Showing posts with label DropBox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DropBox. Show all posts

How to Automatically Generate Video Sub-Title in Another Language

I recently started a French YouTube channel. Quickly, I got a message asking to add English sub-title, and got also a suggestion to leverage Azure Logic App and some Cognitive Services to help me in that task. I really liked the idea, so I gave it a shot. I recorded myself and in twenty minutes I was done. Even though, it was not the success I was hoping for, the application works perfectly. It's just that speaking in French with a lot of English technical word was a little bite too hard for the Video Indexer. However, If you are speaking only one language in your video that solution would work perfectly. In this post, I will show you how to create that Logic App with Azure Video Indexer and Cognitive Services.

The Idea

Once a video is dropped in an OneDrive folder (or any file system accessible from Azure), a Logic App will get triggered and uploads the file to the Azure Video Indexer, generate a Video Text Tracks (VTT) file, and save this new file in another folder. A second Logic App will get started and use the Translator Text API from Azure Cognitive Service to translate the VTT file, and save it into the final folder.


The Generation

Before getting started, you will need to create your Video Indexer API. To do this, login to the Video Indexer developer portal, and subscribe at the Video Indexer APIs - Production in the Product tab. You should then get your API keys.


To get more detail on the subscription refer to the documentation. To know the names, parameters, code sample to all the methods available in your new API, click on APIs tab.


Now let's create our first Logic App. I always prefer to start with a blank template, but take what fits you. Any Online file system's trigger will do, in this case I'm using the When a file is created from OneDrive. I got some issue with the trigger. It was not always getting fired by a new file. I tried the When a file is modified trigger, but it didn't solve the problem. If you think, you know what I was doing wrong feel free to leave a comment :).

First reel action is to upload the file to the Azure Video Indexer. We can to that ery easily by using the method Upload video and and index, passing the name and content from the trigger.

Of course, the longer is the video the longer will be the process, so we will need to wait. A way to do that is by adding a waiting loop. Will use the method Get processing state from the Video Indexer and loop until the status is processed. To slow down your loop just add a wait action and set it at tree or five minutes.

When the file is completely processed, it will be time to retrieve the VTT file. This is done in two simple step. First, we will get the URL by calling the method Get the transcript URL, then with a simple HTTP GET we will download the file. The last thing we will need to do will be to save it in a folder where our second Logic App will be watching for new drop.

In the visual designer, the Logic App should look to this.


The Translation

The second Logic App is very short. Once again, it will get triggered by a new file trigger in our OneDrive Folder. Then it will be time to call our Translator Text API from Azure Cognitive Service. That's to the great Logic App interface it's very intuitive to fill all the parameter for our call. Once we got the translation, we need to save it into our final destination.

The Logic App should look like this.



It was much easier than I expected. I really like implementing those integration projects with Logic App. It's so easy to "plug" all those APIs together with this interface. And yes like I mentioned in the introduction the result was not "great". I run test with video purely in English (even with my accent) or only in French (no mix) and the result was really good. So I think the problem is really the fact that I mix French and English. I could improve the Indexer by spending time providing files so the service could understand better my "Franglish". However, in twenty minutes, I'm really impressed by the way, in turned out. If you have idea on how to improve this solution, or if you have some questions, feel free to leave a comment. You can also watch my French YouTube video.

All the code is available online on Github - Cloud5VideoHelper.


6 ways to go from Markdown to Azure Web App

Everything started when I wanted to share a blog post in progress to someone for review. I didn't want to create a copy, and I was looking for an extremely simple way to share; like an url. This blog post is about all my journey to find that method and all the great possibilities available. I was really happy to that Azure Web App.
I'm writing in Markdown, it's a syntax I really like because it's simple no special application is required to use it. To know more about it see my previous post: Why I switch to Markdown, First VSCode Tasks in less than 5 minutes and Meet my new best friend: Visual Studio Code. The more I use it, the more I like it. I started using it not only not only for blogging, but also for all kinds of notes.


One very good thing about Markdown is the fact that is compatible with all platforms. Because of that, I keep my texts in Dropbox. Why not Google Drive or OneDrive? Because Dropbox automatically generates the HTML version so my reviewer could read it in a beautiful format. The file is share-able very easily and if authenticated my reviewer could write comment.
In the PRO version, of DropBox, you can give access only to specific user. That would be very nice for sharing files inside a business or more sensible information.
Unfortunately for me, I don't want to force my reviewer to register. Another interesting fact is that relative paths for images aren't supported. So all images/ charts need also to be share individually before added in the text.

Repositories: GitHub, Bitbucket, etc.

By default, most repositories convert markdown file to HTML so very easy to read. It's also a very good way to have a saved copy. But then you need to have a public repository or give access to people...
Only using repository was not good enough in my case because I don't wish to share unfinished work with everyone.


Option 1 - Jekyll

Jekyll is a static website generator written in Ruby. It's really well integrated to Github, and you can even host your blog in a Github repository. However, since I would prefer to keep my in progress work more private, I decided to go with Bitbucket. Bitbucket is a great repository that supports Git and Mercurial system and allowed private repositories.
We could have Jekyll in a Git repository host on Bitbucket that would be hook-up to an Azure Web App with a continuous deployment.
Here the steps:
  1. First create a private repository from Bitbucket.
  2. Clone that fresh repository on your local machine.
  3. Now it's time to create your Jekyll site.
    • If you don't have Ruby or Jekyll already installed on your machine now it's time. It's very easy just follow the instruction on the official website.
    • To create a new site, open a command prompt and type the command: jekyll new NameOfMySite then cd ./NameOfMySite and jekyll serve
    To see your new site you just need to browse to http:localhost:4000. Add your Markdown files to the folder _posts and be sure they respect the naming convention
  4. Now it's time to add all the files to our Git repository with the command git add -A, and before pushing let create a new Azure Web App.
  5. Go to a create a new Azure Web App.
    • From the top left click the "+ New" button.
    • Select Web+ Mobile, then click on Web App
    • Fill-up the name, subscription plan and click the create button.
  6. After few second, the Web App will be ready. It's time to add a continuous deployment to it.
    Note: that right now the deployment settings are FTP.
    • In the Web App blade, if not already go in the Setting section.
    • Scroll done the Settings to Continuous deployment and click on it.
    • Now choose your source control, in this case Bitbucket.
  7. It's now time to publish our site to our Remote repository with git push.
  8. In the Azure portal, you will see the deployment progress and history.
The combination Jekyll / Bitbucket / Azure Web App work great, but we need to generate the code locally and checked-in both source and generated content in the repository. Furthermore, since we need to generate the code, Ruby and Jekyll need to be installed on every machine we will be using.

Option 2 - Jekyll Extension to Azure Web App

I found a really great Azure Web App Extension Jekyll Extenstion on GitHub. That will simplify a lot the process thanks to Cory's works. To use it simple follow the four steps explain on the Github page:

  1. Create an Azure Web App 
  2. Set an App Setting for SCM_COMMAND_IDLE_TIMEOUT to 600. From the Web App blade click on Settings and select Application settings.  Add the new line, and click the save button.
  3. Install the Jekyll Site Extension
    • Always From the Web App blade click on Tools, then select Extension
    • Click Add button
    • Found and select Jekyll Extension AddJekyllExtension
  4. Now we need to hook up your Git repository or Push a local (in Azure) Git repository with your Jekyll site.
I really liked this solution. It's very simple to install. Because it used a repository, I can keep a historic of all my texts. Moreover, only the texts and images are in the repository, and since the site is generated in the cloud, no need to install anything on other machines.
Directly from Visual Studio Code, I can write my article, and when I'm read I just need to do a push (still inside VSCode). The site will automatically be built and deployed in my Azure Web App.


NancylogoWhile doing my research, I found Sandra.Snow another static site generator inspired from Jekyll but in .Net using Nancy library.
To use it, a little bit of work is required. The easiest way is to fork the Github project and compile the solution to get dlls and exes.
  • Create a new folder for your site [MySnowSite].
  • In MySnowSite folder, create another folder Sandra.Snow.Processor and copy/paste: Nancy.dll, Nancy.Testing.dll, Nancy.ViewEngines.Razor.dll and Snow.exe generated previously.
  • You can now copy the Sandra.Snow/SnowSite/Snow folder into MySnowSite folder.
  • Add deployment and deploy.cmd files from Sandra.Snow/SnowSite into MySnowSite folder.
Few changes were required in deploy.cmd (line: 29, 31, 56, 57)
@echo off

:: ----------------------
:: KUDU Deployment Script
:: ----------------------

:: Setup
:: -----

setlocal enabledelayedexpansion

SET ARTIFACTS=%~dp0%artifacts



:: Deployment
:: ----------

:: 3. Build Snow Site
echo -----
echo Start - Building the Snow Site
echo Running Snow.exe config=%DEPLOYMENT_SOURCE%\Snow\
call  %DEPLOYMENT_SOURCE%\Sandra.Snow.Processor\Snow.exe config=%DEPLOYMENT_SOURCE%\Snow\
IF !ERRORLEVEL! NEQ 0 goto error
echo Finish - Building the Snow Site
echo -----



  :: Install kudu sync
  echo Installing Kudu Sync
  call npm install kudusync -g --silent
  IF !ERRORLEVEL! NEQ 0 goto error

  :: Locally just running "kuduSync" would also work
  SET KUDU_SYNC_COMMAND=node "%appdata%\npm\node_modules\kuduSync\bin\kuduSync"

echo Kudu Sync from "%DEPLOYMENT_SOURCE%\Snow\Website" to "%DEPLOYMENT_TARGET%"
call %KUDU_SYNC_COMMAND% -q -f "%DEPLOYMENT_SOURCE%\Snow\Website" -t "%DEPLOYMENT_TARGET%" -n "%NEXT_MANIFEST_PATH%" -p "%PREVIOUS_MANIFEST_PATH%" -i ".git;.deployment;deploy.cmd" 2>nul
IF !ERRORLEVEL! NEQ 0 goto error


goto end

echo An error has occured during web site deployment.
exit /b 1

echo Finished successfully.
Like previously created a Azure Web App and hook up a Git repository or push to an Azure one. You can find a lot of information on the blog of Sandra.Snow creator Phillip Haydon.


For both Jekyll (option 2) and Sandra.Snow that used Azure Web App continuous deployment use can use Dropbox instead of Git repository. Why would you use Dropbox? Well, since Dropbox is available on any kind of platform, you would be able to write from your iPad or android tablet, or anything! To learn more about how to do it, see one of my previous post: Setup an automatic deployment on Azure with Dropbox in 5 minutes.
Just for the fun, I created one theme for Sandra.Snow that I put on GitHub: Sandra.Snow.NotesTheme, feel free to use it.


~Frank Boucher

Setup an automatic deployment on Azure with Dropbox in 5 minutes

(this post is also available in French)

This post is about creating an automatic deployment that could be used by everyone. I picked Dropbox as source control because today mostly everyone got is account. If you need one, feel free to use this invite it will gives you 500 MB of bonus space for free!

Step 1: Configure the automatic deployment

To configure the deployment, connect to the Azure management portal. Although the new portal is my favourite to manage and visualize information on websites, as I write this post the features needed for the Dropbox deployment were not yet available. We must connect to "old" portal and select the Web site. You a website is not already created you can add one using the quick create.
After selecting the site, you need to click on the option: Set the deployment from source control, which is located at the bottom right of the dashboard code.

Step 1

From the dropdown list, choose Dropbox and click the arrow. Microsoft Azure deployment will now aks you to have to access on a directory in your Dropbox account.

Step 2

Step 2: Publish Web Site

From your computer, access Dropbox. If you left the default settings, the directory should be under Apps / Azure / [dirname]. You can now copy the code, images and all other files that you need. After synchronization with DroxBox completed (the small green checks everywhere) you can return to Azure portal.

It is now time to deploy. To do this you need to click Sync.

Step 5

Once completed you'll get a message informing you that the deployment is done. You can now check the log to see the deployment steps in detail if you wish.

Step 7

The new version of your website is now available!


Deploy a blog, a static business site, a family owned site with Dropbox is so simple! It`s even better than the good old FTP, if something goes wrong, you can redeploy by one click.



Reading Notes #50




~ Frank

Reading Notes #44

They Will Bring You In The Cloud
They will bring you in the cloud.




  • 5 Tricks for a Killer Company Blog - Five simple tips to get started blogging in a business perspective.
  • Hit the Presentation Sweet Spot - Twenty minutes is very short. Maybe it is a good idea for a specific type of presentation... How do you plan a 2-3 formation?
  • Your Personal Brand as a Developer: Implementing (Part 2 of 2) (Jonathan Rozenblit) - Part 2 on an unusual topic but important. Our brand, as a person. On the internet everything is amplified and could be seen by a lot of people very quickly. A post to read "before it is too late".
  • Coping with Email Overload (Peter) - This could be a good advice for a lot of people. While I'm working on a project where co-workers are across the country I not sure I can do this but maybe tweaking it with rules for only those people.