Synchronizing a Spreadsheet to a Time Line
February 21, 2015 3:30 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a program that synchronizes movement through a timeline to identical times as successively displayed in a spreadsheet. Specifically, I want to play an audio file and as the file plays, I want unique elements in the audio file that I've identified at specific times to be highlighted in the spreadsheet. I want to show very detailed and subtle changes in B as they occur in A. Does anything like that exist or does it have to be built?
posted by CollectiveMind to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That sounds like something one would code. Do you have a precise definition of 'unique'? It sounds like the kind of thing one could do pretty easily in Python. You're basically looking through an audio file, looking for certain kinds of events, and then logging their timestamp. At the end, you can dump the set of timestamps (and any extra annotations) to a csv.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:05 PM on February 21, 2015

You might also check out Coursera's audio signal processing course, which has Python-oriented assignments.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:06 PM on February 21, 2015

With CSS animations it would be pretty straightforward in a web page, if the spreadsheet were an HTML table within that page, to have cells change background color or whatever at different time offsets. I don't know how easy it would be to get that animation synchronized with audio, though, and it might work differently in different browsers.
posted by XMLicious at 5:04 PM on February 21, 2015

kaibutsu, "unique" means, for instance, when the audio in a file reaches a point when the announcer says "the time is ...", the spreadsheet shows the exact time when that announcement is being made.
posted by CollectiveMind at 6:26 PM on February 21, 2015

Self link, sort of (my old lab), but I think this high-precision annotation software will get you a good chunk of the way there. (I don't understand what you mean by following along, but I believe the bottom right window tracks the cursor progress as you play the file.) And it's open source.

When we were developing it, I remember it being shockingly difficult to precisely align smooth cursor movement with audio, so I strongly suggest basing your solution off of an existing product.

The old version is called PyParse, but it's more difficult to install and use of you're not a programmer.
posted by supercres at 7:39 PM on February 21, 2015

This seems really close to the commenting system used at SoundCloud. Maybe take a look over there?
posted by Wild_Eep at 9:51 AM on February 22, 2015

Have you heard of timelinejs? this will do exactly what you want it to. it is a product of knight labs. it even gives you a sample google spreadsheet where you can enter your spreadsheet information. here is a link to the software on github
posted by Jewel98 at 6:30 PM on February 22, 2015

I really appreciate all of the responses. Thank you all very much.
posted by CollectiveMind at 9:57 AM on February 26, 2015

« Older I buy your granddad's tapes...where'd he used to...   |   From the mouths of babes... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.