Free, public beta phase of Sync is now open
Sync is a service created by ReadBeyond which automatically synchronizes audio and text.
ReadBeyond, the innovative startup founded by Paolo Bertasi, PhD, Alberto Pettarin, PhD, and Simplicissimus Book Farm, just opened the free, public beta phase of Sync, to fully automate the production of synchronization map files (aka "sync map").
A sync map associates each fragment of a given text file with the corresponding time interval in the associated audio file recorded by a human narrator. For instance: "Now is the winter of our discontent" ⇒ [0:00:00.000, 0:00:07.800], "made glorious summer by this sun of York" ⇒ [0:00:07.800, 0:00:12.240], etc.
Sync makes possible many original digital projects, for example reflowable Audio-eBooks with synchronized audio/text, whose production on large scale has been very low because of high costs. Typical applications of sync maps include the closed captioning of videos and eBooks with "read aloud" and "tap-to-play" features, popular in enhanced books, especially for children.
Sync is easy to use: you upload your audio/text files to the service and select a few parameters as language and desired output format. Once computed, the output sync maps will be immediately available to download. Sync currently supports 17 languages and several input audio/text formats, and it can output sync maps in 7 formats. Sync can be accessed through a Web application or via APIs.
"Sync adopts a novel algorithmic approach which yields the quality of a human-based workflow while retaining the massive scalability and cost-effectiveness of an automated tool, unlike the current state-of-the-art tools, involving either a human-in-the-loop or imprecise speech recognition-based software" states Alberto Pettarin, ReadBeyond’s CEO. "After a first invitation-only beta phase which involved 20 early testers and took place in March 2014, we are keen to get further feedback from a community of different users, and hence we invite professionals and publishers to join the free beta and to try Sync out."
Technical documentation and more information also about how to join the beta phase are available at Sync Web page: http://www.readbeyond.it/sync/ .
Examples of reflowable EPUB 3 Audio-eBooks, in 10 different languages, with audio/text synchronized by ReadBeyond Sync, can download from http://www.readbeyond.it/ebooks.html .
ReadBeyond Srl (http://www.readbeyond.it/) develops innovative software to create, distribute, and enjoy digital contents. Italian Startup with headquarters in Padua (Padova), ReadBeyond is the applied research lab currently global leader in Audio-eBooks with synchronized audio/text in EPUB 3 format.