Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I am very impressed with the output of this LecShare Pro software. The quality of the video is very good, and the process is much easier than using the other strategies that I have tried.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
- GarageBand's Podcast track -- works well, if you export PowerPoint to individual JPEGS (changing format to square image), import them one-by-one onto the Podcast track. The quality of video is marginal.
- iMovie -- works very well, but not efficient -- you also have to export PowerPoint to individual JPEGS, and then adjust length of each slide to match audio on timeline.
- PowerPoint's export to video -- which does not synchronize audio with slides unless you embed individual audio clips on each slide... then it works very well, but not very efficient. And the files are huge
- Keynote's export to QuickTime -- same issue as PowerPoint (embed audio in each slide), but much slower process and QuickTime clip doesn't have controller at the bottom (not sure if there is a setting I am missing)
- ProfCast -- which only allows live recording ($30) which might work for some, but I like to edit my iPod recordings before adding the slides.
- LecShare Pro -- which is the most promising so far, but slow and quirky - it works with PowerPoint, saves its coding into the PowerPoint file or the audio file. That tool also lets you convert these slide shows to accessible HTML and uses both pre-recorded audio or lets you record directly in the program for each slide.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
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.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
For the last 10 days, I have been on a cruise, from Ft. Lauderdale to Seattle (yes, through the Panama Canal... it was incredible). The technology for supporting the virtual presentation above has been a challenge. I tried three times to create a DVD in PAL format. For some reason, iDVD kept freezing, so I compressed the video with the best quality and uploaded a 1.6 GB MOV file to my server.
I also sent a data DVD to the conference organizers before I left. The conference presentation is actually in Finland on Friday afternoon (early morning for me, off the coast of Mexico between Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas). I had a challenging time getting the right telephone number to receive a phone call in my room (and I'm still not sure of exact GMT). So, if I get a phone call, that will work. Otherwise, I am inviting any conference participants to either send me an email with their questions or post a comment to this blog entry.
Why not use Skype? Because the cruise line blocks all voice connections over Skype, they say because of bandwidth issues. Their Internet access is by satellite. Also, my Internet access costs me 25 cents per minute. I bought a plan for 500 minutes when I got on the ship the day I arrived. That has worked OK for eMail and the occasional travel blog entry. I am averaging a half hour a day. At one port, I was able to get Internet access for $6/hour, and was able to have a Skype conversation with my daughter in Budapest.
On my Mediterranean cruise last year, I used iWeb for my 2006 travel blog. I had a lot of trouble with uploading the files to my .Mac account over the slow satellite connection. This year I am not taking as many pictures or any shore excursions, so I decided to take a simpler approach, setting up another Blogger blog. I do have two hours of video of the day we crossed the Panama Canal. Some of it is as interesting as watching paint dry (or water raise up by gravity feed, or lock gates open/close), but I should be able to edit it down to the key scenes.