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  1. #1
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    Powerpoint & Windows Media Player (any)

    I honestly don't know where else to post this on the forum. Can the following project be accomplished in Windows Media Player? If so, are there good references books/URLs to help me through the process? If WMP isn't a good solution for this, what might be?

    HERE'S THE PROJECT: I would like to take some existing PowerPoint classroom presentations (or something equivalent) and synch them with audio, making them available on my web site. Alternatively, in some cases I already have tapes from teachers and lecturers (now deceased) for which I would like to do the opposite -- create a PowerPoint-like presentation and synch it to existing audio. (The audio, of course, would be converted from cassette tape to WMA format.) It seems to me like I've seen this done in WMA or WMV format, but I can't think where.

    Any suggestions along these lines? Thanks in advance.

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    Re: Powerpoint & Windows Media Player (any)

    If you are combining audio with video for delivery on the web then I would suggest using a tool like Macromedia Flash to do a task like this. If you use Flash, you can export your slides to EMF for importing into Flash presentation.

    I'm sure there will be cheaper solutions but the resulting file sizes is going to be a common problem. Other solutions will likely produce much larger files because the graphics will be rasterised as video. Flash can make the video with Vector graphics and so the file sizes will be a lot better for Web delivery.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  3. #3
    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Powerpoint & Windows Media Player (any)

    The best product I've worked with for putting PPT presentations (with audio) on the web is Impatica http://www.impatica.com/. Simple to use with good results. Unfortunately, it isn't cheap.
    Others probably can list some different resources for you.
    I gather that the second part of your question is whether you can use WMA format as audio in a presentation? Or am I misinterpreting?
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
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    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Powerpoint & Windows Media Player (any)

    There is always Swish http://www.swishzone.com. They have a free time-limited download. I've used it in the past, before I bought Flash and thought it was a useful tool.
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
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    Re: Powerpoint & Windows Media Player (any)

    Andrew and Catherine,

    Thanks for your input and feedback.

    1) As far as Andrew's suggestion: I had hoped to learn Flash at some point in the next year or so, but would hate to delay this process while I climb the learning curve. It sounds like I would have to re-create all the existing slides. Is that the case?

    2) Catherine's first suggestion: Impatica looks promising, but nowhere do I see a price posted. It reminds me of an anecdote about J.D. Rockefeller. At a boat show one time, a passerby, wanting to strike up a conversation, motioned toward a yacht on display and said, "How much do you suppose that costs?" To which JDF replied, "If you have to ask, you can't afford it."

    3) Catherine's second suggestion: It turns out that the Swish folks have a new product in beta called Swish Presenter, which exists to convert PowerPoint presentations into Flash files. Whether it also converts PP audio remains to be seen, but I'll call Swish tomorrow and see what I can learn.

    As for the audio files: they can be in whatever format they need to be. I was just mentioning WMA because I was thinking in terms of Windows Media Player at the time I wrote my question.

    Any further thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, even though WMP may not be the best tool for this project, does anyone know where I can get more information about producing something WMV?

  6. #6
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    Re: Powerpoint & Windows Media Player (any)

    PowerPoint is not the best tool for this.

    As others have mentioned, Flash converters are a good alternative. Articulate is my favorite. Impatica converts to Java, but it may be a good alternative as well. I did a quick Google search for the words impatica price, and it seems to be -- or at least it was -- in the $300 range, but that may have changed. (I only looked at a couple of the links.)

    Here's a link to some links to third-party alternatives. (See the PPT to Flash section.) http://www.echosvoice.com/autoruncdlinks.htm I need to update this list because I know it's missing some and some are no longer available, but I can't find the other list that I know someone-or-other maintains. The Swish Presenter you mention sounds interesting. I'll have to look into it and add it.

    Techsmith's Camtasia might be worth a look as well. You can run your presentation, capture it using Camtasia, and output as video or SWF or whatever. http://www.techsmith.com/

    Finally, there's Movie Maker (free download from MS for Windows -- this latest version requires Windows XP SP-2). If your slides have a lot of animation, this isn't a good alternative. But if you're using mostly photos or static text, it's a good option. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloa...oviemaker2.mspx

    Oh, wait, there's also Producer, another free download from MS (requires PPT 2002 or 2003) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...;displaylang=en

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    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Powerpoint & Windows Media Player (any)

    I just got a reply back to my request for an Impatica price quote. "Impatica for PowerPoint is priced commercially at $1,499.00" Canadian dollars.
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
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    Re: Powerpoint & Windows Media Player (any)

    Wow. That's a far cry from $300 in anybody's dollars!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Powerpoint & Windows Media Player (any)

    Yeah - I was looking for my <img src=/S/ouch.gif border=0 alt=ouch width=15 height=15> smilie!
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
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