Short primer on DAISY standards & Word to DAISY conversion

I recently posted a comment on Lon Thornburg's blog to describe an basic overview of the different DAISY standards and file sets, and what are the files at stake in the MS Word to DAISY conversion using MS "Save as DAISY XML" and the Pipeline.

Here's a copy of this comment:

1. DAISY Standards

There are two main versions of the DAISY standard: the DAISY 2.02, and DAISY 3 (officially ANSI/NISO Z39.86).

Each of these specifications describes what is a Digital Talking Book (DTB), which is in both case composed of different files.

To make it simple, a DAISY 2.02 full-audio, full-text book is composed of:

  • the navigation control center document (ncc.html)[/*:m]
  • the text content document (.html)[/*:m]
  • a set of audio files (wav, mp3)[/*:m]
  • a set of SMIL files (to synchronize the different media, text and audio)[/*:m]

A DAISY 3 full-audio, full-text book is composed of:

  • a DTB package file (.opf), which contains metadata and the list of the other files[/*:m]
  • a navigation control file (.ncx), basically the table of content[/*:m]
  • a DTBook file (.xml) which contains the textual content[/*:m]
  • a set of audio files (wav, mp3)[/*:m]
  • a set of SMIL files (to synchronize the different media, text and audio)[/*:m]

As you've seen, some players accept a mere DTBook xml file: they use advanced conversion technique and speech synthesis to make a full DTB out of this xml textual content.
Others require a fully built DTB though. DAISY 2.02 players usually expect the ncc.html, while DAISY 3 players will usually expect the .opf file.

2. MS Add-In ( re V1.3)

The MS DAISY Translator, aka MS "Save as DAISY XML" converts a Word document in a DTBook file. It doesn't produce a full Digital Talking Book yet. That's why this output is only readable in some of the players out there.

The solution is either to use a player that will play a DTBook XML directly using speech synthesis, or to use a conversion tool to make a full DTB out of the DTBook XML file.

At the time of this writing( re V1.3), the ability to create a full DTB is planned for a next version of the Word Add-In.

3. Pipeline

To create a DTB from Word with the Pipeline, you have two options ( re V1.3):

  • Use the built in Word 2003 XML to DTBook converter to produce the DTBook, then use Pipeline Narrator to produce DTBs from the DTBook.[/*:m]
  • Use the MS "Save as DAISY XML" Add-In to produce the DTBook xml, then use the Pipeline Narrator to produce DTBs from the DTBook.[/*:m]

Note that the Narrator will create 3 books: a DAISY 2.02 book, a DAISY 3 book with wav-encoded audio, and a DAISY 3 book with mp3-encoded audio.
You should be able to read at least one of these DTB in any DAISY player you have, and as far as I know AMIS 3 (in beta version at the time of this writing) supports both DAISY 2.02 and DAISY 3 full-text full-audio books.

Romain.

[/][/][/]