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Protecting audio file

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Greg BallProtecting audio file
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 6:23:35 pm

Usually when we produce a video for a client, we burn in a timecode window until the client pays the balance due on the video.

We're creating an audio PSA for a client, and need to send them the audio file for approval. How can we add something to the audio file so they can't use it wothout paying?

I thought about adding a sound effect or voice announcing our company name throughout the audio track, but this will intefere with their ability to hear and approve the edit. Any suggestions?


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Todd TerryRe: Protecting audio file
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 6:32:43 pm

A lot of music companies (and voice actors, too) watermark their audio tracks with a beep or tone every so often.... maybe a 2-frame tone every 15 seconds or so.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark SuszkoRe: Protecting audio file
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 7:27:21 pm

You might also layer on a very high or low frequency hum that would require a lot of filtering to take out.
Maybe you can just play them over the phone?

Finally, if you are that uncertain of the client's honesty, don't play anything until you get paid, period.


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Ron HersheyRe: Protecting audio file
by on Mar 21, 2014 at 4:40:50 pm

Hi Greg,

We have a couple of ways to protect audio filesa. One is on a data DVD that can only be played on a PC. The other is via a protected download that can play on PC, Mac, iOS devices (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch), Android smartphones or tablets, or Kindle Fire. You can make the downloaded file only available for a limited time if you want. But in either case, the file is protected against unauthorized copying or distribution without doing anything to degrade the quality of playback.

If you want to explore either of these options further, please contact me.

Ron Hershey
Endeavor Digital, Inc.
Digital Content Management Solutions
717-685-4030
ronh@endeavordigital.com


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Todd TerryRe: Protecting audio file
by on Mar 21, 2014 at 5:13:48 pm

Not to be a killjoy about that technology, but if there is any way to play it back in full res, even just once, the hack around the copy protection is easy.

Play it, just use TotalRecorder (or another of several softwares) to record it "live," and you've ripped it.

Frankly we used to do this all the time with music companies to test out different tracks before we decided which to use (and buy)... even if the files weren't downloadable (which they often weren't), we'd just play them off their websites and record them at the same time. Sounded great.

Now we are painfully honest and never used a track without paying for it... but I always thought how easy it would be to do so for less trustworthy types.

So I don't think any kind of copy protection is nearly as secure as a watermark.

Or you can just work with clients that you trust not to screw you over.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Todd TerryRe: Protecting audio file
by on Mar 21, 2014 at 5:20:39 pm

I meant to add this story in my previous post, but forgot...

Couple of weeks ago an agency sent us a radio spot they'd produced. This spot was already airing, and they wanted us to listen to it so we could concept a corresponding television spot.

We listened to it a couple of times, and something just didn't sound quite right. I finally figured it out... every 10 seconds you could hear a faint female voice saying "Audio Jungle!."

Yes, they'd ripped and used a watermarked music track in their piece.

And this was a professional advertising agency.

Not only illegal, and sad... but just plain bad.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Stephen PickeringRe: Protecting audio file
by on Mar 27, 2014 at 8:43:45 pm

Yeah, even "Audio Jungle" watermark isn't enough to stop some people.

We once sent a video to a client for approval containing a temporary track from Audio Jungle (to get the "OK" before purchasing the license and clean audio file). The client was so excited that they sent it to their web guy. Before we knew it they had it online... complete with the high-pitched "Audio Jungle" watermark!! I was horrified but the client didn't even notice! It was clearly a mistake and not malicious on their part. We quickly purchased the song, swapped it out, and kindly asked that they remove the "Preview" version and replace it with the "FINAL" version.

So... even watermarks might not stop someone, intentional or unintentional :) But at least the rest of us will notice!



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Ron HersheyRe: Protecting audio file
by on Mar 21, 2014 at 6:23:40 pm

That's true, there is no way to prevent re-recording of the sound waves as the audio plays.

Ron Hershey
Endeavor Digital, Inc.
Digital Content Management Solutions
717-685-4030
ronh@endeavordigital.com


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