This tiny sample of audio represents the instant that my iPod ran out of battery life while recording a performance of myself, Nils Westdal and Graham O’Brien on drums from Monday, November 17, 2008 at Cafe Barbette in Minneapolis.
Typically when a recording is interrupted due to power loss on a digital recorder, the device is unable to save the document properly so what you end up with is a corrupt file, or worse, nothing at all. In my case I ended up with a corrupt file on the iPod of about forty five minutes of our second set. After a minute or two of searching I discovered that Audacity has a file menu option called “Import Raw”. Using this option I was able to import the unreadable content into Audacity.
I was delighted to see that most of the recording was intact. However, what was was interesting to me is that at the end of the file was about a minute or more of random white noise. I fancifully imagined this as my iPod going into a dream state as the power level was no longer adequate to support the standard functionality of the device. So here’s the first 48 milliseconds of that dream state with a three dB pad to eliminate clipping.
Ghost in the Machine