In the overly-organized place that is my world, everything has a place and everything is properly labeled. That includes EVP. There have been occasions where I’ve been equally mystified and horrified by the way others store and label their EVP. I swear, if I were king of the world, my first royal action would be to insist that a proper EVP naming convention be immediately installed. So, you’re in luck – I’m not king of the world, but I am going to tell you how my EVP are tagged.
Primarily, I like to look at the file name and be able to instantly know everything about the clip without having to guess or listen. With a single glance at the name, I am immediately aware of the following things: EVP classification, date of capture, what recording device was used, investigation location, name of original file, where the clip can be found on the original file, what time the EVP occurred (optional), and what the EVP is alleged to be saying. Sound like a lot? It is, but with the help of abbreviations, it’s definitely doable. Here’s a sample name:
Including time: A-031713L-03SFH1134-0314am-get out.wav
Or without including time: A-031713L-03SFH1134-get out.wav
Okay, I know it’s long, but all that valuable information is right in the name. You may choose not to save the actual time, but everything else is pretty standard. Lets break it down using the first name above. The letter “A” tells me that this is an A-class voice – it could also be a B, C, or D. The numbers that follow the first dash are the date. In this example, the date is March 17, 2013. The “L” that follows is the letter code I selected to represent my Olympus LS7 recorder. After the second dash, the “03” indicates the clip came from the third master file recorded on the investigation. The “SFH” is a three-letter location description. In this case, it stands for the Smith Family Home, and the following numbers “1134” tell me that the clip was taken 11 minutes and 34 seconds into the original file. Next comes the actual time of day – that’s pretty obvious, as is what follows – the alleged words spoken by the voice on the clip.
After a while, it becomes second nature, and you’ll be able to find everything there is to know about an EVP clip just by reading its name. Of course, you may not like the way I do it – that’s okay, create your own system; something that makes sense to you. But keep in mind that the whole point is to be able to visually spot any audio file without having to hear it. I like being able to store all this info right in the name – saves me paperwork and time, and it allows me to sort and filter them as well. Most of all, my confusion is minimized and I am confident that all is organized and right with the world. Best of all, it works.