Another one for the ebook geeks–though it might be worth an eyebrow lift from audio geeks, too.
A conversation on Twitter between #eprdctn people turned to audio (because the new EPUB 3 has audio stuff), and the question of how to code lots of little audio files into your HTML came up. As it turned out, it’s possible to use one big MP3 file and just tell the ebook which region of it you want to hear, but interest persisted in my suggestion of pulling audio information from an Excel file and regexing that into useful code.
(Those of you who are still here–read on. The rest of you already left.)
I know Paul Heitsch from the early days of PAN, the Performing Artists Network, which is also where I met my bandmates in The Cosmic Debris. He’s managed the creation and deployment of audio files at LeapFrog, Rosetta Stone, and I forget where else. At one point, he hired me to do some music for LeapFrog toys–uh, educational devices–which is still probably the most fun I’ve ever had on a job. So when the question of how to get audio timing info into a spreadsheet came up, I emailed Paul. He asked for details, I said there aren’t any details, and he said fine and came up with this while he was
supposed to be working on taking a break from a big project for the Mouse. I’m hosting it because he has no blog. It’s like he just wants to work and have a life without publicizing it or something!
I know, weird, right?
The two programs in this demonstration are Pro Tools and the donationware program EdiMarker. It’s not a complete solution to the problem because, well, there is no problem. Nobody I know has an actual project that’s in crisis until someone figures out a way to automate their region start times into DreamWeaver. And it’s not complete; whatever real-world application does arise, there will be details not addressed here.
However, I bet someone’s going to need to know this can be done–and it’s just interesting to see the ebook world meet the audio world, and maybe reduce the number of reinventions of the wheel.
So here’s the assumption:
You have an audio file, and you want an Excel file of your region start points that you can regex into something useful.
Click on the images to see them bigger.
AUTOMATING PRO TOOLS REGION-START
INFORMATION INTO EXCEL
Oh, this is just so much more fun than rewriting music, I can’t help myself…
So you’ve got your audio recorded, and the files are in a Pro Tools session, along with a blank MIDI track. You place markers at the beginning of a phrase (or word, or ’graph, or…):
(You can place the markers by hitting ENTER on a numeric keypad during playback.) Once you’re done, and everything looks good, you export a MIDI file from Pro Tools:
Now drag the resulting .mid file onto your EdiMarker window:
and you get this:
Click Export text, and EdiMarker spits out a tab-delimited file, that you can then open in Excel. That looks like this:
In this test Excel rounded to one decimal point. I figured out how to preserve the three points that EdiMarker exports.
OK. On to less exciting things…
If you’ve got questions, feel free to ask them here.