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Re: [AudioTF] Some helpful comments from an audio publisher

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2018 09:56:27 +0100
Cc: Daniel Weck <daniel.weck@gmail.com>, Wendy Reid <wendy.reid@rakuten.com>, W3C Publishing Working Group <public-publ-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <68B5D5DA-9336-4F22-98FF-7031CFFB6FCE@w3.org>
To: Laurent Le Meur <laurent.lemeur@edrlab.org>


> On 20 Dec 2018, at 09:53, Laurent Le Meur <laurent.lemeur@edrlab.org <mailto:laurent.lemeur@edrlab.org>> wrote:
> 
> @daniel, YAML may be great (for config files especially) but I would hate a requirement to transform a YAML manifest (in a package) to a JSON manifest for exposure on the Web. The extra features of YAML aren't enough IMO to accept such burden. 
> 
> As for the other comments from Blackstone, they are all going in the same direction we are taking. A simple zipped based packaging for a manifest (representing metadata + reading order) + audio files. 


+1. And their comments on the difference between this and, say, M4B is important and worth remembering. ("Do not mix the packaging of the “book” with the packaging of the “audio”")


> 
> The presence of "extra" resources (PDF for the booklet, JPEG for the cover) will be explicitly granted via "resources" in the manifest. 
> 
> Cordialement, 
> 
> Laurent Le Meur
> EDRLab
> 
> 
>> Le 20 déc. 2018 à 00:37, Daniel Weck <daniel.weck@gmail.com <mailto:daniel.weck@gmail.com>> a écrit :
>> 
>> Useful feedback.
>> YAML is great, I also use CSON in some projects where JSON would otherwise suck as a human-authored format (because of the lack of comments, multiline strings etc.). That being said, this then needs to be converted to JSON so web browsers / JavaScript can consume it directly.
>> Daniel 
>> 
>> On Wed, 19 Dec 2018, 19:32 Reid, Wendy <wendy.reid@rakuten.com <mailto:wendy.reid@rakuten.com> wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> I had the opportunity to speak to someone from Blackstone (for those who are not familiar with the company, they are a producer and distributor of audiobooks). I outlined the work we have done so far and shared links to our GitHub, and in reply he provided some really good feedback I wanted to share with everyone else. There’s a lot, and please remember he is not a member so this is a completely fresh take on our work, but I think his feedback is very interesting and I hope others find it of use. 
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> Some thoughts right off the bat are:
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> 1.  Audiobooks are VERY simple. Try not to let anyone over-complicate them.
>> 
>> a.  Audio files
>> 
>> b.  Maybe a PDF (or other simple file type – jpg, txt etc)
>> 
>> c.  What order to play/display them
>> 
>> d.  How to display them
>> 
>> 2.  Do not mix the packaging of the “book” with the packaging of the “audio”. This is the mistake they made with m4b’s.
>> 
>> a.  Store files AS files
>> 
>> b.  AAC audio should be preferred IMO
>> 
>> c.  Store metadata in a manifest file, not in the audio
>> 
>> d.  The packaging file defines the contents, not the files it contains.
>> 
>> 3.  Use a standard format for the container. But don’t let the container drive the specification.
>> 
>> a.  The topic of DRM (whilst out of scope) gets *much* simpler if it is possible to read the container like a filesystem.
>> 
>> b.  Zips are universal. So are ISOs
>> 
>> 4.  Take a look at YAML as the document spec. It is a superset of JSON (and so people can use JSON too) but it is a lot more readable
>> 
>> a.  YAML is growing rapidly in its popularity
>> 
>> b.  YAML serializes to/from JSON easily
>> 
>> c.  It is amazingly human-readable
>> 
>> 5.  Avoid HTML. Seriously. Same for XML. Let the applications (and there will need to be application support) read and render the JSON data
>> 
>> a.  If you want formatting, you can add to the spec to add formatting to the nodes
>> 
>> 6.  User lists/arrays to define the implicit order.
>> 
>> a.  We made a mistake when we wrote our internal spec, and went with hashes. Those are not guaranteed to be ordered, and we had to rely on an additional ‘order’ datapoint
>> 
>> b.  Arrays/lists are. The order is implicit, and does not rely on any additional definition
>> 
>> c.  Array items can be hashes, containing *anything*. This is where I would include file hashes, runtimes, and anything specific to the display of the file (font, format, label, etc etc)
>> 
>> 7.  Avoid embedding data (tags, anything display oriented, artwork).
>> 
>> a.  Again, M4B. Yuck.
>> 
>> 8.  If you have a container (zip/iso) and files (jpg, pdf, audio) and a single ‘manifest.json’ (or manifest.yaml 😉) then the “specification” comes down to that single JSON/YAML file. Nothing else matters really.
>> 
>> 9.  If you focus the standard on that Manifest file, then the actual container becomes flexible. As long as an application can read that file. But it would lend itself to a self-contained package (in a Zip/iso) as well as direct filesystem storage (object/POSIX, whatever)
>> 
>>   
>> 
>> There is a tendency to over-complicate things – especially when there are lots of opinions involved. I would be a strong advocate for a SIMPLE specification, and preferably one that defines the *contents* of the container, rather than the container itself. Having a single document define the contents, makes it much easier to build applications IMHO.
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> If you have any questions of them or comments, let me know and I can pass things along!
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> Happy holidays,
>> 
>> Wendy
>> 
>>  
>> 
>>   Wendy Reid
>> 
>>   Senior Quality Analyst
>> 
>>   Toronto, Canada (GMT-5)
>>  <http://www.kobo.com/>
>>    <http://www.facebook.com/Kobo>  
>> 
>>    <http://www.instagram.com/kobobooks>	
>>    <http://twitter.com/kobo>	
>>   www.kobo.com <http://www.kobo.com/>	
>>  
>> 
>>  
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> <image002.png>
> 


----
Ivan Herman, W3C 
Publishing@W3C Technical Lead
Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/ <http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/>
mobile: +31-641044153
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704 <https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704>


Received on Thursday, 20 December 2018 08:56:38 UTC

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