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Forensic Authenticity Analyses of the Metadata in Re-Encoded WAV Files

Detailed digital data analyses were conducted of the metadata contained in forty (40) WAV files produced on nine (9) different digital audio recorders and then re-encoded with four common audio editing programs, or a total of 200 separate WAV files. The purpose of this research was to identify changes made by the re-encoding processes as they related to forensic audio authenticity examinations. The research found that the re-encoding produced clearly discernable differences, compared to the original WAV files, with the exception of one recorder’s files when they were re-encoded using two of the editing programs. The RIFF WAV metadata format structures, the procedures followed, the changes identified in the metadata of the re-encoded files, and a discussion of the authenticity implications are listed.

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