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Old 10-04-2018, 03:40 AM   #1
marcfaaborg
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Epub repeating text (Ibook) Ipad

I have a recurring fault in my Media Overlay for a Fixed-layout Epub.

It seems to be random, but not completely... There are several places in the book, where it (almost) always repeats the audio while re-highlighting the same text over and over.

I´m using the Ibooks reader on ipad for testing and the epub has both sound (a media overlay specified in a .smil file controlling the mp3 audio files) and 2 different types of animations (indesign exported animations and Gif´s).

Both sound and animation work perfectly when using Ibooks on my laptop, but on the ipad it repeats certain pieces of text...

Any suggestions? (see pictures for screenshots) This is my first time posting this forum for help, so any recommendations to clarifying the issue will go a long way.

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Old 10-07-2018, 12:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcfaaborg View Post
I have a recurring fault in my Media Overlay for a Fixed-layout Epub.

It seems to be random, but not completely... There are several places in the book, where it (almost) always repeats the audio while re-highlighting the same text over and over.

I´m using the Ibooks reader on ipad for testing and the epub has both sound (a media overlay specified in a .smil file controlling the mp3 audio files) and 2 different types of animations (indesign exported animations and Gif´s).

Both sound and animation work perfectly when using Ibooks on my laptop, but on the ipad it repeats certain pieces of text...

Any suggestions? (see pictures for screenshots) This is my first time posting this forum for help, so any recommendations to clarifying the issue will go a long way.

Are your audio clips for more than one word at a time? Is that what I'm seeing there?

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Old 10-07-2018, 10:57 AM   #3
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Are your audio clips for more than one word at a time? Is that what I'm seeing there?

Hitch
Hiya Hitch.

Yes.

The audio clips are covering 1 or 2 lines of text in a childrens ebook (maximum of 10 words pr audio clip).
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcfaaborg View Post
Hiya Hitch.

Yes.

The audio clips are covering 1 or 2 lines of text in a childrens ebook (maximum of 10 words pr audio clip).
When did they start allowing that? Granted, my firm hasn't made one of these in a while, but last time I looked, the SMIL had to cover one word at a time--period. For the read-along. You weren't allowed to embed reading unless you did it one word at a time.

Has that requirement changed?

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Old 10-08-2018, 03:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
When did they start allowing that? Granted, my firm hasn't made one of these in a while, but last time I looked, the SMIL had to cover one word at a time--period. For the read-along. You weren't allowed to embed reading unless you did it one word at a time.

Has that requirement changed?

Hitch
Hi again Hitch.

This is my first experience with .smil files, so have no idea how they used to work, but you can encase the smil part in a div/ID and point it to your <p> tag to target the whole paragraph.
Sadly it´s not without glitches, as I am currently struggling with, and I am still searching for a solution

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Old 10-08-2018, 10:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcfaaborg View Post
Hi again Hitch.

This is my first experience with .smil files, so have no idea how they used to work, but you can encase the smil part in a div/ID and point it to your <p> tag to target the whole paragraph.
Sadly it´s not without glitches, as I am currently struggling with, and I am still searching for a solution
My point is...yes, I understand, technically, how you can do it. But my point is, Apple may very well not want you to do it, and thus, those "glitches" might not be honest glitches. They might very well be built-in dissuaders, if you see what I mean.

The examples you posted, are those the places where it repeats? You said it's not that random?

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Old 10-08-2018, 02:54 PM   #7
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My point is...yes, I understand, technically, how you can do it. But my point is, Apple may very well not want you to do it, and thus, those "glitches" might not be honest glitches. They might very well be built-in dissuaders, if you see what I mean.

The examples you posted, are those the places where it repeats? You said it's not that random?

Hitch
I see...

The first div on the xhtml (page 2 in the document) with "id="k1_11", is where it usually starts to repeat itself.
Even though it usually manages to get through without repetitions on page 1 - if I turn back the page, it will now also do repetition mistakes on page 1...
After that it seems to begin a vicious cycle, where it just gets worse and worse - sometimes it repeats the same div or p tag 5-8 times...

Very frustrating
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:42 PM   #8
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@marcfaaborg: AFAKI, the iOS version of iBooks has limited SMIL support. For example, it won't play the perfectly valid epub3 audio books by ReadBeyond.

If you're able to distribute your book without DRM, you might be able to use the free iOS/Android Menestrello apps, which have much better SMIL support than iBooks.
(BTW, the developer, Alberto Pettarin, is an MR member.)
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Old 10-08-2018, 07:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
@marcfaaborg: AFAKI, the iOS version of iBooks has limited SMIL support. For example, it won't play the perfectly valid epub3 audio books by ReadBeyond.

If you're able to distribute your book without DRM, you might be able to use the free iOS/Android Menestrello apps, which have much better SMIL support than iBooks.
(BTW, the developer, Alberto Pettarin, is an MR member.)
We had some glitches with that series of 24 kids' books (you guys here on MR might remember, that Xmas where I thought I was going to keel over, doing 72 books, all in that series? MOBI, NookKids' w/readalong and iBooksw/readalong? Oy!), in iBooks. But the single-word SMIL seemed to alleviate the replay glitching, that's why I was asking about this.

I think that the sentence-level SMIL support is basically non-existent. I think that they think, "well, yah, embed it if you want, but...you (don't) pays your money, you takes your chances" kind of thing.

Who is it here...Hmmmm...does a lot of SMIL work? It's...crappity. I can't think of who it is, but he...St. Albert? Is it Albert that does all the SMIL? Anyone remember? If anyone would know, I think it would be him. My SMIL/readalong experiences, thank God, are in distant memory, as most of my clients realized...well. Distant memory, let's just leave it at that.

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Old 10-09-2018, 03:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
@marcfaaborg: AFAKI, the iOS version of iBooks has limited SMIL support. For example, it won't play the perfectly valid epub3 audio books by ReadBeyond.

If you're able to distribute your book without DRM, you might be able to use the free iOS/Android Menestrello apps, which have much better SMIL support than iBooks.
(BTW, the developer, Alberto Pettarin, is an MR member.)

Hi Doitsu.

You´re right about Menestrello! A collegue of mine helped me test it, and it reads the .smil file perfectly, but only single page and sadly not as popular as the blasted Ipad

The part that really annoys me though is: My epub works perfectly in Ibooks on my macbook laptop, but doesn´t on a brand new Ipad with newest IOS.
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcfaaborg View Post
You´re right about Menestrello! A collegue of mine helped me test it, and it reads the .smil file perfectly, but only single page and sadly not as popular as the blasted Ipad
You might want to let @AiPe (Alberto Pettarin) know about this limitation so that he can update the Menestrello app.
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:45 AM   #12
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Lightbulb Issue Resolved

I'm 99% sure we (I'm @marcfaaborg's coworker) resolved the Issue! I'll be 100% when the last page of the book has been tested. The issue is a bug in iBooks requiring you to have a SMIL-file for every EPUB Content Document. At least, from my reading of the media overlay spec.

We went trough every possible feature that could have an impact on the rendering. Stripping out first CSS animations, JavaScript and everything but the essential HTML-structure of the pages. But the bug was still there. Trying out 2 different timestamp formats and splitting the SMIL-files to represent a single .mp3 (chapter) didn't work either. It only worked when I split the SMIL files into 1 for every .xhtml and only containing one <seq> element in the document.

The timestamps still represent one line of text so it is possible to do unlike what was speculated. When the books is completely finished and tested I'll update this post.

Update: This was indeed the issue. The Media Overlay works as intended. I'll go ahead and report this as a bug to Apple. Unless omebdy knows that we interpreted the Media Overlay spec wrong, by creating only one file for the entire media Overlay.

As an aside:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
@marcfaaborg: AFAKI, the iOS version of iBooks has limited SMIL support. For example, it won't play the perfectly valid epub3 audio books by ReadBeyond.
We also tried some of those book when starting out this project. . But we never got them to play. However we had other samples (one from Albert Pettain) that actually worked. So while I haven't taken a deep dive into those books, I'm moderately confident that it isn't iBooks fault that they do not work.

Last edited by Thyssen; 10-22-2018 at 09:19 AM. Reason: Tested and confirmed that the issue was resolved
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