Frequently Asked Questions
Proper SoundHound setup is critical to avoid log errors due to database corruption and missing audio files. Here is the recommended configuration for SoundHound and audio folders.
Only 10 folders monitored in SoundHound is supported. You may be able to add more or use more than 10, but there is a limit in terms of Windows notifications to active monitored folders for an application that will cap some users. If you've operated with more than 10 folders monitored for some amount of time, you may reach a point when the cap kicks in and the only option is to consolidate the audio in to 10 folders. It's best to plan ahead and start with or move to 10 folders before there's an issue.
Folder pathing is another consideration. We recommend a \Audio folder in the root of the system or local storage drive that contains the up to 10 audio folders and storing your audio there (for example C:\Audio or D:\Audio). This makes locating and sharing the \Audio folder much simpler. Avoid using folders stored on the desktop, as that creates a long, user dependent folder name. Place a shortcut on the desktop to the \Audio folder instead of placing a folder directly on the desktop. For air systems, store all the audio on a local drive using the local hard drive letter path. Do not use mapped networked drive letters or UNC paths to the audio on the air computer. UNC and mapped network drives should only be used on production Simian systems where network latency, mapped drive disconnects, and network disconnects won't impact the broadcast like it can on the air Simian system.
The recommended amount of files monitored is five thousand for an efficient, manageable sized database. A limit of ten thousand audio files is necessary for SoundHound to efficiently update, search, and refresh the audio database. Folders and audio files can be rotated in and out of SoundHound as necessary. For example, a folder containing Christmas related audio can be added when that programming airs during and removed from SoundHound after the season ends.
Database corruption will cause errors in the program log. You can avoid corruption to the audio database by making sure there are no nested folders, which means do not monitor both D:\Audio and D:\Audio\Music in SoundHound. Every folder monitored should only contain .wav, .mp2, mp3, or .krt files, and it's recommended to keep the .krt files in a folder separate from the audio files (in a \Carts folder for example). There should not be any sub-folders and non-audio files within the monitored folders. If you use an audio editing program, make sure it doesn't save auxiliary data files in the audio folders (.pk files from Audition for example). Remove those files when they appear.
Keep non-standard and punctuation out of audio files' file names. SoundHound will give an error message when it sees apostrophes, so make sure to remove those from the file names. There should only be one dot/period (.) in a file name, and that should be between the file name and the extension only. (song.mp3 is good but song.track.mp3 is bad for example). Spaces that lead before the file name ( song.mp3) or after the file name before the extension (song .mp3) will not allow that file to be dragged in to the program log.
Another configuration that will cause database corruption is using the auto-refresh feature in SoundHound on the Options tab when monitoring only local folder paths. We recommend storing your audio on the on air Simian to a local internal hard drive and setting the path via the local hard drive letter. So the only time you should use auto-refresh is on a production Simian to monitor folders across the network on the on air Simian if you are not using a file synchronization program to keep the audio files on both systems. Also in Sound Hound options, turn on the auto-compact feature to compact the database once a day.
Self referencing carts are also a major issue that will corrupt the audio database. By self referencing we mean a cart that has itself (it's own cart file) dragged into it's own playlist. This causes a looping affect that will corrupt the audio database as well as effect Simian performance.
Deleting the C:\BSI32\audio.mdb file is a recommended regular maintenance (bi-weekly to monthly) step to eliminate database corruption, and should be done anytime there are issues with the database or when folders have been removed from SoundHound. You will need to close Simian to delete those files and they will be rebuilt when Simian/SoundHound is restarted. Sometimes the C:\BSI32\audio.dat may need to be deleted, too, when folders are missing from SoundHound, the Audio List, or the Audio tab in Event Builder.