Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Convert narrated slide shows

I am starting to use my iPod and Belkin microphone to record my presentations at conferences & workshops. I am experimenting with strategies to turn these presentations (primarily in PowerPoint) into video so that I can post them on my website. I started using GarageBand last fall, converting each slide into JPEGs and importing them into the Podcast track in GarageBand. I wasn't happy with the final quality of the video, although the result looked fine on an iPod: here is my half-hour keynote at the ePortfolio conference in Oxford, England last fall:

Earlier this month, I presented a closing keynote address to a conference in Finland while I was on a cruise (I sent them a DVD with the keynote presentation, and called them from the cruise ship for Q&A after the presentation was over). Since the keynote contained many examples of digital stories, I recorded the audio with SoundStudio and used iMovie to put together the video, inserting full DV versions of each story in between my slides (converted to JPEG) with audio narration inserted. I was pleased with the quality of the videos, although I thought the slides were grainy.

I am looking for better ways to automate this process. When I search the Internet for software to convert PowerPoint to video, I find mostly Windows software. I know we have ADE licenses for Impatica for PowerPoint, although it converts PowerPoint into web pages - I do not see a video option.

I also downloaded a new product called LecShare Pro (with a Mac version!) which converts PowerPoint slide shows into these different formats: QuickTime, MPEG-4, Accessible HTML, Microsoft Word, audio only. Last night, I took the audio from the 45 minute keynote from a session that I did in Hong Kong in March, synchronized the audio clip with the slides and converted the whole thing into several formats. Since I have not registered the software ($69), there is a watermark on all of the slides, but it shows what is possible. The audio is also not compressed in the trial version, so the file is really too large to post on the Internet. But the process of synchronizing the audio to the slides was fairly straightforward, once I got started. The software worked directly with PowerPoint, but was pretty slow opening and saving files.

The software also allows recording audio directly, slide by slide, into a file. This option might work very nicely with ePortfolios created in PowerPoint. Students could do audio reflections on their portfolios with this tool, then convert them for either WWW, DVD or CD publishing.

I am looking for more Macintosh software that will help me take my audio clips and my slides, and put them together into different output formats.

6 comments:

Rebecca Fiedler said...

I wonder if Profcast would do the trick for you. It's only $30 and designed for the Mac.

Helen Barrett said...

Thanks! I'd already downloaded that program, so I looked at it again. It looks like it is designed to record a presentation live, but does not appear to let me use a pre-recorded audio file (from my iPod).

monicaca said...

I know only a windows proram called PPT2DVD can convert powerpoint to video.http://www.ppt-to-dvd.com
but I didn't try this Mac tool .
I'll download it and have try. Thank you!

Fendalton said...

Hi Helen, PowerPoint can convert to QuickTime. Then you could drop the file into GarageBand and put the narration over it, or do it just in iMovie?

Hope this helps.

Rob

Helen Barrett said...

PowerPoint alone doesn't provide the variety of output formats that I got from the integration with LecShare. Here is my portfolio (http://electronicportfolios.org/myportfolio/LecShare/index.html) and a video that I put online in several formats (http://electronicportfolios.org/portfolios/HongKong/index.html). Exporting slides to iMovie is just too cumbersome.

Blair said...

You may also use Powerpoint's narration feature, to create a movie. The movie will be HUGE. But, that and then use Quicktime Pro and export as a MPEG-4 (set for 1 FPS) and the file size will be reasonable.