Seeking ways to outsource Fine Tune Audio Timings with COVID-19

My timing files don’t have Covid-19 but with limited travel and meeting options, I’m looking for a way to outsource the work of fine tuning audio timing files. I’m interested particularly in knowing if there is a way to export the HTML files (possibly with the MP3s) used to fine tune the timing files and then send them to my team to remotely work through the timing adjustments and send the timing files back to me.

My language team doesn’t have SAB installed on their computers, and it seems daunting to help them install it remotely. If I could simply export the HTML timing files then they wouldn’t need the whole SAB installation and several people on the team could help adjust the timing files. All they would need would be a browser to open the HTML files and save the TXT files when they finish each chapter.

Yesterday I attempted to remotely train my team, using Skype and Zoom, showing them how I use SAB to fine tune the timing files. It was an epic failure. Their internet was so slow that Skype screen share was about 45 seconds behind the audio, and Zoom screen share was about 2 seconds behind the audio. So it was very difficult to teach something about timing when the training medium itself can’t keep synchronized.

I suspect the HTML files that SAB creates for fine tuning the timing files will all reference the MP3 and TXT files that are on my computer. So is there a simple way to save that HTML and edit it to reference a folder on their computer to find the audio and timing files?

I’ve got the whole NT and 50 chapters of Genesis, so that’s why I’m looking for ways to outsource the work.

I searched previous posts and didn’t find this topic, but let me know if I missed a post that treats this topic.

If you send them the fine tune HTML file and a copy of the audio file and put both in the same folder they should be able to do the fine tuning. The Javascript in the HTML has three alternate file locations. The path on your computer, or a relative sub folder from where the HTML is called audio or the file in the same folder as the HTML.

When they save the corrected timing file they will need to find it in the downloads folder and send that back to you.

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Ok, this sounds promising. From in Chrome I saved the HTML file to dropbox and this is that it created. Are you saying I would place the audio files somewhere in this same dropbox folder or somewhere else that is relative to the HTML file? (this is answered in my following post below)

Hmm, I’m wondering why there are so many Encoding Conflict folders. The first and last folders are empty, but others contain one file per folder: stylesheet.css,,,,
[Edit: I got all these encoding conflict errors because Chrome didn’t correctly save the complete HTML files. Read my reply below about how I successfully retrieved the HTML files from the SAB folder where they were originally created].

Hi Andy,
A couple of comments. I’ve been working with a group in the UK who are organizing volunteers to check timings. The process is just in “beta” stage, but God willing will be more widely available soon. I’ve been sending them chapters to check the timings, and the volunteers just run the HTML without needing SAB, similar to what you need. They had problems with full path names in the HTML so what I now do is run the Fine Tune Timings in SAB and open the resulting page in Firefox (not Chrome) and use the right hamburger menu to use “Save Page as…” and choose “Webpage complete.” This creates an HTM file and accompanying folder with the mp3, four js files and the stylesheet.css. I zip it up and post it online. Opening the HTM file gives the user the correct “fine tune timings” interface and ability to save out a timing file, which I then receive back.
It’s possible that SAB will soon be able to save out this info directly, to aid with this issue.
If you are interested in getting volunteer help, let me know. We’re not sure yet of how many projects can be simultaneously worked on, but the process is ramping up.

Ok, I got it to work now. My problem in my previous post above above is that I had tried to save the HTML file from within the browser, but that didn’t get all the CSS, FONTS, JS folders.
Here is what I did for others that may need to do the same.

  1. From within SAB, on the Audio files tab, right click a timing file and select Fine Tune Timings
  2. That option will create an HTML file and open it in your default browser (Chrome in my case)
  3. In that browser window, look at the address bar to see where the HTML file was created. In my case it looks like this: Documents\App Builder\Scripture Apps\HTML Output\org.yourappname.acts.kdh\fine-tuning
  4. Open that fine-tuning folder which is under the HTML Output folder
  5. Create a new audio subfolder and place your MP3 or audio files in there
  6. Copy all of the contents of that fine-tuning to share with your collaborators. So in my case I copied the entire folder to a Dropbox that I share with the team. Here is what all of the contents means in my case:
  7. I also created a subfolder called new timing files, where the team can save the new txt timing files.

So I tested opening up the HTML fine tune timing file on a different computer and this method worked. Using this method, the team can now fine tune the audio timing files without SAB installed on their computer. Since they don’t have SAB to recreate the HTML files they must finish the entire chapter and save the timing file. Then I instruct them to copy the new timing files from their downloads folder to the new timing files folder I created in dropbox. They will not be able to reopen and further adjust the timing file without starting that chapter over again. The only way to double check the timing file is to import it again in SAB then create a new HTML fine tuning file.
Anyways, I’m glad I found a way to get it to work. I’ll report back if my team has any problems with this method.

Some wishes / (feature requests?):

  1. It would be nice if the fine tune audio HTML was localized for the table headers: Label, Phrase, Start time, Move Back, Move Forward and especially the button at the bottom that says: Save Changes to timing file.
  2. This could possibly be done if the fine tune timings part of SAB would use the SAB Translations.txt file from String Translations. Just add a few fields for the labels above.
  3. I’ve synchronized timings for a few books (a few dozen chapters) and I’d find it helpful if the current time was shown in the top bar, just above the start time for the next phrase. Currently the time (moment in the audio) is only in the audio bar at the bottom of the HTML. I say this because I find myself constantly looking between the current time (at the bottom) and the time of the next phrase is scheduled to start (at the top). I keep the current phrase at the top of the screen so that keeps me always looking top to bottom, and takes extra time (and coordination).
  4. It would be nice for SAB to export a batch of timing HTML files and also make a copy of the audio files automatically in a sub folder to easily be shared. If there is already a way to do this I haven’t seen it yet, it looks like I have to right click on each timing file and select “fine tune timings” before SAB creates a timing file that can out sourced.
  5. An additional feature might be if the button to save changes to timing file would store the txt in the same location as the HTML … although maybe more users find it easier to find the downloads folder. Saving in the same folder, or a Timing files sub-folder would just be easier for collaborative team work.
  6. One other thoughts that comes to mind is that some keyboard short cuts might be helpful and maybe quicker than mouse movements. For example, I notice that if I’ve already pressed play (with the mouse) then the space bar will pause the audio. But if I click on a new phrase (to skip the end of a long verse) then the audio starts on that new phrase but the space now moves me page down. And a third option is if I click on the - or + to adjust the timing (the main purpose of this HTML) then the space does neither page down or pause.
    I’ve wondered if one could find keyboard shortcuts for the --, -, + and ++ but there are so many of those on the page it might be complicated to make it apply only to the phrase that is highlighted in yellow. Possibly the keyboard shortcuts would be something like this if they would apply only to the highlighted phrase:
    A - move start earlier by 1 second
    S - move start earlier by 0.1 seconds
    D - move start later by 0.1 seconds
    F - move start later by 1 second
    W - play previous phrase
    E - skip to next phrase
    The use of left hand keys would allow a user to have their right hand as a backup on the mouse.
    Just ideas that might save time. I’m not sure if this part should instead be copied to a different thread for feature requests.

Andrew, thanks for your reply, I will keep that in mind. In a different language project they’ve got a whole new testament that needs to be synchronized. I’d really love to train them how to do it themselves, but some things like this take time to perfect. And you are correct that non-native speakers can actually adjust the timing files quite well without understanding the text. You posted your reply while I was still writing my reply below, so I hadn’t seen your post when I wrote my previous message. Note that I was able to adjust the timing files using Chrome using the method I described (getting the HTML Files from the SAB folder, rather than saving them from within the browser).

@mcquayi should I have posted these feature requests in a different post or section of this SAB Community?

It would be VERY HELPFUL to have a simple way to export multiple/specified HTML files. Currently I always have to setup a laptop for the team with the SAB and project configured.

I was just experimenting and I was able to select all 50 chapters of Genesis, then simply right click and choose “Fine Tune Timings” and it subsequently created all 50 HTML files with one click. When it opened in the web browser it looked like one HTML page with a button at the top to advance through the chapters. But when I looked in the HTML Output folder (see above the sub folder called fine-tuning) it had created 50 separate HTML files. So I could easily copy the whole folder, simply put all the MP3 files in an audio sub-folder. I put the whole folder with the HTML files, as well as folders for css, fonts, js (and the audio) all on Dropbox, and the HTML opened up easily on a different computer (which has no SAB installation).

Yes, of course it would be easier if SAB would do this task more smoothly, including copying over the audio files to the HTML Output folder. That would just make it easier to copy to a Dropbox. Note I’ve found that Dropbox works well for sending my team large files. Since internet is intermittent, it can slowly download and they almost always get even large set of files after a couple of hours.

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Thanks! Will try it out!

I don’t see the need for a feature addition. You can generate the fine tuning files by book. I have not heard of people sharing Fine tuning files before?
But if you think others would use this feature then make a new post for a feature request.

In the old days you would just share the MP3 file and the timing file and those checking would use Audacity to load both and then send back the adjusted timing file. It is a more visual approach. But it has to be taught like any method.

Sorry if I was a wet blanket. Some one called me on that.

Good news is, if you go to Audio section and Audio Files. Select one chapter then do Ctrl A it will select all audio files for all books and chapters with audio. You can then right click on the set and export to Fine Tune. All the fine tuning files will be in the one folder.

The down side is that the HTML files still only have navigation by book. There is no link to the next/previous book.

You still need to copy in the audio files as @Andy_Weathers said. Still it is only two steps not 26 + 1 for NT or 66 + 1 for ONT.

The right click menu currently says Fine Tune Timings and I originally thought that only one chapter at a time was allowed, but yes it does work to create a batch of all the chapters in that book.

My wishes and feature requests should probably be posted separately because it seems like you might have overlooked that I was also talking about, localizing the HTML for fine tuning, string translations, current time stamp location, save location, and a longer section about keyboard shortcuts - all these are suggestions to improve the fine tune timings function (described in detail at the end of the 5th message in this thread).

Ok, yes post 5 was long. My weakness, is following long posts. Sorry.

Yes make a new post for the feature request.

I’ve posed my feature requests in a new post, I guess if you have direct comments about those suggestions we should move discussion to that thread (click the blue link that says Improvements for Fine Tune Timings):

Hi Andy,

You did not mention any use of Aeneas to create timing files. Your language may be different, but in using aeneas, I have found experimenting with various settings and additional rules produced quite good fine timings without any need for fine tuning.

In one case we ended up using timings generated during the NT recording done by Faith Comes by Hearing. Every FCBH recording saves timing data for every line (either a verse or part-verse). This data can be used for synchronization at the verse/sentence level with the synchronization being quite accurate. This method would not work if you are trying to sync at the word level, but we felt the yellow highlighting moved so fast when at the word or phrase (2-4 words) that it was distracting to readers, who appreciated highlighting at the sentence level.

IF you are interested you can contact FCBH and let me know so I can send you further details.

Roger Green

Hello @rgreen620,

I had been talking with FCBH about getting access to timing information from the recording process. Is this now available through DBP4?


Hi Roger,
Yes, we did use Aeneas to create rough draft timing files, and it works great for our readers who read more slowly. But about half of our recordings are done with a very fluent reader, who doesn’t pause very long for commas. I’ve tried the various settings, but usually have the same results. I’m unfamiliar with what additional rules you can add. I have noticed that certain conjunction words do end up on the wrong side of the phrase separation, but that may just be the way the language naturally inserts a pause after the conjunction (but the comma comes before the conjunction). Our team likes the highlighting at the phrase level, so it changes with any punctuation, including middle of the sentence (colon, semicolon, quotes).

I would like to get in touch with someone at FCBH who can guide me through the process of hosting our audio files, and how to make it so that my apps will retrieve them from a FCBH server (to reduce app file size for the Google Play store). You can write me using First_Last @ sil address.

I would like to get in touch with someone at FCBH who can guide me through the process of hosting our audio files…

Andy, we can give you a contact directly in FCBH, but generally I would recommend you include your local organisation’s FCBH link person in this process. They will already be interacting with FCBH about the programmes in your country.

Hi Ian @mcquayi, I had it working, and my team remotely helped me fine tune the timing files. But after I upgraded to SAB 7.2 it looks like the file structure changed, and now what I upload to Dropbox the HTMLs are no longer playable on a computer other than the one where SAB is installed (and the MP3 files reside).

Previously the Fine Tune Timing files would export to:
Scripture Apps\HTML Output\\fine-tuning
That folder would contain an HTML for each chapter, and also had folders for css, fonts, js - stuff needed for the javascripts to work. So I would copy everything from that location to an online Dropbox for the team. I would simply have to create a audio folder and place it next to the css, fonts, js folders. That way when the HTML files were opened on a remove computer it would find the MP3 in the local audio folder.

Since upgrading to SAB 7.2, now the Fine Tune Timing files are exported to:
Scripture Apps\HTML Output\fine-tuning\
(Note that fine-tuning is now the parent folder rather than the daughter folder). But when I copy all the HTML files to a shared Dropbox folder, along with css, fonts, js and a newly created audio folder with the MP3 files - _now the HTML files can no longer play the audio. The text and buttons all show up correctly, but it shows with a audio time of zero and no audio will play:

It is not an issue with the file names for the MP3 files, since I copied all of the exact audio files to the Dropbox under the new audio folder.

Any ideas what has changed in the upgrade to SAB 7.2? I was looking forward to showing the team all the new keyboard shortcuts on the new fine tune timings html files. But now it seems to be not working at all for me.

Do I need to put the audio in a different location to be found? It looks like the HTML is not finding the audio when a copy is placed on a remote computer?