Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia/Archive 9

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Archive 8 Archive 9 Archive 10

Key Charles Darwin articles ready for his birthday

Darwin will be 200 years old in about a months time. Is there any chance we can have a stable version of his article recorded, the origin of species article and a few other key articles? It would be an amazing promotion for this project, I'd imagine that if it were ready to be publicized a week before his birthday that interest in the spoken wikipedia project could increase 5 fold, and interest and appreciation of the Wikipedia project would also increase in the publics eye. JayKeaton (talk) 07:19, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

I didn't realize that the Spoken Wikipedia Project was not developed enough to undertake something like this. It just seemed ideal with evolution being such a huge topic at the moment and Darwin's centenary birthday is only going to come once in our lifetimes. But I understand that this project is so far very underdeveloped and still in a beta phase. However I still think this is an opportunity that is far too good to pass up. JayKeaton (talk) 23:49, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Style guidelines

The following is excerpted from my comments at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (section 2: "Other English-language style guides").

  1. Have any guidelines been established so far? (If handwriting is to typing as speaking is to speech synthesis, then speech synthesis may be easier to analyze and manage than natural speaking.)
  2. Should a speaker observe American and British English pronunciation differences or other pronunciation differences at the time of recording an article?
  3. Should revisions be made by the original speaker of an article?
  4. Is it acceptable for an addition to be spliced onto/into a previous version, or for portions (corresponding to deletions in the text) to be erased from the recording; or should the entire article be spoken again?
  5. Are there guidelines for speed, pitch, intonation, volume, pausing, or other features of discourse?
  6. Does someone "proofread" ("proof-listen to"?) spoken articles?
  7. Is Wikipedia prepared for vandalism of spoken articles?
Additional ideas and information might be available from the organization Toastmasters International.

-- Wavelength (talk) 05:22, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I have just found the page Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia/Recording guidelines.
-- Wavelength (talk) 05:26, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

I think a much bigger issue than styles and guidelines at the moment is simply getting more articles recorded. Recordings will always have to get replaced quite often, so it doesn't matter if the tone isn't perfect in the first one, we just need that first one for unspoken articles so other people have something to improve on. As long as it is accurate, easy to hear, read at a steady pace and at least recorded in a serious voice then we would be all set. JayKeaton (talk) 23:48, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

What can I use?

Just wondering what can I use to make a recording?

Would a set of headphones with a Microphone for speaking on (e.g. Skype) work?

Chris0693 (talk) 12:38, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

As long as you can be heard clearly when the recording is played back, any microphone will do. Since you already know the headset works with Skype, you can be sure that it will work with your recording software, as long as you get your settings right. Quas NaArt (talk) 01:40, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Tips on speaking weights quoted in all three types of ton(ne)s

Here is the passage from Durian that I'm trying to render:

Since I can't audially distinguish "tonne" (1,000 kg) from "ton" (2,000 or 2,240 lb.), I'm planning to say "metric ton" with the first set numbers, then continue on with shorthand, possibly even cutting out the powers of a thousand to reduce the wordiness even further:

Does this sound like a good way to do it? I'm not sure if it will be too confusing, and I've even considered dropping all the English-unit quantities to keep things simple. But since I'm quoting English units everywhere else in the article, I'd rather keep the short and long tons in for consistency. Any advice? Tonyle (talkcontribs) 21:21, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I've had the same situation with tonnes in one of my spoken articles. On each occasion, I read "metric ton", "long ton" and "short ton"; this seemed to work quite well. I do recommend saying the "type of ton" each time, rather than abbreviating to "long" and "short". Hassocks5489 (tickets please!) 22:32, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't know how appropriate it is, but I've always heard tonne pronounced "tunney". If the pronunciation is different from that of "ton", does one need to clarify "metric tons"? Maedin\talk 11:04, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Feedback for a noob please and thank you

Hi. I've been around Wikipedia for a while but I've only recently taken an interest in this WikiProject. I've read three articles so far and I'm excited to continue but without some feedback from a more experienced reader, I can't know how I'm doing. I've recorded File:Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.ogg; File:En-Some Enchanted Evening (the Simpsons).ogg and File:En-Bart the Genius.ogg. I'm not asking for a review specifically but if you think that's the best way to go, please review the last (most recent) of those three.

Don't get the impression that I'm tied down to the Simpsons articles I just thought they were a great place to start since they are easy to research, they have GA status and are stable. EnviroboyTalkCs 06:37, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi Enviroboy, I'd be happy to review and comment on your recordings. I'll do a proper review of your latest article this weekend, and then make some general comments as well, after having a quick listen of the other two. Hope that's ok, :-) Maedin\talk 11:09, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Sounds great. Thanks a bunch. EnviroboyTalkCs 18:25, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Technical stuff

Thanks Maedin; your review is fair and very helpful. I will switch to the template suggested in the upload guidelines. If you are willing to entertain my inexperience for a moment more, I have a few additional questions:

  • What external application is best for listening to .ogg media? My VLC player seems unable to read them properly; it completely drops the first few seconds of every .ogg file and incorrectly lists the duration. If for example a recording is 10min long, VLC will say it's only 7min even though it's playing minute 8 or higher. Maybe I just need a codec. For your reference, I run Windows XP and use Audacity to handle all the recording, editing and compression. I would like to 'test' the files in another app before uploading them to make sure Audacity did not foul them up.
  • Is it preferable to upload to the Commons or directly to Wikipedia? Are the categories in the Commons useful to this project? Files uploaded here are automatically tagged for transiwiki.

Another question came up while reading an article but it must not have been very important because I can't remember it now. Thanks in advance. EnviroboyTalkCs 05:10, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Regarding your first bullet, you should be able to use Audacity to listen to the .ogg files, as well. I also run Windows XP, and from looking at an .ogg in Explore/My Computer, I can right click on the file and select "Open with" → Audacity. I find it useful to use Audacity for listening so that I have a little more control and information about the recording, but you can also download pukka .ogg codecs here for Windows Media Player.
I had the full duration of the files and nothing cut off in Audacity, and I just tested Bart the Genius in WMP to see if it was ok in that application as well. As such, it's probably the VLC player which is fouling up, and not Audacity in the recording stage.
As for your second question, I have to unfortunately plead ignorance. I'm sure that someone else in the project will have a better idea of the merits (or demerits) of Commons. Maedin\talk 07:50, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
On whether to upload to Commons or Wikipedia: the main advantage of using Commons is that files uploaded there can be used on any Wikimedia project – other Wikipedias, Wiktionary etc. Because spoken articles are recorded specifically for the English Wikipedia, they cannot really be used anywhere else, so I don't think anything is lost by uploading them to Wikipedia instead of Commons. Personally, I now upload mine to Commons, but only for consistency (i.e. I use my Commons account for all uploads, whether they are pics or sound files). Hassocks5489 (tickets please!) 21:19, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
OK since I don't use my commons account for much, it's more convenient for me to upload here. Thanks guys. EnviroboyTalkCs 07:51, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Couldn't follow Upload instructions

I was unable to follow the instruction on Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia/Uploading guidelines
I got this:
The action you have requested is limited to Autoconfirmed users, Administrators, Uploaders.
So I uploaded it here:
It needs review. Not sure what to do next...
Eleaverton (talk) 20:14, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Hi Eleaverton! Autoconfirmed users are those whose accounts are older than 4 days and have more than 10 edits. I see that your account is older than 4 days, but you don't yet have ten edits; that's why you would have been stopped from uploading. It's ok for the file to be at Commons, though.
If you don't mind, I'll try to answer your question, and also point out a few things. First, you added the template for "Spoken Wikipedia in Progress" to Kimono. You should have added it to the talk page, with the other templates that are there. No harm done, of course, you can just remove it from the article now.
Your next few steps depend somewhat on your confidence with your recording. I haven't listened to it yet, so I won't offer any criticism or feedback right now, but you can either proceed with adding it to the article, or you can wait for it to be reviewed first. The file doesn't have to be reviewed before it's in place at kimono, but you can wait if you prefer. There is a backlog of recordings waiting to be reviewed, so the best way to get a review is to ask someone directly who is involved with the Spoken Wikipedia project.
If you are ready to go ahead and add it to the article, then you can follow the directions found here, and once you've done that, add the file to the list of spoken articles, which is here. I hope the directions are clear, but do ask if you need any help! Maedin\talk 20:50, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Julie, I have another question: Would you consider adding the link to the sound file a minor edit in both places? Also, as to a reviewer, I think it best since there are so many Japanese words in the article that if I put it on the actual site, it's more likely to find a reviewer with the proper knowledge. Certainly someone here could tell me I left a bit of a hiss and I pegged it a few times, but I'd rather not go back and fix those things without first getting a pronunciation review.
BTW I had a devil of a time with the noise remover on Audacity. It made it sound bubbly no matter how low I set it.
Eleaverton (talk) 05:21, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Delurking, and first completed article

Hello! After trying for ages to get started on a spoken article, I happened to find a short request which seemed like a good start. So, I did Image:George Washington's Farewell Address.ogg. I'd very much appreciate a review, and any suggestions for improvement! Many thanks. Rob T Firefly (talk) 05:27, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Collaboration with

I'm a newbie here. By day I'm the Executive Director of The Conversations Network (a 501(c)(3) non-profit), where we've just launched a new project, for finding and sharing spoken-word content. One of the Spoken Wikipedia readers (tonyle) asked if we could support OGG so that Spoken Wikipedia articles could be added to our database.

I've done some initial research, and it looks possible, although it's a non-trivial effort because we need to tweak all the locations where we've deployed a Flash player for audio. Also, it looks like Spoken Wikipedia delivers audio files with Content-Type: application/ogg rather than audio/ogg, so it's a little trickier to make sure we're getting OGG audio instead of OGG video. If we'll only be getting an occasional manually submitted OGG program, it's probably not worthwhile, but if we could figure out how to ingest the metadata from everything published on Spoken Wikipedia, that would be awesome. We've already done such bulk imports for LibriVox,, etc.

I see that there's an RSS feed for Spoken Wikipedia, but it says something like "manually maintained." I wonder if two other feeds exist or could be created: (1) a complete-archive feed of all Spoken Wikipedia articles, and (2) an incremental feed of the most recent <n> articles. If such feeds existed, it would probably make sense for us support OGG and RSS feeds with OGG enclosures.

I'll try to check back here, but the best way to reach me is via email at Dkaye (talk) 08:57, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

The Levelator

I was listening to a few Spoken Wikipedia articles and I noticed wide variations in levels. This is exactly the problem we addressed when developing The Levelator. The software runs on OS X, Windows, and a somewhat old version of Ubuntu. The Levelator is free, non-commercial -- The Conversations Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit -- and it can be used without nasty restrictions. No registration required, etc. It has been downloaded over 100,000 times and is in widespread use among podcasters and public-radio producers. I'm not selling anything, and I hope you'll accept this recommendation in the non-commercial spirit intended. Our mission is to improve the quality of spoken-word audio for all. I would have edited the Wikipedia:WikiProject_Spoken_Wikipedia/Recording_guidelines#Sound_levels section directly, but since I'm associated with The Levelator, I though that should be left to someone else.

BTW, if you use The Levelator you do not need to use any additional compression, etc. Just record good, clean audio that doesn't clip, edit, run your .wav or .aiff file through The Levelator then encode to OGG. Dkaye (talk) 09:12, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

I have used the Levelator with great success. Check out my reading of Oort cloud for an example. —Tonyle (talkcontribs) 11:29, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
I tried taking a poorly recorded ogg file. Copied it into Audiocity. Exported it to WAV format. Cleaned it with Levelator. Imported it back into Audacity and re-exported as ogg. Lo and behold, the needful was done.
AshLin (talk) 02:02, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Newbie needs help


I'm new to WP:SPOKEN but wanted to try my hand at Spoken WP. I have a normal PC with absolutely normal mike. I downloaded Audacity & Levelator and recorded Bank Myna. I had to edit it to make it more SPOKEN-friendly. I have recorded and uploaded it. I chose an obscure topic, an Indian Bird, so that some good is done while I learn. Could someone please check out

for me and let me know if its OK?

Thanks in advance, AshLin (talk) 03:51, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Request for Review

Hi! I'm new to the project, and I just did the spoken version of Atari video game burial. If someone could review it I would be much obliged! Also, posting this request to here is the proper procedure, right? There's no special space for review requests? Sophus Bie (talk) 09:00, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Error in template

I noticed, in the uploading guidelines, that one of the values was user_name, instead of user_name_link. User_name only works on Wikipedia, and it must be changed to the second for the Commons. I've corrected the guidelines, but currently, this error is causing the 'Author' field for the majority of the spoken files to read {{{user_name_link}}}, instead of the actual author's name. I've started correcting this in the first few listed, but doing them all would be a monumental task. If everyone could correct just a few, it would get done much faster. Sophus Bie (talk) 09:08, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Never mind, I just fixed the template itself. Theoretically, what I did should make everything work, though I can't tell at the moment, due to server delay... Sophus Bie (talk) 09:27, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
And, it works! Yay! I'll leave this all here for documentation purposes. Sophus Bie (talk) 09:30, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
For the template challenged wikipedians who are still mystified, what exactly was all the above? AshLin (talk) 13:21, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Reply by User:Sophus Bie (copied from my talk page for information of all):

Er, basically, what happened was that there was an error in the infobox that displays the file information for spoken recordings. Instead of showing the authors name, the field said {{author_name_link}}. This was due to a mistake in the template programming over at the Commons. You see, the value was author= {{author_name_link}}, but {{author_name_link}} doesn't exist on the Commons, it only applies on Wikipedia. I changed it to what it should have been, {{author_name}}, which is a function that takes the inputted name and makes it a link to the user page. {{author_name_link}} should have done the same think, but it was non-existent, and so really couldn't do anything.
Anyhow, I fixed it, but I couldn't tell until a few minutes later, because the servers had to change about one hundred different pages at once, and it took them a minute.
I hope that explained what I was talking about. (Though it's probably incoherent...)
Sophus Bie (talk) 01:44, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for explaining. AshLin (talk) 01:50, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Spoken articles for TOL - how to speak a phylogeny chart?

This pertains to spoken articles for WikiProject Tree of Life. Should phylogeny charts be read aloud for spoken articles? I have initiated a thread on TOL here. Request your inputs please. AshLin (talk) 13:34, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Who is a Jew? audio needs to be redone

I don't know if anyone has listened to the audio version of the Who is a Jew? article lately, but it sounds like someone is purposely doing a horrible British accent. I think it really undermines the quality of the page. It either needs to be redone or removed altogether. By the way, the account of the User who created it has been deleted. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 00:30, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for letting us know. You can, of course, feel free to record the article yourself, :-D Maedin\talk 19:31, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

New here

HI, I'm new here and would like to know. What is done with pictures in article? what about infoboxes (like taxonomy/teams)? And what happens with sections like "Notes and Refrences", "See also" and "External Links"? --SuperJew (talk) 12:19, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Here are some reading guidelines that may help you. PopularOutcast talk2me! 22:21, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Spoken Names

I was starting to record a series of articles (all related to the same subject) when I came across 2 Finnish names that I would probably never be able to pronounce when if I heard them say it. So I'm wondering, what do I do about this? Can I just edit it slightly so I don't need to say their names? Hintswen (talk) 00:44, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I think it would be unprofessional to actually remove content from an article just so you can avoid saying the names, ;-) It also probably isn't a good idea to leave them in the article but not in the recording. You have probably three options, as I see it: 1. Butcher the names anyway. So, you pronounced it wrong? You get points for trying. 2. Go to the Language reference desk. Someone there will either speak Finnish or will at least know how to pronounce the names, and they can give you IPA or spell it out for you. 3. Visit this category page, which lists all users who have placed a Babel box on their user page, indicating that they speak Suomi, the language of Finland. You might have to search for a while, but you should be able to find an active user, and you can leave a message at their talk page, asking for help. You can even ask them to make a short recording of themselves speaking the names and send it to you by email, so that you can practice getting it as right as a non-speaker can. Hope that helps! Maedin\talk 19:49, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Just contributed a first recording

Hi all: I just recorded an audio version of Cleveland Street Scandal and would be very grateful for any comments and criticism. I see there's a list of articles awaiting/undergoing review, but couldn't find the procedure for adding a new recording to that list. If I've missed it, I'd love for someone to point it out to me; if it's not documented, perhaps it should be set out somewhere.

Here's the file:

Many thanks, Gonzonoir (talk) 15:54, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Hi Gonzonoir, the Spoken article template on the file page needs to have the parameter
on it. This adds it to Category:Unreviewed spoken articles. Once it is reviewed, the reviewer adds yes after the = and it gets removed from the list. I've already added the parameter to the file for you (because I wasn't sure if it would work or not!). I will have to look into why it isn't in the template by default. Maedin\talk 19:54, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Maedin! Much appreciated. I've added a link to Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia/Review explaining where prospective reviewers can find recordings to review. Gonzonoir (talk) 08:52, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

First recording

I just made my first recording, for the article Riven. I would appreciate it if someone could tell me how I did. Here's the file:

Thanks. Hi! How are you? 19:11, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

New banner

I've made a Wikipedia ad banner for the project, and I've added it to the project page. If anyone doesn't like it, feel free to kick me in the shin.

Sophus Bie (talk) 14:46, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Love the banner! Great job! Maedin\talk 11:07, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Suggestion: Heading-only spoken?

One of the obstacles to recording an article is its length.

Wouldn't the project get more traction if it were an option (or it were an encouraged practice) to record only the introduction to articles? This leaves open the option of filling in the balance of the article later, either by the same reader or by another.

The section-by-section approach seems to fit in better to the incrmementalism that gives Wikipedia its vibrancy. Vonfraginoff (talk) 12:57, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

I find this an interesting idea, also because it allows to update the spoken versions of articles more easily if it's normal for various sections to be recorded by different speakers in separate files.
It might become a bit of a burden to have to hear the whole "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, at" lead-in for each section, though.
LjL (talk) 15:19, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree that there are problems with the proposal, but isn't it better to have many more imperfect, abridged spoken articles than fewer perfect, unabridged ones?
Vonfraginoff (talk) 05:20, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
I prefer this way too. It makes sense. I put myself down for recording a few articles but stopped after the first one due to names I cant pronounce and long articles where small sections contently change.
Hintswen  Talk | Contribs  07:02, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Russian language (team-work)

Hello! I want to make recording of this article History of the Russian language. But my native Russian is much more better than English. Does any one is interested to make English part of this article? And I will make Russian part and integrate (merge yours and mine parts of) audio in Audacity editor. What do you think? -- AKA MBG (talk) 09:46, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Hey Andrew! I think that sounds like a superb idea! What a great way to use the strengths of two different people to create the ideal spoken article, ;-) My Russian is non-existent, but my English is great. I'd be happy to work with you on this. Are you skilled in using Audacity? Maedin\talk 11:13, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Hi, Maedin! Now I am recording the huge article Russia, but I hope that the next article we can make together. Yes, I am fan and user of Audacity :) -- Andrew Krizhanovsky (talk) 08:29, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia/Uploading guidelines

Now that the Wikipedia licenses have been updated, will this page need updating? Surely, every spoken article will need to be released under Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0 and the GFDL now? J Milburn (talk) 13:27, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

The licenses are being migrated, forget the GFDL, it's CC-BY-SA from now on. All sample scripts and help pages need to be updated. --Simon Speed (talk) 23:58, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't seem like anyone is actually doing this, so if no one volunteers, I'll go do it once I finish my number theory homework. (Warning: It may be a day or longer.) Also, just to make sure the licencing tag would be {{GFDL|CC-by-sa-3.0}} now? Sophus Bie (talk) 03:22, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Okay, by trial and error, I've found that using {{GFDL|migration=redundant}} and {{cc-by-sa-3.0}} gets what I think we should be using, but there has to be a better way to do it. Would someone who's more familiar with the Commons tell me how, exactly, I'm doing it wrong? Sophus Bie (talk) 03:35, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I changed the outdated description to display the {{GFDL}} license without the disclaimers - disclaimers were only added to old files at one point. One should change the wording in the guidelines to use {{cc-by-sa-3.0}} and then switch to this license or use dual-licensing, as it's now used across the board on Wikipedia. Hekerui (talk) 00:08, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
in your spoken version, you say what licence you release it under. so if its under GNU then it cant be under creative commons and vice versa. (i think anyway) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 12 April 2010
No. That's not true, different licenses are not automatically mutually exclusive. Since the main license was changed subsecquent recordings likely require a cc-by-sa-3.0 license to conform with new additions released under this license but that doesn't somehow invalidate older recordings' licenses. The important thing is that the audio file mentions the used license. Hekerui (talk) 13:50, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Audio Clips in Articles?

I have created a spoken wikipedia version of an article I created. I want to modify it to included the audio samples that are on the article. These are movie soundtrack samples on a fair use policy and a non-free rational. Is it okay to do this, or will my Spoken Wikipedia version and movie soundtrack samples become up for deletion? User99671 (talk) 03:45, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

New Banner Template

I don't know why I did not notice before, but I built Template:WikiProject_Spoken_Wikipedia; primarily because I needed something to put on the "ogg" pages themselves, but also on the articles that HAVE an ogg assigned. I will start a conversation on the talk page about how the various class and importance fields should be used. -- Mjquin_id (talk) 05:35, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Articles with quotations

According to the third pointer of the article choice guidelines, "spoken word audio clips of Wikipedia articles that incorporate copyrighted text pose legal problems (since the resulting audio file cannot be licensed under the GFDL)" and should thus be avoided. The article I'm looking to narrate has a few (two or three) block quotations. Would this be considered "copyrighted text" that would make the article unfit for this project by WP rules? Ink Runner (talk) 05:31, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

You may also want to try asking at Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. -- œ 10:25, 30 November 2009 (UTC)