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Installation instructions

Follow the guidelines below to install Audio Orchestrator. If you don't already have the software, register on BBC MakerBox to receive a download link.

If you have any problems with installation, please let us know on the MakerBox Community forum.

Once Audio Orchestrator is installed, you're ready to go.

Tip

  • The current version of Audio Orchestrator is 0.20.1. If you don't have the latest version, please contact MakerBox. To find out what version you're using, go to BBC R&D Audio Orchestrator > About Audio Orchestrator in the macOS menu bar or click the information icon in the blue title bar on the start page.

  • Projects made with older versions of Audio Orchestrator will remain compatible with new versions. Projects made with the latest version cannot be opened with older versions.

  • You can see what's changed between versions in the change log.

To install Audio Orchestrator, follow the steps below to:

Installing Audio Orchestrator on macOS

Info

  • The minimum version of macOS required for Audio Orchestrator is 10.10 (Yosemite).

  • If you're using a Mac with the M1 chip, use the file ending -arm64.dmg.

  • You'll need to have an installation of FFmpeg and FFprobe. See the FFmpeg installation instructions below.

  1. Open the BBC R&D Audio Orchestrator .dmg file.

  2. Drag BBC R&D Audio Orchestrator into the Applications folder.

  3. In your Applications folder, click the BBC R&D Audio Orchestrator icon to open the application.

    • The first time you open the application, you may see a warning saying that BBC R&D Audio Orchestrator is an application downloaded from the Internet. Click "Open" to continue.
  4. If you already have FFmpeg and FFprobe installed, that's it—you're ready to go. If not, read on for instructions on installing these.

Installing FFmpeg and FFprobe on macOS

To use Audio Orchestrator, you need to have an installation of FFmpeg and FFprobe version 4.1.0 or later. If you're not sure whether you have these, just try opening Audio Orchestrator. You'll see an error message if you don't have the required software installed.

There are two ways to install these dependencies. The easiest way is to use Homebrew, which you might already have installed if you've done development work or installed certain software packages before. Otherwise, you can manually install the software—see instructions below.

Info

Please note the Audio Orchestrator terms of use, particularly Clause 7.3.

7.3. You will need to download and install FFmpeg audio encoding software on Your computer for Audio Orchestrator to function. The BBC is not responsible for the provision or this software, or its use by You, and is not responsible or liable for any loss of data or damage to any hardware or software caused. You are wholly responsible for accepting and abiding by any terms and conditions required by any third party to download, install and use FFmpeg.

Installing FFmpeg and FFprobe using Homebrew

To install FFmpeg and FFprobe using Homebrew, follow these instructions.

  1. If you don't already have Homebrew installed, follow the instructions at https://brew.sh/.
  2. Open Terminal.
  3. Type brew install ffmpeg.
  4. If you see an error message saying that you already have a version of FFmpeg installed, you can update to the latest version by typing brew upgrade ffmpeg.

Tip

Please note that FFprobe will be installed along with FFmpeg when using Homebrew.

Installing FFmpeg and FFprobe manually

To manually install FFmpeg and FFprobe, follow these instructions.

  1. Download FFmpeg and FFprobe.
    1. Go to https://ffmpeg.org/download.html and click the Apple logo in the "Get packages & executable files" section.
    2. Click "Static builds for macOS 64-bit".
    3. You'll see two options for downloading FFmpeg. Choose the one with the shorter filename; this will look like ffmpeg-<versionNumber>.7z, where <versionNumber> is something like 4.3.1. Underneath this heading, click "Download as ZIP".
    4. In the popup that appears, select "Open with Archive Utility (default)." This will create an executable file called ffmpeg in Downloads.
    5. Repeat steps (c) and (d) for FFprobe.
  2. Move the downloaded files to the right location.

    1. In your home folder, make a new folder called audio-orchestrator-ffmpeg.
      • Your home folder has the same name as your user account. The easiest way to find it is to open Finder, then in the menu bar select Go > Home. Or use the keyboard shortcut command+shift+H.
    2. In your new audio-orchestrator-ffmpeg folder, make a folder called bin.
    3. Move the FFmpeg and FFprobe files to audio-orchestrator-ffmpeg/bin/.
  3. Authorise FFmpeg and FFprobe.

    1. Double-click the file called ffmpeg.
    2. You should see an error message “ffmpeg can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer”. Click "OK".
    3. Go to System Preferences > Security and Privacy. Where it says that FFmpeg was blocked, click “Open Anyway”.
    4. If you see another popup that says “ffmpeg is from an unidentified developer. Are you sure you want to open it?”, click "Open". If you don’t get this popup, just go to the same file and double-click it again.
    5. You can close the Terminal window that appears when you open FFmpeg.
    6. Repeat authorisation steps (a) to (e) for the file called ffprobe.

Screenshot of a Finder window showing the FFmpeg and FFprobe executable files FFmpeg and FFprobe executables with the required folder structure

Installing Audio Orchestrator on Windows

Warning

Windows support in Audio Orchestrator is still experimental. We recommend backing up your project files before moving them between systems.

Info

Audio Orchestrator requires at least Windows 7 and a 64-bit system.

You'll need to have an installation of FFmpeg and FFprobe. See the FFmpeg installation instructions below.

  1. Run BBC R&D Audio Orchestrator Setup.exe and follow the instructions.

  2. If you already have FFmpeg and FFprobe installed, that's it—you're ready to go. If not, read on for instructions on installing these.

You can open Audio Orchestrator using the shortcuts in the Start menu and on your Desktop.

Installing FFmpeg and FFprobe on Windows

To use Audio Orchestrator, you need to have an installation of FFmpeg and FFprobe version 4.1.0 or later. If you're not sure whether you have these, just try opening Audio Orchestrator. You'll see an error message if you don't have the required software installed.

Info

Please note the Audio Orchestrator terms of use, particularly Clause 7.3.

7.3. You will need to download and install FFmpeg audio encoding software on Your computer for Audio Orchestrator to function. The BBC is not responsible for the provision or this software, or its use by You, and is not responsible or liable for any loss of data or damage to any hardware or software caused. You are wholly responsible for accepting and abiding by any terms and conditions required by any third party to download, install and use FFmpeg.

  1. Download the FFmpeg distribution.

    1. Go to https://ffmpeg.org/download.html and click the Windows logo in the "Get packages & executable files" section.
    2. You'll find multiple options for downloading Windows EXE Files. On the linked sites, look for a download named release-essentials-zip or ffmpeg-{version}-win64-{version}.zip and download the .ZIP file.
    3. In the popup, choose Open with Windows Explorer.
  2. Move the downloaded files to the right location.

    1. Open a second Windows Explorer window
    2. In the address bar, enter the path %HOME% and press Enter to open your user's home directory
    3. Create a new folder in your home directory and name it audio-orchestrator-ffmpeg
    4. Move the contents of the ffmpeg directory from the downloaded .ZIP file into audio-orchestrator-ffmpeg (there may be several files and a folder called bin).
    5. You should now have ffmpeg.exe and ffprobe.exe in the folder %HOME%\audio-orchestrator-ffmpeg\bin. If your FFmpeg download only contained the .exe files, you may have to create the bin\ folder yourself.

Screenshot of a Windows Explorer window showing the FFmpeg and FFprobe executable files FFmpeg and FFprobe executables with the required folder structure

Tip

You can check that FFmpeg is installed correctly by opening a command prompt (Windows + R, enter cmd); and running the command %HOME%\audio-orchestrator-ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg. This should print the version information, starting with either ffmpeg version 4.4 or ffmpeg version n4.4. Some available builds do not have a version in this format, and are not supported by Audio Orchestrator.

A previous version of Audio Orchestrator did not recognise FFmpeg versions with the n prefix. Please contact MakerBox to access the most up-to-date version.