Presentation: DAISY Developments Update: October 2011

Original Author(s): Lynn Leith

Previous DAISY Standards combined the roles of DAISY Digital Talking Book authoring & distribution formats.

BUT functional requirements were not always in harmony.

Uptake of XML by browsers was expected – but it didn't happen.

  • DAISY (XML) for content mastering/archiving
  • EPUB 3 (HTML 5) for distribution


  • Extensible and adaptable framework for different purposes and outputs
  • Defines the rules for crafting a markup grammar like DAISY XML, but does not itself define a markup model
  • Does not define a markup language; it is not DTBook reformulated: it defines the rules for how to craft a "profile" to mark up content
  • All profiles have a predictable core
  • There is a set of profiles (usable, sample markup models) that comply with the spec
  • The profiles themselves are not the specification (and are not what NISO will be certifying)
  • Producers not limited to a single markup model
  • Choice of using predefined profiles or creating your own profile/s for specific content requirements


  • George Kerscher: President of IDPF
  • Markus Gylling, DAISY Consortium CTO, leading the development of DAISY 4 and EPUB 3, is now also CTO of the IDPF

EPUB 3's three components:

  • EPUB Content Document (defines profiles)
  • EPUB Open Container Format (OCF) [zip]
  • *EPUB Media Overlays [MediaOverlays30]: define a format and a processing model for synchronization of text and audio [smil]*

EPUB 3 Media Overlays

Synchronized EPUB text & audio books

  • EPUB Synchronized text (EPUB Content doc) and audio EPUB books are created using Media Overlay Documents which describe the timing for the pre-recorded audio narration and how it relates to the EPUB Content Document markup
  • The file format for Media Overlays is a subset of SMIL (W3C recommendation for representing synchronized multimedia information)
  • Media Overlays will have no impact on Media Overlay-unaware Reading Systems
  • EPUB Reading System support for Media Overlays is optional

DAISY Consortium Tool Development

  • DAISY Pipeline 2: transformations/conversion
  • Tobi: DAISY full-text & human narration authoring (DAISY 3)
  • Obi: DAISY human voice audio plus structure (DAISY 3 & 2.02)
  • AMIS: DAISY 3 & 2.02 multimedia playback software

All are open source and freely available.

DAISY Pipeline: 1 & 2

  • Will co-exist for the foreseeable future
  • Pipeline 1: no further developments, but bugs that may be identified will be rectified
  • Pipeline Project page

DAISY Pipeline 2

  • Follow-up & total redesign of Pipeline 1
  • Focus for 1st release: transformations between DAISY and EPUB
  • V 1.0 of Pipeline 2 has been released in the first week of October, 2011
  • 3 year development cycle
  • 2 phases: 2nd phase begins with the release of V1.0 & ends September 2013
  • Pipeline Project Charter

A set of processing modules in Pipeline 2 V1 provide the following conversions:

  • Convert DTBook (DAISY 3 XML) to DAISY 4 XML (also called ZedAI)
  • DTBook utility for upgrading to DTBook 2005-3
  • DTBook utility for merging two or more files
  • DAISY 4 XML (also called ZedAI) to EPUB 3
  • DAISY 2.02 to EPUB 3

The Pipeline 2 Release Notes are on the Pipeline Wiki.

Pipeline 2, Phase 2

  • Modules for TTS-based production, including components for audio processing, several of which will include conversions to EPUB 3 with audio content
  • Processing modules for text-only production, including improvements to those in Phase 1
  • Braille production
  • Some of the proven & widely used Pipeline 1 functionality will be ported to Pipeline 2
  • Extend the web service API (application programming interface) from Phase 1
  • Continued development of user-friendly Pipeline Lite GUI
  • Web UI
  • DAISY Pipeline 2 Project Charter: Phase 2


  • Developed by the Consortium in the response to DAISY Member organizations that wanted a full-text, full-audio tool for DAISY DTB audio production with human narration
  • Development of LpStudio/Pro ceased and a replacement for it was needed = Tobi
  • Tobi Project Page
  • Tobi slide show

Tobi: Functions & Supported Formats

  • Supports DTBook XML document format, the (current DAISY standard), the NIMAS framework & EPUB format
  • Tobi can import existing DAISY 3 full-text full-audio Digital Talking Books, for easy repurposing, correction etc. of published DAISY 3 content
  • Currently outputs/exports to DAISY 3 – the DAISY Pipeline can be used to "downgrade" to a DAISY 2.02 fileset if required

Tobi is NOT an XML editor or XML content creation tool.

Tobi: Future Functions & Formats

  • Will support the revised DAISY Standard (DAISY AI)
  • Will be one of the early reference implementations for DAISY AI
  • Tobi 1.5 will have a DIAGRAM image descriptions editor feature
  • Will Support EPUB 3
  • Support for right to left scripts

DTBook documents can be created using the Microsoft Save As DAISY add-in or the XML converter for Open Office, or by converting to XML from other formats with the DAISY Pipeline


Obi is the full audio with structure, DAISY Authoring tool developed by the DAISY Consortium.

  • Obi and Tobi share a common framework (SDK)
  • The source code for these 2 tools has been harmonized

The purpose of Obi is completely different from Tobi, meeting a completely different set of needs. Obi is designed to be easily learned and easily used in environments where there are limited funds and minimal infrastructure and resources. It is designed to be used by volunteers and individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

DAISY Online Protocol

  • Web service API (application programming interface) facilitating the delivery of digital content from providers to end users
  • Features a core set of configurable operations to enable a variety of download models
  • Flexible, lightweight solution to growing need for online delivery of published content
  • DAISY Online Specification

The article Flanders (Belgium) Begins Online DAISY Distribution in the September 2011 DAISY Planet describes an implementation of the DAISY Online Protocol.

DAISY – Staying Connected


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This page was last edited by VLuceno on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 15:34
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