Release notes

Obi 4.1, released on December 14, 2017

Obi 4.1 is an incremental release that implements the first set of features requested by DAISY community in the Obi-Tobi survey-2017. It brings enhancements to existing features like importing audio files in existing structure of sections, calculation of total duration of audio content in a set of contiguous phrases, enhancements to multi-phrase operations and multi-sections operations dialog, along with some other improvements. This release initiates the incorporation of requested features and the implementation of major features is planned for next year’s releases.

The 4.0 release upgraded Obi to .NET framework 4.0 to keep pace with the new technology. It also provided reference implementation for the Media Overlays playback requirements, which allows EPUB 3 reading systems to produce the behaviour similar to DAISY TOC navigation. The other important enhancements of the release were automated page generation in a specified time interval, quick glance at project structure via Multi-section Operations dialog, preservation of characters while importing old NCC files, and more.

Please note that support for Windows XP is deprecated from version 4.0 onwards. The users of Windows XP are requested to install Obi 3.9.1.

New features and enhancements of Obi 4.1


Audio import enhanced to import audio files in existing structure of sections

The Import Audio Files dialog has been enhanced to enable placement of imported audio files in the project in the following different ways:
  • Import audio files in selected section (existing behaviour): All the files will be imported in the selected section.
  • Import audio files in each section (new): The files will be imported one in each section starting from the current section. This feature enables you to place the files in the existing contiguous sections.
  • Create a new section for each audio file (same as before): Creates a new section for each audio file after the selected section.

Conveniently know the duration of audio content in a set of phrases

Obi lets you calculate the duration of audio content in a set of contiguous phrases of your project. Simply place the Begin Mark on the first phrase to be included in the set and End Mark on the last phrase to be included. You will be presented with the Multi-phrase operations dialog. Choose Time Elapsed and press OK. Obi will calculate the total duration of audio content in the selected set of phrases and display it in a dialog. If the Begin Mark and End Mark is applied on waveforms of phrases, then the time between the cursors will be consider for the calculations.

UI of the Preferences dialog redesigned

The user interface of Preferences dialog has been redesigned to present a better view of the configurations and personalization; the functionality and features remain the same though.

Updated language packs for French and German

Many thanks to the following organizations and individuals for the translations:
  • European Digital Reading Lab for French
  • Hermann Dremel (atz) for German

Multi-section operation dialog now indicates sections with no audio

The Sections List field of Multi-section Operations dialog now augments the names of sections having no audio content with the string “(no audio)” to enable the users identify empty sections at a glance. Earlier this kind of functionality was only available in TOC view after enabling option of Highlight empty sections in TOC view.

Audio processing and Renumber selected pages can now be applied to multiple phrases across sections

You can now execute Audio processing and Renumber pages commands on a set of selected phrases spanning multiple sections. Multi-phrase operations enable you to place Begin mark and End mark on the phrases of different sections for enabling this functionality.

Option to disable message box asking to move to another section

When a command like Go to Page results in moving the focus to a phrase of another section, Obi displays a message box alerting the user that the respective section will be brought in the Content view. This message box can be disabled or enabled via the check box Do not show message box while moving to phrase in another section in the Project tab of the Preferences dialog.

Features and enhancements of Obi 4.0


Obi is upgraded to .NET 4.0 and support for Windows XP is deprecated

New Obi uses .NET 4.0 (based on latest CLR 4.0) instead of .NET 2.0. This upgradation to CLR 4.0 is a major step forward to provide a base for up grading Obi to the latest versions of .net frameworks in the future releases, and to enable the use of latest libraries. The support for Windows XP is also deprecated from this release onwards, the users of Windows XP should install Obi 3.9.1.

Added new language pack for German and updated language packs for French and Portuguese

Many thanks to the following organizations and individuals for the translations:
  • Hermann Dremel (atz) for German
  • European Digital Reading Lab for French
  • Vitor Ferreira for Portuguese
You can switch the language of the user interface via the User Profile tab of the Preferences dialog.

Automated page generation

Obi enables you to insert page phrases in your recorded book by an automated process. Click Phrases->Auto Page Generation, and you will be presented with a dialog box to specify the parameters like time gap in pages, Create pages at the end of section only, starting section, etc. When you click OK on the dialog, Obi will create page phrases in the entire project as per the selections made by you.
This feature is useful for the books that do not have pre-defined pages and the pages are inserted primarily to aid navigation.

Option to generate Media Overlays for Navigation Document in EPUB export

To enable playback of headings while navigating table of contents in EPUB player, Obi provides a checkbox Create Media Overlays for Navigation Doc in the Export dialog. When you check this checkbox, Obi will generate Media Overlays for Navigation Document in the EPUB book that will synchronize audio of headings with the entries of table of contents. This provides the TOC playback behavior similar to that provided by NCX file in DAISY. The feature implements DAISY Consortium's Media Overlays Playback Requirements for the content.
Please note that Obi is the first production tool to implement this feature in EPUB 3, so the reading systems may be lagging behind in supporting it.

Multi-section Operations dialog now shows pages contained in a section in Sections List

For quick inspection of the project structure, the Multi-section operations dialog now shows the list of pages contained in a section along with the name and level of the section in the Sections List field.

Option to import old NCC files with Windows 1252 encoding to prevent distortion of characters

Now you can choose to import NCC files with Windows 1252 encoding. This helps to preserve non-English characters while importing old NCC files that may otherwise get distorted. You can activate this option by checking the checkbox Import NCC files with Windows 1252 encoding in the Project tab of the Preferences dialog.

Option to play the phrase just recorded

You can now instruct Obi to play the phrase just recorded as soon as recording stops. To enable this feature, check the checkbox Play the recorded phrase when recording stops in the Audio tab of the Preferences dialog. If the audio was recorded in multiple phrases in the recording session, audio from the last recorded phrase will be played.

Choice of merging first two phrases after on-the-fly phrase detection

You can choose to merge first two phrases after the process of on-the-fly phrase detection. This will be useful when recording starts from the beginning of the section as it prevents silence phrase at the beginning, which becomes heading phrase by default. To activate this feature, check the checkbox Merge first two phrases after recording with phrase detection in the Audio tab of the Preferences dialog.

You can find help on the functionality of these features in the “What’s New?” page of Obi Help, which can be viewed by clicking on the Contents menu item under Help menu of Obi.

To always get notified about the latest updates, please register yourself as an Obi user using the user registration form provided in Obi.

Go to Obi 4.1 download page

List of some major bugs fixed & behaviour changes made in this release:

  • When Begin mark is applied on a phrase during playback, the selection is moved to the currently playing phrase to ensure the mark is placed correctly, i.e., on the phrase being played.
  • If option of Retain initial silence while phrase detection is disabled, then the On-the-fly phrase detection operation marks the first phrase as Todo. This helps in ensuring that the phrase is inspected for silence later.

List of some major bugs fixed & behaviour changes made in Obi 4.0 release:

  • In VA-Shortcuts profile, Assigned shortcut Ctrl+F12 to Project Properties dialog.
  • Improved error messages for input and output audio drivers in Audio Preferences.

List of some major bugs fixed & behaviour changes made in 4.0 beta release:

  • If a part of waveform of a phrase was selected and the playback of some other phrase was being executed, use of the shortcut shift+V resulted in an exception.
  • If there was an empty phrase in the section before the selected phrase, the Elapse in section timer of transport bar showed incorrect time in stop state.
  • If the system was set to the languages that use ',' instead of '.' for decimals, the time in DAISY 2.02 export used to get corrupted when the total duration of the book exceeded 24 hours.
  • Sometimes the audio cursor kept on moving in a single phrase even when the playback reached the subsequent phrases.
  • Sometimes, the Auto Generate pages feature used to start creating pages from some other section than one specified in the Starting Index combo box.
  • If selected phrase was different from playback phrase, elapse back command misbehaved while moving to the previous phrase.
  • Backup file is now created every 2 hours even if the user has not activated the auto-save option in Project Preferences dialog.
  • Improved the performance of Auto Generate pages feature.

List of some major bugs fixed & behaviour changes made in 4.0 alpha release:

  • On high resolution screens, zoom use to get reset at the execution of Record command.
  • Sometimes the cursor in Zoomed Waveform View scrolled out of visible area on execution of audio editing command or during undo.
  • The state of Preserve Zoom check box is now saved on closing zoom waveform view.
  • In DAISY 2.02 export, padding is added to time if the audio clip time is less than 3 decimal places. This is specifically for the Old DAISY 2.02 players which require exactly 3 decimal places in smil time.
  • For changing language of Obi's UI, the users now do not need to search for language-country combination; it can also be changed by simply selecting the language code.
  • When the Special Phrase List dialog box is expanded, the list box showing the phrases is also expanded to facilitate users.

For complete list of fixed bugs please visit fixed issues page

Download

To download Obi 4.1 please visit download page.

Known limitation

There are some limitations in this release. The team is working consciously towards resolving them. Please visit the known limitations page to know more about them.

Support

If you would like to discuss some Obi feature or report a bug, it can be done on Obi forum or you can send an email at obi.feedback@gmail.com. To verify if the bug has already been submitted, please see the list of reported bugs.