Author Topic: Caving Audio Archives  (Read 38832 times)

Offline langcliffe

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Caving Audio Archives
« on: February 19, 2009, 07:42:37 am »
This has now gone live at:

http://caving-library.org.uk/audio/audio.shtml

It currently consists of thirty odd recordings about memorable caving incidents of the past, recalled by various notables including Graham Balcombe, Bob Leakey, Ken Pearce and Martyn Farr. None last more than 15 minutes.

More recordings are steadily being added from a stockpile, but many more are required!

The recordings are held in MP3 format, and are available from both embedded technology and as downloadable files.

The embedded technology uses a sequence of incantations which appear to work on most browsers, but will not work on all. Positive suggestions for improvement of the embedding which do not involved browser sniffing or plugin detection will be welcomed. Note that the W3C recommended technology was not found to be particularly well supported.

Anyway, we hope that you enjoy the recordings, and we very much look forward to your feedback as well as your contributions.


Offline Slug

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2009, 09:37:54 am »
 Works well on Firefox with the Quick time player.

 The recordings seem to be very clear, with little in the way of hiss and other audio noise, ( well the two I tried were anyway), so all in all, very good.  :thumbsup:
Pint of Butcombe Please Roger.

Offline SamT

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2009, 01:14:38 pm »
Nice one.  :thumbsup:

It would be great (albeit a copyright nightmare) to see a similar thing for vid as well,

you know - all those little snippets you get, news items, 'inside out' on titan/sidetrack/mossdale. interview with folk.

I guess youtube would might as a host, then links to youtube from a central site as above.


Offline Anon

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2009, 02:58:17 pm »
Interesting stuff  :thumbsup:

Offline damian

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2009, 03:45:47 pm »
Absolutely superb .. I know what I will be listening to on the way to the Mendips this weekend.

A brilliant job.

Offline ianball11

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2009, 09:58:50 pm »
Awesome!

Offline marysboy

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2009, 01:34:04 am »
Fantastic!  :bounce:

Offline Glenn

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2009, 09:09:35 am »
I have a copy (on CD) of a BBC radio play from the early '70's of "The Pothole Rescue" which is a dramatisation of the mid '60's Llethrid rescue. I don't know if there would be copyright issues, but if you want a copy for the archive, send me a pm.

Cheers,

Glenn

via the Speleo Vercors wifi LAN at La Jarjatte-en-Vercors

Offline bubba

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2009, 01:52:29 pm »

Great resource :)

Is there any way of getting the audio to play using the Flash plugin rather than the Quicktime plugin? I've tried messing with Firefox's file associations but it won't work.
=:blubba:=

[ nsfw ]

Offline Goydenman

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2009, 02:40:19 pm »
Really enjoying these - great resource - BIG THANKS

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2009, 02:55:09 pm »
I have a copy (on CD) of a BBC radio play from the early '70's of "The Pothole Rescue" which is a dramatisation of the mid '60's Llethrid rescue. I don't know if there would be copyright issues, but if you want a copy for the archive, send me a pm.
I am a mere technical assistant who walks 20 metres behind Sid Perou and 10 metres behind Dave Checkley waiting to spring into action at their bidding, so I am not really  the person to ask. However, I reckon that it is probably not a candidate for the online audio archive, but I am sure that the National Caving Library would welcome a copy for people to reference. May I suggest that you drop a line to the librarian - contact details at: http://caving-library.org.uk/index.shtml

Thanks.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2009, 03:05:29 pm »
Is there any way of getting the audio to play using the Flash plugin rather than the Quicktime plugin? I've tried messing with Firefox's file associations but it won't work.

Is it that you prefer Flash or that it will not work with the Quicktime plugin? I use Firefox, and it opens with Quicktime.

As I indicated above, what I know about plugins can be written on the back of a postage stamp. All I know is that the W3C standards are not supported by most browsers, and that quite often Microsoft-specific code manages to drive other manufacturers' plugins. It's all a very messy area.

What I could do, given sufficient demand for the facility, and support in generating the embedded code and testing it, is to allow people to select the plugin of their choice and store that choice as a permanent cookie. The required embedding code would then be generated on the fly.

Offline bubba

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2009, 06:42:34 pm »

Just preference really - most ppl have Flash installed already for youtube, etc.
=:blubba:=

[ nsfw ]

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2009, 07:04:25 am »
Is there any way of getting the audio to play using the Flash plugin rather than the Quicktime plugin? I've tried messing with Firefox's file associations but it won't work.

I know little about Flash (or about anything else for that matter), but I am under the impression that one needs to beg, or borrow an audio player written in Flash script to play an MP3 recording in Flash, rather than just associate a file extension to the Flash plugin.

I did consider the possibility of using Flash, but was put off the idea for a number of reasons. I was not keen to use an audio player hosted on another site; I don't have the technology or knowledge to develop one myself; I couldn't readily sort out how to implement one available in source form; and it appears that one needs JavaScript to be enabled to use them.

I may well have another go. Although the audio playing technology is obviously a very important part of the application, it is only a few line of code.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2009, 11:18:31 pm »
Just preference really - most ppl have Flash installed already for youtube, etc.

I have re-implemented the embedded player so that it uses Flash. As Bubba says, Flash does seem to be ubiquitous these days, and it also means that the implementation will the same in all browsers. The player graphics isn't quite as elegant as I would like, but it was a freeby so I canna complain.

If anyone encounters a problem with it, please shout. I've tested it on the common Windoze browsers, but it has only had limited testing on UNIX.

Sid hopes to be adding some material from Eric Hensler tomorrow.

Offline bubba

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2009, 09:38:42 pm »
The Flash player works great - nice work  :thumbsup:

A good decision I reckon - if you check Adobe's Flash Player Statistics (they may be a touch biased I guess ;) ) then 99% of browsers have Flash installed, as opposed to only 64% with Quicktime.

=:blubba:=

[ nsfw ]

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2009, 10:05:43 pm »
The Flash player works great - nice work  :thumbsup:

A good decision I reckon - if you check Adobe's Flash Player Statistics (they may be a touch biased I guess ;) ) then 99% of browsers have Flash installed, as opposed to only 64% with Quicktime.
Thanks - I'm always be ready to be guided by wiser heads than mine.

However, your comparison isn't really fair as the percentage of browsers with Quicktime installed is not really relevant. The incantation I was using previously was MS oriented, but I saw the recordings being played on Quicktime, RealPlayer, and Windoze Media Player - depending on how the file associations had been set up on the browser I was testing with. It seems that the various proprietary plugins make a point of being able to implement code which was set up to drive Windoze Media Player - even on UNIX systems!

Anyway, I'm reasonably happy with the new implementation - it's now been tested on most MAC and UNIX browser / OS combinations without any problems being reported. I hadn't used Flash technology before, and one tends to be a little nervous when using a technology for the first time.

Offline bubba

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2009, 10:15:20 pm »
Wise? Not me  :unsure:

Yeah, those stats are only a rough guide I guess.

Flash used to be much maligned, mainly due to the fashion of every website needing some awful, slow-loading "Flash intro" - I think youtube, etc have done much to re-instate it as the daddy of multimedia browser plugins.

Technicalities aside, some really fascinating stuff in the audio-archive, well recommended :)
=:blubba:=

[ nsfw ]

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2009, 10:50:10 am »
Technicalities aside, some really fascinating stuff in the audio-archive, well recommended :)
Sid has uploaded a remarkable interview with Eric Hensler, in which Eric describes his first trip down Swildon's in 1934 equipped with home-made ladders (with rope rungs!), candles, and flying helmets (for the lucky ones).

http://caving-library.org.uk/audio/selected.php?id=56

Now that people can see what the Caving Audio Archives are about, how about contributing? Classic tales from the Young Tigers as well as the Old Farts would be welcomed. See http://caving-library.org.uk/audio/contributing.shtml for how you can help.


Offline Smithers

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2009, 07:24:53 am »
Just had a look at the audio files, what a good find!  Absolutely fantastic!

Just one question, with the Eric Hensler interviews it goes from 1, 2, 3 and 5.  Is there a 4th interview or should the one be labelled as 5th be the 4th?

Also does anyone have any pictures of Bob Leakey that could be uploaded on to the website to go with the descriptions or put on here?  It'd be useful for me as I've put the audio files in iTunes as audiobooks, and am using the pictures as album artwork etc.

Cheers,

Chris
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 07:33:59 am by Smithers »

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2009, 07:50:23 am »
Just one question, with the Eric Hensler interviews it goes from 1, 2, 3 and 5.  Is there a 4th interview or should the one be labelled as 5th be the 4th?

Good question - I was waiting with bated breath to see if a fourth was going to appear. There's nothing hidden - I'll ask Mr. Perou.

Quote
Also does anyone have any pictures of Bob Leakey that could be uploaded on to the website to go with the descriptions or put on here?  It'd be useful for me as I've put the audio files in iTunes as audiobooks, and am using the pictures as album artwork etc.

If someone does, and there ain't going to be a copyright issue, I'll be happy to add it to the database.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2009, 09:55:47 am »
Just one question, with the Eric Hensler interviews it goes from 1, 2, 3 and 5.  Is there a 4th interview or should the one be labelled as 5th be the 4th?

I've checked, and it was a typo that I have now corrected.

Offline knuckledragger

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2009, 01:04:42 am »
Brilliant stuff. I was lucky enough to have a cup of tea and a slice of cake with Leaky 3 years ago. He didnt want to talk much about early caving which was a shame.
Good work Mr Langliffe.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2009, 08:26:15 am »
Good work Mr Langliffe.

Miss Langcliffe, actually, but thank you anyway, although your compliment is somewhat misdirected. I am a mere technical assistant to Sid Perou and Dave Checkley.

Bob Leakey's memory isn't as sharp as it was once, and in fact some of the details in the recordings on the site are not a 100% accurate, but we are privileged to be able to listen to them. He was one of the finest cavers of his generation, and his achievements were awesome.

Offline menacer

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Re: Caving Audio Archives
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2009, 07:44:19 pm »

It currently consists of thirty odd recordings about memorable caving incidents of the past, recalled by various notables including Graham Balcombe, Bob Leakey, Ken Pearce and Martyn Farr. None last more than 15 minutes.

More recordings are steadily being added from a stockpile, but many more are required!


Hey Miss Langcliffe, how about adding some recordings of famous old timers like the great  John Gardiner before its too late....  8)
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