16 Replies Latest reply: Jul 23, 2014 7:31 PM by pwillener RSS

    Using Mac .caf Files

    Toomany3 Community Member

      How to?

       

      I've got a ton of Mac .caf audio files sitting in Garage Band that I want to use in Premiere for PC.  I can get them on the PC, but Premiere can't use them--at least in its current state.  Is there any way to use them WITHOUT having to convert to WAV or MP3?    

        • 1. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
          Colin Brougham Community Member

          Try changing the extension to .AIF or .M4A; no idea if that will work, but I suspect this is just an Apple-tastic custom container for PCM or AAC audio. If that doesn't work, you'll probably be able to open them in Audacity and convert them.

          • 2. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
            Toomany3 Community Member

            Apple-tardistic is more like it.  No joy for either one, but good idea!  Thanks.

             

            Now I'm off to hunt for a batch converter.  Ugh.    

            • 3. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
              the_wine_snob Community Member

              I'm only familiar with Garage Band by name, but I would anticipate that it would have several file format/CODEC options. What are the other ones?

               

              Also, is .CAF possibly a format for perhaps loopology? See the replies down this THREAD.

               

              Sounds a bit like SmartSound's formats, that allow the SmartSound Libraries to be used in their programs, or plug-ins, and is not a format that other programs can use, however, one can easily Export to PCM/WAV from, say Sonicfire Pro 5.

               

              You might just have to use the CAF files IN Garage Band, then Export from it.

               

              Good luck,

               

              Hunt

               

              [Edit] Here is another THREAD on CAF files, and using Garage Band to do the conversions. Be sure to scroll past the ads and download buttons.

              • 4. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                Colin Brougham Community Member

                Hmm... might be a job for VLC. Do you have a smallish CAF file you could upload and link to somewhere? I've got some kung-fu to try on it... bwa ha ha...

                • 5. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                  the_wine_snob Community Member

                  Actually, your earlier suggestion of Audacity is one that appeared in several threads on CAF files. That would be one of my next choices, if Garage Band does not work with CAF files, and Export/Save_As PCM/WAV, though it sounds like it does.

                   

                  Good luck to the OP,

                   

                  Hunt

                  • 6. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                    Colin Brougham-u9E3Ff Community Member

                    I might have figured out a way to losslessly batch convert these so that they'll open up in Premiere; let me know if you didn't find another solution.

                     

                    I only have one test file I'm working with, and it sounds like there is some variability in what is actually packaged in the CAF file, but it's worth a shot... free, too!

                    • 7. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                      Toomany3 Community Member

                      MAN!  If you have found a way that only works PART WAY, I'd be VERY intersted it in.  At this point I'm having to drop a clip onto Garage Band's

                      timeline and export them out one by one.  Real bummer!

                       

                      I'm ALL EARS!  (And very appreciative, I might add!)

                      • 8. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                        Colin Brougham-u9E3Ff Community Member

                        No worries Before I go all crazy with a tutorial for something that doesn't work, do you have a short sample of one of the files that I could play with? Doesn't need to be more than a few seconds; shoot me a PM if you have an upload location or I can give you access to my FTP. If it's less than 5-10MB, email would work too.

                         

                        As mentioned, I've found that there is all sorts of variability in these files; this is predicated on my research, but not actual testing. I only have one to work with at the moment, and while I thought you could find EVERYTHING on the Internet, apparently CAF files are exempt from that rule

                        • 9. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                          Toomany3 Community Member

                          I just PM'd you.  Thanks for the research!

                           

                          Yes, it has been hard finding info on CAF files.  Everyone says Audacity works fine, but my copy of Audacity doesn't recognize them at all.

                          • 10. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                            Colin Brougham-u9E3Ff Community Member

                            Cool; got 'em, and they'll work with my solution! I'm assuming you're doing this on Windows, but it should work on a Mac too.

                             

                            1. Get MPEG Streamclip for your OS here: http://www.squared5.com/
                            2. Once you've open MPEG Streamclip (no install needed), select List > Batch List. The Batch List window will appear.
                            3. Click the Add Files button at the bottom of the window, and navigate to the folder where your CAF files are saved.
                            4. The CAF files will not appear by default, so in "File name" box, type (without quotes) "*caf" to make them appear. When they do, select them all (Ctrl+A works) and click Open.
                            5. A dialog will appear asking you to "Please choose a task;" from the dropdown, select the "Save As" option. No need to check the other options; just click OK.
                            6. When you hit OK, you'll be presented with a folder/file browser window; navigate to your destination folder, and click OK.
                            7. You'll then see a window that says "File open error: unsupported file type." Do not despair Simply click "Open Anyway."
                            8. The next window will ask you to select a file format; choose MOV and click OK.
                            9. Finally, after all that, the files will be added to the Batch List window with the parameters you just set. Simply hit the Go button, and watch the files fly!

                             

                            The conversion should go very quickly, because there is no re-encoding happening. MPEG Streamclip is simply splitting the CAF container open, extracting the streams, and rewrapping them in an MOV container. They'll also be named the same as your originals. The CAF files are encoded with the Apple Lossless Audio Codec, which is a legitimate codec in QuickTime, on Windows, and even in Premiere, but the CAF container cannot be split open by anything but QuickTime (at least on a PC). MPEG Streamclip is an extremely capable front-end for QuickTime; it does just about everything QuickTime Pro does (and more, like batching) for free.

                             

                            EDIT: Actually, I just noticed that your CAFs were encoded with AAC audio; the test clip I had was ALAC. Nevertheless, they import just fine.

                             

                            Anyway, you will end up with a pile of MOVs with no video, but with ALAC audio streams. These import perfectly well into Premiere, and you'll have done so losslessly; compare the file sizes and you'll see that they are within a few KBs of the CAF files.

                             

                            Hope that works for you!

                            • 11. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                              Toomany3 Community Member

                              Well, that worked!  You're awesome!

                               

                              My coworker got it to work following your suggestions.  I haven't tried it yet, but from what I hear everything is working. 

                               

                              One slight modification was to not export to a MOV but to a MP4 because our audio manager can't listen to MOVs.  (Media Monkey).

                               

                              Thanks so much for your help!

                              • 12. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                                iimagine_creation Community Member

                                I LOVE YOU!!!! Just made the switch from Final Cut Pro (Mac) to Premiere Pro CS5 (Windows) and thought I lost all of my audio content from Final Cut Suite. This saved the day!!! Thank you so much. Love free tools, honest advice, and people going out of their ways to help others.

                                 

                                Another way to do this without compression (I assume MP4 would attempt compression) would be to change Step 5:

                                Currently step 5 is to choose "save as" and then choose "MOV" or "MP4" (video containers).


                                You can instead choose "Export Audio" and then choose AIFF (or AAC, MP3, or MP2). Guaranteed working in Premiere Pro CS5. Doing the rest of the conversions now!

                                 

                                Thanks again guys for this awesome thread and the help.

                                • 13. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                                  Colin Brougham Community Member

                                  Glad you found it useful I'm all about flying, stabby ninja stuff like this

                                   

                                  Another way to do this without compression (I assume MP4 would attempt compression) would be to change Step 5:

                                  Currently step 5 is to choose "save as" and then choose "MOV" or "MP4" (video containers).


                                  You can instead choose "Export Audio" and then choose AIFF (or AAC, MP3, or MP2). Guaranteed working in Premiere Pro CS5. Doing the rest of the conversions now!

                                   

                                  Actually, this is backwards: the reason I suggested MOV (and Toomany countered with MP4) is because the Save As options don't recompress--the Export options do. This mirrors the Save As vs. Export functionality in QuickTime Pro. The Save As option will simply rewrap the existing streams into a new container; Export recompresses the stream (even if you set the settings to be exactly the same) and puts it in a new container.

                                   

                                  Another option in this would be to use the Save Track > Save Audio Track command; that will extract just the audio to an M4A file, which will indeed import into Premiere Pro as well.

                                   

                                  Have fun!

                                  • 14. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                                    iimagine_creation Community Member

                                    VERY good point. Now that I'm looking at my newly converted files they are most definitely compressed. Damn! I will just go back and do it again as .mov

                                    • 15. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                                      Charles VW Adobe Employee

                                      For those recommending batch conversion solutions, you can do this easily in Adobe Audition.

                                      • 16. Re: Using Mac .caf Files
                                        pwillener CommunityMVP

                                        This topic (from 2011) is just attracting spam; it is now locked.