HYPERTEXT PROJECT 3: Making My Own Music

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Tried out Virtual Keyboard online, which offers several instruments including strings and guitar.

Strings sounds like an orchestra.

Guitar sounds like a horn.


Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Went through the work I’ve done so far and will continue on just to learn the Audacity software.

Now that I have the .pkg opened, LAME is working just fine, I’ll be saving the snippets into mp3 files instead of .wav, and I’ll likely convert the .wav files to mp3s in order to compact the files a bit. One file alone went from 13mb to 1mb.

As well as seeking public domain guitar pieces, looking through “make your own music” sort of programs available online, as well as Garage Band on the Mac. Have never had any real musical ability–cheated and played by ear rather than following notes when I took both organ and guitar lessons. But it’s something to look into as an option.

Reading the text along with the music also gives me another sense of timing to the length of the pieces and with iTunes, a listing of the text pages,  am able to cut it a little closer using fades and silence in Audacity. While this work may all be for naught, it will have taught me better use of the sound programs and will make it much easier with another piece.

HYPERTEXT PROJECT 3: Confused by the Fluid Software

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Played with Fluid and was able to download A Bottle of Beer off my website and it works completely without opening a browser. I believe it has some browser capabilities within its own program.

Was a little more than concerned when I realized that the path I have to the abob file goes through the parent directory so that when I selected the file, I in fact picked up the entire website, the Spinning website, and the Talespinning website, and everything else that was under the Not good. Links to other places off the site, of course, will work, but will open the regular browser. I’m figuring that if I did not have a link to Hypercompendia on the final page of A Bottle of Beer, then even if Fluid grabbed everything, it would not be possible to “get thar from here.”

Which means, I should probably move my work from subdirectories to the root directory (/public_html/yadda yadda) but since there are loads of incoming links to, for example, the 100 Hypertext Fictions, I really can’t go through all the links to change them, nor would it make sense (I don’t think) to just put the opening page there and let it redirect itself to its current residence.

Anyway, I still need to play a bit with Fluid to see if it will assist in my goal of transferring to a CD. Though it likely will still need some tweaking, although it does turn the file into an application in the Mac Applications folder. The way it’s set up, there are no other files that I can peek into, just an icon that starts the saved file. The other thing is, is that it doesn’t work for PC though there is a similar program I haven’t as yet checked out.

HYPERTEXT PROJECT 3: Just some tweaking with audio

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Have moved onto other things while I’m waiting on the audio, but have done a few things between yesterday and today.

In playing in Audacity, I’ve learned to section out a clip of an audio and save it to a .wav file to correspond with a page of the narrative. Learned to add in silence of a second or two and to fade in and out. Did re-read each of the 30 pages and timed again to double-check at least my own reading pace and it’s a good thing I did since some were more than 10 seconds different than the first reading. Then, in iTunes I was able to see the exact second count to match up approximate with the reading of each page.

Made a couple new audio .wav files to either clip off a recalcitrant note at the beginning or end or to seriously lengthen or shorten. Also messed up a few and lost a few, but all is well so far. So far being about halfway through the piece of hypertext.

Also on the audio, I was making .wav files because for some reason, Audacity couldn’t find the LAME library to encode into mp3 files, which should be shorter and take up less space. Found I had installed, but hadn’t “opened” the pkg file so I’ll see if it works now.

And, I guess I’ll wait another day or two before contacting the artist on the use of audio to confirm approval or denial for use though I have already started looking for other options (love “Annie’s Song” on Willie Nelson’s Teatro album too, but I don’t think I can ask for any use of that) in the public domain areas for Spanish guitar, and there’s always the possibility of begging some musician I know to come up with an original for me.


Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Am in a state of excitement/agitation, thanks to my good friend Steve Ersinghaus who directed me to a small free program called Fluid that in about a minute seems to have turned not only my online version of A Bottle of Beer but all my work, the 100 hypertexts, the other hypertexts, and all three of my weblogs into an Application on my Mac!

This both delights me because it took me a couple days to figure out how to put a working hypertext onto a computer independent of the internet, and scares me, because anyone can do it to any site.

Investigating further….

HYPERTEXT PROJECT 3: Finetuning and Learning

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Slowed down a bit on the excitement of pulling out snippets of song to match the hypertext pages of the narrative, since I’m waiting on whether or not I can use the audio file in the story, but I can’t let go of the whole project.

In reading through the text a dozen more times in syncing and noting down times, my inner editor is coming out and I’m going to be changing some wording I think.

Also, I am still working with the audio selection, just for the practice of it. If I need to change everything, then at least I’ll have mastered the Audacity program and will be able to move a bit faster. What I need to learn yet is volume control and as I mentioned before, fade. I don’t intend to mess with content as far as changing the original with bass, etc., though I did find particular sections that I would change around in sequence and repeat for dramatic effect in this particular piece, and likely in any that I will eventually use.

I’d love to tell you the artist and the piece I’ve been so crazy about, but until I hear, I think it’d be unfair to mention it.

HYPERTEXT PROJECT 3: Temporary Halt in Production

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Have decided to stop working on the audio for a bit, until I get either permission or refusal to permit the use of the audio I’ve been working with. I have sent a request by email to the composer/artist, and am awaiting a reply. While it was necessary to use something to learn the Audacity program and I got more and more excited with the selection, it’s useless to go too far with it if permission is denied.

Then it’ll be back to the drawing board to seek new Spanish guitar recordings, or have someone make something up for me. It’s going to be hard; the piece was just so beautiful, and beautifully played.

HYPERTEXT PROJECT3: Making Bits Itty-Bittier and More

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Knew there was a way and played with a discarded .wav this morning to figure out how to add some “silence” moments in between the music in a clip.

Instead of recording a clip over and over again until I get the proper selection both time-wise and chop-wise, I’ve learned I can make a clip, then cut the clip itself in Audacity to shorten it.

Also learned how to add in some silence to extend a clip anywhere from the beginning (may be a way of “opening” the audio file later in the page rather than fiddling with jQuery and links to delay the start) or to add in some time between the notes.

Most likely I’d be able to also drop in some notes if needed, but I really don’t want to mess with the original too much; I’ve already “replayed” some sections to either suit mood, or extend the 9 minutes of audio to fill about 20 minutes of reading.

I just need to keep in mind that the music, while it would be terrific to match it perfectly to the reading, is impossible because each reader will read at a different pace. On top of that, the inclusion of hypertext links brings in another whole method of reading that changes the actual time spent on a page. i.e., will a reader open the links (stretchtext) and read that and go back to the point where he clicked the link or will he finish the visible text and then click the link? There are images; will the reader take any time to look deeper into them?

Need a soft start to the music, and an even softer ending, almost a fade, so that it is not noticeable to the reader that the music stopped (already decided to make the clips on the short side rather than have them run over past the reading point of all but the speed-reader, though I need to have someone besides me read this to check it out).

Need then, to learn the volume controls to learn fade I guess, unless there are more subtle controls.

HYPERTEXT PROJECT 3: Slicing and Dicing Audio Files (and more)

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Spent the late evening and this morning’s early hours selecting seconds of audio and matching them up in separate .wav files with a page of hypertext. Redid many, over and over and over again, dumping in favor of creating something more in time with the reading (though I suspect my reading is varying in degree with each successive try, either I tend to scan, or completely hip-hop over words out of boredom with re-reading over and over again). And a break in mental focus brought me to web-surfing and a whole new problem. And a big one.

Copyright. I’m a hater of plagiarism and scoffing up someone’s work without credit so I was completely aware that I’d give due notice of the artist and recording at the end of the piece. However, I didn’t realize that the perfect song I’d downloaded was played (and probably written) by an outstanding professional Spanish guitar player. I can’t really go much further with my own work of weaving it into the hypertext without seeking and hopefully gaining his permission to do so! An email must be drafted and sent out asap.

Also tried again to connect a music .wav file to a link (preferably using the same link as a stretchtext link) but still lose all the text and instead gain an audio “player.” This is what I’d been trying (in the abob2 folder):

<a href=”file:///Users/smgct1/Desktop/abob2/Improviso 1.wav”> (and end tag)

What I get is an audio player playing the wav on a white blank page. All text disappears as it hops onto that, a new page, rather than the stretchtext.

I’m guessing that the code that makes it play in the head section, which is:

<EMBED src=”Improviso4.wav” autostart=true hidden=true>

can possibly be manipulated, maybe with the instructions (autostart or hidden) or used as a jQuery code (have to look into this–it’s been a while since I learned it and need to reacquaint myself with that) or the embedding tag.

HYPERTEXT PROJECT 3: When and How Much Audio?

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Timed a reading of A Bottle of Beer, complete with clicking all the links, and I’ve come up with around 23 minutes. I marked each page with the time count, in seconds, and what I’ll probably do is mark how much each one truly needs sound. Somewhere in between I wouldn’t mind either complete silence, an odd sound (like the ice cream truck–no, just kidding).

Second, I want to match the pace of the audio to the drama of the section of the story. While the musical piece I’ve selected is certainly near perfectly suited to the mood, there are some dramatic pauses and some sections with a quicker tempo.

Third, While I’ve timed my reading of the piece, everyone reads at a different pace. What I don’t want to do is let the music run over and be cut off by a click to the next page, nor do I want it to stop too soon, or just at the wrong moment.

All this, while keeping the musical “narrative” fairly intact, aside from a few single strums or a couple notes that hang like bells and produce a great effect in their simplicity.