Friday, 30 April 2010

Tech tips

Feedback from our technical wizard, blindfish, on his role within the Soundlines project:

"My work on Strata Collective's Soundlines project involved producing an application to parse text logs from an mscape in order to convert the times recorded for audio events into an audio format to be played back online. I chose Processing for the development work, simply because it's what I've been working with most recently, and Jokosher as an intermediary tool to export MP3 audio files, mainly because, once unzipped, it has a fairly comprehensible XML format, and it's free!
The Processing based application can process multiple logs simultaneously and export these to Jokosher project files, which can then be loaded and used to export the MP3s. It also exports a number of files to facilitate the online playback. This second part of the project was an extension of my work on e-merge walks. The mscape log files are now parsed by Flash to present the trace of the walk and to give an impression of the original outdoor experience online. Soundlines extended the e-merge application so that the the trace updates in real-time - i.e. as the audio plays back the trace shows the location at which it was heard - and the user has the option to pan through the audio.

Needless to say there are things that could have been improved - for instance the Flash playback relies on ID3 tags being added to the MP3s to indicate the length of the track which adds to the work involved in processing the files before being able to put them online..."

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