CheatSheet for LecShare Pro
Begun 3/29/07 Steven W. Gilbert
All other contributions, amendments welcome!
I've just begun using LecShare Pro - recommended by Norm Coombs - and I'm VERY excited about some of its capabilities and features.
- Basically, it supports attaching audio files to PowerPoint slideshows.
- It is VERY easy to use. It is inexpensive.
- It almost forces the user to make the result accessible to those who use screen reader software and/or have visual disabilities.
- It enables automatic production of several different versions in a variety of useful formats for display and use on the Web or distribution.
Help files for LecShare can be found at http://www.lecshare.com/help/index.html
Steve -- for newbies like me, we might want to include a basic intro on all our CheatSheets that included answers to questions like: 1. How much does it cost? 2. Where do I get it? 3. How much memory will it take on my machine (if any)? 4. Any danger of it bringing in viruses? 5. Maybe-- we want to give it a "learning curve" ranking -- easy climb, moderate grade, steep?? (BH) Great suggestions Bonnie! (swg)
However, like most software, I'm finding I need to learn a few "little" things to enable me to use it smoothly and quickly. Hence, I'm beginning another of our CheatSheets - as a Google Docs document so others can help develop this. The goal is NOT to reproduce help and FAQ services avail from LecShare. But we can provide a summary (list) of what issues are covered in the HELP material. See Google Docs format. (BH) yes! Ideally, I'd like to end up with a version of this CheatSheet that can easily be printed on a single standard sheet of paper for easy reference. I hope you will try LecShare, and add your own findings and recommendations to this CheatSheet.
PS: I'm including Greg Kraus from LecShare as a collaborator on this document because he has already been so helpful enabling me to produce MP3 files!
Questions (Post a Questions here:)
- Question: Should we include info here about using LecShare Pro to produce a file that can be uploaded into YouTube and what then becomes possible?
See examples of YouTube usage based on export file results from LecShare Pro : http://www.tltgroup.org/TLT5.htm#Learning%20Space
E.g., You can use the exported MP4 file NOT the QuickTime HTM file...
Here's what the code for an inserted "screen" from YouTube looks like - can be pasted almost anywhere on a Web page; size is determined by the 2 pairs of numbers and to change the size you should change both sets in the same way at the same time (e.g., from two pairs of 400 & 300 to two pairs of 300 & 280; try to keep the ratio about the same)
- Here's a sample of a link to the file in YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjeJZEpegac00
- Here's a sample of the code to insert to get the little screen to show up on the iVoc "this week" page (smaller screen than last time - on purpose)
<object width="300" height="280"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZjeJZEpegac"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZjeJZEpegac" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="300" height="280"></embed></object>
Safety First - Changing Slides, Audio AFTER Creating Slideshow with LecShare Pro
Safest way to make changes in individual slides or individual audio clips AFTER using LecShare Pro to create a synchronized slideshow seems to be
1. start with a fresh PPT file
2. make changes to individual slides - including deleting and re-ordering as well as adding new ones
3. edit any audio clips that are going to be imported/synchronized
4. begin using LecShare Pro. Open the PPT file. Import any new versions of the audio to the specific slides.
What LecShare Pro does to/with audio
When you begin to create a new LecShare Pro audio-narrated slideshow, the first step is to open a PowerPoint file from within LecShare Pro (> File > Open). When LecShare Pro opens that file, it automatically creates a new file with the same name as that PowerPoint file, but with the extension ".mov" instead of ".ppt". The new file is automatically placed in the same folder as the original PowerPoint file. From this moment forward, all editing info and adjustments made by using LecShare Pro are stored as modifications to the .mov file and/or the .ppt files with the same name. Regardless of whether you record new audio within LecShare Pro or import audio files from elsewhere for this new narrated slideshow, the sound that will be heard by anyone "playing" the resulting slideshow is stored within that .mov file.
Note: seems that there are only 2 import options: One file for the entire slideshow OR one file for one slide. I don't think it is possible to import one audio for 3 slides... but ...???
Clearing Changes that LecShare Pro Makes to a PowerPoint File
As soon as you begin taking any action at all with LecShare Pro after using it to open a PowerPoint file, it begins making modifications to that file. If you might want to do something else with that PPT file, it is a good idea to make a copy of it which you save in a different folder. To be completely safe, save it with a different name. Do that BEFORE you begin using LecShare Pro on it. [Greg: Maybe LecShare Pro should remind/prompt users to do this or make it happen automatically as part of the process of opening that PPT ]file.
There is a "Clear PowerPoint" option under the "Edit" menu in LecShare Pro. Click on that and choose which of the kinds of info that were created by LecShare Pro WITHIN that PPT file should be removed. If you clear everything, the PPT file returns to its original condition (truly?).
Being Careful About Synchronization of PowerPoint and .mov files
LecShare Pro modifies the PPT file and creates a .mov file so that each includes info that is essential to the synchronized result.
Therefore, doing anything likely to change that info in one of the files without changing the other accordingly can disrupt the synchronization (and changing the location or name of one of the files will also be disruptive). This means that making changes to either file OUTSIDE of LecShare Pro can be risky. LecShare Pro can detect when the .mov file is no longer located where it was originally and LecShare Pro tries to guide the user to find that file in its new location and enable LecShare Pro to remake the connection. NOTE: The user may find that LecShare Pro SEEMS to be asking to locate an audio file with a peculiar name - but what it really wants is the location of that original .mov file. (truly?)
Multiple Versions of Presentations
- Each a modification of the same original PowerPoint file with different narration
If you know ahead of time that you are going to be making multiple versions of a presentation, each with different audio, it would be best to make a copy of the PPT file before adding any audio. You could add the accessibility info in first, save it and make copies of it, then open each one to add in the appropriate audio files.
Finding Individual Audio Clips Associated with Each Slide
Whenever you decide to create the files that enable others to "play" this slideshow, you use the > file > export options. If you select the "HTML" as one of options for export (you can have LecShare Pro export as many of the 4 options as you like at the same time!), then LecShare Pro will create an individual mp4 file for each audio clip that has been recorded or imported for each slide. I.e., if you have 18 slides and each has some audio via your work in LecShare Pro, then within the folder labeled "audio" buried down in the folder labeled "html" there will be 18 mp4 files numbered from 1 to 18. Those numbers indicate which slide that audio clip is synchronized with.
Editing audio files for LecShare Pro
You can use the conversion technique described below to change the MP4 files that you find within the "audio" folder within the exported "html" folder into MP3 files. Audacity (free, moderately easy to use, effective audio editing software) can then be used to edit the MP3 versions. If you now return to LecShare Pro, open the same PowerPoint file within the same location that you were working on already (so that LecShare Pro finds both the PPT and MOV files in the same folder) you can now go to any individual slide and import the edited MP3 audio file. LecShare Pro seems equally adept at importing audio files in either MP3 or MP4 for this purpose. LecShare Pro will automatically adjust timing so that the new audio file imported for a specific slide will have that slide displayed while that audio clip is being heard - no shorter, no longer. The audio that had previously been saved for that slide within the MOV file will be deleted and replaced by this process.
NOTE: Converting the MOV file itself into an MP3 file produces a complete audio-only version of the slideshow - suitable for use in podcasting, etc.
Revising a Slideshow Already Created Using LecShare Pro
To avoid some messiness, put the PowerPoint slides in a new folder with a name different from the folder in which the LecShare-created files have been stored. Move or copy into this new folder any audio files that you intend to import into the new version of the slideshow. My guess is that to be really safe, only use audio files that are MP3 or Wave format. I'm going to try to learn more about the requirements for minor modifications so that I won't have to go through this entire re-development effort.
Converting audio produced when using LecShare into MP3 format using iTunes
It can be difficult to find and use ONLY the audio portion of some of the files created when you export the final result of your work in LecShare Pro. If you need an audio-only MP3 format file version of your work for any reason, this clever use of a well-hidden feature of iTunes will do the job! (Thanks to Greg Kraus from LecShare for this info E.g., for use in a "traditional" audio-only podcast; e.g., put the MP3 file on the Web and insert a link to that file in the title area of a Blogger blog posting to automatically create a podcast available in iTunes, etc. - requires setting up Blogger, iTunes account, use of FeedBurner, etc.)
iTunes can do an mp3 conversion
- Open iTunes on your own computer
- Go to: Edit > Preferences > Advanced
- Click on the “Importing” tab
[This will allow you to see the “Convert Selection to MP3” option later.]
USING ITUNES CONVERSION TO MP3 CAPABILITY
- Copy audio recording file produced by/within LecShare Pro [see below for hints about finding, identifying this file.]
- Open iTunes
- Open to the Music section of iTunes - where your own music and other audio-only files are listed within iTunes
- Select: File > Import
- Browse to the copy of the audio recording file that you made
- Select the copy. Import it into iTunes.
- The name of the copy should now appear in your list of music/audio files within iTunes.
- Right click on the name of that file WITHIN your iTunes music/audio list.
- Select & click on the “Convert Selection to MP3”
- That should produce another copy of the same file within your iTunes music/audio list.
- Make sure you can tell which of the 2 versions is the MP3 version (when you look at "info" about the file it will probably say something about mpeg format and have a numeral "3" somewhere in the info. It will definitely NOT be the same format as the audio file that you copied.)
- Copy this new file.
- Paste this file wherever you want to save it on your own computer.
- Check its properties to be sure it is now an MP3 file - it most likely now has an " .mp3 " extension, and that is confirmation enough!
NOTE: The only slightly tricky aspect of this process is identifying the correct audio file within the stuff that LecShare Pro can produce as byproducts when you use it to Export to several different kinds of files.
The audio file you are seeking for this purpose is obviously NOT already an MP3 file!
Most likely it is an " .mov " file. But it is NOT a .mov file that is a full QuickTime movie.
To find the correct .mov file, try this: If your original PowerPoint file is called “biology.ppt”, there should be a file called
“biology.mov” in the same folder; that 2nd file is created automatically and immediately when you BEGIN to work on the selected PowerPoint file within LecShare Pro.
It's a treat to be working with you!
Here's my attempt to convert our most recent exchange into something we can put in the "CheatSheet". Pls answer my indicated questions and change anything I've misinterpreted or misrepresented.
I love the questions. It helps us clarify where we need to refine the
editing process so that it is more intuitive.
The audio synchronization screen is admittedly probably the least
intuitive part of the whole LecShare Pro process. There are some minor
enhancements being made to it in a very near release.
> My guess is that when I import a large audio file for
> synchronization with all slides, the process does not actually cut out
> any of the audio file. Rather, there is probably some technique by
> which LecShare Pro assigns numbers to the audio and a pair of numbers
> to each slide.
LSP = LecShare Pro
IMPORTING AND SYNCHRONIZING AUDIO IN LecShare PRO
Click on Audio pull down menu;
Click on Import
Click on Whole Presentation
Find and click on the audio file that you want to import and use
Click on Audio pull down menu;
Click on Synchronize
When you import audio for the entire presentation at once all of the
audio is stored in slide 1. The time stamps you see just below the image
of that slide
in the "Synchronize Audio" tray indicates what
portion of the audio is assigned to each slide. Each slide will eventually
have 2 time stamps displayed:
the top one indicates the time in seconds from the beginning of the
entire audio to the beginning of the audio clip that plays during the
display of this individual slide;
the second time stamp - below the first - for a slide indicates the time
in seconds from the beginning of the entire audio to the END of the audio
clip that plays during the display of this individual slide;
Just after importing,
slide 1 will have a time stamp of 00:00:00 and a time stamp showing how
long the movie is.
The easiest way (the simple method) to divide the audio clip is to
clear all the time stamps first.
Click on "Clear" button.
The matching or time assignment process is making a record of the
CURRENT location of a pointer within the audio file and assigning that
location to a slide as the time at which that slide will be beginning
to be displayed or ending its display interval. The CURRENT location of
that pointer is indicated by the numeric reading that is displayed within
the small window just below the right-most slide image in the slide tray.
When you double click on a slide (NOT on either of the numbers showing at
the bottom left corner of the picture of a slide) , LSP will assign the
CURRENT LOCATION IN THE AUDIO FILE to that slide as the STARTING TIME for
the display of that slide. Usually the audio player is playing
when you do this, but it doesn't have to be.
When you double click on a slide LecShare Pro will automatically assign the
time stamp to have that slide start displaying at that number of seconds after
the beginning of the whole audio.
To start things off, double click on slide 1 - that will assign the time stamp
of "00:00:00" and **the audio will start playing.**
When the audio gets to the point you want slide 2 to display, double click slide 2.
LSP will automatically assign the end time to slide 1, and the start time for
slide 2 - DIFFERING ONLY BY .001 SECONDS.
Continue this through all the slides.
FIXING TIMING MISALIGNMENTS
If you mess up, move the audio player LOCATION back some and
double click on the slide again. You
will be prompted to overwrite the current time stamp
<<GREG, I NEED SOME HELP HERE ABOUT "OVERWRITE"
- AND WHAT THE EDITING OPTIONS OF "ALWAYS OVERWRITE" AND
"ALWAYS DELETE" REFER TO. THANKS.>>
After you double
click on the last slide to assign the start time, you can choose "Done"
and the ending time stamp will automatically be assigned to the last
slide for you.
If the starting and ending times of adjacent slides get misaligned,
you can try to move the audio player back (by moving the slider and/or using the
"play" and "pause" buttons) then click the second of the two slides.
You can also try clicking on the exit time for the first slide to reassign it.
<<GREG, I don't understand the preceding sentence>>
If the preceding steps do not work to remedy the misalignment, unfortunately,
you have to press "Cancel" and start the synchronization process over again.
AUDIO TIME SYNCHRONIZATION "ADVANCED METHOD"
The advanced method lets you decide exactly when a slide starts AND STOPS
displaying. The simple method automatically makes the end time for one
slide come immediately before the start time of the next slide.
For the advanced method, say for example you have a lot of dead space
between a slide change and you want to get rid of it. You could assign a
start time for slide 1 to be 00:00:00 and an end time to be 00:25:00.
You could then make the start time of slide 2 be 00:28:00. If you do that
LSP will drop those 3 seconds between the end of slide 1 and the start of
slide 2. That 3 second audio span literally gets deleted.
Slide 1 goes straight to slide 2 with no dead space.
**To assign explicit start and end times for each slide, double click on
the start or end time stamp rather than the image of the slide.**
<<THERE WAS SOMETHING IN SOME OF THE DOCUMENTATION THAT SEEMED TO DISTINGUISH
BETWEEN SINGLE- AND DOUBLE-CLICKING. IS THAT SIGNIFICANT? IF SO, WHEN
SHOULD WE DO SINGLE VS. DOUBLE? ALSO DOES IT REALLY NOT MATTER AT ALL
WHETHER THE AUDIO IS PLAYING OR PAUSED WHEN WE CLICK ON ANY OF THESE THINGS?>>
The "pause" "play" or "stop" buttons control the playing of the audio.
These are there for convenience and are not necessary.
<NOT NECESSARY FOR ANYTHING?>
They enable you to stop the audio playback if needed. They are actually there to
assist with accessibility needs.
CLICKING "OK" when doing synchronization will reassign the audio clips to
the various slides as you've
assigned in the synchronization window up to that moment.
If there are any audio
segments not assigned to a slide they will be deleted (as in the
example with the 3 seconds of dead space). The file is saved at this
time as well and the changes are made permanent.
Before clicking "OK" none of the time assignments are permanent and
they will disappear if the file is closed in any way BEFORE clicking on "OK"