Preservation

Quality Control for Digital Audio Files

Using automated batch-processing software tools, test plans are developed for each format and/or each appropriate project. The test plan allows for some characteristics to be evaluated on an actionable basis (warning, fail or pass depending on the defined parameters). Others are logged for internal use but are not actionable as a warning, pass or fail. Aim points for these benchmarks are evaluated against NARA's product specifications as well as NARA defined aim points which may change depending on specific project goals. The following represents the quality test plan technical characteristics for WAV and MP3 products.

Metadata
Embedded metadata compliance: NARA follows the FADGI Embedded Metadata in Broadcast WAVE File Guidelines. NARA does not embed metadata into MP3 files.
Technical metadata: NARA is finalizing a technical metadata schema for audio files based on the same structure as its reVTMD schema for video technical metadata.

Item Level Evaluation: Automated Quality Analysis

Fixity: NARA is evaluating workflows to create and validate checksums for each digital file.

Terms used in the QC protocols are defined in the Glossary of Terms.

Technical Characteristic Warning/Pass/Fail or Logged Data
  • Sampling Frequency (Hz)
  • Audio Channels (Number)
  • Bits per sample (Number)
Warning/Pass/Fail
  • Duration
  • Average audio level
  • Peak levels
Logged data

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