aeneas

aeneas is a Python/C library and a set of tools to automagically synchronize audio and text (aka forced alignment).

Goal

aeneas automatically generates a synchronization map between a list of text fragments and an audio file containing the narration of the text. In computer science this task is known as (automatically computing a) forced alignment.

For example, given this text file and this audio file, aeneas determines, for each fragment, the corresponding time interval in the audio file:

1                                                     => [00:00:00.000, 00:00:02.640]
From fairest creatures we desire increase,            => [00:00:02.640, 00:00:05.880]
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,           => [00:00:05.880, 00:00:09.240]
But as the riper should by time decease,              => [00:00:09.240, 00:00:11.920]
His tender heir might bear his memory:                => [00:00:11.920, 00:00:15.280]
But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,         => [00:00:15.280, 00:00:18.800]
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel, => [00:00:18.800, 00:00:22.760]
Making a famine where abundance lies,                 => [00:00:22.760, 00:00:25.680]
Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:        => [00:00:25.680, 00:00:31.240]
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,         => [00:00:31.240, 00:00:34.400]
And only herald to the gaudy spring,                  => [00:00:34.400, 00:00:36.920]
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,             => [00:00:36.920, 00:00:40.640]
And tender churl mak'st waste in niggarding:          => [00:00:40.640, 00:00:43.640]
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,              => [00:00:43.640, 00:00:48.080]
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.        => [00:00:48.080, 00:00:53.240]

Waveform with aligned labels, detail

This synchronization map can be output to file in several formats: EAF for research purposes, SMIL for EPUB 3, SBV/SRT/SUB/TTML/VTT for closed captioning, JSON for Web usage, or raw AUD/CSV/SSV/TSV/TXT/XML for further processing.

Installation

  1. Install Python (2.7.x preferred), FFmpeg, and eSpeak

  2. Make sure the following executables can be called from your shell: espeak, ffmpeg, ffprobe, pip, and python

  3. First install numpy with pip and then aeneas:

    pip install numpy
    pip install aeneas
    

See the INSTALL file for detailed, step-by-step procedures for Linux, OS X, and Windows.

Usage

  1. To check whether you installed aeneas correctly, run:

    python -m aeneas.diagnostics
    
  2. Run without arguments to get the usage message:

    python -m aeneas.tools.execute_task
    python -m aeneas.tools.execute_job
    

    You can also get a list of live examples that you can immediately run on your machine thanks to the included files:

    python -m aeneas.tools.execute_task --examples
    python -m aeneas.tools.execute_task --examples-all
    
  3. To compute a synchronization map map.json for a pair (audio.mp3, text.txt in plain text format), you can run:

    python -m aeneas.tools.execute_task \
        audio.mp3 \
        text.txt \
        "task_language=eng|os_task_file_format=json|is_text_type=plain" \
        map.json
    

    (The command has been split into lines with \ for visual clarity; in production you can have the entire command on a single line and/or you can use shell variables.)

    To compute a synchronization map map.smil for a pair (audio.mp3, page.xhtml containing fragments marked by id attributes like f001), you can run:

    python -m aeneas.tools.execute_task \
        audio.mp3 \
        page.xhtml \
        "task_language=eng|os_task_file_format=smil|os_task_file_smil_audio_ref=audio.mp3|os_task_file_smil_page_ref=page.xhtml|is_text_type=unparsed|is_text_unparsed_id_regex=f[0-9]+|is_text_unparsed_id_sort=numeric" \
        map.smil
    

    As you can see, the third argument (the configuration string) specifies the parameters controlling the I/O formats and the processing options for the task. Consult the documentation for details.

  4. If you have several tasks to process, you can create a job container to batch process them:

    python -m aeneas.tools.execute_job job.zip output_directory
    

    File job.zip should contain a config.txt or config.xml configuration file, providing aeneas with all the information needed to parse the input assets and format the output sync map files. Consult the documentation for details.

The documentation contains a highly suggested tutorial which explains how to use the built-in command line tools.

Documentation and Support

Supported Features

  • Input text files in parsed, plain, subtitles, or unparsed (XML) format
  • Multilevel input text files in mplain and munparsed (XML) format
  • Text extraction from XML (e.g., XHTML) files using id and class attributes
  • Arbitrary text fragment granularity (single word, subphrase, phrase, paragraph, etc.)
  • Input audio file formats: all those readable by ffmpeg
  • Output sync map formats: AUD, CSV, EAF, JSON, SMIL, SRT, SSV, SUB, TSV, TTML, TXT, VTT, XML
  • Tested languages: ARA, BUL, CAT, CYM, CES, DAN, DEU, ELL, ENG, EPO, EST, FAS, FIN, FRA, GLE, GRC, HRV, HUN, ISL, ITA, JPN, LAT, LAV, LIT, NLD, NOR, RON, RUS, POL, POR, SLK, SPA, SRP, SWA, SWE, TUR, UKR
  • MFCC and DTW computed via Python C extensions to reduce the processing time
  • On Linux, eSpeak called via a Python C extension for faster audio synthesis
  • Batch processing of multiple audio/text pairs
  • Several built-in TTS engine wrappers: eSpeak (default, FLOSS), Festival (FLOSS), Nuance TTS API (commercial)
  • Use custom TTS engine wrappers besides the built-in ones
  • Download audio from a YouTube video
  • In multilevel mode, recursive alignment from paragraph to sentence to word level
  • Robust against misspelled/mispronounced words, local rearrangements of words, background noise/sporadic spikes
  • Adjustable splitting times, including a max character/second constraint for CC applications
  • Automated detection of audio head/tail
  • Output an HTML file for fine tuning the sync map manually (finetuneas project)
  • Execution parameters tunable at runtime
  • Code suitable for Web app deployment (e.g., on-demand cloud computing)

License

aeneas is released under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License Version 3. See the LICENSE file for details.

Licenses for third party code and files included in aeneas can be found in the licenses directory.

No copy rights were harmed in the making of this project.

Sponsors

  • July 2015: Michele Gianella generously supported the development of the boundary adjustment code (v1.0.4)

  • August 2015: Michele Gianella partially sponsored the port of the MFCC/DTW code to C (v1.1.0)

  • September 2015: friends in West Africa partially sponsored the development of the head/tail detection code (v1.2.0)

  • October 2015: an anonymous donation sponsored the development of the "YouTube downloader" option (v1.3.0)

  • April 2016: the Fruch Foundation kindly sponsored the development and documentation of v1.5.0

Supporting

Would you like supporting the development of aeneas?

I accept sponsorships to

  • fix bugs,
  • add new features,
  • improve the quality and the performance of the code,
  • port the code to other languages/platforms,
  • support of third party installations, and
  • improve the documentation.

Feel free to get in touch.