First Time Users…


Once you have downloaded the .DMG file of The Well:

  • Double-click the DMG file.  Accept or reject the licensing agreement terms.
  • Within the installer’s window, drag The Well’s folder icon onto the Applications icon (traditional Mac installation procedure)
  • Within The Well’s folder in your Applications folder, find the file ending in “.app” and double-click it to run The Well for the first time.
  • Starting with The Well v0.3.9.9, you should no longer need to provide an admin password when using the stand-alone version (.DMG).  With older versions, a non-blank admin password was required to complete installation (enabling audio playback and audio file conversion tools that are used by The Well)
    • Your admin password is discarded as soon as it has been used to complete first-time installation
  • When asked for a Library location, choose a new folder (local or network) where you intend to store your library’s audio files
    • if you have a collection of audio files, resist the temptation to use that folder:  instead, create a new one, and import the audio files following the workflows imposed by The Well – more information about this is available elsewhere on this site and in the app itself.
Getting Started

The Well starts on the Main Menu screen.  You should explore the tabs on the bottom left.  Import/Export, backup, settings, and more are presented there.  Once you have your library established and want to just use it, you can set The Well to always start up into your library directly, instead of this home screen.

You may wish to download sample material from the Resources page before continuing.

Now create a test Group and a test Folder using the “circle-plus” button on the right half of the Import tab.

Once a Group and a Folder each appear in the drop-down boxes on the Import tab, try using the “import audio files” button.  Find audio files to test (mp3s work well).  The files will be copied to the folder { Library } > { test Group } > { test Folder } > { files }.

In the Import Sandbox screen that appears, notice that the filenames of the audio files have become their Descriptions.  Change these if you wish.  Now click on the button labeled “Accept Provisional Descriptions” and then on the button “Move All Records to Main Library.”

Click on the “play” icon towards the top left.  This will take you to the main library window, where you should see the sounds you just imported.  You should be able to audition the sounds, mark them, and export them from this screen using the controls along the top.

There are other ways to import records into the library.  See The Well – Help for more information.

If you are upgrading from a previous version, see below:


If you are upgrading you no doubt have an existing copy of The Well that contains many groomed sound effects records, and possibly a Favorites list or two.

First, Transfer Sound Effects Records…

Because FileMaker stores data inside the program itself, it is more cumbersome than usual to upgrade The Well than for a normal application.  For the foreseeable future, the only way to upgrade will be to export all your records on the Export tab of the Home screen in the app (which creates a .TWB text file), then re-import that file into the new app from the Import/Restore tab (see screenshots).

Depending on the size of you library, this last Restore step will take a veeeeerrrrrry long time.  This is a limitation of the underlying technology and my own skills as a coder.  For a large library (say 50,000 records), let it run overnight.  Or longer.  Not kidding.  Unfortunately, this is the standard operating procedure for upgrades to The Well.

…And Only Then Restore Favorites!

Once you have restored all of your records from the .TWB file, if you have Favorites Lists you can now restore them with the same procedure, but this time creating and re-importing a .TWF file:

Favorites import takes less time.

There should be no need to touch your audio files.  They stay where they are.

Happily, updates are likely to be very rare!