Things are starting to come together:
- @karl_lewl 's SCV app, syncs voice and text by segment (but segmenting only works with computer voices)
- EPUB generation
- Sutta reading
I took a bunch of these ideas and made a proof of concept for a high-quality audio ebook:
sn1.01.epub (930.8 KB)
The process is relatively straightforward, and it should be possible to automate it wthout much difficulty. I’ve mentioned most of these bits and pieces before, but here is the whole process to make this book.
Segmented sutta translation
I use SN 1.1 as a nice short example.
For the recording, I used a Rode M5 mic, Presonus Studio 24 interface, recorded on Ubuntu 18.10 with Audacity, with noise reduction and compression in post.
It proved to be a bit of a hassle to get the mic setup working. I think the problem was lack of JACK installed. Anyway, it works fine, if a little flaky in terms of recognizing the I/O.
Create map of audio
I used Aeneas made by Read Beyond to map the audio onto the text file.
- Install aeneas.
- Create a plain text file from the source
pofile. One segment per line.
python -m aeneas.tools.execute_task sn1.01.ogg sn1.01.txt "task_language=eng|os_task_file_format=json|is_text_type=plain" sn1.01map.json
Make EPUB with embedded audio
I am no expert in EPUBs, so I just took one of the files from Read Beyond and copied it. I edited the file in Calibre and validated it in http://validator.idpf.org. I can’t really find much on the web for audio ebooks, so I just played around until it worked. The EPUB file is mostly valid, and anyway works fine. It’s very bare-bones, just enough to show off the text and audio concept.
Install ebook reader
Menestrello from Read Beyond is designed specifically for audio ebooks.
It’s a bit old, but works fine on Android.
It should be possible, given high quality human-read audio, to:
- Create audio ebooks for all the suttas
- Use the segmented audio files in SCV to complement the computer voice.