Coined by AudioVisual Preservation Solutions (AVPS), an interstitial error is a system “hiccup” that occurs during digitization as the data stream is being written to disk.1 This error results in lost samples, and it is reflected in the waveform by an abrupt vertical drop. While the audibility of these errors varies, a particularly bad one is heard as a dropout.
Can it be fixed?
At this time, Wavelab’s Error Detection Analysis tool is the best method of finding these types of errors, although it frequently returns false positives. There is ongoing research by AVPS to develop an alternative detection method.
- According to the AVPS paper, these errors can crop up in any type of system
- Assuming the problem can be isolated and eliminated, any reformatted items with audible interstitial errors should be re-digitized if possible.
Listen to an interstitial error on SoundCloud
- Chris Lacinak, Digital Audio Interstitial Errors: Raising Awareness and Developing New Methodologies for Detection, AVPreserve White Paper, 06 January 2010.