.sfk files ("peaks files") contain information for drawing the audio waveform. A .sfk file is built by Vegas when the file is loaded into the timeline if it doesn't already exist.
When there is more than one audio stream in the same media file, or a plug-in used to read the file supports 5.1 and a stereo downmix, there is a .sfk file for each stream, so a number is appended to the .sfk file extension created for each stream.
Perhaps your MPEG-2 files are stereo only, so there were only .sfk files created? Or they are in a read-only folder, so the .sfk (or .sfk0 and .sfk1) files were created in your Windows temp folder.
Is there a way to disable the creation of those pesky .sfk files? When importing files into the project directly from a memory card, it is really annoying that Vegas writes to the memory card. In case the card was pulled from a nanoFlash, once Vegas writes to the card, the card must be reformatted before nanoFlash is willing to write to it again.
But why use the video files directly from the cameras media?
That’s completely irrelevant to my question. But anyway, sometimes I need to do that for a quick test of the footage before shooting more footage. Now I am forced to copy the files from the card to the computer, open them in Vegas, and, when done, delete them from the computer.
And that is a lot slower than using them directly from the card.
As for the suggestion to make the card read only, there is no read-only slide on CF cards.
What makes it even worse is that Vegas cannot read the sound from the MXF files created by the nanoFlash, so the .sfk files are completely pointless anyway. The only way, in the final edit, to use the sound is to have VLC extract the sound to a WAV file from the MXF file, which Vegas can read.
There should simply be an option not to create the .sfk files. Especially when I never let Vegas “normalize” the sound. I reserve the peaks for thermonuclear explosions. Everything else I keep at a much lower level, which I can adjust manually just fine.
Since this is supposed to be a professional editor, there should at least be an option to turn it off. We are not little kids who need to have some software hold our hands.
I know Vegas has always done it that way. That does not mean we cannot let the Sony people know how annoying it is. I saw someone from Sony here (I assume he was from Sony, judging by his user name), so I mentioned it.
As for not having any sound waves, sorry but that information is inside the media file, so it is unnecessary for drawing the waves and it just SuFfoKates our disks. All they seem to be used for is this unnecessary “normalization”. Even if we needed that, all that is needed is to know the highest peak value, which can be stored as 4-byte value in the veggie.
The sfk files are NOT a copy of the audio but a graphical image of the audio amplitude envelope. Once produced, they are much quicker to draw than creating envelopes in real time would be as you scroll the timeline. Other video editors do something similar but may put the files somewhere else. I used to hate the raft of temporary file folders that Premiere Elements created each time you started a new project. I suppose it would be nice if we had the choice of where to put them.
Perhaps it would be better to say that the sfk file is a highly compressed version of the audio. For example, with DV AVI, one second of stereo audio uses about 1000 bytes.
I've logged this as a feature request in our database.
Here's a possible workaround:
If you play back a file from within the Vegas explorer, it will not create a .sfk file because it doesn't display the audio waveform. So you can preview your media file first before importing it from your camera memory card in order to decide whether to copy it to your hard drive or not. Just navigate to your media files in the Vegas explorer.
If you engage the auto preview toggle button, clicking on a file immediately starts playing it. You can't seek your media in the Vegas explorer, though (i.e. jump around within the clip to play different sections of it). It only plays clips starting from the beginning.