Obi: Features for efficient audio book editing

Original Author(s): Prashant Ranjan Verma

Audio editing in Obi version 3.0 and later has become easier and efficient with the introduction of new features. The "Zoomed Waveform view" and facility to "Modify phrases by drag and drop" makes editing much faster for people who use the mouse for audio editing in Obi. The feature of "Hiding the wave form" is helpful for non-visual users and those who want to significantly increase efficiency.


Obi contains the AUDIO ZOOM tool which increases the size of the audio waveform in steps. Obi also has tools for magnifying the whole UI. In addition to these features now Obi has a Rapid zoom feature which instantly magnifies the selected audio or phrase enormously and makes it large enough for fine editing. Users who want to delete a very small portion of audio or want to accurately select a specific point for splitting a phrase will find this feature very convenient.

Zoomed Waveform view

To use this feature, select a phrase or a portion of audio and then either press Z from the keyboard or do a right click with mouse and select ZOOM PHRASE in the context menu.

This Zoomed Waveform view contains toolbars at the bottom for easier navigation and audio editing. To close this view and return to standard content view click on CLOSE button or press Alt + C. You can also make use of the Show Next Phrase and Show Previous Phrase buttons to continue editing phrases in this view. Note that the waveform can be further magnified via the ZOOM IN or ZOOM OUT buttons available in the toolbar in this view.

You can also perform other audio editing operations namely SPLIT, MERGE WITH NEXT PHRASE , CUT, COPY, PASTE , DELETE & PHRASE DETECTION using the buttons on the toolbar given in this view or by using regular keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard users should take note that Zoomed Waveform view opens in the FINE NAVIGATION MODE. Therefore, the keyboard shortcuts such as Left Arrow will result in nudging of the audio cursor instead of showing the previous phrase.

To know more see the topic ZOOMED WAVEFORM VIEW in the Obi manual.


The audio data contained in each phrase is graphically displayed as a waveform, which consumes considerable amount of resources of the computer. Obi provides its users with an option to hide the waveform, thereby considerably increasing the efficiency of the application. In this case, the length (in time) of the contained audio is displayed under the phrase label instead of the waveforms.

You can hide or show the waveforms in the Content view using the checkbox SHOW WAVEFORMS IN CONTENT VIEW in the PROJECT preferences tab of the PREFERENCES dialog.

Phrases without waveform

To view a waveform in this mode, you can use the zoom functionality. Press a single key Z or right click on the phrase and select ZOOM PHRASE in the context menu.

To know more, see the topic CONFIGURING CONTENT VIEW in the Obi manual.


Obi users are accustomed to splitting and merging phrases. Now you can split and merge phrases at the same time by moving the PHRASE BOUNDARIES. For example, if you drag the right boundary of a phrase and drop it in the middle of the next phrase, the second phrase will be split and its leftmost part will be merged with the first phrase.

Note that to select the phrase boundary you need to click between the phrases or use the keyboard shortcuts CTRL + RIGHT or CTRL + LEFT.

The figure below shows the phrase separator being dragged onto the adjoining phrase.

Dragging of phrase boundary

To know more see the topic ADJUSTING THE BOUNDARIES OF A PHRASE in the Obi manual.

To open the Obi manual simply press F1 when Obi is open.

See also

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This page was last edited by VLuceno on Monday, February 3, 2014 16:57
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