Obi: Create book structure manually and record or import audio

Obi: Create book structure manually and record or import audio

There are different ways of creating audio books in Obi. If you are planning to do a new recording or you have pre-recorded audio of the book, then this method may be suitable. The steps are listed below.

Step 1: Setup the project

You will need to create a new project in Obi by providing the book title and storage location. Refer to the topic Creating a New Project for more information on this step.

Step 2: Create the structure or table of contents

In the book being converted, The sections, along with their respective levels need to be identified and recreated in Obi. This list of sections and subsections is generally very similar to the table of contents found in the beginning of most books. Using the information in the topic Working with Sections, you will have to add sections and subsections. The results will be evident in both the TOC view and Content view. When you finish, you will see the list of sections in your book in the form of a tree in the TOC view. You may have to insert, delete, rename sections to correct the structure. See the topic Section Properties and use this dialog to quickly change the section level or name and finalize the structure of the book.

Although recommended, it is not essential to create the complete structure in Obi before starting recording. Some users may want to record a section before creating the next one. This approach may not be suitable in a library environment because it will use more studio time and will require more training for book readers.

Step 3: Record or import audio files

There are two ways of recording 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 will have to 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 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 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 will have to begin with Phrase Detection. You may note that Phrase Detection can be turned on while recording or it can be manually applied after finishing 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 in Obi.

Step 5: Cleanup, review Meta Data 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 till 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, Language 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/EPUB format and Validate DTB

See the topic Exporting and Validating DTB to convert your project from the Obi specific format to the DAISY format or EPUB 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 standards. Such books may not play on all hardware and software playback tools.

Tags: DAISY / EPUB / Obi