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Challenges of Audio Forensic Evaluation from Personal Recording Devices

Typical law enforcement audio forensic investigations involve audio evidence recorded under less-than-ideal circumstances by mobile phones, surveillance systems, and personal audio recorders. Moreover, the audio information is often transmitted and stored using a data compression algorithm such as a speech coder (e.g., VSELP) or a wideband audio coder (e.g., MP3). There are few systematic studies of the signal behavior of these systems for forensically-relevant audio material, and this may discourage a forensic examiner from using such acoustic evidence to draw reliable conclusions. This paper includes simulation and evaluation of personal audio recording systems in the context of audio forensics. The results indicate areas of strength and weakness in the forensic realm.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society