Recording Content


This page is an early draft.


Compression of recorded content

Audio recordings on the device will encoded at the highest quality codec available to the chipset (A1600?) and at either 16, 20, 24 kbps (TBD). Since we will likely have more memory on the device than we need, a higher bit rate is acceptable, unless there is negligible difference in quality for voice audio between 16 and 24 kbps. The reason for choosing a lower bit rate (smaller size) when we have plenty of memory on the devices is to reduce the memory costs at the kiosks, where this could make the difference of requiring 32 GB vs 16 GB at each kiosk to support 10,000 pieces of 15-minute duration content (to pick one example).

Creating a New Content Module

Pressing the record button and holding it for at least 2 seconds will activate record mode. Once the record mode is activated user will hear "Record mode. Press record again to continue." Pressing again record button once, without any 2-second delay, and he/she will be prompted for title of segment. Specifically, prompt will say:

  • press up or down arrow key to choose and then select the title of a previous content module and by doing so, associate this recording with that module; or
  • Press left key to select segment for editing; or
  • press the hyperlink key to create a new content module, in which case user is prompted for name of new module once the hyperlink key is pressed and asked to press hyperlink again to conclude recording of name; or
  • simply wait for the beep to start recording the name of this segment. Press record again to stop recording the title.

Once the record button is pressed again, the device plays a recording that says, "The title is [title recording]. Recording will begin when you hear the beep. Press the record button to stop recording."

once record button is pressed to stop recording, the device stops recording and automatically switches back to play mode placing user at the beginning of the segment just recorded.

Indicating Chapter Breaks in Newly Recorded Content

All segments are accepted as indivisible. Segmentation must take place at time of recording. user simply stops recording and starts again designating each segment to the correct module.

If user activates record mode, then moves to the left, user will have a list to choose from that includes: erase, re-record title, re-record segment, append, and create a new segment.

by moving up and down the user can listen to the above options. Once he moves right from any of those options or presses select on top of one of them, the option gets activated.

Erasing a segment

Erase will erase the entire segment including title and segment content. The user can decide to erase and re-record only title or only the main body of the segment by choosing one of the re-record options.

If user moves up or down until he/she reaches the erase option, he can either press select or move to the right to activate this option. In either case, the user is placed on the list (elsewhere called column) of files i.e. segment titles. By selecting a segment title the user will hear: "If you press the hyperlink button this segment [title of segment] will be deleted. Press it at any time to erase or press cancel to cancel and keep the recording" At that point the audio of that segment is played back in its entirety unless the process is interrupted with the hyperlink key confirmation or with a cancellation. If the recording reaches its end without any user input, the device loops back and repeats the initial message with the title of the segment and plays the segment again.

Appending content

the user might want to have additional content on a segment that has already been recorded. By moving up or down until he/she finds the Append option on the menu, he/she can select that option by pressing right arrow or simply select. The user is then presented with a list of modules, and once the user selects a module with the right arrow or select buttom, the user is presented with a list of segments to choose from in the same fassion. Once the segment is selected the user is prompted with "Recording will begin after the beep. Press pause when you need to stop temporarily, and press it again to continue recording. Press record again when you have finishedrecording. Recording begins now [beep]".

Changing the Title of a Content Module Recorded on the Same Device

to change the title of a segment the user simply selects the re-record title option listed above when he is in record mode and presses left arrow to look at options. either by pressing right arrow when on top of the correct re-record option or by pressing select while on top of it, the user is placed on the list of segment titles. user is then able to move up and down the list and either press cancel which brings him back to the list on the left, or press left arrow which does the same, or presses enter and is prompted:

"The current title of this segment is [segment title]. Press record to start recording a new title or any other key to cancel."

if user cancels he is placed on left list of options, if user records he is first prompted with message "Start recording new title after the beep and please press the record buttom when done [beep]"

Deleting, Inserting, and Replacing Chapters from Content Created on the Same Device

Deleting and replacing is done with the procedures described above. Inserting, i.e. modifying the order in which segments are listed and played when inside a grouping, that is done in the following manner:

The list on the left containing erase, re-record, etc, will also contain an option called re-order grouping.

user selects re-order grouping and then is immediately placed on the
list of title segments on the right.

As user moves up and down on that list, he can select any title and move it up or down by simply pressing select, moving to a new location on the list and pressing select again. A move and paste operation.

the process is finished when user moves to the left and makes a different selection or when he/she presses cancel, or hyperlink, or actually any button.

Giving Titles to Chapters and Creating a Table of Contents

Need to ask you what you mean with table of contents, in this context.

Ability to Make Changes to Content Recorded on Device Long After Initial Recording

If a piece of content is created on device A, copied to device B and others, deleted from device A, and eventually makes its way back to device A, the content can no longer be modified by device A.

An alternative to this might be having every device store an MDsum of any content it creates, and never deleting those identifiers. Then once an edit is desired, the device checks to see if it has an MDsum number that corresponds to the content prior to any modification, and if so, editing is possible. That way, assuming perfect digital copies, and trusting on the extremely low probability that any two files will have exactly the same MDsum, the device will know the signature of any file it has ever produced. The computing requirements for such calculation need to be assessed.

Adjusting Volume


Redirecting Output


Transferring Content

Copying a single content module from one device to another device.

User Experience Steps

1. Physical Connection

  • Two devices are physically connected. The latest design (3/15/08) calls for the devices to be connected via a cable, via the special, non-USB, device-to-device port.
  • As long as the cable is connnected, the devices are in copy mode. To go back to single user/device mode, the device cable needs to be physically disconnected.
  • If at any point during the entire copy process, the copy operation is aborted, then the device falls back into this mode, i.e. cable still connected, and goes into step 2.
  • This implies a requirement for a frequent "still connected" keep-alive status exchange between connected devices, on the order of every half second. Only when the keep-alives are no longer being processed does the device goes back to the single user mode.
  • If cables are every disconnected, i.e. keep-alives are miseed, then each of the device responds with the default Talking Book greeting message.

2. Devices Simultaneously Respond to Connection

  • When each device recognizes the connection is made (should be simultaneously), each device plays a short System Audio File (SAF) that says, "Who is giving?"
  • This needs to be a very short SAF since it may be coming from both devices at slightly offset timing.

3. Determination of "Giving" / "Taking" Roles (USB Master determination)

  • When any button is pushed on either device (other than maybe Power Off button):
    • The selected device will attempt to signal to the other device that it is the master.
    • Error condition: If a device receives such a signal but it thought it was the master (from having its button pushed about the same time), the signal is rejected, and one of the devices plays a system audio file saying something like, "Please only push a button on the Talking Book that is giving."
    • The nonselected device (the USB slave, aka "taking") will play a system audio file, "I am taking."

4. The Giving Device Asks for Content to Transfer

  • The selected device, the USB master, (aka "giving") will wait two seconds (to not overlap with the previous audio) and play a file saying, "I am giving. Do you want to give, {plays the title audio segment of the most recently selected content module}? Press Play button if Yes, or select another module" [or whatever other pair of buttons that are intended to function as Yes or No].
  • The choice of the module to announce at this point, i.e. when d2d copy is first activated, should start with the most-recently played module.
  • If the Home or Escape button [we'll see what we come up with for this function] is pressed on either device, this specific copy operation is canceled, but the devices are in still in copy mode as the cables are still connected. Restart at step 2.

5. Finding the Content to Transfer
(For simplicity, only one module can be selected and copy at one time. i.e. there is no "multi-select" and copy.)

  • If any of the up/down/left/right selection button is pressed following the previous prompt, then the normal rule of selection (see selection spec) is applied. As a new content module is selected, that module's title is played in the SAF "I am giving. Do you want to give, {content title}? Press Play button if Yes, or select another module"
  • It's important that the playing of the title can be interrupted immediately and at any time, with either the press of Yes or any of the up/down/left/right selection buttons. If another selection is indicated, the new content module's title is played as quickly as possible. The idea is that one could rotate through the reading of ten content module titles in 3-5 seconds, if one was familiar enough with the voice and/or first word of the title.
  • As long as a selection choice is made instead of Play/Yes, this process continues rotating through titles until
    • a) a Yes is selected (continue to step 6);
    • b) the Home or Escape button [we'll see what we come up with for this function] is pressed;
    • c) the device goes into power saving mode from no button presses, from which it should recover, if still physically connected, to step 4 (where the giving/taking selection has been determined); or
    • d) the batteries die, from which it should, if connected, recover to step 1.

6. Checking Memory Availability of Selected Content

  • If Yes is selected, the size of the selected content module is sent to the slave ("taking book" :-), which responds with a signal to indicate if there is available memory.
  • If there is enough memory, continue to step 7.
  • If not, a system audio file is played by slave device, "I'm too full for that one. Please disconnect us and empty me, or maybe your friend can give me something smaller."
  • If disconnected, each device returns to the state it was in before the connection was made.
  • Until disconnected, the Giving device pauses and repeat "I'm too full for that one. Please disconnect us and empty me, or maybe your friend can give me something smaller."

7. Alert Users of Copying

  • The devices are now both prepared to copy a particular piece of content.
  • The giving book (master) will play an audio file that says, "I am now giving {audio title}. Please leave us alone until we have finished sharing."
  • the device will, at regular intervals, make a low-pitch sound to indicate it is busy.
  • If the file size is 24-48 MB (~ 16-32 seconds at USB 1.1's 12Mbps), it will also play, "This will take just a few extra seconds."
  • If the file size is > 48MB (> 32 seconds xfer), it will play "This is one is very large and will take a minute to share. Please have patience."

8. Errors During Copy
[Need to handle errors related to the copying here.]

9. Successful Copy

  • If the copy was a success, the taking book will play, "I have it and am ready to take something more."
  • Both devices then go to step 4.