BWF-Widget gathers Metadata and Time-Code from Broadcast Wave Files

BWF WidgetTM Instructions

click here for downloadable PDF version


    This software was created in order to allow production and post-production sound professionals a means of examining audio Broadcast Wave Files and gathering pertinent meta-data contained in each file and organizing that into a data format that can be easily read and shared by means of standard database exchange files.


    Extract the zipped file to a folder on your computer's hard drive and run the Setup.exe file.  The program should install in your program files folder and be available as a shortcut under program files titled: BWF Widget.

System Requirements:

    Windows 9x, 2000 or XP. 
    Windows Media Player 9 or later.
    Appropriate sound-card and sound output hardware for playback.

    This software will not run natively on a MAC, but may have limited functionality on Windows running on Virtual-PC on a Macintosh. I haven't confirmed audio playback is supported on such a system.


    When you first launch BWF Widget you will be presented with a small window that shows some file-navigation list boxes and some fields where the resulting metadata is shown.

Find your Wave Files:

    First select the drive from the drop down box that contains the broadcast wave files that you want to examine and catalogue. Then, using the folders window, double-click on the folder that contains the files of your project.  You should see all BWF or WAV files in that folder listed in the file list box on the right.  If you click on any file or use the arrow keys to navigate up and down the list you will be presented with the metadata for each file in the area below.

Gather the Metadata for all files in the Folder:

    If you click on the "Fill Data Grid" button in the metadata display area the window will expand some and gather the metadata from every BWF or WAV file in the selected folder. Once filled, the data in the grid can be sorted by any of the listed meta-data elements.  The default sort is by Time Code in Ascending order.  To sort on any other key just use the mouse to double-click on any header at the top of the grid. The list will then be sorted in the order of that item.  If you Double-Click on "Scene #" label at the top of the grid the files will all be sorted according to Scene number then Take number respectively.  The grid coloring is designed to help you quickly determine where the sorted items change.  In other words, if you sort by Scene #, the row colors will change every time the Scene # changes.  Column widths are adjustable to allow for different width data. Just click and drag the dividers in the top label bar to adjust the column widths.  You can maximize the window to fill the display in order to see more columns in the Data Grid without having to scroll horizontally. You can also move the positions of the columns themselves. Just Right-Click on a column head and drag it left or right and drop it in the new position. In the View/Options Menu you can choose what Fields are included when filling the Data Grid. Just un-check any Metadata field in the list box that you don't want to include in the grid.  You must re-load the grid for your new choice to take effect.

Save Collected Meta-Data to a file:

    If you click on the "File" Drop-down Menu bar, you can choose "Save Data File" from the menu or use the "Ctrl-S" keyboard shortcut, the program will immediately export the Data in the Data-Grid to a tab delimited text file and place it in the same directory as all the BWF files. If your files are residing on a Read only Media, like CD-Rom you will be presented with the  "Save As " dialogue box when you click on the "Retry" button and allowed to choose another drive and folder for saving the file. The Filename automatically created by BWF-Widget reflects the name of the folder and sort order of the data saved in the text file.  This file can be loaded into Excel or any Database program that supports "Tab Delimited Text files" 

Save a selection from the Data Grid to a file:

    You can use the mouse to select a subset of the entire data grid.  Click and drag across the column heads to highlight a series of columns within the grid or Drag down the Row Headers to highlight a series of row entries within the grid.  Then Right-Click on the selection and Choose "Save Selection" in the pop-up menu. You can also select a block of data within the grid by holding down the mouse cursor on the cell for the upper left corner of the block and dragging down to the lower right cell of the block you want to select. This subset, along with the column heads will be saved to a file with the prefix "SubSect" and the name of the folder and the type of sort.  Or you can use "Save Selection As" to rename the file and place it wherever you like.

Copy a Selection from the Data Grid to the Clipboard:

    A handy feature allows you to Select an area of data from the Data-Grid and Copy it to the Clipboard.  You can select a block of data or the whole grid then Right-Click inside your selection and choose "Copy Selection to Clipboard". You can then go to any application that supports Paste (Like Word or Excel) and paste the data directly into a spreadsheet or a word processing document.  The headings are automatically taken with the data so if you don't need them just delete that row of labels after you paste the data.

Printing a List of the collected data:

    If you have a printer attached to your computer you can choose "Print Data File" from the drop-down File Menu. If your data won't fit on the page width you can change the width of the columns in the grid to move fields closer together and allow more data to be displayed on a row. The options Menu (under View) contains some checkboxes that control whether a separator line is used to separate rows that have changed in the printout. This line is inserted wherever the background color changes in the data grid. This is useful if the Grid is sorted by Scene # as a line is drawn at the end of each scene. This makes the printout much easier to locate and read specific items.  You can also select a portion of the Data Grid for printing. Use the mouse to select a block of data in the grid then Right Click on the block and choose "Print Selection" from the pop-up menu.

File Playback:

    Currently BWF Widget allows you to play any file as long as your computer's audio hardware supports the bit-rate , word length and track count of the audio file.  Most Windows PC's currently only support up to 16 bit PCM sound files at up to 48048 Khz sample rate*. If your files are mono or 2 track16 bit 48k they should play by either double-clicking on the filename in the file list box or double-clicking on any Item in the Data Grid.  Click on the TC Window to display the real-time TC display that shows you a large sizable floating Time code window that will track your file as you play it.  This window displays the Scene and take number for the playing file if that data is contained in the Meta-Data.  The Tracker is the small vertical green line that tracks across the Time code display as the file plays.  You can click and drag this tracker when paused to move to any position within the current file. There are also Hot-Keys that control playback.  Pressing "Enter" from the Data Grid or File List box will play the file at the current cursor position.  Once playing the "Space Bar" allows you to Pause and Resume playing the current file.  Pressing “Esc” key will stop playback and pressing "P" Key will re-start playback from the beginning.

    *Note: SoundBlaster Audigy2 soundboards and USB Audio devices support 24 bit and 96khz playback as well as multi-track (up to 8) tracks of sound playback.

View Raw Data:

    Clicking on the "View Raw Data" Button will display a small text window at the bottom of the Data-Grid that displays the raw data in a textual format of Header and BEXT Chunk of the currently selected file.  This is useful for trouble-shooting Metadata layout and contents of any particular Broadcast Wave File. To close this windows just click on the button which now says "Hide Raw Data".

View Options:

    You can go to the View Menu and select "Options" to change settings for playback and Printing of files.  You can also select new color schemes for the TC window and Grid. Use the mouse buttons to select a new foreground and background color for the sample text. Then double click on the labels below the sample text to apply those colors to the respective objects.   The grid colors cycle through 1 to 4 in order so if you want only 2 colors (the default) then color Grid 1 and Grid 3 and Grid 2 and Grid 4 to be the same. Note: when you change the grid colors you must re-sort the grid to see the results. Click on the “Default Colors” button to reset all the items to their default colors.

Exiting the program:

    When you exit the program by either using "File - Exit" from the drop down menu. Or press the Ctrl-X hot-key, your current settings and the path to the current directory are saved so you can return to the same folder next time you start the program.


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