Exclusive: Fakin' The Funk? App Weeds Out Rubbish Music Files

fakin

Fakin' The Funk? may look tedious, but it could just save you from making a fool of yourself dropping a banger that, instead, just whimpers on the dancefloor...

No, it doesn't tell you whether the song is good or not, but this interesting new app called Fakin' The Funk? does answer a question that DJs often ask: "Is this 320mbps MP3 or so-called lossless WAV really so great, or is it just a crappy YouTube rip (or similar) of a badly mastered file, craftily exported in a more acceptable file format?"

Of course, the proper answer to that question is, and always has been, "listen to it" - if it sounds shite, it is shite - but admittedly it's sometimes hard to tell listening on small speakers or your headphones whether a file is as good as it first sounds. You can get tripped up turning up at a club and realising that something is actually terrible-sounding... in the middle of a DJ set.

Fakin' The Funk? (PC only) is a pretty slick and informative app. Unlike one-time spectral analysers, it can batch examine a whole load of tracks at once (limited to 100 tracks until you bung 'em some cash on PayPal), and - say the makers - can't be fooled by people "upsampling" tunes. What we mean by that is when someone loads a 128kbps SoundCloud rip into an audio program and saves it out at 320mbps MP3 or lossless WAV. (I hope we all know by now that this doesn't actually do anything to increase the actual audio quality, but is something that nonetheless may fool hapless DJs down the line into thinking they have a legit, high-quality file).

How to works

The program works primarily by analysing each file's frequency spectrum to determine where the high frequency cut-off is.

It's a characteristic of audio encoders to reduce the higher frequencies, so the absence of high frequencies is a good indicator of the underlying (ie original) bitrate of a file. (There is a scientific study that concludes as such, with the words: "The high frequency spectrum is ... a reliable way of determining the true bit rate based quality of an MP3 song, across a range of different songs, artists, and genres.")

So typically, a 128kbps MP3 has frequencies up to 16kHz. If a file that claims to be 320kbps has no frequencies above 17kHz, it would therefore be marked as fake. For 160kbps, this value is around 17kHz, for 192kbps, around 18kHz. A true 320kbps file would show frequencies up to 22kHz, so again, this can be flagged if it isn't the case.

The makers also claim that the program does a "tolerant analysis of the peak frequencies to reduce the number of false positives". So basically, they say that if it spots a file as "fake", then it most likely is indeed the case.

An added bonus is that the program also scans through the audio frames to detect if the file can be played to its marked end, thus spotting corrupted downloads where the playback might start without problems but stop somewhere in the middle.

Promo video

A Mac version is on the way we are told, but for now you PC users can try it for yourself: Head to Fakin' the Funk? to find out more, where there's also a pretty detailed FAQ.

What do you use to double-check the quality of your files? Do you think there is a need for this type of app? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Comments

  1. As someone who's obsessed with sound quality, I'm really stoked about this and will peep it out as soon as I get some free time. So far, I've relied on my ears and Spek (a one-time spectral analyzer).

  2. I need a Mac app for this!

  3. Dwayne Marcel says:

    Welcome addition. But unlike spek the dB isn't shown in results.

  4. Joshua Lewis says:

    Nice. Do you have an option to search for joint stereo?
    Also looking forward to a Mac version. Keep up the good work.

    • Fake No Funk says:

      You mean to identify if it's joint-stereo by analysing the audiostream? Nope, I can't...
      The only thing I could offer is to include the channelmode as a separate column to the listview...

  5. Mike De Laat says:

    Very nice: I don't have a PC so could I run this on an emulator like Wine? Have you heard of Similarityapp? This is my swiss knife at the moment: http://www.similarityapp.com/
    Other tools I use:
    MP3 Scan+Repair: https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/40263/mp3-scan-repair
    and our Dutch software Spek of course!

    • Fake No Funk says:

      It should run using Wine or Paralles desktop!

      I do know similarity (which is - no doubt - a great tool!), but Similarity is mainly for finding duplicates. It has indeed a quality-rate/checker on board: It gives a value between 0 and 100% rating-wise, to show the quality of the file. This is based on several properties, like tags, clipping, bitrate, etc.
      Hence, it can be fooled by audio-optimizers like Platinum Notes, since such software repair the clipping (and more like adding dynamic compression)
      It’s actually misleading, when you think you are checking if the file is fake or not, see http://www.digitaldjtips.com/2016/04/can-analyse-songs-audio-quality/#comment-323141

  6. DJ Dennis - The Swedish Menace says:

    I've just downloaded the Fakin' the Funk Mac App and about to test It out... here's the link. https://fakinthefunk.net/en/#download (Windows, Mac and Linux Apps)

    • DJ Dennis - The Swedish Menace says:

      After running the MAC app on an external 512 SSD with a batch of 12500 files, 30 minutes later, It yields the result of one fourth of the files (probably due to DRM protection). I can however manually inspect the other files with a spectrogram (if some are suspicious).

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