September 06, 2007
Camtasia Recording - Training Faculty
We wanted an audio podcast for an instructor and decided to train him. The first trouble we ran into was the size of the mp3 file that the Camtasia timeline export produces: 80Mb for 2 hours.
Without adding steps the only way to do this was to create a custom production profile. 11.025kHz, Mono, 16kBits/sec made the two hour lecture about 10Mb in size. This was good enough for CTools upload.
The quick-start guide for the instructor needs to improve:
Currently: Well illustrated; 3 pages long; single section
Improvements: 1 page; sectioned (prep, post-class)
February 23, 2006
The rss.cfm script went live. This is a script that picks up mixed media from an afs directory and generates a podcast.
Media Types Supported: mp3, aac, m4v, mp4, m4a, m4b
Takes two URL parameters to locate the media: course ID (e.g. HBHED654) and semester (e.g.W06)
- these two parameters are the directories created under 'podcast', however these have to be valid courses listed under course database with a valid instructor
- No error handling for cases where course description or instructor query fails - need to add defaults.
- The title for PDFs is coming out to be "Lecture Audio for..." - this needs fixing.
February 13, 2006
Rodney McPhail of the Dept. of Biological Science, Purdue University has reviewed a product in his blog: Pod Podagogy.
The product is iPresent for Mac only. This manages creation of slideshows and managing them on the iPod for slideshow presentations. PPT, Keynote and PDFs are supported.
THIS IS NOT ENHANCED PODCASTS as my first impression was. But anyways, good to learn about a new professor, a new product and a new blog at the same time.
There are other cool software at http://www.zapptek.com/index.html for making your iPod into a PDA, document tex-to-speech etc.
January 29, 2006
Update: UpLoad.cfm Created
UpLoad.cfm form has been created and tested locally on the lab's dev server (not the SPH dev server).
This form could be modified to create upload forms for various stages of processing. Especially to send audio for processing to the video lab before it becomes a podcast.
so... pbbly create a RawUplaod.cfm from this file later.
The features of this cool code are:
1. Mime-type restriction for upload
2. File size restriction for the uploaded file so that it doesn't kill the server or anything.
Drawback: The mime-type checking is done on the server after the upload - this is not a major problem as such, because its not that it checks file size after upload. Its just the mime type. However, the question is - what if some-one gets a malicious file with wav/mp3 extention to upload?
In that case, we have to make sure that this page is restricted to authorized users only.
1. Create a processing page for adding metadata to the file on upload. Not in the same form, because there shouldn't be a frustrating situation where the upload failed and all the entered metadata needs to be entered again. That would frustrate people. However, we don't want the uploaded file to be orphaned if there was no data entry on the metadata page - so update the database with the filename, date of creation, Coursename, length (size in bytes) values. The AddMetadata page will then take over.
2. AddMetadata Page: Update the record created in the previous page with additional Metadata. Give choice of loading fields from a set template and then doing only minor changes. Also, ability to add searchable text from a powerpoint file is a great idea. The rtf export of the powerpoint slide, with demarcated slide numbers. This might be a little too ambitious.... but, well!
Coldfusion Podcasting Solution: Revival
On Friday, the 27th, I was able to retrieve and test the old coldfusion code from last year, which spews out a RSS feed into the browser. Still waiting for the Coldfusion development server to be Fixed. It seems like it is on their January To-Do list. Hopefully once that is up, this derailed project will take off and we can serve some podcasts - piping hot.
Also, the original idea behind the diracaster.php script was to get something working since the coldfusion dev server was down. Now that it will come up, we will no longer need the php script and the lands can rejoice in coldfusioness again.