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

CoreMedia Adds Cloudinary to its CoreMedia Studio Platform

Today we’re pleased to announce a new technology partnership with CoreMedia, a leading Content Experience Platform provider. CoreMedia users can now leverage Cloudinary’s web-based digital asset management (DAM) solution to organize, search, manage and optimize their media assets, including images and videos, and to orchestrate, preview and deliver digital experiences consistently and optimized across all channels and browsers. The official press release is available here.

Read more
Facial-Surveillance System for Restricted Zones

In Africa, where Internet access and bandwidth are limited, it’s not cost-effective or feasible to establish and maintain a connectivity for security and surveillance applications. That challenge makes it almost impossible to build a service that detects, with facial-recognition technology, if someone entering a building is authorized to do so. To meet the final-year research requirement for my undergraduate studies, I developed a facial-surveillance system. Armed with a background in computer vision, I decided to push the limits and see if I could build a surveillance system that does not require recording long video footage.

Read more
Complex Networks Case Study

Complex Networks has been using Cloudinary since 2014 to manage and optimize images across seven websites and two mobile apps, making editorial workflow more efficient, improving page performance and load time, and increasing user engagement. Cloudinary was instrumental in enabling Complex Networks to redesign its web properties. Without the flexibility that Cloudinary offers to both creative and development teams, it would not have been possible for Complex Networks to achieve such a fast time to market.

Read more
Automate Placeholder Generation and Accelerate Page Loads

If you run a Google search on LQIP you’ll see very few relevant articles, very little guidance, and definitely no Wikipedia articles. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the feedback on LQIP we have gathered from the community and suggest and open for conversation a few approaches based on the built-in capabilities of the Cloudinary service. Specifically, we’ll explain what LQIP are, where they are best used, and how you can leverage them to accelerate page loads and optimize user experience.

Read more
Best Practices for Optimizing Web Page Speed

If you're like most consumers today, you engage more with pictures or videos on a website than text. The stats don't lie - four times as many visitors would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, and sites with compelling images average twice as many views as text-heavy ones.

Read more
A day of fun with Girls Who Code and Cloudinary

During both my computer science studies and work in the tech field, there have not been a lot of women present. While our ranks have grown, women still make up only a small percentage. In many ways, I think the traditionally male-dominated world can be intimidating to women and girls who may be interested in pursuing these types of tech careers.

Read more