I have several corrupted audio recordings which use the 3GP container.
Some of them use an AMR codec while others use an MP4a codec.
How can I repair them?
I have plenty of other recordings from the same source which are fine. I guess this might help to repair the bad ones.
I have seen that there are some online services that do repair this kind of files. The problem with these is that the prices are too steep for me. IIRC, they charge 30 bucks per repair. However, I have a lot of files to repair, and I can’t afford paying 30 bucks each time I want to fix one of them.
Note: I’m not sure if this is the right forum to ask because I don’t know if Audacity can handle this or I need a different kind of solution. If it turns Audacity can fix this, I guess the thread should be moved to the Windows forum.
I hope Windows is good for this, but I’m not sure. I have spent hours looking for a solution, and so far I’ve only found two options that seem promising. One is the online services I mentioned above. The other is a command line method available in Linux. Installing Linux (and learning again how to use it) to fix this problem sounds a bit overkill, but I would do it if it turns out it’s the only method that works.
Anyway, I have Audacity installed in a machine running Windows 7 Home Premium SP1. I made the recordings with an Android smartphone.
I have some difficulties with my social skills, and I have found that a great way of improving is to record myself when I interact with others. When I listen to the conversation afterwards it’s much easier to pinpoint the problems and look for ways of improvement. For that purpose I use exclusively my smartphone, an LG Optimus L7 (Android). Its recording capabilities aren’t great, but it does the job. I create these recordings in two ways:
Phone conversations: I have installed the app Automatic Call Recorder and configured it so that it automatically records all my phone calls. These are the recordings which use the AMR format.
Other conversations: I just use the standard voice recorder that comes preinstalled with Android. These are the recordings which use MP4a.
I get corrupted files when my phone runs out of battery during the recording. Right now I’m especially interested in the recording of a phone conversation. My phone ran out of battery while we were still talking, and that seems to be the reason why the file with the recording was corrupted. Apart from that, my phone is bloated with too many apps, and sometimes it behaves weirdly, but I don’t think that has affected the recordings.
I did, but it didn’t work. I just got a meaningless waveform. Anyway, I’ll describe what I did in case I did it wrong:
I found several tutorials which fix this kind of problem by importing the file as raw data. I followed one of those. However, they use other audio formats, which might or might not be the reason why it didn’t work for me.
The Import Raw Data dialog has several parameters:
In order to find the values for those parameters, I used files which were correctly recorded using the same apps (Voice Recorder and Automatic Call Recorder). I opened the healthy files in Audacity and looked for data that seemed to fit the parameters. The Track Control Panel seems to have some of the information I need:
So these would be the values:
AMR files: Mono, 8000 Hz, 32-bit float.
MP4a files: Mono, 44100 Hz, 32-bit float.
It seems obvious that Mono is the value for the Channels parameter and 44100/8000 Hz are the values for Sample rate. It also looks like 32-bit float is the value for Encoding, although I’m not so sure about this one.
I guess that Start offset and Amount to import are irrelevant. Anyway, I left the default values.
Regarding Byte order (endianness), I’ve no idea of what value I should use, so again I just left the default value, little-endian.
Import Raw Data is for “lossless” files, or reduced bit-depth lossless files. You don’t have that kind of content in the 3GP files.
Steve meant normal File > Import > Audio… .
Don’t use Audacity for file information. The Audacity bit depth only shows the (PCM) resolution the file was imported at, and bit depth is not relevant to AMR and M4A. You can obtain “MediaInfo” from http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en/Download/Windows. Get the version without installer, because the installer may have malware or adware. Do your corrupt files open in MediaInfo?
Have you installed FFmpeg from Audacity Manual ? Audacity would need FFmpeg to even attempt the file.
So MediaInfo does not get as far as to know what codec the file is using.
If Audacity cannot import the file using the FFmpeg download above, hold SHIFT and right-click over the folder that contains the downloaded ffmpeg.exe. Choose “Open Command Window here”. Copy the problem files into the folder containing ffmpeg.exe.
Yes (I had it installed before I started to deal with this).
Actually, it does. That’s why I included the info displayed by MediaInfo for the healthy files. Since those are files recorded by the same app in the same device, it seems safe to assume that the codec (and any other technical details) is the same. Therefore, it’s AAC for the voice recorder and AMR for the phone call recorder.
I tried both methods with both corrupted files. The four attempts failed. The output of ffmpeg was the same in all four attempts, so I just copy here the output for one of the attempts:
Obviously, exercise caution. In my experience easy solutions offered in YouTube videos with a link to a download are often scams or virus traps. Stick to downloading apps from the app manufacturer’s site.
I spent hours googling for a solution before posting here. Here’s a quick summary of the links returned by that particular query:
• Link 1: Offers two tools that sound like they could be useful: AMR Repair and AMR Recovery. Weirdly enough, the installer for both tools installs a program called Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery, which, even more weirdly, turns out to be a recovery tool for corrupted storage drives. Looks great, but doesn’t repair audio files.
• Links 2 and 4: Advertise amrrepair.com, a website that is not even online.
• Link 3: Advertises the same program that I downloaded from link 1.
• Link 5: Temporarily offline.
• Link 6: Tool for novice users who don’t know how to play an audio file.
• Link 7: A guy asking for help with the same problem I have. He didn’t get any, unfortunately.
One last shot - it “may” be possible to persuade “EaseUS data recovery” to recover some of the AMR data. Definitely no guaranteed of success, but perhaps worth a shot.
This is their web address: http://www.easeus.com/storage-media-recovery/recover-amr-files-from-memory-card.html
I can’t help with that software as I’ve not used it for many years and it has probably changed a lot since then (and I’m not on Windows )
Also I’ve not checked if the free version supports AMR recovery.
I sent them a mail and I was quite surprised by their answer: Sorry that we don’t have a tool to fix audio files, Data Recovery Wizard can only recover the lost files. The last paragraph in this page seems to mean the opposite. I’ve sent them another mail asking for a clarification.
Since it looks really hard to repair the AMR files I checked again the online service I mentioned before. I was ready to pay 30 bucks to fix the file that I’m currently more interested in. Unfortunately, it turns out that they charge a lot more to repair this file: 90 bucks! I find that price unfair.
The website is mp4repair.org. I have looked for cheaper options, but I haven’t found any. Do you know a cheaper alternative?
mp4repair.org don’t seem to claim support for AMR, unless you found something to say they do.
http://grauonline.de/cms2/?page_id=5 don’t claim to repair AMR either but they are cheaper and there are alleged ways to make the software repair the entire file for free (I won’t say what those ways are here).