2nd Opinion – An Audiobook Checkup Tool

2ndOpinionWhat does it do?

This program is meant to be run once you have mastered your audio but before you send it off for publication. It is not meant to be used in place of an actual engineer. As it’s name implies, this program is meant to give you a “second opinion” about the state of your audio files.

  • This program checks the following:
  • Does each file peak at or below a specified value (-3.0dB by default)?
  • Does each file have an Average RMS within a range (between -18.0dB and -23.0dB by default)?
  • Were all files recorded with the same number of channels (mono by default)?
  • Were all files recorded at the same sample rate (44.1k by default)?
  • Do all files have an acceptable length (between ½ and ¾ of a second by default) of silence (-60.0dB or less by default) at the head?
  • Do all files have an acceptable length (between 3 and 5 seconds by default) of silence (-60.0dB or less by default) at the tail?
  • Does the retail sample have a length of 5 minutes or less?
  • This program also reports the total length of the audio for all files rounded down to the last full minute (as required for direct submission to Audible).

As of Version 2.0 (July 5, 2017), all of the settings above are customizable.

When this program locates an issue, it is labelled as an ERROR.

ERROR – This piece of audio does not meet one or more of the specifications

If your audio did not pass inspection, repair your audio and re-run this program.

How do I use it?

  1. Start the application by double clicking on it
  2. Click on Choose Directory
  3. Locate a folder containing WAV, FLAC, or AIFF files
  4. Click Choose
  5. Optionally, toggle settings to fit your needs
  6. Click Analyse

This program expects the retail sample’s name to end _sample.filetype
(Example: Walden_sample.flac, Walden_sample.wav, etc). It treats the sample slightly differently than other files. If you have included one, please follow this naming convention.

The program writes its findings both to the window and to a file inside the folder called Report-2ndOpinion.txt. If it finds errors, once you have corrected them and you run the program for a second time, it will append its new findings to the end of the same Report-2ndOpinion.txt.

If the program finds no errors while it runs, it will let you know. 🙂

How much does it cost?

The program is free to use, but I always appreciate…

A Cup of Coffee

A ridiculous amount of caffeine was consumed while researching all of this stuff.
Add some fuel if you would like to help keep me going!
$5$10$15$20$25Other

Which file should I download?
Version 2.02 released July 15, 2017

What’s New?

  • Faster, refactored code
  • More customizable
  • Support for newer OSes (both Mac & Windows)
  • Windows 64bit specific build
  • (v2.01-v2.02) Various bug fixes

UNSUPPORTED Version 1.0 released October 7, 2015
Mac OSX (tested on 10.10 & 10.11): 2ndOpinion-mac.zip

Windows (tested on 7 & 10): 2ndOpinion-win.zip

How do I install it?

Mac OSX

  • Unzip 2ndOpinion-mac.zip
  • Move the application to the Applications folder (recommended)
  • Open System Preferences and go to Security & Privacy.
  • Set Allow apps downloaded from: to Anywhere

OSX Install Security

Windows

  • Unzip 2ndOpinion-win32.zip or 2ndOpinion-win64.zip
  • Move the application inside of C:\Program Files\ (recommended)

What does it look like?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why doesn’t this software take MP3s as input?

This program is designed to work with lossless audio (like WAV, FLAC, or AIFF) rendered straight from your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). It is best practice to do all edits in a lossless format before converting to a lossy format like MP3.

Why doesn’t this software convert the audio to MP3 automatically upon successful completion?

During development, an earlier version of this software did just that. When it became clear that distributing it with the MP3 feature intact would mean dealing with a licensing headache, the feature was removed.

The v2+ only checks my file, v1 fixed stuff for me. What happened?

Through numerous bug reports, it became clear that the automated fixes were not always the best choices for the audio in question. Since the goal of this software has always been to “double check” the editing/mastering of your audio, the automated fixes were always out-of-scope for the project.

The v2 code will run faster and more efficiently on all computers and the added customizability in the settings allows for 2nd Opinion to be used on a wider variety of projects.

Can I change any of the other settings?

As of v2.0+ just about every setting is now customizable.  If there are other parameters that you would like to change, let me know. Trying to allow for customization without cluttering the interface is a tricky thing. But, if your suggestion adds value without being out-of-scope for this project, I will do my best to incorporate it.

It crashes when I try to run it. What’s going on?

Permission-based issues on both Windows and Mac OS X can cause problems. Try moving the program itself to your desktop and running it from there. Make certain that the folder you have selected with the audio files that you intend to analyze is writable for both you and the program itself. And, be certain that the audio files are not currently open by another program when you are attempting to analyze them.

I have an idea for a new feature! Will you implement it?

Maybe. Contact me. Let’s talk.

Licenses, Notices, & Information

This software is distributed under an Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0) license.It is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty. It is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the program is with you. Should the program prove defective, you assume the cost of all necessary servicing, repair or correction.

In no event unless required by applicable law the author will be liable to you for damages, including any general, special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use or inability to use the program (including but not limited to loss of data or data being rendered inaccurate or losses sustained by you or third parties or a failure of the program to operate with any other programs), even if the author has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

This software is written in TCL/TK and is used under a BSD-style license.
This software relies upon the SOX Audio Processing Library which is included under the LGPL License (LGPLv2).
The icon is derived from the Oxygen Icon Set which is included under the LGPL License (LGPL v2).