Reading aloud

If you want to host some audio somewhere, youtube works well enough for short pieces of content. The only awkward thing is that you can’t directly upload a music file – it needs to be a video youtube can understand. The easiest way to do this is to make an image you want to associate with your audio and then encode a video of that image with the audio playing. I messed around trying to do that and getting several files that I could play fine, but youtube would fail on. After some googling I found this little youtube audio encoding snippet on the ubuntu forums.

ffmpeg -loop_input -i image.jpg -i audio.mp3 -shortest -acodec copy output.mp4

I expanded this into a little bash script, to make things a little easier:

#!/bin/bash

if [[ $1 && $2 && $3 ]]; then
  ffmpeg -loop_input -i $1 -i $2 -shortest -acodec copy $3
else
  echo "mp3toyoutube [input_image] [input_audio] [output_movie]"
  echo "EXAMPLE: mp3toyoutube image.jpg music.mp3 outout.avi"
fi

Nice. So what does this have to do with reading aloud?

Well, I basically haven’t read aloud since childhood and inspired by g2LaPianistaIrlandesa’s post “Dig to the Roots” on the Protagonize groups about getting to the heart of story telling, I decided to give it a go to get back in practice and read the first (and currently only) chapter of my story “Don’t Shoot the Messenger”. DruidX also decided to jump on-board but also read a chapter from one of my stories rather than one of her own, namely the beginning of a crime drama called “Sick”. Youtube seemed as good a place as any for this, given the free storage and so finding out how to encode audio in such a way as youtube would accept it was necessary. If you’re interested in hearing the readings, they can be found on my youtube channel.