Urgent help needed with a corrupt .bin audio file

Hi there everybody,

I was wondering whether some friendly wizard on here might be able to help me out. I would be forever grateful.

I have a .bin file from an audio recording that was made in microsoft onenote that became corrupted after I forgot to stop the audio recording feature properly and just closed my laptop instead - completely my fault, I know. Now the .bin file is corrupted and won’t play back like others in the onenote cache will through windows media player.

I have tried importing the .bin file into audacity as raw data and playing around with different settings, but I can’t get it to play, and I’m a complete beginner with audacity so I feel like I’m getting nowhere fast.

If someone could have a look for me, it would save my skin. The recording is of an important interview I did, and I really need to be able to listen back to it again.

Many thanks,


What do you mean by have a look? Which version of OneNote do you have?

Does Audacity normally import OneNote’s BIN files? They are unlikely to be any PCM-based uncompressed format, which is all that Audacity’s Raw Import can use.

From what I can see OneNote finished recordings “may” be WMA format. Can VLC play the BIN file? Have you tried a file conversion application to convert to WMA?


Hi Gale,

Thanks for your quick response. I have OneNote 2016. Windows Media Player and VLC can play other .bin files generated from audio recordings in the OneNote cache, but with this one they can’t as I think it was corrupted by not having finished recording properly. I tried to convert the file to a .mp3 and .wav using VLC, but this didn’t work. If you can think of anything else I might try that would be great. Thank you. I could send the file in question, but not sure if that is the done thing.

Many thanks,


When I go into my OneNote audio settings they say it uses Windows Media Audio Voice 9 codec and that the format is 12 kbps, 16 kHz, mono.

When I try to play the .bin file through VLC it comes back with the error message ‘Unidentified codec:VLC could not identify the audio or video codec’

The reason I am trying to rectify this through audacity is that I had no luck with any file recovery software like Recovermyfiles or Recuva. And I saw on a forum that sometimes if an audio file is corrupted by a power cut to the computer, then media players have problems parsing the file as they don’t know what kind of file it is due to the header not having been allocated correctly. This was rectified by importing the file into audacity and then playing with the settings.

Any solutions much appreciated,


I use OneNote 2016. I have already tried to convert the file in VLC to both .wav and .mp3 formats and this didn’t work.

Is there any way I could send the file? I tried attaching it to a post, but it said .bin extension not allowed.

Many thanks for the help,


Combine the header of a “good” VMA-file, which plays OK, with the headless part of the corrupted file …

Many thanks Trebor. I get what that is trying to do, but I have looked at the link you sent and I’m not proficient enough at command prompt stuff to be able to do that with any confidence. Sorry.

The file in question is here at this google docs link if anyone can help:


It should be about an hour long, if not more.

That file is only 372kb , if it was audio it would be less than a minute in duration.
That file contains text about a man with your initials : G W O, & repeated references to Gatwick airport.

Another .bin audio file I have is 128kb and plays through windows media player at 3 mins 40 secs long, so it is unlikely that the 372kb file is an hour long as it should be, possibly only 10 minutes then, but I was hoping that at least it would be a precious extra ten minutes excerpt of the interview. Whether the file is actually audio or not, it’s true, I don’t really know as I think OneNote creates .bin files for a range of things. I am only going off the date and time that the file was created by OneNote, which coincides with the time that I started the audio recording for the interview. Anyway, thank you Trebor for your attempts at this. Very much appreciated, really!

No-one can help, because that is not an audio file.

Was what you are recording anything to with public transport to Gatwick Airport? If so I suppose it is possible the file contains some audio if it was associated with a note about Gatwick Airport. If so all you can try is header replacement like Trebor suggested (you can do it with a hex editor).

Otherwise, the file is a write-off.


I doubt it. Other than the zeros at the end, there are bits of readable text throughout, and the entire file size is only about 380 kB.
It looks to me more like data from a calendar / diary app.

There are a few blocks of non-text. Another test would be to compare it in a hex editor with a working file.