My unpleasant affair with Adobe SoundBooth

Sometime ago I bought Adobe SoundBooth 2.0 to improve my user experience in the field of recording and editing audio podcasts. I played with nice and free Audacity, and then decided to give some business to a company I like. There “s a version of SoundBooth for Mac OS, and I “ve easily installed it on my MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM and 320GB hard disk.

My first podcast was recorded fine, but then I noticed that all of a sudden I started getting a background fuzzy noise which was so loud that I couldn “t hear my own voice on the recording. Back than I was using not too fancy, but pretty decent USB microphone called Rode Podcaster. After going crazy on Google trying to find what can go wrong with it (I went all the way down to the voltage the USB ports are expecting to get from a mike) I simply gave up on SoundBooth as a recording program.

Audacity has been recording the signal from the same mike/usb combo just fine. Being a nice guy, I said to myself, “What “s the heck, I can still use SoundBooth for editing and mixing sounds rdquo;. In this department SoundBooth beats Audacity hands down.

I got peace of mind, and my podcaster “s life became smooth again.

I use a lot of software on my MacBook Pro ndash; Flex Java and Java SDK, Eclipse IDE, Web servers, DBMS, VMWare with Windows OS, MS Office, e.t.c. I started to be a little nervous when I noticed a couple of months ago that the free space on my hard disk is slowly disappearing, and I was routinely deleting unneeded files maintaining about 10Gb of free space.

I said to myself, “Yakov, don “t be cheap. Get yourself 500GB hard disk and stop counting free kilobytes on your disk rdquo;. Actually, it was not about the money, I just didn “t want to spend several hours backing up and recovering my existing soft.

Yesterday, after recording a podcast with two co-hosts, I was mixing three audio tracks. The size of each was from anywhere from 40MB to 80MB. After working for a couple minutes, SoundBooth failed giving me a very informative error “Unknown Error Occurred rdquo;. No worries. I “m smarter than a piece of software. I knew my little secret problem – lack of disk space. Sure enough, I had zero bytes of free space even though I could “ve sworn that I had 10GB free before I started my audio mixing exercise.

Moved about a gigabyte to an external drive and tried to do my SoundBooth mixing again. Same old unknown error had occurred. The free space was zero bytes again. I was going nuts. I couldn “t believe that a program may need so many GB for storing temp files while mixing about 150Mb of audio.

I knew that I had to find some other stuff to remove from my disk. My goal was to find the largest unneeded files on my disk and move them to an external drive. This is what you do in Mac OS:

1. Open the terminal window and create a function there by typing the following at the command prompt:

find_larger() { find . -type f -size +${1}c ; }

2. Run this function specifying the minimum size in bytes of files that should be displayed. For example, I ran it as follows:

find_larger 10000000

It listed a bunch of big guys, and most of them were sitting in the directory ./Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/Media Cache Files/

I started to realize that I was about to make the greatest discovery of my life! Some of these files were larger than one GB. The names of the files were recognizable too ndash; I made all these audio recording over the last several months.

3. I went to this directory and removed all these temp files.

Here comes the first quiz. How many free space on my HD I got after removing all these temp files? Ready? No, I mean are you ready for the answer? 190GB were freed!

Now comes an easy question. What program quietly loitered my disk with all these .cfa and .pek files? Adobe SoundBooth.

And the easiest question comes next? Do you think I “ll be buying a 500GB any time soon? No way Jose!

After seeing all this battlefield of dead files, a quick check of the SoundBooth Preference | Media menu revealed an obnoxious checkbox:
 “Save media cache files next to originals when possible rdquo;

Of course I want it hellip;if possible(!?). If I “ve seen all these gigabytes of temp files in the first place, I wouldn “t come to a situation when having 320GB hard disk is not enough!

You may say, “RTFM rdquo;. Yes, I didn “t do it. But does it mean that a program shouldn “t at least periodically clean after itself?

Anyway, the mystery is solved, and even if you don “t use SoundBooth, run this find_larger() function on your Mac and swipe away some old poop from your disk.

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