Obi: Import external file to create structure and record or import audio

Original Author(s): Prashant Ranjan Verma

Step 1: Create a file containing book structure

Obi can automatically create the structure of a book by importing a CSV, XHTML or DTBook file. The file being used should contain the names of sections and subsections in the prescribed format.

The article Creating a Project by Importing a CSV File in Obi contains easy to understand instructions on creating the book structure in a CSV file.

For creating an XHTML file that could be imported into Obi to represent the structure of the book, you need to use a text editor preferably with XHTML markup tools. In such an application, type out all the section and subsection names present in the book to be produced in Obi in the correct sequence on separate lines. After that, select and mark up each section name as headings using the built-in markup tools. After doing so, the section names will have tags such as <h1> and </h1> before and after them respectively. As per the semantics, mark up all section and subsection names with their relative heading level tags. Finally, this file will have to be saved with a .html extension.

Step 2: Import the external file containing the structure in Obi

Launch Obi and select New project from import from the File menu or press CTRL + SHIFT + N. Now follow the steps in the topic Creating a New Project by Importing a file to complete setting up of project.

Watch this step in a Video

Step 3: Record or import audio files

There are two ways of inserting audio in a book in Obi – live recording using a microphone or importing previously recorded audio files. In either case, it is important to first choose the desired options in the Preferences Dialog. See the topic Audio Preferences for making these selections.

If you are recording the content live, you will have to record one section at a time. You should select a section in the TOC or Content view, start recording and then read out the corresponding text from the print book. See the topic Live Recording for more information. You may note that it is important to use the “Start Monitoring” feature every time you start a new recording session to set the correct audio level. The Audio Clues may be useful for visually impaired users in choosing an audio level that is not too low. The unique Todo marking feature should be used during live recording for placing marks on those portions of audio which require the attention of the book producer after recording. These marks may be placed by the book recorder at the places he/she makes mistakes that are difficult to fix while reading the book.

If you have audio files containing the recording of book contents, you can import them into the Obi project instead of live recording. If you have separate audio files for each section in your book, then you can import the corresponding audio file in each of the sections in Obi. However, if the audio files contain the recording of more than one section, you can import what you have in the first section and then shift the audio to different section during editing using the cut and paste method. See the topic Importing Audio Files for more information on these processes.

Step 4: Edit the audio and mark pages

Audio editing should begin with Phrase Detection. You should Apply Phrase Detection after you have finished recording or importing audio files. Based on the preceding silence phrase or values you choose, Obi will break the existing phrases into several phrases based on the detection of silence in the audio. See the topic Auto-Splitting the Phrase for applying phrase detection.

After phrase detection, you will have to play and listen to each phrase to locate problems such as unwanted sounds, mistakes in narration, missing narration, repetition, etc. You may have to use all the audio editing tools – select and delete, crop audio, split or merge, etc. for creating appropriate phrases. See the topic Working with Phrases for information on audio editing using Obi.

Step 5: Clean up, review metadata and book structure

If your recording includes page announcements, you should mark all those phrases containing recording such as page 1, page 2 etc. as pages. See the topic Pages and Special Roles for working with pages in Obi.

After editing the book audio, use the information in the topic Cleaning Unreferenced Audio to delete unwanted audio files from your project. It is important to note that until this operation is performed, it is possible to restore any audio that you had previously deleted during editing. If this command is not used, the project folder will contain those unused audio files, and unnecessarily occupy additional space on the storage media.

See the topic Metadata View to provide mandatory and recommended information about the book such as author, publisher etc. in the project.

Review the book structure in the TOC view to confirm that it aligns with the print source. You should make the necessary changes in the section name, level or sequence at this stage.

Step 6: Export to DAISY and validate DTB

See the topic Exporting and Validating DTB to convert your project from the Obi specific format to Daisy DTB. You should then validate the project using the command available in the TOOLS menu. Book Validation is highly recommended, and you should not distribute a book that is not valid as per Daisy standards. Such books may not play on all hardware and software playback tools.

Step 7: Encode audio to MP3 for distribution

Please note that there will be no need to perform this operation if you had opted to have the audio files of exported DTB in MP3 format in previous step.

In most cases, the project size will be too large, and you may want to create a compressed version for distribution. You can convert the audio in your project to MP3 format at a suitable bit rate. See the topic Encoding Audio to mp3 for audio compression.

See also

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This page was last edited by VLuceno on Saturday, April 23, 2016 16:59
Text is available under the terms of the DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy, Licensing, and Working Group Process.