript, the speech engine will capture enough keywords to enable you to easily search through your audio stream. ... Speech search is about speeding up the editing process by enabling you to easily locate specific words in your audio clips."


The transcript is only part of the extensive metadata collected and managed by Soundbooth CS4, and shared with other Adobe applications. The idea is to capture information about clips as soon as they are imported or created, and then augment and share the data though the production process.

Based on the Adobe Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP), data about each clip is embedded and stored in the file itself when saved. (Some file formats including AIFF & MPEG do not support embedded XMP metadata, which is instead saved in a separate .xmp file stored with the file.)

The power of metadata then grows over time as you expand your library of clips, as you can quickly find specific clips by searching for very detailed attributes. We are beginning to move beyond organizing files by folders, or date and project, and start to think about them in terms of how they were created, processed, and saved.

The Adobe Soundbooth CS4 beta is available as a download from the Adobe Labs site.

See full article with additional links: Adobe Soundbooth CS4 Beta

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