Release Notes

Obi—Release Notes

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Obi 4.5 RC—October 18, 2019

Obi 4.5 release candidate (test release) presents a series of updates to usability and functionality listed below.

Detail on New Features and Enhancements of Obi 4.5

  • Obi presents new and enhanced audio processing functionality, which enables the users to increase/decrease the volume, fade in, fade out, or normalize audio. It can be accessed from the submenu of Tools->Audio Processing. The old audio processing features have also been merged in the new audio processing functionality.
  • Many thanks to BrailleNet, France for updating the French language pack.
  • Introduced comments for Todo phrases to facilitate editing—You can now insert a comment for a Todo phrase specifying the reason for marking it as Todo or giving some cues to the editor. Todo comment can be placed using the submenu of Phrases->Todo Comment or by using the context menu. If the selected phrase is not Todo, Obi will first mark it Todo and then add the comment.
  • Ability to mark Todo on exact time position in a phrase—Obi enables you to mark Todo on the exact time position in a phrase. This speeds up the process of editing, as the editor will not have to go through the entire contents of the phrase to look for the position where editing has to be performed. This feature is especially useful for long phrases.
  • Peak meter can now be shown in main Obi window—This release presents the option to display peak meter inside the main Obi window, so that users can work with the full view of Content view. Found on the right of the TOC view, it can be shown by clicking Show peak meter inside Obi in the View menu.
  • Option to start or stop recording using single key shortcuts in TOC view—Single key shortcuts make working in Obi very easy for new users.  You can now use the single key shortcuts R and T, for starting and stopping recording respectively. Check the check box Start and stop recording using single key shortcuts from the TOC view via Additional audio settings in audio preferences.
  • Separate preference for giving warning before deleting a section—To make section manipulation more efficient, this release includes a  warning message for the delete operation. It can be turned on by checking the check box Warn before deleting section in project preferences.

Some of the Major Bugs that have been Fixed and Behaviour Changes made in the 4.5 release:

  • Added option to cancel recording in the information dialog that is shown when the recording is started by selecting a section in the TOC View.
  • The Peak Meter inside main Obi window is switched on in all Vision Australia profiles.
  • To avoid performance issues in the user interface, the mouse wheel scrolling of the Content View is restricted to scrolling limited number of screens at a time.
  • The comboboxes of the Quick Configuration dialog are now non-editable to prevent invalid input from the user.

Obi 4.5 test release downloads

Obi 4.3—December 2018

Obi 4.3 was an incremental release bringing usability enhancements and improvements requested by DAISY members.

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.

Detail on New Features and Enhancements of Obi 4.3

  • Introduction of a dialog for quick configuration of Obi when it is started the first time—This release introduces a convenient way of configuring the basic settings in Obi such as input device name, output device name, and profiles, via the Configurations dialog. which appears when you first start Obi after installation. You can modify these settings any time later by using the Preferences dialog.
  • Facility to restrict unintended modification of structure while narration—You can disable the modification of the structure of your project by checking the check box Switch to read only structure via the Project tab of the Preferences dialog. This feature is very useful for preventing unintended modification of structure while recording.
  • Updated language pack for French—Many thanks to European Digital Reading Lab for consistently updating the French translation.
    Choice of removing accents from the filenames during DAISY 2.02 export—Obi can now normalize accents during the production of books in languages that contain accents. If you choose to append section names to audio file names for non-English books, the file names may contain some characters that may create issues in accessing them. This feature normalizes the accents in file names to curb such issues. The Audio tab of the Preferences dialog provides the check box Remove accents from filenames during DAISY 2.02 export to activate or deactivate this functionality.
  • Project and audio preferences made more manageable by segregation—Obi now classifies a few project and audio settings as additional settings, if they are not used frequently by users. You can access these settings by using the Additional Project settings and Additional Audio Settings button in the Project and Audio tabs of the Preferences dialog respectively.
  • New keyboard shortcut for pasting multiple phrases—You can now conveniently paste multiple phrases by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Z.

Some of the Major Bugs that have been Fixed and Behaviour Changes made in the 4.3 release

  • In the TOC view, the copy command copied full name of the section even when a part of the section name was selected.
  • When a new section was created and multiple phrases were copied and pasted (using multiple phrase operations), the undo command could not remove all the copied phrases in one go.
  • Removing the headphones/earphones while navigating Content View in Play on navigate mode resulted in the null reference crash.
  • Replaced the Preserve Zoom checkbox in Zoomed Waveform view with a button to prevent the checkbox from altering the space bar behaviour, which is supposed to start and pause the playback.
  • One was not able to paste a set of phrases multiple times by giving consecutive paste multiple phrases commands.
  • Added a message to inform that skippable structures are not exported to DAISY 2.02 file set.
  • TODO mark position in a phrase is now preserved in an Obi session. The caveat is that currently it is not saved when Obi is restarted or project is opened again.
  • User registration dialog now needs explicit authorization of the user for sharing the personal data with Obi team.

Known Limitations of Obi 4.3

There are some limitations in this release which the team is working consciously towards resolving:

  • Pipeline-lite does not work with non western characters in file path—Pipeline-lite is not able to operate if there are non western characters in path of the file. It is recommended to keep non western characters away from the file paths on which Pipeline-lite needs to work. This means that the DAISY 3 export folder and the DAISY 2.02 export folder should be placed at a location where there are no non western characters in its path. This only affects validation, mp3 encoding and fileset renaming process and does not hinder normal operations of book authoring.
  • EPUB 3 export & import does not support skippable structures yet—The skippable structures like footnotes, sidebars, notes etc. are yet not supported by EPUB 3 export & import. The support will be added as the EPUB 3 navigable audio-only guidelines will progress.
  • Error messages are not so user friendly—Error messages in message boxes when some invalid operation is done, give information. But these messages are not so user friendly, especially the exception messages. These will be replaced with more user friendly text in future.

Obi 4.2—May 2018

This new test release has introduced:

  • the ability to cut, copy, paste, and merge multiple phrases
  • replace the existing TOC with structure from an external file
  • the enhancement of the Multi-sections Operations dialog

along with other improvements and bug fixes.

Obi 4.1—December 2017

Obi 4.1 was an incremental release that implemented the first set of features requested by the Daisy community in the Obi-Tobi survey, 2017. It brought enhancements such as:

  • the ability to import audio files within an existing structure of sections
  • the 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. as detailed below.

Detail on New Features and Enhancements of Obi 4.1

  • Audio import was enhanced to enable the placement of imported audio files within the existing structure of sections in the following 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.
  • Calculating 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.
  • Place the Begin Mark on the first phrase to be included in the calculation and the 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 included in the calculation.
  • UI of the Preferences Dialog Redesigned—The user interface of the Preferences dialog has been redesigned to present a better view of configurations and personalization; the functionality and features remain the same.
  • 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 Indicates Sections with no Audio—The Sections List field of Multi-section Operations dialog now augments the names of sections having no audio content to enable users to 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 Page Commands can be Applied to Selected 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 a 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 such as 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 displayed in the Content view. This message box can be disabled or enabled via the check box Do not show message box when moving to a phrase in another section via the Project tab of the Preferences dialog.

Some of the Major Bugs that have been Fixed and Behaviour Changes made in the 4.1 release:

  • When the Begin mark is applied on a phrase during playback, the selection is moved to the phrase currently being played to ensure that the mark is placed correctly.
  • If the option of Retain initial silence during 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.

Known Limitations of Obi 4.1

This release of Obi 4.1 has some limitations in it which are known and listed below:

  • Inability to Select Multiple Items Collectively—A single item can only be selected at a time in Obi. This means that only a single phrase or a single section can be selected. So, operations like copy, paste, merge, delete etc. operate on a single phrase or a single section. Some relief is provided for these limitations with operations like Merge multiple sections, merge with preceding / following phrases, delete following phrases, phrase detection on multiple phrases / sections, multiple section operations dialog and audio processing on multiple phrases.
  • Pipeline-lite does not work with Non Western Characters in File Path—Pipeline-lite is not able to operate if there are non western characters in the path of the file. This means, the Daisy 3 export folder and the Daisy 2.02 export folder have to be placed at a location where there are no non western characters in its path. This only affects validation, mp3 encoding and the fileset renaming process and does not hinder normal operations of book authoring.
  • EPUB 3 Export & Import does not support Skippable Structures yet—Skippable structures like footnotes, sidebars, notes etc. are yet not supported by EPUB 3 export & import. The support will be added as the EPUB 3 navigable audio-only guidelines progress.
  • Error Messages are not so User Friendly—Error messages give information. But these messages are not very user friendly, especially the exception messages. These will be replaced with more user friendly text in future.

Obi 4.0

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

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.

Detail on Features and Enhancements of Obi 4.0

  • Obi is Upgraded to .NET 4.0 and Support for Windows XP is Deprecated—Obi 4.0 uses .NET framework 4.0 (based on latest CLR 4.0) instead of .NET 2.0 to keep pace with new technology. This upgrade to CLR 4.0 is a major step forward in providing a base for upgrading Obi to the latest versions of .net frameworks in future releases, and to enable the use of latest libraries. The support for Windows XP is also deprecated from this release onwards – please note that users of Windows XP should install Obi 3.9.1.
  • 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 via an automated process. Click Phrases->Auto Page Generation, and you will be presented with a dialog box to specify parameters such as the time gap in pages, create pages at the end of a section only, etc. When you click OKin the dialog, Obi will create page phrases in the entire project as per the selections made by you. This feature is useful for books that do not have pre-defined pages and where 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 the table of contents in EPUB player, Obi provides a checkbox Create Media Overlays for Navigation Doc in the Export dialog which gives you the option to generate this in your EPUB thus synchronizing the headings audio with the TOC entries.This provides the TOC playback behaviour similar to that provided by NCX file in Daisy. The feature implements The Daisy Consortium’s Media Overlays Playback Requirements for the content. Note:  Obi is the first production tool to implement this feature in EPUB 3, so reading systems’ support may be a little behind.
  • 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—It is now possible to import NCC files with Windows 1252 encoding to help preserve non-English characters. You can activate this option via the checkbox Import NCC files with Windows 1252 encoding in the Project tab of the Preferences dialog.
  • Option to Play the Phrase just Recorded—Obi can now play the phrase just recorded as soon as recording stops via 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, 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 the first two phrases after the process of on-the-fly phrase detection. This is useful when recording starts at the beginning of the section as it prevents a silent phrase at the beginning, which then becomes the heading phrase by default. This feature is activated via the checkbox Merge first two phrases after recording with phrase detection in the Audio tab of the Preferences dialog.

Some of the Major Bugs that were Fixed and Behaviour Changes made in the 4.0 release

  • In the VA-Shortcuts profile, the shortcut Ctrl+F12 has been assigned to the Project Propertiesdialog.
  • Improved error messages for input and output audio drivers are now apparent inAudio Preferences.
  • If part of the waveform of a phrase was selected and the playback of another 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 the incorrect time when in a stop state.
  • If the system was set to the languages that use ‘,’ instead of ‘.’ for decimals, the time in Daisy 2.02 export was being corrupted when the total duration of the book exceeded 24 hours.
  • Sometimes the audio cursor kept moving in a single phrase even when the playback reached subsequent phrases.
  • Sometimes the Auto Generate pages feature started to create pages from a section other than the one specified in the Starting Index combo box.
  • If the selected phrase was different from the playback phrase, the elapse back command would misbehave while moving to the previous phrase.
  • A backup file is now created every 2 hours even if the user has not activated the auto-save option in the Project Preferences dialog.
  • The performance of the Auto Generate pages feature has been improved.

Some of the Major Bugs that were Fixed and Behaviour Changes made in the 4.0 alpha release

  • On high resolution screens, zoom was being reset at the execution of the Record command.
  • Sometimes the cursor in Zoomed Waveform View scrolled out of the visible area on execution of audio editing command or during undo.
  • The state of the Preserve Zoom check box is now saved when 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.
  • When changing the language of Obi’s UI, users do not now need to search for the language-country combination; it can 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.