Thursday, 21 April 2011

A sound conversion: change files from .caf to .mp3 format

Written for Apple iPhone, QuickVoice recorder and NVivo 9-using researchers.

If you already own an iPhone, the free version of QuickVoice recorder works really nicely as a dictaphone alternative. 

By default, it saves the  voice recordings one makes to Apple’s Core Audio Format (.caf). However, this format is not supported by NVivo 9 software, which can import mp3, wma and wav files as internal or external data sources. 

Fortunately, it is easy to convert .caf files to .mp3 using the free version of Switch software.
  1. After downloading Switch, install and launch it. 
  2. Make sure your internet connection is active.
  3. Once you've selected one or more .caf files, specified the .mp3 conversion and pressed "convert", Switch will automatically update itself with the code it needs to do this type of conversion.
  4. The converted .mp3 will be exported to the folder you specified.
Aside from being NVivo 9 compatible, another advantage of converting .caf files to the mp3 format is the reduction in files' sizes by a half (i.e. 69.8 MB to 34.9 MB). If you are importing several interviews as internal sources, this benefits you by reducing your project file's size.

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