Wikipedia Talk:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia/Archive 7
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Wikipedia Talk:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia/Archive 7

popflock.com Resource: About spoken request

A request was made by another user at the talk page of popflock.com Resource: About for a spoken version of that project page. I thought I'd place it here so it doesn't get forgotten. I'm happy to record and upload it, but I may not be able to do so for a little while (still have Oldham in progress), so if anybody else wants to take this on please do so! Hassocks5489 (talk) 12:34, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Canada

I just uploaded my first spoken popflock.com resource recording; it's for the article on Canada. I tried to stick to (roughly) the following timing:

  • 2 seconds before each section
  • 1.5 seconds before each paragraph and image
  • 1.75 seconds after each image
  • 1 to 1.25 seconds between sentences

I'd love to hear any of your thoughts on this approach, or any general feedback on the recording.

Also, the article is quite long; the audio comes to over 54 minutes. This made me wish there were a way to present the audio in separate sections so that the user could jump directly to sections of interest. Has anyone tried to do anything like that? --Ka-Ping Yee (talk) 12:40, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Also: how may one request a review? Thanks! --Ka-Ping Yee (talk) 12:50, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Hi, and thanks for contributing this recording. I'm downloading it now, and will listen over the weekend -- then I'll do a review for you and give you some feedback. I'm quite experienced at "doing" spoken articles, but I've never reviewed one before and have only listened to a few others; the main driver and review-organiser of the project, Macropode, has regrettably not been seen on popflock.com resource for some months (does anybody know where he is?). So this will be quite new for me as well! :-) In the normal course of events, a spoken article will be picked up for review a few days/weeks after it is submitted. Quick answers to some of your questions: those timings/pauses look ideal (I go for about the same when I make recordings); and I know some people have split longer articles into two or more sections, but personally I narrate and upload a whole article in one go, even if it is very long like this one. My record is 58½ minutes for Peterborough! I'll have a thorough listen and let you know. Cheers, Hassocks5489 (talk) 21:58, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Wonderful! Thank you very much. --Ka-Ping Yee (talk) 23:28, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Crushing by elephant

Crushing by elephant has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here.
--GrittyLobo441 (talk) 05:20, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Anyone know a good Linux microphone?

Hello. I'd like to try to record some articles, but having trouble getting my Fedora Linux box to record anything in Audacity. Can anyone recommend a good microphone that "just works" in Linux? I've spent a couple of weeks getting a Logitech AK5370 USB mic working, to no avail. Thanks in advance for any suggestions anyone might be able to provide! --Scott5114? [EXACT CHANGE ONLY] 04:01, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

You may wish to use a simple soundcard microphone with a normal audio jack rather than a USB one. Assuming your soundcard works in Linux, your mic will be just fine. USB mics tend to be needlessly complicated in my experience. Rob T Firefly (talk) 19:23, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Archived talk page

Just so you don't think everything got deleted, no sweat. Please see Archive 7 for past entries. Reason turns rancid (talk) 22:48, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Parliament of the United Kingdom

Is being reviewed at WP:FAR Featured article review, please come and help bring this article up to current featured article standards. Judgesurreal777 (talk) 22:12, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Hidden categories discussion

There is a discussion underway at Wikipedia talk:Categorization#Hidden categories concerning what kinds of categories should be hidden (using the new HIDDENCAT magic word). For the moment it is proposed that hiding be applied to all categories which classify the article rather than the article subject (i.e. including Category:Spoken articles). Please weigh in. --Kotniski (talk) 08:57, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Spoken talk pages

Do you think it would be appropirate to have spoken versions of talk pages?. Mythdon (talk) 03:28, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I can't personally see how they would be of much use, with the possible exception of pivotal discussions in the history of popflock.com resource policy. Did you have any specific pages in mind or thoughts on the issue? -SCEhardT 03:49, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Just proper synthetic voice is needed...

Hey folks, I've updated Marcus Aurelius article with a spoken version using synthetic voice. Have a look and let me know what do you think. I'm working on some more articles. Seems like Spoken popflock.com resource is almost dead, current system obviously doesn't work and needs to be changed. It would be good to know, how many people are actually reading this discussion... ? Yxifix (talk) 05:17, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Current consensus is against synthesized speech (see the archives of this page, at top). If you want to propose a change, please feel free to do so here, but don't add synthesized versions until it has been agreed on. -SCEhardT 03:46, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Feel free to do so here...that's what I did, I felt free to do so. I guess, having one example (not mentioning it had one of the best quality among all spoken articles) on whole popflock.com resource would kill you. Just because of 'consensus' of 2-3 (?correct me) people who heard some rubbish synthetic voice and have no idea what proper synthetized speech can sound like - yes, I've seen the archives - and I've seen also the sentence "...while the technology is where it is..." after listening to some awful robotized speech. I could say that was the consensus also...while... it's not 'while' anymore, right? Actually you really call a result of discussion of 2-3 people a "CONSENSUS"? LOL. If you haven't realized I'm actually trying to help; I'm not going to 'fight' with few people (or even 5, I don't consider this number 'a community' really) who made their 'consensus'. Because of people like you Spoken popflock.com resource is where it is. 3 years and how many spoken articles are there? How many quality ones? How many of them you have created yourself? Have you listened to it at all? I guess you don't even care, when you have made no mentioning about it at all (!). Important is, you can delete stuff. All in all, you are very good admin, keep up the great work. Maybe you should ban me for vandalism as well - think about it, it could be cool... ;) Yxifix (talk) 14:16, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree in principle with Yxifix (though let's not get uncivil about it). This recording is of good quality, and if this method can be used to make more WP articles available in spoken form, then it deserves every encouragement.--Kotniski (talk) 14:47, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to weigh in with an opinion against using synthetic voice. As noted in the Spoken popflock.com resource Project page, text-to-voice synthesizers are already available to anyone who wishes to use one. I didn't find this example to be any better than others I've heard. Synthesized speech is tiring to listen to compared to natural speech, and though it may be better than nothing, I agree with SCEhardt that until the issue is settled further use of synthetic speech should be put on hold.

Not to get personal, Yxifix, but your comments read a bit like a rant. You're clearly passionate about the issue but developing a consensus (even if it is, as you noted, in the early stages) counts more than passion on Wikipedia. Pejore (talk) 19:59, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

In spite of Yxifix's abrasiveness and apparent eagerness to explode the moment someone has the audacity to have a differing opinion, I tend to agree with his original point. I think all of us would prefer to have human voices for articles, but until more are available synthetic voice seems like a good substitute. If nothing else, synthetic voice is preferable to nothing, and nothing is what we have a lot of right now. Ken Thomas (talk) 22:33, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
...abrasiveness? :o). You really think so, Ken? :). Well, it's not about 'different opinion'. It's about a specific proper reason for different opinion. Just have a look at reply above and its absurdity. Firstly he says he is against the synthetic voice and later he says it's better than nothing (not mentioning that he's just signed-up and is teaching me what counts more here). Some people apparantely don't even know what exactly they want and why they want it and/or most importantly they don't even really care and are actually forgetting what should be a purpose of Wikipedia, but in spite of that, they want to make decisions. Yxifix (talk) 02:06, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Yxifix, please cut out the personal attacks. Although I just created this particular account to help with the Spoken popflock.com resource project, I've been a contributor to popflock.com resource for over three years. Not sure where you get off with this holier-than-thou attitude ("Some people. . .are actually forgetting what should be a purpose of Wikipedia") considering that your own talk page indicates that you've been caught posting copyrighted information. You seem to be the one most interested here in "making decisions," while everyone else is trying to form a consensus. Pejore (talk) 03:20, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
I just said and showed how absurd was your reply. If you knew what excatly you want and why, in other words, if you knew what would be more useful for the people and why, there is no way, you could write such a nonsense. It seemed you are just repeating words you read somewhere failing to realize eg. that popflock.com resource should be available for everyone, if it is possible. That was obviously not a personal attack, that was a fact I felt a need to point at in order to defend my point of view. I have no need to make personal attacks, what should I gain from that, eternal life surely not. I'm just used to call things by their true name, and I don't really care if somebody have a problem with that. And yes, few years ago, I copied the information about 2 Liechtenstein villages from another site. Obviously I was too eager to help the community, that was your point, right? What else did you find? ;) Yxifix (talk) 04:25, 23 March 2008 (UTC) PS: If you decided to create some spoken articles, everyone will surely appreciate it. The more people is contributing, the better.

If we're going to consider using synthesized voice, I think these issues need to be addressed:

  • Should synthesized voice be part of this project? (Spoken Wikipedia)? I agree that the software Yxifix used is better than what I've heard before, but it still isn't pleasant to listen to for a long time. Much of this is from poor rhythm. Many common words are well-pronounced, but it seems to have trouble with uncommon words and names. I listened to part of the article and most of it was comprehensible, but I couldn't make out many of the names. The process of adding recordings to Spoken popflock.com resource is somewhat tedious, and they are featured fairly prominently on articles. I'm not convinced that the quality of synthesized voice is high enough to allow inclusion.
  • What software was used? Are there license restrictions on the audio?
  • If this recording was made using free software, could synthesized voice be incorporated into all of Wikipedia? (A software patch that would put a 'play' button on each page?)

-SCEhardT 23:28, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Well, sure there are and always will be difficulties with ideal pronunciation. But there is still option not to listen to and also a possibility to have an option to chose between synthetic and authentic speech. Disk space shouldn't be a concern as there won't be much authentic recordings anyway. Of course, if there is a quality authentic recording, there is no need to have a synthetized speech as well. I'm talking about such examples as you can see in "Cheese" article. Not many people would listen to that probably. There are plenty of recordings where you can hear background noise, breathing, etc. We also shouldn't think only about those who don't like reading but also about those who simply can't read. Trying to tell these people, that we don't have/want a spoken version of a particular article because it's difficult to make out many of the names and rhythm is not good enough and, unfortunately, there is no-one who is willing to record it... well, what would be their response... popflock.com resource should be for everyone.
  • I use TextAloud ($30) + each voice costs money. The one you can hear in that example + a female voice are $35 for example. This is for personal use; for redistribution of files there is another license (but one example isn't a problem of course). I've already contacted one company just to find out their opinion, I believe there is a possibility to make some kind of agreement; but of course most importantly for me was to make sure if there is an interest at Wikipedia. I will contact somebody from Wikimedia as well.
  • This is common misunderstanding. No, although it would be more comfortable, it can't be done I'm afraid. TTS on-the-fly conversion is ok with books and longer text, not with popflock.com resource articles with plenty of images, verious tables and lists. It would read everything. Even if you would make it to read just certain parts, there would still be much more mispronunciations. You simply have to modify the text, correct pronunciation as best as you can (eg there can be plenty of foreign names used in the article), make sure it pronounces dates and abbreviations correctly, insert pauses where needed so it could sound well enough and stuff like that.
Also, if modified text will be saved, revisions would be much easier than with authentic voice. You can just check the text if it was edited properly, you don't necessarily need to listen to whole recording. Therefore also corrections will be much easier to do. Yxifix (talk) 01:55, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Interesting. I have some ideas about how to go ahead with this, but before I take the time to develop them, we should figure out the licensing. The TextAloud user manual says:

Each voice sold by NextUp.com includes its own license agreement which you agree to when installing the voice. While each voice vendor's license agreement varies slightly, here are some general guidelines that apply:
When using older Microsoft voices, there are no restrictions on usage or use or redistribution of audio files created with those voices.
When using any of the premium voices, including AT&T Natural Voices, Cepstral Voices, and Neospeech voices, the voices are sold for personal use only. Most commercial uses are prohibited under the consumer license. Audio files created by these voices cannot be distributed to others under the standard consumer licenses.

Was the recording made using one of the 'older Microsoft voices'? If not, there probably isn't a way to allow use on Wikipedia. All media used on popflock.com resource has to be available not only for use on Wikipedia, but also for use and modification in other projects, commercial or otherwise. There's more info at popflock.com Resource: Example requests for permission -SCEhardT 06:12, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

No, Microsoft voices are not good enough. There is always a way, if you want :). But first I'm waiting for their viewpoint and then we'll see what the next steps will be. Yxifix (talk) 22:10, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Just weighing in my opinion, I would argue strongly against the use of synthetic voices. Listening to Marcus Aurelius, the voice is very disjointed, has no inflection, and is hard to follow. For instance, when it mentions his work, Meditations it reads "Marcus Aurelius' work meditations" when the normal human reader would inflect "Marcus Aurelius' work [slight pause] [slight emphasis] Meditations" (note the slight (half-second maybe) and emphasis on the word "meditations." Some of you might think that I am nitpicking, but I do know that I had to actually read it to understand it, I could not follow with audio alone. Not to mention, as most computers these days have synthetic readers (Windows, and I imagine OS X as well) there is no real gain from a synthetic recording. As I seem to remember, the main reason for this project was to get human voices, so that people in need of spoken articles could follow them better. If someone needs this service, and they are using a computer unassisted (I have a friend who fits this criterion) then they definitely have a good screen reader. Besides all of that, this is Wikipedia. When have we ever strived for mediocrity? If synthetic voices were helpful, there would be no need whatsoever for this project. The developers would merely upload a media script that would integrate into the java media player currently installed, and the server would handle all screen reading.--Vox Rationis (Talk | contribs) 13:39, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm obviously missing something here. Even if a synthetic voice isn't perfect, it's still a lot better than nothing (and nothing is currently the alternative for 99.99% of WP articles). We don't "strive for mediocrity", true, but we don't have a policy of "perfection or nothing" either - if we did then a similar percentage of WP articles would have to go up for AfD.--Kotniski (talk) 18:31, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Listen to "Cheese" article and then tell me something about pauses between words and inflections; your rhetoric quesiton about mediocrity sounds a bit funny after that, you surely agree. Because that article shows the standard of quality maintained currently at Spoken popflock.com resource project. I just somehow can't understand how come you (and others with the same opinion) were so quiet until now. Or you really do want more and more "Cheese" articles at popflock.com resource (because there are a lot of them here already)? On top of that you obviously didn't read replies above (media scrit, screen readers...). Anyway, if your main problem was pauses between words, there is a possibility to correct them in the software, and probably even inflections, who knows.
I personally would prefer to have some kind of a poll on the mainpage asking visitors, who are actually interested in listening to articles if they would prefer TTS (providing an example) to nothing and the same poll for persons with sight problems. That would be more useful and we would know where we stand right away. Not many people have the slightest idea about this discussion, unfortunately.Yxifix (talk) 22:10, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I tend to agree with Vox Rationis's points. Kotniski, I see your point about popflock.com resource not following a "perfection or nothing" policy, however, what occurs to me is that consistency is important in the Spoken popflock.com resource project. A spoken article of poor quality would rightfully be at risk of deletion, even if no other recordings were available. I would apply the same rationale to deleting synthetic voices. If the Spoken popflock.com resource project comes to include a large percentage of synthesized speech, one would never know what to expect from Spoken popflock.com resource and for the many people who find synthetic voices unacceptable, it would be less useful. Pejore (talk) 19:59, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, it wouldn't be too hard to put a different notice on synthesized speech articles, and maybe create a separate category for them, so people know what they're getting. I'm fortunate enough not to need spoken texts myself, but I would imagine that among those who do there must be a large number who do find synthetic speech acceptable, if it's that or nothing; those people should not be denied access just because there is another group who refuse to listen to such speech. (And it's unrealistic to say that anyone in that position must already have TTV software on their computers - not least because people don't control the software configuration on every computer they may be accessing popflock.com resource from.)--Kotniski (talk) 20:20, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
These are good ideas. There is no problem to have synthetic and authentic speech for one article. But first we need to get that approval from TTS software company(ies). I received an email from Neospeech 6 days ago saying they'll let me know about their decesion, but still nothing... Yxifix (talk) 02:02, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

I haven't received another reply from Neospeech. Anyway, I'm moving to different country soon, so I have other things to think about at the moment. Hopefully I'll come back here soon. I believe if there are enough people interested in this project (we could find that out through the poll on the main page), Wikimedia surely could help. Yxifix (talk) 17:03, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

OK; I'm going to go ahead and remove that file since it sounds like there are copyright issues with the voice used. Let us know if you hear anything from Neospeech & enjoy your move! -SCEhardT 21:04, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Eek! I haven't been back on WP Spoken since I did Soren Kierkegaard. Um. I guess it looks like the big points have been debated. I'll throw in my straw that I am not in favor of synthesized voices for much of the previously stated reasons BUT I do see how it will increase our project's "accessibility" and encourage real voices become part of the project. There is certainly a need right now for mere exposure than just quality and until we have achieved a certain percentage of articles we cannot ignore this may allow us to reach out. Like stated above, resolve the legalities and copyright issue first, open-source, CC, etc is the only thing we will accept on here. Similarly have you forgotten the technology that plays and records the sound should also be open-source which is why we have identified Audacity as the preferred choice to remove any ambiguity. The recording or playing software needs to indicate their license as well. Sounds like a bunch of loops to jump but it avoids a lawsuit. .:DavuMaya:. 21:20, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
i do text to speech voices, see them here Sghfdhdfghdfgfd (talk) 14:00, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Do you take requests?

If you do, I think William Shakespeare is a prime candidate for this. It is extremely stable and really hasn't been edited much at all in several months since it became an FA. It is also really popular, with page views ranging in the thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands) per day. Wrad (talk) 18:24, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, requests are welcomed. There is a category for requests - see Category:Spoken popflock.com resource requests for instructions on how to go about setting up a request (essentially, you just need to put a template on the article's talk page) - although I don't know how extensively it's monitored. In this case, I will pick up the Shakespeare article, as I have some time this weekend and thereafter; not sure exactly how long I'll take, but I'll keep you informed of progress. Hassocks5489 (talk) 18:32, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Repository for raw audio?

It seems to me that this project could benefit from a repository where volunteers could store the raw uncompressed audio, perhaps even in section sized pieces. This would make it easier to update articles - just rerecord the parts that changed. It would also allow multiple readers to cooperate on an article and/or a new volunteer to correct or update an existing recording. Dfmclean (talk) 15:40, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it would be helpful if they could be stored somewhere; at the moment I keep all of mine on my hard drive, so I could "donate" it all. I'll certainly continue to keep them in future as well, in case something is done towards this, although I'm not sure how one would go about setting it up. Hassocks5489 (talk) 12:10, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I think that we can probably put them on Wikimedia Commons. Dfmclean (talk) 13:57, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikimedia Commons doesn't do uncompressed audio but putting OGG files works just fine. So far, I've been naming the files in an ArticleNameSectionName format. One of the "problems" listed on the main page is that spoken articles can quickly become out of date. Using a section based approach could help to ameliorate this problem. Dfmclean (talk) 15:26, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Sound effects

Having just listened to a spoken popflock.com resource article for the first time, Peterloo Massacre to be exact, I wondered if anyone had considered using sound effects for atmosphere where appropriate. For example, the article I've mentioned could have some sounds in the background such as crowds and the sounds of horses hooves. There used to be royalty-free sound effects records available in those distant days of vinyl, so I'm sure there must be something available today. Richerman (talk) 22:56, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I partly agree and partly disagree. While sound effects might add some color to a dry recording, it might also interfere with the clarity of the voice. Dfmclean (talk) 04:25, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Well I think if it was done subtly, just with some sound in the background it would be ok. If the BBC can do it....... If I get some time I may have a go myself sometime. Richerman (talk) 09:36, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I did the spoken article in question. Richerman's idea is interesting, and could certainly work in certain situations, but it would be difficult for amateurs like me to implement. I produce my recordings in a home environment without easy access to free-licence sound effects, and my audio mixing skills are rudimentary at best. Having said that, it's a logical idea which should be considered in some cases. Hassocks5489 (talk) 12:07, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
And a fine job it was too! I was thinking of something quite simple like a cassette tape (remember those!) playing in the background at relevant points. Alternatively there's probably some simple to use audio software that would add two tracks together. It would be a fun thing to try out sometime if I can tear myself away from editing articles. Richerman (talk) 12:41, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
You can listen some sound effects & music (taken from Jamendo, music with open license) in the audio version of the article "Korean War" (in Russian), listen audio part 1 and part 2. -- AKA MBG (talk) 02:58, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
P.S. The benefit of using of sound and music effects is that it's possible to use the same effects in the parallel interwiki articles, e.g. in English or in Deutsch language version of e.g. "Korean War". -- AKA MBG (talk) 05:43, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Rallying The Troops

Right, I've gathered there's about 30 of us working towards this project. I'm about to pick out some of my favourite articles myself to begin, so yeah. Perhaps we should take up divisions of work, like administrators already do with sub-fields? Perhaps this isn't needed now, but certainly may do in the future, especially since you don't want to be recording an article someone is in the midst of doing. I guess that's the problem with non-instant content creation. Melaisis (talk) 18:54, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I'm quite happy to narrate articles on request, as it were, or have tasks allocated. The main concern people might have--and it certainly applies to me--is that help on pronunciation may have to be sought (and given in a timely manner) from Wikipedians outside the project, in respect of articles outside one's area of expertise. For example I tend to concentrate on UK geographical and sport articles, where to put it simply I know how to pronounce everything. Attempting articles with lots of foreign, unfamiliar or technical words would need the assistance of editors specialising in those areas (perhaps by asking on relevant WikiProject talk pages? I've done that successfully for at least three of my articles.) Hassocks5489 (talk) 12:15, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind at all. I used to be able to be quite active but time, as usual, is at quite a premium. As far an pronunciation, I've found a few free TTS (text to speech) programs online which give you quite accurate pronunciations in Italian, German, French, even Arabic and Japanese which I've found exceedingly helpful in other projects [1]. I would like to see an active community back again. Reason turns rancid (talk) 15:38, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Tips?

I just recently added my name to the list of participants of this project. I'm planning to narrate the Super Smash Bros. Melee article, but before I do, I want to know what mistakes I'm making. I recorded the playable characters section of the article and uploaded it (see bottom of this entry). If someone wouldn't mind giving me a few tips about what I'm doing wrong, that would be greatly appreciated! (Because this isn't going to go on the article, I didn't fuss too much over my errors which I would have changed otherwise. Some of the things that I noticed that I will try my best not to do while recording the whole article are: not saying the section number, blowing into the mic, taking noticeable breaths, not digitally removing the background noise, different lengths of pauses after punctuation, and different volumes and ammounts of muffling) You're dreaming eh? 22:50, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

  • A fine beginning I think. The opening sentences are a little monotonous (up until :56), however the final sentences are much better; they are much brighter with good inflection and easier to listen to. The quality even seems better. As far as technical aspects go, you seems fine, no real noise or popping. As long as you keep up the pace from what you were doing in the latter half of that sample, you'll be A-OK. Welcome to the family, and don't hesitate to ask questions of any of the moderators or community. Reason turns rancid (talk) 15:21, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I concur with Reason Turns Rancid. The most noticeable areas for improvement are the uneven volume between consecutive sentences, which can be sorted out by compressing and normalising the audio, and occasional variation in the gaps between sentences, with some gaps being a little too short (possibly as a result of editing/splicing two pieces of audio together). Pace was good, especially after 0:56 - slower than mine, but I tend to narrate relatively quickly. There were no variations from the text and minimal noises (I heard one small breath noise and no pops/taps/scrapes). Hope you enjoy doing the full narration - it's quite a long article, so may take a while, but stick with it! Hassocks5489 (talk) 16:23, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the tips! I'll get started as soon as I can! You're dreaming eh? 17:38, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

First Article

I just posted my first spoken article and I was wondering if someone wouldn't mind critiquing me.

Thanks for your time!--Dukeruckley (talk) 17:35, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I had a spare moment and tossed up a review. Good work! Since you seem a fan of Lost, you could even work your way through the series since they all seems short or, for the most part, well written. Just watch the editing noise and keep your pacing smooth and you'll be fine. Reason turns rancid (talk) 20:43, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the tips. I wasn't sure about the pronunciation of Monaghan... You may be right. I'll look it up before I do any more. I'll try to find time to work on more Lost episodes and other pages, but it might be slow going. Thanks much!--Dukeruckley (talk) 20:57, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Open call for reviewers!

Since I have very little time anymore to review the new spoken articles, and it doesn't look like Macropode is returning anytime soon, I'm asking for some help from the community to review the newer articles being added. It help maintain a level of quality and provides a good amount of positive feedback so many will continue making new articles of progressively higher quality. The process is pretty simple, see the review help page for details. No need to feel every article must be reviewed, but whenever you have some free time, pick on you find interesting, give it a listen, and fill out the template provided. For some prime examples, see some previously reviewed files

It's not only a good way of encouraging more recordings, but is an excellent way or hearing others and picking up tips on do's and dont's on your own articles and other projects.

Hope to see your name on the reviewers list soon! I'm hoping to get back into the habit of it myself when the whirlwind such as life slows to a more gentle breeze. Thanks!

I agree; it's important that spoken articles are evaluated for accuracy and to ensure that the guidelines are followed. Accordingly I'll try to find some time to provide reviews for some of the more recently added unreviewed files. Having reviewed one in the past, I can say it doesn't take too long, is quite straightforward and can teach you a few things about unfamilar topics. Hope to make a start later this month. Hassocks5489 (tickets please!) 12:12, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I feel like everyone has moved just one thing in the room and I am totally disoriented. I could swear at some point I found a link to the articles that needed reviewing. I cannot seem to find that link anywhere anymore. For at least a week I have been wanting to do a review but give up when I cannot easily find the link. The link to the template and instructions I can find. Unreviewed files, not so much. Help?!? --Preceding unsigned comment added by PopularOutcast (talk o contribs) 23:36, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
It's a category entitled [[Category:Unreviewed spoken articles]]. Took me a while to find as well! Unfortunately you have to click on individual entries to see their upload date and other details. Hassocks5489 (tickets please!) 07:41, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
It seems to be a hidden category, so I recommend copying and pasting "Category:Unreviewed spoken articles" into your search bar. I'm sure there's an easier way to find it, but I can't remember it at the moment...

Accent

I am about halfway through recording The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (which I'm sure must be some kind of blasphemy, since I'm American - I feel like it needs and deserves a recording by Peter Jones). I'm having trouble figuring out what I'm eventually going to put down for "accent" when I upload. I was born and bred in the Philadelphia suburbs, so it's mostly General American, but I've been told there are a couple of quirks to it. Any ideas? Skiasaurus (sk?' ? sôr' ?s) 11:26, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

You can be as general as "American English", or as specific as "English Lower east side Philadelphia" if you wish. I reckon however a simple "American English PA" or some such will do fine. (I can't believe I used the word "reckon" in all seriousness.) Reason turns rancid (talk) 02:08, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

New volunteer

I have been in contact with a professional voice actor via OTRS who is interested in recording U.S. President articles for us. Here is a sample (introduction to the John Adams article):

He wants some pronunciation help for certain words and possibly technical help with uploading and/or recording in OGG format. Is anyone interested in helping out? howcheng {chat} 00:24, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Feel free to drop any questions on my talk page should the need arise. Maybe he could give me tips to make my home studio sound more like that in return! Reason turns rancid (talk) 02:05, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Proposal: Pronunciation task force

I propose a task force for adding brief recordings of pronunciations of difficult terms to selected articles (typically, but not necessarily, the article topic). The recordings are intended to supplement textual pronunciations. Any article that supplies a textual pronunciation of some term will be targeted; the task force would also seek out articles that deserve pronunciations and add both the textual and spoken pronunciations. Where a term has multiple pronunciations (for example, a foreign-language and an anglicized pronunciation) multiple textual and spoken pronunciations would be provided. Where possible, a native speaker of the language would be sought for foreign-language pronunciations.

The task force would maintain a category hierarchy of articles requiring their attention, subcategorized by language. Pronunciations would be uploaded to Commons so that they can be used in other Wikipedias as well as Wiktionary, where applicable (for this reason, they would omit any English descriptive or explanatory speech).

I'm been wavering on whether to propose a new Wikiproject for this or not, but I think many of the same people who have done so much great work for this project could also be really helpful for this. Pronunciations are the most useful part of an article to record, and they don't decay unlike articles in their entirety, so they're even useful for articles that already have spoken versions. If there's interest from project members I'll create and organize the task force page and categories. Please let me know what you think - thanks! Dcoetzee 21:20, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

There's been several instances I've seen of some difficult words included with a link to someone speaking said word. For example, the page I worked on recently (Antidisestablishmentarianism) already had such links. If this exemplifies what you're speaking of, then I'm all for it. However, such a project could quickly get out of hand, in my opinion, if not made specific enough what needs such treatment. Adding the Phonetic spelling to such words followed by a brief spoken clip would by entirely welcome, more-so with difficult medical and historical terms.
I would be interested to see what you can make out of such a project. Continue your work and keep us abreast of what your plans might be to organize it. Good luck!
I'm actually a bit surprised there isn't already a project for this. It's a great idea; I often lose concentration when reading selections with words I can't pronounce. It would greatly increase the quality of many articles. I'd give it a shot! You're dreaming eh? 03:54, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I would really appreciate something like this! I use two sources for pronunciations that may help with this. Almost all words on the Merriam-Webster online database have sound files of pronunciations and Howjsay is another indispensable tool for this.¤~Persian Poet Gal (talk) 04:47, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I do get stuck on pronunciations all the time. However my attraction to this project has more to do with those words that I cannot find online. I do subscribe to Merriam Webster unabridged and they have many sound files, others you can find on the Internet. So most of the time, I can find the words. However, twice I've had to call a reference librarian because the word is nowhere. That is, it is specialized in some subject. Names are also difficult for me because I'm never 100% sure how they are pronounced (as different folks pronounce the same name differently and you really have to know how the person who owns the name pronounces it). While this project is a good thought, I agree with Reason turns rancid that this could quickly get out of hand. How do we decide which words need a spoken guide? There is also the issue of the accents of the folks recording. --Preceding unsigned comment added by PopularOutcast (talk o contribs) 05:54, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
FYI I have now created popflock.com Resource: WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia/Pronunciation task force with a bunch of links and info. I've created and been populating some categories with a language-based hierarchy describing articles that already have audio pronunciations (there are a few thousand of these) and good candidates for adding audio pronunciations to (currently focusing on articles using the IPA templates). It'd be great if you could link it from the main project page and if anyone who is interested in helping could sign up. :-) Native speakers of other languages are especially welcome, as there are lots of terms needing pronunciation audio in just about every language, although I don't have them all sorted yet. Dcoetzee 00:08, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Featured article of the day

Well, I have recorded two articles that were coming up as a FA of the day. One of them is taking a beating and I'm going to have to entirely re-record the material. The other one has now seen many edits and has many questions pending about items in the article (nothing significant enough to re-record yet). I wonder, is it really a good idea to record articles that are waiting in queue? It seems the day the article comes out, so do the vultures. What do y'all think? PopularOutcast (talk) 06:03, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Recording a featured article is usually a very safe bet, but when it reaches the main page the attention it garners make for a ton of edits. Some big, some small, some good, some malicious. Generally the recorded version captures the essence of the article well enough that a good amount of minor edits shouldn't warrant re-recording. However, if new sections are added and hugely edited, you can always edit your existing soundfile and paste in where needed. The major contributors of the article and admins will be keeping a close watch on the page while it's on the main page I'd imagine, so major changes should be rare. I would wait a day or two until the page calms down after it's front page debut though.
In short, record away. Just keep any eye on your watchlist maybe the day after it's front page addition for any major differences to edit in/out.

Preparing for first read article

Hi! I'm planning on reading my first article for Wikipedia, but I'm unclear about one of the guidelines:

"Conversely, spoken word audio clips of popflock.com resource articles that incorporate copyrighted text pose legal problems (since the resulting audio file cannot be licensed under the GFDL). You should avoid these articles." - Choose an article pointer #3

Isn't all of popflock.com resource copyrighted? I'm assuming I can read everything GFDL and small quotes that fall under fair use, but why is this any different from what text we're allowed to include in the first place? --Explodicle (talk) 14:20, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

I've always been a little unclear on the copyright issue on wiki. There are, I think, extremely few articles with copyrighted text. The only possible exception might be something to the tune of corporate jingles, song lyrics, or catchphrases (think Let's get ready to rumble!). So all in all, don't sweat it. In the rare occurence something comes up, it can always be edited out later. Feel free to record whatever you wish!

Tables?

How should tables be read? Buc (talk) 06:46, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

The method I use, which is non-intrusive and keeps things simple and accurate (in my view!), is to read the first heading, pause for a second, read the first entry under that heading, pause for a second, and work across through each heading, again reading the first entry under the relevant heading, until the first row of data is complete. In a simple table of two or three columns, where it is obvious what the headings are, they do not need to be repeated; in more complex cases, or if in doubt, read the headings again before each entry. For example, for this table:
Manager Years
Fred Brain 1915-1953
Joe Head 1953-1964
Dave Foot 1964-present

...I would read:

"Manager. Fred Brain. Years. 1915-1953. Joe Head. 1953-1964. Dave Foot. 1964-present."

However, for something like this:

Town Population Area Restaurants Crime Rate
Dullsville 23 99 acres 1 High
Snazzytown 17,404 1,000 acres 32 Low

...I would read:

"Town. Dullsville. Population. 23. Area. 99 acres. Restaurants. 1. Crime Rate. High. Town. Snazzytown. Population. 17,404. Area. 1,000 acres. Restaurants. 32. Crime Rate. Low."

Have a listen to some of mine, for example Dover Athletic F.C. and Peterloo Massacre, for examples of tables of various complexity. Hope that helps. Hassocks5489 (tickets please!) 12:03, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Do we have a Template:Currentlyrecording ?

Much like the {{inuse}}, we could set this at the top of a page and it would tell other editors that we are currently doing a recording and to evaluate any edits they make to the page since they will invalidate the recording. Come to think of it, what do we do to keep recordings up-to-date? padillaH (review me)(help me) 17:52, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Use this coding: {{Spoken popflock.com resource In Progress | [[User:Padillah|Padillah]] ([[User talk:Padillah|talk]]) | ~~~~~ }} ...on the Talk page. As for keeping recordings up to date, I have never (so far) attempted to do this by, for example, re-recording whole articles or sections, which is what you would really have to do periodically if you wanted to ensure they were up to date. I tend to record Featured Articles, which usually stay more stable, and stick to relatively uncontroversial topics. :) Hassocks5489 (tickets please!) 18:43, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
yes but who reads the talk page first before making edits? an edit notice would be better saying that the page is being recorded and not to make any changed. as for long pages, it takes a while to record the whole thing.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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