Tobi Blog

Tue, 2017-02-07 09:19
Dear Tobi users, version is an incremental update that introduces refreshed user interface localisation for the French language. Credits to Fernando Pinto Da Silva, who contributed the bulk of the translation. As part of this localisation effort, the editor for extended image descriptions (DIAGRAMMAR) has been made translatable too. Finally, the missing translations for the metadata editor and validator have been added. Thank you for your support! Regards, the Tobi team.
Wed, 2016-12-21 12:35

Dear Tobi users,
version 2.6.1 is a maintenance update that includes the following main changes:

The extended image descriptions (DIAGRAMMAR) can now be exported using the ARIA "details" syntax (along with details+summary HTML5 elements). EPUB3 Media Overlays projects only.

The "project cleanup" functionality now includes a "rollback" feature, in case the original project must be restored.

There are various improvements and bug fixes in the waveform editor, the TTS features (synthetic speech), XML structure / editing, Pipeline2 support, and audio playback.

The full list of changes can be found in the change-log:

Regards, the Tobi team.

Sat, 2013-08-03 10:43

Dear users, 

Tobi v2.1.1 includes a number of important fixes and improvements. Most notably, the latest Pipeline2 release (v1.6) is now supported, which simplifies the conversion process from DAISY to EPUB3. The text navigation in Tobi is now more reliable, which also benefits recording with human narration and TTS synthetic speech (adjustment of synchronisation granularity).

The EPUB3 project format has changed slightly to accomodate a different file naming convention for spine items, which may require re-importing epub files in some cases. Please let us know (preferrably via the forum) if you have problems restoring existing projects.

We would like to thank Association Valentin Hauy, Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles (France), for their work in the french user interface translation.

As usual, the full list of changes can be found in the change-log page:

Kind regards, Daniel

Fri, 2013-05-31 12:02

Dear all,

As announced in the DAISY Planet newsletter [1], Tobi 2.1 has just been released!

This version significantly improves support for the Pipeline 2 [2] (also a DAISY open-source tool), which means that Tobi can now effectively be used to test the conversion of DAISY Digital Talking Books to EPUB 3 (Media Overlays) titles. This feature is particularly useful for content producers who would like to try out mainstream EPUB 3 reading systems (such as Readium [3]) whilst continuing to author DAISY 3 (DTBOOK XML) projects. Note that the Pipeline 2 itself is under development, so this feature should be used with caution until the DAISY-to-EPUB3 converters are robust enough.

There is now also a new MSI installer for users who cannot rely on the ClickOnce installer due to the initial requirement of online connectivity. Note that incremental automatic updates are still only available with the ClickOnce installer, so this remains the recommended method to install Tobi.

Various bug fixes and performance improvements are included in this release, please see the change log [4] for more information.


(the Tobi team)






Thu, 2012-05-31 23:09

Dear all,

The next major milestone in tobi development is support for EPUB 3 media overlays. The planned roadmap for Tobi 2.0 with support for EPUB 3 media overlays is as follows:

  • Tobi 2.0 Alpha release: Late June/early July 2012
  • Tobi 2.0 public test release: September 2012
  • Tobi 2.0 release: October 2012

With regards
Avneesh Singh

Mon, 2012-06-11 18:13

Dear blog readers,

Tobi v1.7 is the first application to support the full DIAGRAM content model for image descriptions. The new dedicated editor provides a powerful, yet easy-to-use user-interface to enter textual descriptions, to specify alternative images, and to author rich metadata. Tobi also extends DIAGRAM capabilities by enabling audio narration, via the same waveform editing tools that are available to produce DAISY 3 digital talking books.

With the advent of the DIAGRAM standard, this will be an exiting year in the field of accessible infographics, which are critical in educational publishing (STEM, etc.). We are looking forward to releasing EPUB 3 support, later this year. This will not only provide EPUB 3 Media Overlays capabilities (the equivalent of DAISY 3 books with synchronised human narration, but built directly into the mainstream EPUB industry standard), this will also be a testbed for inclusion of image descriptions straight inside publications. Note that Tobi also exports image descriptions to the standalone DIAGRAM XML format, so future reading systems / book players will be able to render descriptive data from various sources.

The DAISY-Planet newsletter has a great article about this release. There is also a recent news announcement.

Part one of a video tutorial is available on Youtube, with captions. We also maintain a Youtube playlist of all the Tobi-related videos, so let us know if you produce instructional material that you would like to share!

UPDATE: Part two of the video tutorial is available on Youtube, with captions.

Documentation-wise, this short guide should get you started. There is also a more complete manual.

As always, you can have a look at the change log to track the releases (note that your Tobi installation will update automatically if you installed the official ClickOnce version, but not if you run Tobi from the alternative ZIP archive).

Many thanks for your support!
Kind regards, Daniel


Editor in "basic" mode, showing sample textual descriptions (Long description, Summary and Simplified Language). Note how only the long description currently has an audio narration recorded for it:

Editor in "basic" mode, showing sample alternative images (Simplified Image and Tactile Image), with associated "tour" textual descriptions. Note that the images are a bit random, but this is for illustration purposes only. For example, the tiger is the iconic SVG picture, which showcases Tobi's support for scalable vector graphics:

Editor in "advanced" mode, showing dc:title and dc:date metadata, also with dc:creator and its associated xml:id (useful in a rich metadata set, for referencing from other items):

Audio recording tool and waveform editor, which is a popup dialog spawned from the image description editor in "advanced" mode. Note the text "this is a long description", which indicates the item that is currently being recorded:

Fri, 2011-12-23 14:01
Just in time for Christmas: Tobi now ships with a brand new waveform renderer, which displays audio pretty fast (dare I say, near-instantaneously) and incrementally loads large audio assets (i.e. dynamically, as the horizontal pane scrolls). This is a major upgrade which ; according to our internal testing ; should really improve the user experience during authoring workflows where long audio recordings are used. The recently-introduced "split and shift" audio synchronization feature definitely benefits from the faster waveform loading. You can try by turning on "autoplay", then start playback, then incrementally hit CTRL-RETURN to split a large audio recording into smaller pieces that immediately align with the text structure. As usual, please take a look at the more detailed change log. Best end-of-year wishes to you all! Kind regards, Daniel
Thu, 2011-12-15 03:19
Important update for keyboard users: some Tobi commands were being hijacked by the document renderer (typically, when selecting / clicking text with the mouse, but also when tab-navigating into the document, because of notes/annotations references). This is now finally fixed, and the overall user experience is a lot more satisfying. Because it is Christmas soon, we also took the opportunity to implement new handy audio configuration dialogs that popup just when you need them, i.e. when creating a new project and at export time. Going into the main application preferences was cumbersome, this is now much simpler. As usual, take a look at the change log when you update Tobi. All the best, Dan Reminder: let us know what you think about the new video tutorial!
Wed, 2011-12-14 09:09
Tobi version 1.5.1 is out! As usual, check out the change log to see what's new. The bugs squashed in this release really improve the user experience, so we thoroughly recommend upgrading. I am particularly exited about the new "split and shift" audio feature, which greatly increases productivity. This keyboard-driven functionality (CTRL-RETURN) enables a much smoother workflow when working with a text-only transcript and pre-existing audio assets (reminder: use CTRL-I to insert MP3 or WAV files). The text/audio synchronization consists in a simple, intuitive sequence of repetitive actions, especially when using the "auto play" mode (tip: use SHIFT-CTRL-ALT-SPACE to toggle the mode). I found that speeding-up the audio playback (CTRL-UP) makes the process faster with no loss in accuracy. The undo/redo (CTRL-Z / Y) comes handy when making a mistake or when missing a synchronization point, but because undoing actually highlights / selects the affected audio, don't forget to deselect (CTRL-D) or select-all (CTRL-A) in order to reset the playback cursor (use the HOME key to listen from the beginning). The previous/next text navigation shortcuts (CTRL-COMMA / COLON) make it trivial to verify the state of the synchronization at any given time. Remember, you can hit the ESCAPE key to interrupt the waveform rendering/loading for long audio files (most operations can be performed without the need to display the entire audio). The ESCAPE key turns "auto play" off, so if you need it turned on again you can use the SHIFT-CTRL-ALT-SPACE keyboard shortcut or tick the box in the icon toolbar. We intend to publish a short instructional video for this new feature, hopefully very soon. In the meantime, let us know what you think on the forum! Kind regards, Daniel - UPDATE- A short video tutorial is now available:
Wed, 2011-11-02 01:26

Tobi version 1.5 brings numerous improvements and bug fixes (as described in the change log), and ships with a robust editor for image descriptions that conform to the DIAGRAM format.

This is an intermediate release in the sense that the image description standard is still being finalised, but also because within the next few months, Tobi will enable audio narrations of the image annotations themselves (in addition to the main "book" content). The DIAGRAM format supports multiple image descriptions in order to cater for various needs (e.g. tactile picture, simple versus long text descriptions, alternative illustrations, tour/overview), and Tobi will eventually enable audio descriptions (i.e. voice recording) across the board.

This, in addition to the upcoming support for EPUB3 Media Overlays (DAISY-like text/audio synchronisation for e-books), means that 2012 will be an exciting year!

This short guide is provided to get started with image descriptions in Tobi. We also recommend this small DAISY 3 DTBOOK ("Great Painters", 600KB) as a starting point to experiment with the new editing features.

For further information about the image descriptions data model, please visit the DIAGRAM Center website.

Finally, here are a couple of screenshots showing the new user interface used to navigate images in the book content:


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