Cloudinary Blog

Generate Waveform Images from Audio with Cloudinary

Generate Waveform Images from Audio with Cloudinary

This is a reposting of an article written by David Walsh. Check out his blog HERE!
I've been working a lot with visualizations lately, which is a far cry from your normal webpage element interaction coding; you need advanced geometry knowledge, render and performance knowledge, and much more. It's been a great learning experience but it can be challenging and isn't always an interest of all web developers. That's why we use apps and services specializing in complex tasks like Cloudinary: we need it done quickly and by a tool written by an expert.

While my previous experiments have been with images (Image Optimization, Remove Photo Backgrounds, and Automatic Image Tagging), Cloudinary also has the ability to manipulate video and audio files, as well as optimize delivery. This next experiment will mix imagery and media: we'll generate waveform images from an audio file!

Step 1: Upload the File

The first step is uploading the media file to Cloudinary, which you can automate with code or manually do so within the Cloudinary control panel. Let's presume the file is up on Cloudinary.

Step 2: Generate Image

You can use any number of languages to interact with Cloudinary's API but for the sake of this experiment we'll use Node.js and JavaScript. And the JavaScript required to generate and retrieve the basic waveform image? Much less than you think:

var result = cloudinary.image("Lights_qh6vve.png", {
	height: 200,
	width: 500,
	flags: "waveform",
	resource_type: "video"
});

So what exactly happens with the code above? Let's go through it:

  • The first argument, Lights_qh6vve.png, is the name of the uploaded MP3 file, replacing .mp3 with .png
  • The second argument provides the desired image settings, customizing height and width of generated image...
  • ...while flags: waveform and resource_type: video let Cloudinary know you want to generate the waveform image

The result is an img tag:

<img src='https://res.cloudinary.com/david-wash-blog/video/upload/fl_waveform,h_200,w_500/Lights_qh6vve.png' height='200' width='500'/>

..which looks like:

Customizing the Image

Cloudinary provides flexibility in image generation so let's create a more customized waveform image. Let's play with the colors:

var result = cloudinary.image("Lights_qh6vve.png", {
	height: 200,
	width: 500,
	flags: "waveform",
	resource_type: "video",
	background: '#acd7e5',
	color: '#ffda7f'
});

These colors generate a waveform image that looks like this:

Next we can use offset properties to get just a snippet of the waveform image:

var result = cloudinary.image("Lights_qh6vve.png", {
	height: 200,
	width: 500,
	flags: "waveform",
	resource_type: "video",
	background: '#acd7e5',
	color: '#ffda7f',
	start_offset: 1, // in seconds
	end_offset: 240
});

Which gives us this sharp image:

This experimentation was a lot of fun, and proves waveform image creation is just another amazing function provided by Cloudinary. Cloudinary is (an awesome) one-stop shop for uploading manipulating and delivering images and video. If you need to manipulate image or simply think you may need to do so in the future, give Cloudinary a good look -- they will do more than you think!

 

David Walsh David Walsh is Senior Software Engineer at Mozilla, having worked extensively on the Mozilla Developer Network, Firefox OS TV, WebVR, internal tooling, and several other Mozilla efforts. He shares his knowledge on his blog at http://davidwalsh.name. You can also find him at @davidwalshblog on Twitter.

Recent Blog Posts

Integrating Cloudinary with Forestry’s Media Library

At Forestry, we believe that there is a bright future for static HTML sites built with tools like Jekyll and Hugo. These tools can create sites that run well, and are easy to host and maintain, because they don’t require any server-side code.

Read more
Video Optimization With the HTML5 <video> Player

Lack of experience and compression knowhow can cause significant user-experience problems. For instance, on a major retail site, I recently ran into a 48 MB video-hero banner. Pulling out the video and encoding it as an H.264 MP4 reduces the size to 1.9 MB. So, despite the desire for more video content, developers have not yet caught up to best practices. How do we get the best of both worlds without creating a disaster like the one above?

Read more
Build a Facial Emotion Recognition Based Video Suggestion App

Developers are always looking for new and creative ways to deliver content that resonates with the way users feel. Often using the latest technical innovations the market has to offer such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). What better way to demonstrate innovative uses of these technology in a consumer market than capturing expressions from your users and then serving content based on that expression!

Read more
Improve Customer Data Protection with GDPR Implementation

TL;DR

Yay! We've done it! Gold-Star for us! We've talked with all the people, made all the changes, paid all the lawyers and checked all the boxes. GDPR? ✅Done!

Not so fast. Of course, conforming to the GDPR regulations introduced in Europe is just the beginning. This is a process and a state of mind that must become part of our long-term cultural ethos.

Read more
Magento Image and Video Optimization

As the number of channels and devices continues to grow, it is becoming much more challenging to deliver an optimal visual experience. On an eCommerce site, engagement and conversions are critical. Factors such as page load time strongly influence search engine rankings, shopping experiences, conversion rates and, ultimately, your revenue. An optimized visual experience positively affects conversion rates. But it also can introduce resource bottlenecks, as every image and video needs to be delivered in the most efficient format, quality and resolution, based on the viewing device.

Read more