Metadata is one of those topics it’s hard to get excited about, until you realize it’s essential to your work and without it, you’re doomed. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating—but great as Audition CS5.5 was, it was missing some key metadata-related features that our customers in the radio industry missed sorely.
Actually, it was worse than that: because Audition CS5.5 didn’t support Cart Timers and Radio Industry metadata, it meant that Audition no longer played nicely with some radio automation systems. Which meant that even if you LOVED Audition CS5.5 for its speed and elegance, it may not have fit into your production pipeline.
Happily, Audition C6 changes all that, bringing back and improving on these two key features.
For those of you who are reading this and don’t work in radio, Cart Chunk is an open, AES-blessed standard used extensively in radio that leverages metadata to add information to digital audio files. Built to digitally replicate the old analog notion of “cart labels”—which physically labeled magnetic tape reels or carts—this standardized metadata is used by many radio automation and scheduling systems.
Audition 3 supported CART timers, but they’re now much easier to use in Audition CS6. Add Cart Timer markers by simply pressing C, whether you’re in Waveform or Multitrack view. (Want a plain old Cue marker? Just press M.) Using this keyboard shortcut sets the Cart Timer type to EOD, but you can change that just by clicking on the triangle next to the name field to choose the desired marker type (SEG, AUD, INT, OUT, SEC, TER, MRK, EOD); you can also enter a 4 character custom name.
If you have a range of time selected when you use the C keyboard shortcut to create a Cart Timer, the Duration is set to match the time range; you can always change this either by scrubbing the value in the Markers panel, by entering a new value in that field, or by repositioning the start or end point of the marker above the timeline.
You can also create Cart Timer markers manually by clicking on the little Add Cue Marker widget in the Markers panel then choosing Cart Timer from the Type menu (a clunkier process but, hey, we’re all about flexibility); you’ll then want to change the default name of Marker 01 or whatever increment you’ve reached to one of the options from the drop down list.
There’s a lot more to say about markers in CS6, so we’ll save that for a future blog post, and close this out with a few words about Radio Industry-specific RIFF metadata. We added the tab back in! Check it out: open the Metadata panel, click on the RIFF tab—now there’s a Show As menu, and if you choose Radio Industry, you’ll see a subset of options with just the fields relevant to radio.
Got questions or other features in this area you’d like us to consider adding? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to tell us what kind of work you do and specifically how you’d use them.