To celebrate the release of, well, everything, Tears of a Machine is available on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow at a discounted price. 25% off the standard price for PDF and Print-On-Demand. Now’s your chance to tell your friends to go get their own copy or gift them one to share the fun. This offer expires on September 15th, so be sure to spread the word and take advantage of it soon!
I was so excited yesterday that I wrote a long, babbling post and buried the lead! Here are the links to get the book files and some free playback software.
Download the ePub with this link: Tears of a Machine ePub. You’ll need software or hardware with support for ePub 3 rich media files, like Readium. You can still read the text with other software but you will not have audio playback synchronized to the text.
Download the DAISY files with this link: Tears of a Machine DAISY. Unzip the files and add them to your DAISY library. You’ll need DAISY playback software or hardware to get the synchronized audio playback while reading. Try Amis for a free option.
Here we are; the home stretch!
Step 7 Continued – Finishing Up the Editing
In the end, after editing out some errors and tightening up the timing between the paragraphs, the audio version has clocked in at 7 hours and 17 minutes. I’ve listened through word by word and made some minor tweaks to the audio and the text to help them line up a little better, especially around the page marks. It’s not perfect, there’s some stuff I’d like to rework later, but I think it’s ready to be seen and heard.
Step 8 – Export the DAISY Digital Talking Book
TOBI includes a few different options for DAISY output. The most important choice is the format for the audio files. Higher quality files mean a cleaner sound but the book takes up more space, meaning longer download times. Because the audio is just spoken word, I choose to set the sample rate a 22,500 Hz. The reasoning behind this has to do with the Nyquist frequency and physics but suffice to say that the range of the human voice sits pretty well in this frequency band. In fact it’s the sample rate used for AM radio. After setting my MP3 encoding bit rate to 128, a mid-level quality the end result is a DAISY project folder about 200 megabytes in size. Continue Reading →
You may think I’ve been very quiet. Just the opposite! I’ve been very talkative in my studio, with my microphone and TOBI recording. Now that first big milestone is past: All of the text has been recorded! The raw audio files total 8 hours and 4 minutes so my prediction was good.
Next will be the detailed editing passes as I go through all of that audio removing stumbles or misreads and ironing out the placement of marks. How long will that take? I’m not sure but I expect it will be easier to get the time for it since I only need my laptop and headphones instead of the home studio and a quiet day. I’ve set a goal for myself to have the book released in DAISY and EPUB formats by August 2nd, the one year anniversary of our Kickstarter success.
Speaking of anniversaries, if you have any friends who’ve been wanting to get their hands on Tears of a Machine but are waiting for a sale, July 3rd is the anniversary of the KS launch, so they’ll soon have their moment.
Picking up where I left off in the previous post, I’ll continue to guide you through the steps I’m taking to bring Tears of a Machine to you in an accessible format.
Step 4 – The Recording Application
TOBI is a free and open-source application programmed by DAISY Consortium members. It’s a flexible application that lets you work with your text and audio in a few different ways. You can record right through the application or if you want to use other software that’s more familiar to you, then you can import the audio files into TOBI later, matching up sections of the file with sections of the text. There are other applications on the market, some of them quite expensive, but TOBI’s basic features are enough for me.
Loading the new project is pretty easy. I just point TOBI at the .xml files that I got from the Save As DAISY operation in Word. After a quick conversion it opens up the file as a TOBI project. Continue Reading →
After several weather delays, the books are in my hands and will soon be on their way to Kickstarter backers around the world!
It’s quite a relief to have them. Now it’s time for addresses and mailing supplies and several trips to the post office.
In this series of posts I’ll be posting the step-by-step process of creating the DAISY Digital Talking Book version of Tears of a Machine. Once it’s done I’ll have DAISY compatible versions of the raw text for Text-To-Speech reader software, an ePub book, and a fully narrated audio-book for DAISY and ePub 3.0 rich media playback.
If you want to know more about the basics of DAISY formats and initiatives, visit the homepage of the DAISY Consortium: http://www.daisy.org.
For this first entry I’ll explain getting the book text from Word DOC to DAISY friendly XML. Continue Reading →
Been a while since my last full update but that’s because we’ve been busy, busy, busy.
Cards and Badges
The “feelies” (physical rewards) are set! I got the box of CRC ID cards this past week and they look and feel as good as I had hoped. The Preservation Forces patch has been drafted and approved and is in production now. He’s a peek at the studio’s proof:
This image is slightly lower res, but I was surprised at the scale and detail that we were able to get for our budget; 4 1/2 inches tall by 3 inches wide. Everyone of our SAInt tier and higher backers will receive one of these with their physical copy of the book. Thank you, once more, to our Angel tier backer, Athrun Nailo. Continue Reading →
Tears is in Layout
Nathan Paoletta’s work continues and it’s really gratifying to see the text laid out. It looks like a real book!
There’s still work to be done in tweaking the layout and settling in some elements. I’m on another hunt for typos as I review. In the meantime, Nathan is working on translating my Excel spreadsheet character sheets from the demo package into real character sheets. Once all of the page numbers are settled, I can begin setting up the files for the accessible text versions and soon start the audio recording for the digital talking book.
Nathan recently joined the crowd-patronage support network Patreon. If you enjoy his work then consider making yourself an ongoing backer of his future projects.
CRC Cards On the Way
CRC ID cards have been ordered so I’ll have them to pack in with books for the SAInt and higher tier backers. Take a look at the digital proof: Continue Reading →