MicroWiki:MicroProject Spoken

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The MicroProject Spoken aims to produce recordings of MicroWiki articles being read aloud. See Spoken Articles for articles that have already been recorded.

How to create a spoken article

The process is easy! Just follow these five steps.

Spoken MicroWiki
Recording process


PrepareRecordUploadAddNotify

Don't be afraid to ask for Help!

Overview

Why participate?

Sound-icon.svg

Here are just some reasons why it is worthwhile creating spoken recordings of articles.

  • Spoken articles make MicroWiki content available to those who can understand English but cannot read it, or help people who are visually impaired.
  • Users can listen to MicroWiki articles while they perform tasks that preclude reading but not concentration (such as running, or housework).
  • Visually impaired users can use screen readers, but they may not be as accurate as a human vocal performance. This is particularly true of articles relating to science, mathematics, linguistics, and other areas commonly requiring unusual or unfamiliar pronunciation, or the use of symbols.
  • Spoken articles are a valuable learning tool for those learning English. If a link is given to the version of the page that was recorded then users may listen to the words while reading them.
  • They are a valuable learning tool for auditory learners (people who learn most effectively by listening to information delivered orally).
  • Some may find it easier to concentrate on an article while listening to it, especially in an environment with distracting sounds (with the use of headphones).
  • In performing the articles aloud, readers can catch inconsistencies, redundancies, and awkward phrases not noticed by other editors, thus improving the written version of MicroWiki.

A few caveats

However, the project does have some difficulties and drawbacks that one should be aware of:

  • Recording and editing articles can be time-consuming, and recordings are sometimes abandoned or have their source text dramatically changed before they are finished. It helps to start with smaller, more manageable articles first and then move up to bigger ones.
  • Incorrect pronunciation can mislead non-English-speaking users. This can be solved by looking up the pronunciation for words before performing the recording.
  • There are several audio formats supported by MediaWiki, the software behind MicroWiki:
    • Ogg Vorbis: Although it's neither very well supported (see Media help page) nor lossless, it's recommended for recording articles. Small files with high audio quality can be produced using Ogg Vorbis, which makes them easy to be up- and downloaded and respectively streamed, even with a slow Internet connection.
    • WAV (PCM): The well-known wave format. It is supported by nearly every browser and media player but it produces huge files. The file size limit may pose an issue here. For pronunciation of single words, it is however suitable at its best.
    • FLAC: It is lossless (this means you can edit it as often as you need to without losing quality) and compressed, but still produces large files.
Note that a software called TimedMediaHandler that runs on Wikipedia’s servers will automatically convert your uploaded audio files into different file formats for best compatibility and user experience.
  • To maintain a consistent vocal sound and to avoid the degradation in sound quality that comes from re-editing compressed audio files, edits to an existing recording should be done by the original recorder. Thus, in cases where a recording needs to be modified and the original recorder is not available to do it, the recording may need to be re-recorded entirely or removed.
  • MicroWiki articles are constantly evolving; once created, audio versions become less and less accurate when compared with the current article. This can be solved with updated audio recordings.
  • There is no way to follow or indicate links.


Active participants

Recognition

Awards

Spoken Truth

This project has its very own official medal, the Spoken Truth.

The Spoken Truth is an award that may be awarded to an editor who makes outstanding contributions in the form of spoken articles for MicroWiki. Outstanding contributions may include: recording ten good articles, recording three featured articles, or doing an incredibly good job of recording one long, complex, excellent, featured article despite all odds. The medal is only given by the founder.


Advertising

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