Tobi FAQ

Tobi FAQ




  1. Is Tobi free open-source software ?

    • Yes!
    • Tobi is available free of charge, and is distributed under open-source licensing that allows commercial development (dual LGPL / BSD).
    • Tobi is built with extensibility in mind, based on a plugin architecture that greatly facilitates the development of new features, and the incorporation of external contributions.

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  2. What formats are supported by Tobi ?

    • Tobi supports the semantically-rich DTBook XML document format, which is currently used by DAISY, NIMAS and EPUB. DTBook documents can be created from scratch using the Save As DAISY addons for Microsoft Word and Open Office, or by converting from other formats using the DAISY Pipeline.
    • Tobi can import existing DAISY 3 full-text full-audio Digital Talking Books, making it easy to re-purpose or fix material that is already published.
    • Tobi currently exports to the DAISY 3 format (latest 2005-3 version) but the DAISY Pipeline can be used to "downgrade" to a DAISY 2.02 fileset in order to support legacy reading devices.
    • Tobi can import Obi projects, making it possible to "upgrade" audio-only content to full-text full-audio.
    • Tobi will support the upcoming revision of the DAISY Standard, and will be one of the early reference implementations of the new format (2011).

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  3. What can I use Tobi for ?

    • Tobi is a multimedia production tool that currently supports DAISY Digital Talking Books (open standard otherwise known as ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005).
    • Tobi is designed to ease the process of synchronizing a text document with human narration, including page numbers, hierarchical table of contents, images, footnotes, etc.
    • Tobi provides a live recording workflow that is fully-integrated with structured text (i.e. document markup). Tobi can also import external audio clips (MP3 and WAV formats currently supported).
    • Tobi's zoomable and multilevel waveform editor support selection, delete, insert, cut/copy/paste, playback, punch-in punch-out recording, etc.
    • Tobi offers a basic text editing feature (handy to fix typos). Although basic structure editing is planned for a future release, it is recommended to author text documents as part of a proven XML workflow, and use Tobi for multimedia synchronization only.

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  4. Does Tobi have any TTS features ? (Text To Speech)

    Yes. Tobi includes support for SAPI 5 voices installed on the computer where the application is running (SAPI 4 has been deprecated by Microsoft in the sense that the .NET framework only recognizes the version 5+ TTS voice engines). The speech synthesizer can be invoked to generate audio content for individual text fragments or for entire sections of the text document (in which case the finer granularity of the text/audio synchronization is preserved). SAPI voices are listed directly in Tobi's audio preferences, where the user can choose a particular voice to use before running the TTS generation. Future versions of Tobi will include support for lexicons and other advanced TTS features, but for true automated TTS production we recommend using SSML and the DAISY Pipeline.

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  5. What are Tobi's system requirements ?

    • Tobi supports Windows XP (SP2 minium, SP3 recommended), Vista and Seven.
    • Tobi is a 32 bits application that runs on 32 bits (aka x86) or 64 bits (aka x64) machines.
    • Tobi requires the .NET "managed" runtime libraries of DirectX 9.
    • Tobi supports versions 3.5-SP1 and 4.0 of the .NET framework.
    • Tobi runs best on a computer with at least 1GB of RAM, a fast processor and a decent video card. Experience can vary enormously from one machine to another, but the application is known to work well on mid-range laptops.

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  6. Is Tobi an accessible application ?

    • Tobi's user-interface is based on WPF (UI-Automation) and has been designed to function well with screen-readers. Tobi has been successfully tested with JAWS (version 9 minimum required), NVDA (which is free and open-source) and Windows' built-in Narrator.
    • Tobi features its own screen magnification. Because the application user interface is based on vector graphics, icons and other crucial elements (like the audio waveform display) remain crisp even zooming-in.
    • Every command in Tobi has a keyboard shortcut that is customizable using the application preferences dialog.
    • Tobi makes use of system colors so that Windows high-contrast themes are applied to the user-interface automatically. Tobi's application preferences can be customized with user-selected colors for advanced user-interface items like the audio waveform editor.

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