Obi 4.6 , released on February 23, 2021
Obi 4.6 comes with new audio processing features like highly demanded noise reduction and ability to mix audio (like music) from external file, along with enhancements to the existing features like fade in and fade out and enriched user interface to apply normalization and noise reduction on multiple phrases and entire book.
It further improves production workflows by enhancing audio file import feature with the capability of importing the cue markers along with the wav files, adds ability to export To-do points to the CSV file for external processing, provides option to start recording from the beginning of the section when the section has only empty pages, provides easy way to set default project directory and more.
The release also comes with the reference implementation of the new audio books specifications from W3C.
The new features and enhancements of Obi 4.6 release are briefed below. For feedback, comments and bug reports please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Highlights of Obi 4.6 release
Suppress unwanted noise using noise reduction
While recording the audio content of the book, some unwanted noise like sound from air-conditioner, laptop fan, etc., might get recorded. You can suppress these sounds by using the Noise reduction feature of Audio processing functionality. You can use this functionality from the menu item Tools->Audio Processing->Noise Reduction or from Multi phrase operations dialog.
Ability to apply noise reduction and normalization on multiple sections and the whole book
You can now apply noise reduction and normalize features of audio processing functionality on multiple sections and the entire audio of the book. The Multi Sections Operations dialog contains new buttons, Noise Reduction and Normalize, to give access to these features. You can also apply these operations on whole book. The dialog boxes for these operations have a checkbox Apply on whole book that enable this functionality.
Mix audio from external file to the content of the phrase
If you ever wanted to add a background music to some part of the book, you can do it with new Obi. Obi lets you mix audio from external files to the audio content of the phrase. The menu item Tools->Audio Processing->Audio Mixer gives access to this functionality.
Enhancements to fade in and fade out functionality
Earlier, Fade in and Fade out commands used to process audio from the beginning of the selected phrase. This release enables you to select a position inside the phrase from where the processing will be done.
Updated French language pack
Many thanks to BrailleNet, France for consistently updating the French language pack.
Import cue markers from wave audio file while importing audio
The import audio files functionality has been enhanced to import the cue markers along with the wav files. Cue markers are the time positions that can be embedded in the wav file when you are recording audio in tools like SoundForge , Adobe Audition etc. Obi detects the cue markers and splits imported audio at the cue markers from the wave audio file being imported. To enable this, select the radio button Split at cue points in wave audio files in the Import audio files dialog.
Export to DAISY can now also export To-do marks to CSV file
DAISY 3 and DAISY 2 export functionality now supports exporting To-do marks along with the exported audio file names to the CSV file. To activate this, check the checkbox Create CSV containing Todo timings in the Export dialog. The users can use the timing information in the CSV file to perform processing on specific parts of the respective audio files with the external processing tools.
Added support for new audio books specifications from W3C
W3C has been working on a new specification for audio books, which has been released recently. In order to aggressively support advancements in technology, Obi provides reference implementation of the W3C audio books specifications. You can select export to WP audio books from the Export dialog. Please note that this specification is very new, so its wide support should not be expected at this time.
Easily set default project directory while initializing Obi
The Obi’s initial Configuration Dialog now provides an option to set the default project directory for Obi projects. It provides the users an easy way to select a safe location for creating Obi projects, where they are less likely to face windows 10 permission related issues.
Option to start recording from the beginning of the section when the section has all empty pages
Some production houses create the structure of the book consisting of empty sections and empty pages before sending it to the narrators for recording. In this scenario, you would want to record at the beginning of the section instead of following the default behaviour of recording at the end of the section. You can enable this functionality by checking the checkbox Record at the starting of section with record section command if section has only empty pages. As the name suggests, if the section has all empty phrases, recording will start from the first empty phrase of the section.
Obi is now in GitHub
In September 2020 Obi development environment had been migrated to GitHub. The new repository is at https://github.com/daisy/obi/
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 Help contents menu item under Help menu of Obi.
List of some major bugs fixed & behaviour changes made in this release:
- Updated URL for checking new releases of Obi. This change is transparent to the users.
List of some major bugs fixed & behaviour changes made in 4.6 beta release:
- If empty phrase is selected, the cursor position in the phrase properties always stated 0 seconds.
- When selected input/output device is removed, Obi falls back to primary device, but the user interface of Audio Preferences was not updated accordingly.
- The submenu Online resources / issue tracker in the Help menu now points to Obi’s new GitHub development repository.
List of some major bugs fixed & behaviour changes made in 4.6 alpha release:
- FFmpeg.exe audio library is now included in Obi’s installer for saving users from complexities of downloading and installing the library separately.
- Corrected hyperlink to Online resources and issue tracker submenu under the Help menu. It stopped working after the service provider (Cloudforge) of development website changed its URL.
- Fixed the issue in which Play on navigate stopped working after applying audio processing.
For complete list of fixed bugs please visit fixed issues page
To download Obi 4.6 please visit download page.
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.
If you would like to discuss some Obi feature or report a bug, you can send an email to email@example.com or file issue on Obi issue tracker. To verify if the bug has already been submitted, please see the list of reported bugs.