My UCS Filename Checker (showcased in Sonofex Newsletter)

As part of the Field Recording Slack, I participated in various crowdsourced audio library. Some have become public, like the Cartoon one, I showcased here few years ago.

Our Slack is becoming bigger and bigger, and the number of participants of this crowdsource as well. Having consistent file names across all contributors is really important in a sound library, and with 100-200-300 contributors for each libraries, having solid naming conventions is a necessity. Fortunately, Tim Nielsen (who worked on Lord of the Rings and so many other cool projects) is aboard, and these crowdsource became perfect projects to teach and enforce his Universal Category System he elaborated mainly with Justin Drury (SoundMiner developper) and Kai Paquin (another well respected sound library maker). Here are the statement behind this project:

Our aim is to provide and encourage the use of a set category list for the classification of sound effects. We hope that in doing so, we can offer a framework for consistent categorization of sound effects, offer uniformity in a filename structure, and ease the pain of maintaining a sound effects library.

We also hope to provide tools to make naming and categorizing sound effects easier for everyone who maintains their own personal or a professional library.

UCS website

UCS is now solid, and can help provide a lot of infos about a sound right from its file name, like its category, its author etc… More informative than pack with files named “sound 01.wav, sound 02.wav etc”!

It became quite wide-spread in the industry, as some main sound library websites, like Pro Sound Effect, or other Sound Library Managers software like Soundminer and later Soundly, also adopted it in the passed couple of years, or at list encourage the use of this standard (see recent interview of A Sound Effects about UCS). There is of course some REAPER scripts for UCS based workflow!

Long story short, I participated in a Magic crowdsource library last year, and as always, the runner of the library faced various contributions which wasn’t named properly.

In order to help future participants, and have a nice little tool to teach UCS, I elaborated a small single page web app, in which you can input a list of filenames (this way, it is DAW agnostic), and it will tell you if there is any issue regarding the UCS convention. I tried to made it as user friendly as possible, with color coded columns, log, report, emojis etc… It took about two or three days to make, and I pushed as far as it needed to be, meaning it was able to detect every naming error in the 2000+ file list we had for this library, guided by feedback from Tim and Kai. It was actually quite interesting to make such tool, as there is a lot of consideration UX wise to take into account.

You can check the web page below (though I would encourage to open it in full screen), it’s free and open source, and even use it in your real projects, as many others already do!

See the Pen
UCS Filenames Checker
by X-Raym (@X-Raym)
on CodePen.

Few months later, My UCS Filenames Checker has been promoted in the issue n°3 of the Sonofex newsletter (Tim Nielsen website), which is pretty cool, as it somehow validate the fact hat this web app is more than a prototype and can actually be useful to people using UCS.

Extract of the SonoFex newsletter showcasing my UCS Filenames Checker.

If you are exploring UCS as well, maybe this app will help you creating complient filenames and release premium top class sound libraries.

Nice to see that my modest contribution to better audio file naming can be helpful to some!