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EthanBedwyr
11-08-2004, 09:46 AM
I'd like to distribute some of my videos via the Web. I've been messing with the Distribution Wizard, but I haven't found an ideal distribution type for the job. My videos incorporate MP3 audio that uses Streaming Media Objects. The current structure of my videos has the MP3 files in a separate \Audio folder under the folder that holds the DBDs.

My question is, what's the best way to distribute my videos for viewing on the Web, while still including the streaming MP3s? I'm also considering packaging the videos for use as a download (as opposed to using DemoNow or something), but I'd prefer to have them run without a download, if possible. Which distribution types can I use, and how will I incorporate the MP3s?

Thanks in advance.

Chandy Navarata
11-10-2004, 12:59 PM
What type of videos are you planning to distribute?

EthanBedwyr
11-10-2004, 03:29 PM
I guess by "videos" I mean "demos". These are multimedia tutorials originally created to train our users how to use our software. Some of them are brief enough, basic enough and broad enough in subject matter that they can double as feature demonstrations for use in a sales-type presentation.

Currently, we distribute these demos on our installation CD-ROMs. They can be played from the CDs or installed into a folder below our products' program folder. They can also be invoked from their corresponding topics in the online Help built into our software.

The demos are typically comprised of between one and ten scenes, each scene usually containing one automation resource near the lowest layer plus and text and shapes overlaying the automations that depict our programs in use.

Chandy Navarata
11-10-2004, 04:41 PM
Based on your description, you could choose either DemoX or DemoNow to distribute your demos on the web. Both mechanisms allow you to stream MP3 files. Have you tried either one of them?

EthanBedwyr
11-10-2004, 05:14 PM
Thanks for responding so quickly.

Yes, I've tried both DemoX and DemoNow. They work relatively well (at least when using IE), but I'm not sure how the streaming MP3s are supposed to be incorporated, and I'm getting no sound in either case.

I didn't figure the distribution wizard would automatically package the files used by streaming media objects contained in the demos, but I had hoped that maybe the wizard would prompt me for the locations of said files, or something, and then create the appropriate directory structure in the build location. But that's apparently not how it works.

The streaming media objects for the MP3s use a path of
<path>Audio\(MP3NAME.MP3)<path>. So I thought maybe by creating a folder called \Audio inside the Web folder containing the packaged demo, and placing the required MP3s inside the \Audio folder, the sound would play. This didn't work, either.

Chandy Navarata
11-11-2004, 12:43 AM
You need to provide an URL to the Streaming Media Object if you wish to distribute your demo on the web such as:

http://www.mycompany.com/mydemos/chapter1/audio/blah.mp3

Do you plan to distribute the same demo in other mediums?

EthanBedwyr
11-11-2004, 10:05 AM
Aha. I can't believe I didn't think to try that. That works, we have audio now, thanks. :)

However... on a related topic...

My demos include sound and text, which are synchronous when the videos are run from a hard disk. It takes some effort to get them that way, of course, but after the sound has been recorded I readjust the timing of all components (including the automation and the text objects) so that the sound and the text would occur simultaneously if the user could use both. In our testing versions, we use both sound and text.

In the Web versions of these videos, I had also thought to allow both sound and text since I wasn't going to post the front end that lets the user choose which they prefer.

But the text is lagging way behind the sound. The streaming MP3s seem to work quite nicely, almost in perfect sync with the automation itself. But the first several text objects never appear at all, and when the text objects do start to appear, they're lagging behind their corresponding sounds. By the end of the video, the timing of the text objects has about synced up with the audio.

Any ideas about what might be causing this disparity, and what I can do to correct it?

Thanks again for all your help. :)

P. S. - To answer your question, I've made copies of the original versions of these demos and modified the copies for use on the Web. The originals will still be installable from our product installation CD-ROMs, or can be run directly from the CD-ROMs. There are no plans at this time to expand to any other distribution methods, and in truth the purpose of placing these on the Web is a separate objective from the other uses. Placing them on the Web is intended to be used to demonstrate some of the features of our products.

Chandy Navarata
11-11-2004, 11:58 AM
Would it be possible to send me a copy of your demo so I can further investigate this? Please email it to cnavaratan@macrovision.com if its over 1 MB.

EthanBedwyr
11-11-2004, 12:49 PM
I'll attach it here, thanks. The DBD is under 200k.

Chandy Navarata
11-11-2004, 01:09 PM
I dont see any text objects with effects or motions assigned to it. If you were to include all the sound in a zip file including the demo, how big would that be? Wondering if you can send all of that to me.

EthanBedwyr
11-11-2004, 01:52 PM
There are plenty of text objects, as you can see. The motions are provided by the automation, which runs near the lowest layer.

There is nothing concrete binding the motions to the text objects; they're just timed to coincide perfectly (and to coincide with the MP3 sounds).

I've attached a new zip file with the MP3 files included, per your request.

davidlutz
11-18-2004, 05:24 PM
Hi.

I thought my problem was related to this one, so thought I'd post it here. Sorry if it's in the wrong place!

We have just upgraded from V6 to V8, so the streaming media function is new to me. I can't get it to work! :-(

If I put in a fixed path for the .wmv file, it works fine. However, I can't seem to get the <path>file<path> function to work.

To keep it simple, the .wmv file is in the root of the folder of the project I'm building. I start the designer from that location. It just won't play (I think I'll take my bat and ball and go home:-( ).

Can anyone take pity on a V8 novice and help me out here?

Thanks in advance.

Chandy Navarata
11-18-2004, 05:28 PM
The <path> token represents the location of the DemoShield Player (demo32.exe). Do you have the DBD in the same location?

davidlutz
11-18-2004, 06:56 PM
It is now! :-) I copied demo32.exe into the same directory as my project and started it there. I then selected the project file and it came up, but the .wmv file still doesn't play.

I used <path>1.wmv<path>

Is there a way to display the current variable data stored in <path>??

(thanks for your quick reply, by the way!)

Chandy Navarata
11-19-2004, 12:00 PM
No but can you post a screenshot of the Object's property dialog? Switch to the Object Styles tab before you take a screenshot.

EthanBedwyr
11-22-2004, 04:36 PM
...so Chandy, any ideas about why the text isn't playing when it's supposed to when I run the demo over the Web?

I'd suspect Internet latency if not for the fact that the MP3s stream just fine, and surely they're much larger than the resource(s) used for a handful of text objects. As it stands now, I wonder if it's not just a deficiency of Demo32.exe that's causing this.

Chandy Navarata
11-22-2004, 05:20 PM
Sorry, I lost your question because of another posting on the same thread.

I tried publishing your demo via DemoX and didnt notice any issues with the playback. It might be helpful if you can send me the URL to your DemoX demo.

EthanBedwyr
11-23-2004, 12:00 PM
Ok, I'll PM you the URL (we're going to end up going with DemoNow, however, since the demo is 800x600 and we don't want users to have to scroll around if their desktops are 800x600).