Converting VOC Audio Files from Digital Recorders

The VOC file format is already not a common format, and it can be difficult to find players for VOC files. RCA went one step further: the VOC files generated by RCA digital recorders are not recognized as the original standard VOC format created by Creative Labs. One of the problems people experience with the RCA format is that none of the multimedia players will play them – and virtually none provide any useful information about the actual cause of the failure.

There is a utility available from Dave Coffin (devoc – with source) which will convert VOC files to 16-bit uncompressed WAV files. The conversion can also be done online, driven by Dave’s utility devoc.

Using devoc takes a little more work than just installing a program (unless you are using Windows – there is a binary available for Windows). These steps should get you a working binary in Linux or other UNIX environment:

gcc -o devoc devoc.c
sudo cp devoc /usr/local/bin
devoc -p myaudio.voc

It may also be necessary to make sure that Sound Exchange (or SoX) is installed before running gcc.

Alternately, if you have the RCA software installed (in Windows only, of course) then the software can be used to convert to a different format. Unfortunately, the conversion is performed on a single file at a time – but if you’ve only a few VOC files, this would work just fine.

If you want the UNIX utility file to recognize the VOC file format, add these lines to /usr/share/file/magic:

0 string Creative\ Voice\ File VOC audio file (Creative Labs format)
6 string _VOC_Filex VOC audio file (proprietary RCA format)

To activate the changes, do:

file -C -m /usr/share/magic

An example run then gives you this:

$ file *VOC
A0000052.VOC: VOC audio file (proprietary RCA format)

Why isn’t the RCA VOC format recognized and played or converted by generally available open source tools? Who knows?

Want to avoid these problems? Get a different recorder that supports MP3 or WAV or WMA; there is a decent review of USB-based digital recorders at HubPages.

No matter which one you get – be sure to review your notes daily and put the todos into your system.

15 thoughts on “Converting VOC Audio Files from Digital Recorders”

  1. Looks like the web-based converter is misconfigured or otherwise broken ūüė¶ It just sends back a helpfile-output from SoX. Hope they can fix it eventually!

  2. I found success in running the Digital Voice Manager pre-installed on my voice recorder simply using Wine. I’m using Zorin OS4 on my main laptop, and Kubuntu on my netbook. I did not have problems on either machine.

  3. I also had success running the RCA Digital Voice Manager software in Wine 1.2 in Ubuntu Linux 10.04.

    Even if you don’t have a machine running linux, go to, download a livedisc, burn it, boot your Intel-based computer in Linux, open Ubuntu Software Center, install Wine, plug in RCA recorder, run the DVM installer and presto!

  4. Just google search Step by Step Guide on How to Convert VOC to MP3, WAV on Mac or PC
    You will find a detailed guide on how to convert VOC to MP3, WAV, WMA, M4A, M4R, AAC, AC3, OGG, FLAC, RA and AIFF and etc

    1. However, as the article notes, the VOC “standard” comes in several different formats…. so if you’re not careful you can wind up trying to convert from the wrong format.

  5. Yes, you can convert the .voc to a .wav file in the RCA Digital Manager, but why bother with having this app on your computer and having to go through the hassle of converting each file every time you want to play one on your computer? I found a simple solution in the RCA manual. Press info/menu and hold for 2 seconds to get into the menu. Press info/menu repeatedly until the recording quality menu appears. (LP, SP, or HQ). Press |<<>>| until you see the selection “HQ.” Now all your files will be recorded in .wav format forever unless you change the quality setting back again.

  6. I recommend iDealshare VideoGo which can convert all kinds of VOC files whatever recorded from RCA digital recorder or other digital voice recorders or even DOS games to almost all popular audio format.
    Besides converting VOC audio, this powerful VOC Converter also can directly play VOC files or even edit VOC audio.

  7. i use a software called idealshare videogo can convert all kinds of VOC files whatever recorded from RCA digital recorder or other digital voice recorders or even DOS games to almost all popular audio format. Besides converting VOC audio, this powerful VOC Converter also can directly play VOC files or even edit VOC audio.

    Main functions of this VOC to MP3 Converter:

    Convert VOC to MP3, WAV, WMA, AC3, M4A, AIFF, APE, FLAC, OGG, AU, RA, DTS, MP2 and etc
    Convert other recording audio format like VOX, QCP, AMR, AWB, SHN, M4A, M4R, WAV, CAF, FLAC, OGG, TTA, MPC, PCM, and APE and etc.
    Edit VOC recording like trim VOC, merge several VOC files into one, increase or decrease VOC audio volume, change VOC audio channel, adjust VOC audio files size, VOC audio codec, bitrates, sample rate and etc.
    Convert video AVI, WMV, 3GP, MP4, M4V, MOV, ASF, MKV, VOB, FLV, F4V, SWF, WTV, DVR, MXF, AVCHD, MTS, M2T, M2TS, MVI, XAVC, OGV, WebM, RMVB, and etc.
    Extract audio from video files and then convert to audio format.
    Directly play VOC files or other video and audio formats
    Edit video like trim, crop, rotate, merge, add effect/watermark/subtitle and etc.

  8. VOC format is not a commonly used format, most popular player software(Windows Media Player, Quick Time, iTunes, etc) and devices(iPod, iPhone, Zune, etc) do not support this format. To play VOC files in these software or devices, you need convert them to popular formats such as WAV, MP3, M4A, etc.

    Faasoft Video Converter and Faasoft Audio Converter can play VOC files directly. You don’t need convert them to other formats, just add them to the converters, and click play button to start play.

  9. awesome solution for linux users, worked perfect for me!! however the comand for converting to wav is devoc -w audiofile.voc instead of devoc -p audiofile.voc as written above.. anyway thanks a lot for posting this, really helped me out!!

  10. Faasoft’s great Audio Converter is probably one of the best commercial choices though. I’ve been using it for a few years now, happy with it.

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