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Watch Folder - Configuring


The Watch Folder (sometimes called a Hot Folder) is an option only available with Eff Comply. The watch folder works with one of the saved profiles. When you save the watch folder settings, you are also selecting the profile to be used by the watch folder.

Important Note

It is important to note that the Watch folder UI does not display the settings profile being used. If you open the Settings area, and look at the 'Profiles Setting' tab, this lets you review the profiles BUT THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY THE PROFILE BEING USED WITH THE WATCH FOLDER. You must click the 'Watch Folder Settings' tab to see which profile is currently active within the Watch Folder.


Setting up a Watch Folder

To use the watch folder, start by setting up and saving a measurement/correction profile. Then click 'Watch Folder Settings'.

From the 'Select Profile' dropdown, pick your chosen loudness profile.

Click 'Select Watch Folder', and select the location of the folder to watch, using the file browser dialog. This folder can be a location on an internal disk, or on your local network. The file filters check boxes enable different file types within the watch folder. In the image above, the watch folder will work will all supported file types, as all types are 'ticked'. Note that any file types not ticked will not be detected by the watch folder.

The watch folder mechanism provides two logging options.

'Logging On' – If you select this, Eff keeps track of filenames and the date last modified, for all files that pass through the watch folder. This means that if Eff detects that a file is placed into the watch folder for which it recognises the filename/date modified, then it will not be processed a second time.

'Hashing On' – With this setting, Eff calculates a signature for each file that is dropped into the watch folder. Any subsequent file placed into the watch folder with the same signature will not be processed. The signature that is calculated is independent of filename or date modified.

NOTE – Use of the Logging and Hashing features are only recommended if you do not configure the watch folder to move the files out of the watched folder after processing. These features will slow the analysis of files and are not needed if the files are moved out after processing.

The various folders and actions for the watch folder are defined in four tabs, split into 'Analysis', that covers moving and renaming files that pass without needing processing, or files that fail, and you don't wish them to be processed. The Correction tab covers how you choose to process and move files that failed to meet the original thresholds. Where multiple thresholds are defined in the profile, Eff provides additional options that are used if the file cannot be automatically processed to meet every threshold.

The Error tab covers unsupported file types, whilst the Reports tab enables different report types, and specifies the locations into which the reports are placed.

There are a lot of options available within the watch folder interface, based on requests from users. However a typical workflow will only use a few of the options.

The following section describes each of these in more detail.



On the 'Analysis', we define 'Passed' files to be those files that already meet the targets defined in your chosen profile, without any processing being required. For these files, you can choose to rename the files with the addition of a user defined string of characters, and/or by adding a timestamp onto the filename.

Whether you choose to rename the file or not, you have an option to move the file to another location. We recommend that you move files out of the watch folder once they have been analysed by Eff.

Likewise, we define 'Failed' files to be those that do not meet the targets defined in the profile. The same Rename and Move options exist for Failed files, as for Passed files.

This mechanism gives you the option for an output folder for failed files, so that if you wish to reject these files and ask the supplier to fix them, they are all kept together.

Alternatively, you may wish to fix all the failed files, without renaming them. In this instance, you would move the failed files to a temporary folder. Then in the correction tab you would select to correct these files, and to move them to the final output folder, which could be the same folder that the 'passed' files were moved to. Using a temporary folder is essential if you do not wish to rename the files. If it is preferred to create new files with a different filename, this can be done directly on the 'Correction' tab.



In the majority of cases, you would select the 'Correct Failed Files' option at the top of this section. Therefore all files that did not meet the required thresholds will be submitted to the processing section of Eff. They will be adjusted in line with the settings defined in the chosen profile.

Rename and Move options are available, which work in an identical fashion to those on the 'Analysis' tab.

Now that the file that failed has been processed to meet the targets, you can use the 'Delete Original File' option to remove the original source.

If you don't ever wish to delete the source file, then you can use the 'move failed files' option on the analysis page in conjunction to the 'correct failed files' on this page, so that you have one output folder containing all the files that failed before they were processed, and a second output folder containing all the files that previously failed and have now been corrected. Of course this option doubles the number of files.

Lastly, on the 'correction' tab there are options concerning files that cannot be processed by Eff to meet all parameters. In this instance, Eff can move the file to an output folder, and optionally generate warning messages. For files that cannot be processed to meet all configured targets, the file is not processed at all, i.e. It is not partially processed, but left untouched, and we recommend manual inspection and processing for all files thus segregated.



The Errors tab concerns media files that Eff is unable to correctly open. This would typically be for files where there is an error in the coding, or it uses a type of codec not yet supported by Eff. These files can be moved and an optional error report created. When you come across unsupported file types, please contact to see if an update to Eff is available that corrects the issue. If not, then if possible please provide a file sample to Emotion Systems so that we can potentially add support.



The final tab in the Watch folder section concerns optional reporting.

Here you can configure Eff to create an XML Analysis report for every file that is processed, which can optionally also create graphs as png files, plus Eff can also directly create PDF reports, in which case the Page 18 graphs will be embedded within the PDF. There are also daily summary reports available. These reports are produced each day, around 1am, and each day the previous days file is closed and retained, and a new file started.

Underneath there are options to specify the destination for the various report types.

This concludes the detail on how to configure the watch folder.



Watch Folder - Processing


First set the Mode to Watch Folder.

Once selected, the manual part of the UI will be disabled. As soon as the mode is set to Watch Folder, the Watch Folder Monitor window appears, and will list all the processable media files contained in that folder. This provides a visual check before you start.

Once the Watch Folder is selected, additional options can be selected from the Advanced menu in the main application menu bar.


Watch Folder Properties:

Watch Folder Options

This dialog is available from the Advanced menu, and controls using the Watch Folder in instances when files are very slow to appear, such as when monitoring a FTP site. It is normal in FTP sites for files to stop growing occasionally, and sometimes to remain the same size for several minutes, then resume being transferred. Although directly monitoring a FTP site is not recommended, if you need to do this, then clicking the ‘Add Delay’ check box lets you specify a time in minutes. When enabled, Eff will permit files to stop growing for this period of time before deciding that the file is complete and ready for processing.

Note that this will add a delay to every file that is processed so only use when essential.


Cache Options

This dialog provides controls that can speed up Watch Folder operation, when the files are stored in a network location, and network speeds are slow compared to direct access speeds. In the initial dialog there are only two options, to choose whether to enable file caching. If ‘Cache Files’ is enabled, then other settings appears as shown here.

If using this option, we recommend selecting ‘New Directory’ and choosing a local folder to hold your cached files. This way you know exactly where these files are.

For most circumstances, selecting to cache both Source and Destination files will provide the fastest processing, although this is dependent upon your hardware.

When using this option, source files are copied across the network to the local cache folder, and processed there, with destination files being created in that same location. Once created, the new files are then moved to the destination location specified in the main Watch Folder settings.

Once everything is configured as required, click the Start Watch Folder button.

Clicking the Pause button will pause the Watch Folder. If the Watch Folder is in the middle of processing a file – it will complete processing that file before pausing. Please be patient, the Pause command will be actioned once the processing has finished.

The files in the Watch Folder will be displayed in the Watch Folder Monitor view. The filename, processing status and file status is shown. The processing status is as follows:

timer Eff has not processed this file

green tickEff has successfully finished processing this file

The files that have been tested are given a range of status messages.

File Failed - Levels in the file exceeded the thresholds in the configuration. 

File Failed Then Corrected - Levels in the file exceeded the thresholds in the configuration, and a new file has been created that meets the configured thresholds.

Waiting for Processing - Eff has not yet started on this file.

Still Copying - Eff has detected new files being placed in the watch folder, but the copy operation has not yet completed. 

Processing - This file is now being processed. 

File Hash matches previous file - This indicated that an identical copy of a previously processed file has been added to the watch folder (when the hashing mode has been enabled).

When files start processing, a progress bar appears at the bottom right of this view. This bar fills from 0 to 100% for each separate process being carried out in each file. Each audio group is analysed individually, so if there are four stereo pairs in the file, this will go from 0 to 100% four times for analysis. If your profile also corrects files, then each stereo pair being corrected would also go individually from 0 to 100%.

To end the Watch Folder session, click the Stop Watch Folder button. Eff will then wait until it has finished processing any files it is working on before closing the watch folder.


Auto Start Watch Folder

If you only use the Watch Folder, Eff can be set to auto start directly with an active watch folder. You need to start Eff from a command line, using ‘Eff WATCHFOLDER'.

In OSX, the command would be something like - open Eff.app --args WATCHFOLDER

In Windows, the command would be something like - c:\program files\emotion systems\eff WATCHFOLDER



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