Prepare Read Aloud

Start the preparation with this tool. You are prompted to choose the audio track to use which adds an InDesign table the ‘CircularFLO Read Aloud Panel’ to the side of each page which is to feature read aloud highlighting.

Generate Auto Timestamps 

An automatic web service quickly gets accurate timings for the words added to the Read Aloud Panel.

We use a third party web service to achieve this and make a charge by selling access to this service by the minute.

Purchase enough time stamp minutes in advance before using the auto timestamping feature via our purchasing page and a link is also available via the Credits menu in CircularFLO.

The timestamping service is over 5x the speed of the audio so for example a 10 minute audio track is back in under 2 minutes

For best result sound effects and music should be left off the track sent for auto timestamping.

A track with sound effects and music added could then be switched to after the timings ahem been received.

Preview Read Aloud playback

With rows of the Read Aloud Panel selected. Click this button to hear the audio snippet played and to see the rows of the InDesign table highlight at the pace of the read aloud.

This process requires your Mac to have QuickTime Player to be set as the default app to play the MP3 or M4A audio type that you are using.

If your Mac is not already setup in this way, a prompt with extra instructions on how to do this is shown.

Export / Import timestamps

Our inexpensive auto timestamping service is recommended but in some case e.g. complex audio with music or sound effects an alternative way of adding read aloud timing is sometimes required.

Audacity is a free tool and Adobe Audition is included with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

Timestamps can be exported for editing in these tools and then imported back into CircularFLO.

Audition tool update is coming soon!

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Timing information in the Read Aloud panel is live so it’s easy to change the timings either by editing the numbers using the InDesign Type Tool or by using the fine adjustment buttons in the Read Aloud tools panel. 

Use the InDesign type tool to drag select a section of cells containing times in the Read Aloud Panel, click these buttons to nudge timings forward or back by 0.1 or 0.5 seconds.

All word stop times are set to auto by default meaning each word remains highlighted until the following word's start time.

Add a stop time, in total seconds to remove the highlighting earlier if there is a pause in the audio dialogue.

Add background soundtrack 

Apple iBooks has a nice feature, strictly speaking outside of the EPUB standard, to add an 'ambient soundtrack' to a book.

A background track plays when the reader is on the page, playing beneath any read aloud or other audio present. The track will loop and start playing again if it comes to an end.

Using the same track on adjacent spreads gives pleasantly uninterrupted audio that continues to play as the reader moves from spread to spread.

It is possible to have multiple soundtracks so changing the background audio and changing the mood for different sections of your EPUB.

Click to choose the audio track and add a small CircularFLO Soundtrack Panel to the pasteboard above your InDesign spread. Hold down Command (Apple) key when using this tool to place the same soundtrack on every spread.

Add silent page turn timings

Useful for making 'kiosk' books where pages turn without the user needing to interact. 

Automatic page turning is an option when using read aloud in Apple iBooks. This feature makes use of that feature by adding auto page turns even when no audio is present.

After click the button, choose a number of seconds to wait before the page turn occurs.

Attach start / stop to a button

Convert a selected object on the FLO_ANIMATION layer into a button to toggles the starts and stop of read aloud.

Check / Relink Read Aloud audio 

Click to be sure linked audio files are present. If links are not present a choice to relink to new audio files is offered.