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Development History

Early 2012: Nicola Montecchio and Alberto Pettarin co-developed an initial experimental package to align audio and text, intended to be run locally to compute Media Overlay (SMIL) files for EPUB 3 Audio-eBooks

Late 2012-June 2013: Alberto Pettarin continued engineering and tuning the alignment tool, making it faster and memory efficient, writing the I/O functions for batch processing of multiple audio/text pairs, and started producing the first EPUB 3 Audio-eBooks with Media Overlays (SMIL files) computed automatically by this package

July 2013: incorporation of ReadBeyond Srl

July 2013-March 2014: development of ReadBeyond Sync, a SaaS version of this package, exposing the alignment function via APIs and a Web application

March 2014: launch of ReadBeyond Sync beta

April 2015: ReadBeyond Sync beta ended

May 2015: release of this package on GitHub

August 2015: release of v1.1.0, including Python C extensions to speed the computation of audio/text alignment up

September 2015: release of v1.2.0, including code to automatically detect the audio head/tail

October 2015: release of v1.3.0, including calling espeak via its C API (on Linux) for faster audio synthesis, and the possibility of downloading audio from YouTube

November 2015: release of v1.3.2, for the first time available also on PyPI

January 2016: release of v1.4.0, supporting both Python 2.7 and 3.4 or later

April 2016: release of v1.5.0, with faster C extension, multilevel alignment, custom TTS support, and more

July 2016: release of v1.5.1, with cew C extension support for Mac OS X, and installers for Mac OS X and Windows

September 2016: release of v1.6.0, with refactored TTS engine wrappers, added TTS cache, and experimental cfw C++ extension for Festival.

December 2016: release of v1.7.0, with TextGrid output, MFCC masking for better word-level alignment, revised code for boundary adjustment, and removal of long nonspeech intervals.