Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia

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Any userboxes?[edit]

I've just signed up and contributed my first article, and I'd like to advertise the project by way of a userbox (I have a... thing... for userboxes.) Anybody designed one yet? Chris W. (talk) 00:15, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Hey Chris, you can check out some of the userbox options for this project by clicking here. Hope that helps you! Welcome to the project! Cognate247 (talk) 00:39, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Cheers! Chris W. (talk) 01:59, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

HI is there any video to learn how to make audio for wiki pages. I have ediited one page and also tried to edit some others . I am learner.

Spoken Wikivoyage[edit]

There is a discussion going on at the Wikivoyage sister site about spoken articles at voy:Wikivoyage_talk:Image_policy#Audio_files, if anyone would care to share their experiences from WP --Inas (talk) 22:32, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

better categorization of attributes of the speaker (e.g. age, gender, native language, accent/dialect)[edit]

If articles could be filtered by those attributes, it would greatly improve the importance of spoken Wikipedia. Plainly listing the articles is insufficient for the majority of people (i.e. people who don't have dyslexia and/or are blind) because whether or not the text version is preferable over the spoken version depends on the subjective experience, which is influenced only by attributes of the speaker. E.g. simply due to my sexuality, I can pay better attention to female speakers and less attention to male speakers compared to reading text, which is very important to me because I have attention issues. In my native language (German), there are several dialects and I cannot (properly) understand all of them. For example Bavarian, Swiss or Austrian dialects are as understandable to me as Dutch, although it is considered to be the same language, often even if the speaker tries to not let their local dialect influence their speech. Even if not for those major problems, to be able to filter by those attributes would in any case generally improve how easy and/or pleasant it is to listen to the article, hence improve the experience and attract more people towards it. 77.181.213.56 (talk) 08:37, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Btw. here is some improvised bash script to detect sex by the first minute or so. It has issues with noise and microphone hums and speed is slow (2-5 seconds per file on i5-2500), but it works quite well. I tested it on 100 files.

 
#!/bin/bash
if [[ "$1" == "" ]]; then echo "USAGE: DIR [ADDITIONAL COMMAND]"; exit 0; fi
YELLOW_="\033[01;33m"
GREEN_="\033[01;32m"
RED_="\033[01;31m"
NORM_="\033[00m"
 
THRESHOLD_F=10; 
THRESHOLD_M=50; 
 
THRESHOLD_OF_DOUBT=26; 
 
IFS=$(echo -en "\n\b")
for MYFILE in $(bash -c 'ls -w 1 *.ogg'); do 
	PROGOUT="$(aubionotes -i "$MYFILE" -p mcomb | head -n 400 | grep "^[0-9]*\.[0-9]*[[:space:]]*[0-9]*\.[0-9]*" | grep -os "^[0-9]*.[0-9]*" | tail -n 90 )"
	MYSTERYVALUE=0;
	for i in $PROGOUT; do 	
		if [ "${i/.*}" -lt "50" ]; then 
			MYSTERYVALUE=$(($MYSTERYVALUE+1)); 
		fi; 
	done;
 
	echo -e "${YELLOW_}MYSTERYVALUE: $MYSTERYVALUE ${NORM_}" 1>&2 
 
	if [ "$MYSTERYVALUE" -lt "$THRESHOLD_F" ]; then 
		echo -en "$MYFILE\t ${GREEN_}female"; 
	elif [ "$MYSTERYVALUE" -gt "$THRESHOLD_M" ]; then 
		echo  -en "$MYFILE\t ${RED_}male"; 
	else
 		if [ "$MYSTERYVALUE" -lt "$THRESHOLD_OF_DOUBT" ]; then 
			echo -en "$MYFILE\t ${GREEN_}likely female"; 
		else
			echo  -en "$MYFILE\t ${RED_}likely male"; 
		fi 
	fi; 
	echo -e "${NORM_}"
	if [[ "$2" == "mplayer" ]]; then $2 "$MYFILE" >& /dev/null; fi
done

77.181.243.178 (talk) 11:58, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Could someone improve my recording, please?[edit]

Hello! I recorded myself reading the article Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771, and I've been editing it. However, I discovered some words that I said weren't really pronounced -- I think -- in a way one could understand them. So I re-recorded, a few days later, the sentences on which those words were included. I've already removed the background noise, but the two recordings overposed sound differently. I mean, there's a sudden change in terms of sound. Do you get me? Well, even if you don't, if you hear it, you'll get me. I didn't want to publish this file, because it's quite uncomfortable to hear... Can anyone recommend someone I could talk to, in order to see if they can uniformise my recording? If it's really unrecoverable, I have another version, but some words are mispronounced... I could also read the whole article again, and then edit everything again, in only one recording, and try to pronounce the words correctly. But it would take another several hours of my time, and I don't really want to do it... And there's the risk that I'll mispronounce some words again, without noticing at the time. So, I'd prefer to ask someone to improve this recording, which is well pronounced, but uncomfortable to hear. Whom can I contact to ask the favour of doing so? Thanks in advance for any reply! -- Sim(ã)o(n) * Wanna talk? See my efforts? 10:39, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Possible donation of professional narrator time by audiobook producer[edit]

Hi everyone -- I'm posting as a volunteer here, not in my role as a WMF staffer. This is unrelated to any WMF business.

I had a conversation with some people who work at a large provider of audiobooks. They are interested in recording Wikipedia articles with their professional narrators. I'm an audiobook addict myself, and thought this would be great. They need volunteers to help them figure out the details though -- where to put files, license issues, etc... I told them about how some institutions, like the British Museum, have hired "Fellows" from the Wikimedia community to advice and help with that kind of thing.

If anyone is interested in helping them, please let me know. Please email me at [my name]@gmail.com

They weren't ready to announce this publicly yet, so I'm not putting their name here. But I think they'll be happy to announce as soon as they can find someone from the community to be their guide in this unfamiliar space. Zackexley (talk) 19:58, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

One of your project's articles has been featured[edit]

Today's Article For Improvement star.svg

Hello,
Please note that Child, which is within this project's scope, has been selected as one of Today's articles for improvement. The article was scheduled to appear on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Today's articles for improvement" section for one week, beginning today. Everyone is encouraged to collaborate to improve the article. Thanks, and happy editing!
Delivered by Theo's Little Bot at 00:08, 12 August 2013 (UTC) on behalf of the TAFI team

Albert Bridge[edit]

Someone has expressed an interest in speaking and recording the Albert Bridge, London article. Please see Talk:Albert Bridge, London. Simply south...... fighting ovens for just 7 years 09:31, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Use Speech Synthesis To Read All Pages Aloud Automatically[edit]

Now that Chrome and Safari (Firefox is on its way, I heard) support the Speech Synthesis part of Web Speech, perhaps a addon/plugin or a simple box can be added to all of the English pages that plays back the text. I am willing to investigate it (starting with attempt to implement in JavaScript in a regular web page), if the project thinks it might play well. PhistucK (talk) 11:28, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Just completed my first recording[edit]

It isn't perfect by any means and I'm unfamiliar with audio editing software at the moment, but I'd appreciate any feedback on my recording of our British Empire article. Sorry about my voice, it kind of drones. Here it is

. --Andrew 13:19, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

I think your recording is just fine, also the sound level is inconsistent. Make sure you never change any settings while recording and manipulate the files only AFTER you have cut together everything. I edited your recording and uploaded it. I did the following:
  • aligned the sound levels (still not perfect, a lot of clipping, I’m also little experienced)
  • removed a ugly „fiep“ at min 44
  • changed from stereo to mono
  • reduced the bitrate (130 kbit/s is far too much for a voice recording in ogg-format)
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. --LordOider (talk) 14:11, 12 March 2014 (UTC) Normal 0 21 false false false DE X-NONE X-NONE

Could someone help and/or advise with Jaeger (clothing)?[edit]

I may have a go at recording but probably need to do more reading as I am struggling a bit with IPA and how it works. Would somebody be able to take a look at Jaeger and possibly contribute an opinion/recording. I'm British, like the brand, and have always known and heard it pronounced as 'yayger' – I'm not sure if the phonetic rendition as stands matches this so would really welcome help (the article was marked as having multiple issues and I'm working through them). If appropriate, I'd be really grateful to have a speech version on here as it is a tricky one for anyone unfamiliar with the brand. Many thanks for any support you can offer. Also sorry if I've posted request in wrong place, but I couldn't find the right place for IPA general help. Libby norman (talk) 12:55, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

External website that might help this project.[edit]

Hi. I just wanted to share something with you that I found this evening while recording a piece of audio in Maltese. It's a website called CuePrompter. Basically, you take your text, load it into the website, and it opens a second window on your browser, fully controllable for speed, forwards, backwards and pause. There is also no character limit on how much text you can load.

This second screen acts as a teleprompter, meaning you don't have to concentrate on using your mouse to scroll through text while reading an article. I thought I'd bring it to your attention in case it's useful to you. The site says it can be used for either commercial or non-commercial purposes, in which case, I think Wikipedia should be ok with it. Have a look and throw some thoughts at me :) Many thanks, CharlieTheCabbie (talk) 22:47, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Charlie - this is a good resource. Arbitrarily0 (talk) 01:57, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Ogg vorbis, or not?[edit]

Hi there, i was just having a look at doing some recording. Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia says Ogg vorbis "is neither very well supported nor lossless", but then at Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia/Recording guidelines it says to use Ogg vorbis. So...anyone able to explain what I should be using? hamiltonstone (talk) 01:00, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Ogg Vorbis is the preferred format, see also Commons:Audio. Lossless recording produces huge files, which makes streaming impossible for people with a slow internet connection. Also uploading would take very long and the upload limit of currently 100 MB would limit the length of recordings to about 20 minutes. Also spoken articles are typically not edited, so if at all the narrator itself should save lossless versions of it's recordings. Furthermore IMHO the average recording quality is that low, that using a lossless format is absurd. Only the compatibility is still a problem, especially in Apples iWorld AFAIK.
Thanks for your note, I'll edit this section on the project page. --LordOider (talk) 11:24, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Lord. hamiltonstone (talk) 11:40, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Mechanical reading of articles.[edit]

Hi, Has the mechanical reading of articles been previously discussed? And if not do people think this is worth pursuing? AbhiSuryawanshi (talk) 12:50, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

AbhiSuryawanshi I have tried to search the archives but was unable to find any discussion. There are a lot of archives here which are not sorted. For the automation issue, I think that eventually someone should manually check the archives to see what past discussion exists. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:33, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure what advantage would be gained by creating audio files of mechanically-read articles. I would guess the more useful things to do would be more on the developer side, such as implementing tools that can generate new audio versions on the fly and optimizing the pages so that screenreader software can easily parse it. I haven't been impressed with the speech synthesis engines I've seen before, though, so there's probably still a good deal of utility to be had by having humans read the articles.0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 14:47, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes agree human read is best but machine read is better than nothing. I have actually listened to a great deal of machine read text and enjoy it. It would be nice to have the option to have it read on the fly or to download it for those with an intermitent connection Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 19:02, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
What my point was was that mechanical text and human-read text should be two separate endeavors, for the most part. One person could feasibly write a program that adds the ability to listen to or download any Wikipedia article you want and accepts various screenreader voice pack formats, etc, and that would cover all of Wikipedia at once in a versatile way. I don't think that should be mixed in with the spoken / audio versions of articles, because it's a different solution to the same problem with its own advantages and disadvantages.
If we were to just use existing screenreader software to manually generate the audio versions packaged with articles, that would be the worst of all possible solutions, because it takes everything that's bad about human-read audio files - you can't choose the accent / gender / quality / speed of the voice for yourself, has to be manually updated whenever the article is updated, only operates on a curated set of articles - and everything that's bad about machine-read articles - primarily just that the emphasis and pronunciation are likely to be off, especially with regards to names and non-native sounds.
Even as a temporary measure I think it's a bad idea, because there's no way to tell, with the current interface, whether something is a machine-reading of the article or not, and someone generating a lot of low-quality machine-read articles and uploading them could make it very hard to tell which articles still need spoken versions of them. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 19:33, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Have a look at Pediaphon. This service is linked on the German project page of the spoken Wikipedia, might be worth being linked here as well. --LordOider (talk) 19:19, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Breakdown by section[edit]

I was thinking of taking on the NASA article, per a request on that page, and I notice it's incredibly long. Likely what I'm going to do is read it one section at a time, then stitch those together in the final version. I think I can probably include some sort of chapter-break metadata in the final output file to delineate it by section, but it seems like it would almost be better in general to break up articles by section and have separate files for each section, which are automatically stitched together in software. Even the most stable articles are probably going to see some change here and there over time, and I imagine it would make it easier to update the spoken version of articles if you didn't have to re-record the entire thing every time you make a change.

Of course, the downside is that you could very easily end up with a sort of "voice fragmentation" where an article is read by 10 different people as it gets updated piecemeal, but we could always address that in the review process - i.e. if the change in voice is too disruptive reject the update. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 17:56, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

As there are hundreds of thousands of interesting articles and only a view hundred of them has been read aloud, I think re-recording isn't a issue. Also the spoken Wikipedia doesn't and can't claim being up to date. However splitting long recordings is recommendable for several reasons.
Chapters would be great, but as far as I know neither common media players nor the Wikimedia software could handle/display this. --LordOider (talk) 22:15, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Comment on the WikiProject X proposal[edit]

Hello there! As you may already know, most WikiProjects here on Wikipedia struggle to stay active after they've been founded. I believe there is a lot of potential for WikiProjects to facilitate collaboration across subject areas, so I have submitted a grant proposal with the Wikimedia Foundation for the "WikiProject X" project. WikiProject X will study what makes WikiProjects succeed in retaining editors and then design a prototype WikiProject system that will recruit contributors to WikiProjects and help them run effectively. Please review the proposal here and leave feedback. If you have any questions, you can ask on the proposal page or leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for your time! (Also, sorry about the posting mistake earlier. If someone already moved my message to the talk page, feel free to remove this posting.) Harej (talk) 22:48, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Request for feedback[edit]

Hello! I decided I wanted to try my hand at recording an article, and I would like to know what I could do to improve future recordings. I apologize if this is not the correct place to do this, as I am relatively uninitiated, and Wikipedia's somewhat labyrinthine guidelines can be overwhelming. Please let me know if I'm overlooking anything.

Sspungy (talk) 02:53, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Listened to it. I think you did a great job. Really high sound quality, very clearly read. Here are my notes:
  • I don't think you needed to read the table of contents, that seems like extraneous information, though I don't think it's particularly bad, either.
  • At 8m18s, the recording volume temporarily increases drastically, for some reason. You may want to re-record that section or just make it consistent with the rest of the recording.
  • It's possible that this could use dynamic range compression. I tried running it on Audacity to see if it sounds better, but I was having some problems with that. Other than the glitch at 8:18, the sound seemed pretty consistent to me, I also listened to it in isolation, so you may want to download a few other articles or some high-quality podcasts and just make sure that it's mastered at approximately the "industry standard" level (i.e. it doesn't sound "too quiet").0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 15:05, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
You have very good voice. It's pleasant to listen this audio article. Thank you!
If someday you will make an audio article for the article Raoul Wallenberg, or any other "Good article", then it will be great! :) -- Andrew Krizhanovsky (talk) 14:44, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Mom & Me & Mom[edit]

Hello, thanks to User:Sspungy for recording this article; it was a very cool thing to do. However, I need to bring to your attention that you've mispronounced Maya Angelou's name. Please refer to the first sentence in her bio article; it demonstrates the correct way, along with references supporting it. I have no idea how you'd go about fixing it, but I thought you'd like to know. Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 00:12, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Agh, I was worried I would end up doing something silly like that. I'll go back and re-record the whole thing, it's honestly not a problem for me. I'm pretty embarassed about mispronunciations of proper nouns in general, so I prefer someone tell me if I did something like that rather than letting it slide.
Also, I recently tried to provide a spoken word version of another recently featured article, Meerkat Manor, and I'm once again deathly worried about mispronunciations (despite having to pause the recording to open a new tab to consult Merriam-Webster every 30 seconds). If anyone happens to have the time and patience, I'd appreciate feedback there as well, as I have no issue with doing a full re-recording. I know it's not exactly a perfect solution, as the featured article status has already come and gone.
I'll be sure to keep all of this in mind when I try recording another article.
Sspungy (talk) 04:12, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
I think it's absolutely exaggerated and needless to re-record a whole article, just because of the wrong pronunciation of a name mention two times. If at all, re-record the two sentences containing the name and cut them in your existing recording. If they sound slightly different because your setting has changed, that would be bearable.
You are neither a professional speaker, nor there is any review process here, so mistakes are most likely to be more rule than exception. --LordOider (talk) 22:51, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I was hoping, when I brought it to your attention, that there was some way to slice the correct pronunciation into the recording. Angelou's name is mentioned more than two times in this article; it's mentioned several times. The name of a book's author and the central figure in it (since it's an autobiography) is important to pronounce correctly. Perhaps what you can do next time is get feedback, if possible, from an article's main editor. If I knew of your intention to record the article, I probably would've warned you about it, since it's a mistake many people make--even President Obama when he presented Angelou the Presidential Medal of Freedom! ;) Christine (Figureskatingfan) (talk) 06:06, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Oh sorry, I searched the article for her full name. Her last name appears so often, it might be less work re-recording the whole article. --LordOider (talk) 11:41, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Infoboxes, units[edit]

I took a crack at File:En-Deepwater_Horizon-article.ogg, and while I was doing so, I noticed that while in the article all units are given first in imperial units, then, parenthetically, in metric units; it may be just because I am, admittedly, not particularly good at this (one reason I'm doing it is to get better at this sort of thing), but I found that when speaking the article, giving both sets of units really disturbed the flow of the article, so I just left out all the metric ones. What do people think about this unit situation? In the future, should I keep in the secondary units even at the cost of the flow of the article?

Another issue I have is with infoboxes and other tabular information. I included the infobox on Deepwater Horizon, but I don't know that it's adding anything to the spoken version of the article. I'm planning on re-mastering it anyway (the speech volume leveling I used added more distortion than I originally thought), and I'm considering either clipping out the infobox entirely or at least moving it to the end of the article. For small infoboxes with sort of useful information (like infoboxes on person articles), I can see a case for inclusion, but for things that are essentially long tables of numbers, I think it might be worthwhile to advise against their inclusion. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 14:19, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

IMHO infoboxes, same as tables and diagrams, are more a visual thing, where you can quickly find information. Nothing which makes sense to be read aloud. --LordOider (talk) 22:12, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Request for feedback[edit]

I've already gotten some preliminary feedback from LordOider on my first read article, Deepwater Horizon (File:En-Deepwater Horizon-article.ogg), and I agree that in that one I read too fast. I've tried out another one Fuck: Word Taboo and Protecting Our First Amendment Liberties (File:En-Fuck Word Taboo and Protecting Our First Amendment Liberties-article.oga) and tried to read slower this time. I'm trying to get better at producing spoken content, so any feedback on how I could improve would be helpful. Note: As should be obvious, the word "Fuck" is used many times in the second article, so presumably don't listen to it if that bothers you. Thanks. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 19:22, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

I should note, I'm especially interested in feedback about the speed issue. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks usually at 3x speed, and when I try to listen to professionally produced content at 1x speed it all seems intolerably slow to me, so after LordOider's comment that I was speaking very fast, I just shot for "intolerably slow". Given that my subjective experience with this sort of thing is all thrown off, that's probably where I'm least able to judge myself. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 14:16, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Don't set a high value on my feedback, as I'm not a native speaker. But listening at 3x speed surely isn't normal (my pod catcher only supports 1.5x and 2x playback, what is very fast). I think your brain works to fast, you should underclock it (also saves energy) ;-). --LordOider (talk) 22:27, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

an evening of recording at the Science Museum (London)[edit]

Wikimedia UK is organising an event at which members of the public can record themselves reading Wikipedia articles. Our volunteers will help them prepare on the evening itself; we anticipate uploading the files over the following days. The event is part of our participation in the Science Museum's monthly Late, when the building is full of thousands of young adults (mostly 22-35) "drinking and thinking" and participating in a range of activities from serious to playful. November 26 is about the Information Age, tied into the museum's new gallery of that name, and WMUK will be running several events around that theme.

Does anyone know of a previous event like this, when members of the public were shown how to record themselves for Wikipedia? We'd appreciate any advice. And is anyone reading this going to be in London at the end of November? We'd love your help. We're having a briefing session at our office on the previous Wednesday, November 19, from 6-7pm; participation on the day itself will be from 6-10pm. Please sign up here if you can help. More information about the Science Museum's Late events in general is on their website here. Many thanks. Roberta Wedge (WMUK) (talk) 11:09, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Roberta Wedge (WMUK) Hello, Wikimedia NYC organized an event like this at a library. AbhiSuryawanshi was the lead organizer and he asked people in the library who were not Wikipedians to make recordings for Wikipedia. This particular library served people speaking many languages, and they read many language articles.
Some problems which we faced were as follows:
  • We had an excellent recording studio but even though the equipment seemed easy to use, everything was troublesome in practice. We had problems physically manipulating the microphone, making people comfortable either standing or sitting, putting the text in front of their eyes to read, and making a welcoming space. We did not anticipate this being a problem at all, but to read, people need to be comfortable and making people comfortable is not easy and cannot be rushed.
  • Wikipedia articles are very long and it can take 20-40 minutes to read one. We just had people read article introductions rather than entire articles. The current audio system encourages people to make one long recording of one entire article, and this is not practical to make or to use.
  • We were confused about copyright and uploading. We thought that the person speaking should own the copyright, but had trouble also having these people create Wikimedia accounts then upload their files. We were not prepared to coach them on copyright, ownership, and the meaning of having a Wikipedia account.
  • We were not prepared to follow up with good participants who wanted follow up because we treated this as a casual event where people could have a quick impact.
Abhishek has thought through this a lot. Consider contacting him. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:39, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you so much for that! We are looking for a lead volunteer, and I will ask that person to liaise with AbhiSuryawanshi. We'll learn from your experience.
More comments from other people very welcome too. Roberta Wedge (WMUK) (talk) 17:01, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
@Roberta Wedge (WMUK): Regarding the copyright issue, I thought this through a while back when I had a friend from Australia record the pronunciation of a town he used to live in. He didn't want to associate his voice with his online identity and didn't want any online connection to his real name. I think if you have the participants release the recordings under the proper license verbally as part of the recording, that would probably pass muster with OTRS, so you could upload the files centrally. Something like, "This recording by <Recorder's name> is released under the Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike 3.0 License." You can probably prepare a little blurb for multi-licensing as well, in the event that they don't want to say their names. Also, you can cut the permissions section out of the file (and I'd recommend doing that, since it's boring to listen to) and send that to OTRS along with the link to the file. They can verify that the voice is the same and that it's a valid release.
Also, I have to echo Bluerasberry's sentiments about the difficulty of such a thing. Generally you want to pick articles that are going to be stable for a while, which means the best choices are Good Article and Featured Article-class articles, but for most subjects, anything C-class or better is going to be long, sometimes upwards of an hour after editing. Even for relatively short articles, as someone not very experienced with recording, I find that it takes 2-3x as long to read the articles than the final version, before editing. I'm not sure how good of throughput you are going to get or how fun this would be for people. You'll probably want to go through the list of good and featured articles and find some short and medium length ones.
Another thing to consider is that one really short, easy thing to record is spoken pronunciations. See the Pronunciation Task force. Unfortunately, is woefully under-populated (I started populating it by hand, but I think that integrating it into {{IPAc-en}} is a better way to go), but you can usually find a LOT of stuff that needs audio pronunciation by seeing what's transcluding IPAc-en, IPA-en or respell. You could probably generate long lists of these and print them out for volunteers, who could just read words and names individually until they decided to stop - which you can't really do when reading an article, since half an article isn't much better than no article. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 19:03, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Really helpful, thank you. We were imagining selecting articles according to various priorities: FA or GAs; science or London subjects. And we were thinking of asking participants to read only the lede, so I'm concerned at the statement that anything less than the full article is not of much use. We have only one recording space, and we want to give as many people as possible the chance to experience what contributing can mean. So it's fair to say that the emphasis of the evening is on the process rather than the product, hoping that it will stimulate interest in at least some of the participants to come to one of our follow-on events or to get involved with Wiki projects on their own. But we don't want to set out to create recordings that are unusable (or in that lovely Japanese back-translation, unuseful). Is a stand-alone lede an unwelcome addition to the project? Roberta Wedge (WMUK) (talk) 14:35, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
@Roberta Wedge (WMUK): If the software were able to distinguish between partial and complete article readings, reading just the lead wouldn't be half as bad, but as it is now I think you end up with people thinking they're going to hear the entire article and shocked at the length. I think that if you do just have them read the lead, the best thing to do would be to tag the talk page with {{Spoken Wikipedia request}}. That way people looking to record articles won't see that a given FA or GA has already been recorded and move on. I always worry about this because it's very hard to actually quickly assess the quality of a spoken article. If you tag it with the request, then at least people know that it needs to be replaced. Of course, this is another problem with this process, which is that I imagine that people get discouraged when their contributions are replaced or removed, and by recording just the lead, you're putting up something inherently ephemeral. Unfortunately/luckily, this isn't a hugely active project, so I would be surprised if the recordings were replaced with full versions quickly, but it's something to consider.
Again, I will come back to the idea of having them read single-word or single-name pronunciations - that's a contribution that's likely to last and it's easy to do a bunch of them very quickly and have a high turnover on the equipment. From a cursory look, I see that Alan Turing, Bletchley Park, Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction, Isaac Newton and Paul Dirac all don't have pronunciations on their articles. You can compile a list yourself or have some laptops set up to have people learn the whole process - navigating categories to find things that need pronunciation, making the list themselves, recording it and, depending on your setup, uploading. I imagine it would be exciting for someone to know that their voice is the exemplary pronunciation of Alan Turing's name, for example. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 17:54, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
I like the idea of this event, here is what I'd like to add:
What's about letting one article been read by several readers? E.g. with one section per person.
Intros only have been read before, see File:Bird (Intro).ogg. As proper file names I'd suggest: En-Sample_lemma_(Intro)-article.ogg
Read articles could also be uploaded in multiple parts. So if someone likes to record the rest of a article, he could leave the intro and add the rest as an additional part.
Before you start producing and uploading possibly many recordings, please make sure you're familiar with the guidelines (ogg quality, filename, uploading template etc.)
I hope this event will be a great experience for many visitors, LordOider (talk) 18:43, 7 November 2014 (UTC).
Thank you for everyone's comments, there is a lot to think about here. I will be the lead volunteer for this part of the event.
After some discussion about the above, we are currently thinking that it would be best not to be uploading recordings on the evening itself. Although this has significant disadvantages, in that it would be nice for potential new contributors to see the entire process and see that they can do it themselves... unfortunately it is likely that we will have relatively limited time per visitor and therefore it seems unlikely to be possible to sort out the encoding into ogg format, doing any necessary audio editing, uploading and arranging licensing and so on. We are also in the position where none of us have any experience in this process at all ... Roberta please correct me if I'm wrong ... the only experience people have is in using the sound recorder to create an initial sound file. Which of course is only the first step.
So what I envisage for now is that the event will focus on doing that one step only, we will ask each event visitor to start their reading using the verbal license declaration suggested above by 0x0077BE, we will make a note of the event visitor's email address and which item they read. Then at the end of the night we go away with a big set of recordings and then someone will do the work of cleaning them up with regard to audio, converting them to an appropriate format, giving appropriate filenames, uploading them, cutting out the licensing declaration and sending it to OTRS. And then email the event visitor telling them their contribution is "live" and providing any other encouragement and followup we need to do. (For example, encouraging them to create Wikipedia accounts, which is not something we will be talking them through in this particular part of the event.)
User:0x0077BE, please could you clarify what you mean by "a little blurb for multi-licensing as well, in the event that they don't want to say their names" and how this could work? Arthur goes shopping (talk) 18:15, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Sure thing Arthur goes shopping. The text is going to be under CC-BY-SA 3.0, but presumably if you don't want your name or even a fake name given, it would be hard to fulfill the BY requirement - though, of course, I am not a lawyer. Either way, I was thinking you could do like I frequently hear at the end of audiobooks, "Text is licensed under creative commons sharealike attribution 3.0, audio is released under insert license here" where insert license here would be something like CC-SA, CC-0, CC-BY, etc - whatever the author wants. My understanding per WP:DUAL is that this would allow you to release your own contribution to the project under a license other than CC-BY-SA, though I am not a lawyer so I don't really know how the share-alike terms of CC-BY-SA would interact with releasing the audio contributions under a license that does not include SA, so to be on the safe side you may want to just offer them CC-SA and CC-BY-SA.
Best of luck with the event, I hope everything goes well. I'm in the US but if you need any help with the audio software setup or the editing I don't mind helping out. Depending on how the timing works out, I can also try and be available to help out over TeamViewer or some other screen-sharing software as a technology support backstop - though if you're using software I'm not familiar with, I may not have any significant advantage there. Either way, feel free to send me an e-mail and I can give you my proper contact info off-wiki if you think that would be helpful. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 18:47, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Feedback on recording of lead section of Lynching of Jesse Washington[edit]

See [1]. I know about the required prefixes and suffixes for a 'true', licensed recording; I just wanted some feedback on the speech and quality thereof before I jump in and do the whole article (or maybe a different one). ⁓ Hello71 22:35, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't know what you mean by the required prefixes and suffixes. There's a distracting high-frequency ringing in the recording. You may want to try to filter that out if possible. I also tend to remove all breathing and mouth sounds in my own recordings, but I don't know that that's a requirement for a high-quality recording, per se. There are also a few little sounds here and there that sound like you've bumped the mic, so I'd recommend cutting those out as well. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 17:35, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

RfC on Template:Infobox person[edit]

This message is to notify you that there is an RfC ongoing on whether to add pronunciation info to {{Infobox person}}, a discussion which may be relevant to this WikiProject, particularly the Pronunciation Task force. Your comments on the matter are appreciated. The discussion can be found here. Thanks! 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 17:31, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

New taskforce: Voice introductions / voice samples?[edit]

I recently learned of the Wiki Voice Introduction Project, and was interested to participate, but it's not clear to me at all how to go about that, and it seems like the whole thing is a bit disorganized. I brought this up to the project's originator on his talk page, but he does not seem interested in engaging on it. As it is, I'd been thinking of doing something similar for a while - asking people to pronounce their own voice or give a small voice sample for their articles - but I'm kinda hampered by a number of factors tied in with the somewhat informal nature of this project (and the fact that it seems to be the sole domain of its creator).

Apparently Pigsonthewing is not amenable to merging WP:WikiVIP into a taskforce of this project, or into a WikiProject of its own, but I think that we should have a voice introduction taskforce here on Spoken Wikipedia - it dovetails nicely with the mission of the Pronunciation taskforce and it would certainly be spoken content. While I'd obviously prefer a merge since the new taskforce would serve substantially the same function, there's no rule against having overlapping scope (as is evident by the fact that articles aren't uniquely the domain of exactly one WikiProject). What do people think of adding a new taskforce? Would it be the Voice Introduction Taskforce or the Voice Sample Taskforce? 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 14:28, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

As I've noted in reply to you on my talk page, you've made a number of false assumptions about how WikiVIP works; some repeated here. You've also made no attempt to correct that. You go about participating by recording the voices of people who have Wikipedia articles about them, and uploading them to Commons. If that's not as clear to you from what's written at WP:WikiVIP to you, as it has been to the various other people who have contributed, please feel free to make or propose changes to that page. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:39, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
The phrase I used was "You're making many assumptions which are false; not least that...". Your assumption that the project is "moribund" is a further example. If you found a dead link, why didn't you fix, or report it, before now? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:16, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject X is live![edit]

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Hello everyone!

You may have received a message from me earlier asking you to comment on my WikiProject X proposal. The good news is that WikiProject X is now live! In our first phase, we are focusing on research. At this time, we are looking for people to share their experiences with WikiProjects: good, bad, or neutral. We are also looking for WikiProjects that may be interested in trying out new tools and layouts that will make participating easier and projects easier to maintain. If you or your WikiProject are interested, check us out! Note that this is an opt-in program; no WikiProject will be required to change anything against its wishes. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

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Harej (talk) 16:57, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Accents[edit]

I'm a little concerned about spoken articles being removed because the accent used is a little difficult to understand to American and British ears. Recently a file was removed after a lengthy discussion. While many problems with the file were brought up, the issue with the accent was a recurring theme. Which accents are acceptable and who gets to decide? It concerns me as this decision may set a precedent and increases Wikipedia's systemic bias.

A related but lesser issue is that some of the complaints were around the use of auto-tune and other effects on the voice. I've noticed a number of South Asian audio productions using these effects to make boring speeches and advertising more interesting. If this is seriously a problem for listeners then perhaps that should be explicitly spelt out on the project page so editors don't waste time making files that will then be deleted. Haminoon (talk) 05:58, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

The file is still online: File:Bhutanese Passport-1.ogg. I think this is a very special and unique example and there is no need for a general discussion. --LordOider (talk) 13:32, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
The file has been removed from the article. You don't think other files will be removed because of the accent now? Haminoon (talk) 18:29, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
No, I neither think nor hope so. In that case it's a combination of a very strong accent and a strange synthetic distortion of the narrators voice. And I'm pretty sure, if there hadn't been that little YouTube/4chan affair, nobody would ever had complaint. E.g. my oddly pronounced reading of Oktoberfest had not been removed jet.
If you really think it's necessary, you've my support adding two points to the guidelines:
1) Everyone is welcome who wishes to honour a work. But the readings will not be judged. - inspired by the Librivox mentality (see FAQ)
2) No sound modification, except of noise reduction.
--LordOider (talk) 23:05, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Main_Page Podcast[edit]

Does anyone know of any projects to make an audio version of the English Wikipedia Main_Page?

I'm thinking of a short podcast that read the various sections (Featured articles, In the news, etc.). It would be a timely and interesting look into a constantly rotating slice of Wikipedia. Something like a "Today in Wikipedia" news-ish type broadcast.

Ckoerner (talk) 14:46, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Nice idea, but I can't image, something like that would be attractive. Neither to listen, nor to speak. The Main Page has a compact structured form and lives from it's links to further information. --LordOider (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 21:17, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
It could be nice to have one or two examples of what the Main Page sounds like, but as mentioned above, it would require some intense involvement to even come close to having them all. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 02:37, 24 February 2015 (UTC)