Multimedia File Manipulation

Image files versus audio files

When working with image files, there are a number of factors that influence the quality and size of the file. Many of these have anologous factors when working with audio files. The usual goals of this lab are as follows:

  1. Understand how easy it is to manipulate an image,
  2. Understand the tradeoffs involved in image representation (file size vs quality for example), and
  3. Gain some experience with image manipulation software .

Instead of working with images, you are going to work with audio. However, given the intent of the lab, I do not want you to spend your time learning the JAWS interface for a program you probably won't use again. If you already know iTunes feel free to try out some of the examples given below, but otherwise just read through the comparisons. This lab will not have a deliverable, and instead your lab and project grade will be combined (see Project description below).

Using iTunes to compare audio files

Consider trying to import music from a CD into iTunes. There are a variety of import settings available from:
Edit > Preferences > Import Settings
One of the import options is to use WAV, which is a lossless compression format. By customizing the import options, we can compare to some of the properties of images (you can change these in iTune by choosing "Setting"-"Custom"):


On your machine in the lab (where JAWS is installed) I have had an audio editor installed. The program is called Audacity, and is JAWS compatible. This is an open source (i.e. free) tool for editing audio files (so if you just love it, you can install it on your home machine as well!). For your project, I want you to spend up to 3 hours working on manipulating an audio file. Turn in both the original audio file, and the final result of your manipulations. There are many audio files available for free online, or else I can send you one to start (I suggest working with WAV files for the reasons described above). You may find the following guide helpful in learning some of the JAWS key bindings:

Please note the 3 hour time limit!!! This is not intended to take your entire weekend, but instead give you a hint of what is possible.