How do I fix the audio in EPUB 3 read-along?

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I converted an over-sized print children's book into a fixed-layout ePub using inDesign cc. It converted beautifully. I added the code for each word in the xhtml. I took the audio and divided it up for each page using audacity and labeled each word. I took the start and stop times for each word in each page and created an smil file for each page, I put the audio for each page an audio file. All the audio worked. Then I put the listed the audio stop times of each page and the total time of all the audio in the metadata. I also listed the smil files in the manifest. The audio worked well in a sample of 6 pages of the eBook. I also added the media overlay code to the content opf and the css, The highlighting didn't work. So we figured out that the over-rides in the code were over-riding the media over-lay. My partner fixed the css and everything worked fine for pages 1-8. The audio was on page 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, and 13. The layout is mostly spreads. In pages 10-13 the audio became jumbled in the paragraphs although the audio files were clear in the audio files. The audio worked before we fixed the highlighting. I redid all the coding for those pages in the labeling and the smil files. I updated the content opf. It didn't help. I redid the conversion and added a little animation to explain how to work the audio. Repeating all the steps listed above. Now the highlighting works, but the messed up pages have no audio at all. Any ideas, I am ready to scream! I would appreciate any help. I don't want anyone to do the work for me. But I need to know how to fix this.


Janis Friesler

You may have a look at one of the media overlay book created by Tobi to understand smil files. Use the link below to download 30 MB epub file with full media overlays.

Tobi is a free and open source DAISY/EPUB3 authoring tool from DAISY Consortium. For more information visit


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