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In Adobe Connect Essential Training, author Tim Plumer, Jr. explains how to deliver and host interactive web meetings, webinars, and e-learning tutorials using Adobe Connect. The course covers the software's many tools for streamlining communication and engaging participants, such as the screen sharing, full-screen, and whiteboard features. Also included are tutorials on recording presentations, video conferencing, and using Connect with an iPhone or Android-based smartphone. Exercise files accompany the course.
At the heart of Adobe Connect is the Flash Media Server, and if you are not familiar with that, basically it's a streaming server that can stream information from a Web server out to the Flash player, and that's why Connect uses the Flash Player as its platform. To take advantage of that, there are two file types that you can upload into a Share Pod that allow you to stream media to your audience. The first is MP3, and we'll go ahead and we'll share an MP3 file. So Share Document > Browse My Computer, among the files that you have from the Exercise Files set, you'll find an MP3 file called, simply, Podcast. Click Open.
And this is great, especially if you have somebody's speech that you want to present, but they're not available or it's a famous speech or something like that exists as an MP3, you can upload it into the Share Pod, and it really doesn't look like much is happening here, except that you do have a set of player controls down here at the bottom. Now before I play it, it's always a good practice to go ahead and rename the pod, Podcast1.mp3, not a very useful name, so we are going to call this, Company radio ad concept, from which we actually made a podcast.
Now I'm going to go ahead and play it -- (Audio Playing) And pause it. I am in control, so I can play it and pause it, and the nice thing about this is by putting this in a great big Share Pod like this, I can activate my Drawing tools and we can start to take some notes about this. So I am just going to use the Text tool to say, there, At 4 seconds, turn the volume down. So I'll continue play to. (Audio Playing) And there you go.
It's a pretty simple thing. It's sort of like a little MP3 player right here inside Connect that you can use to share information in the form of music or audio or speech or whatever with your audience, and then by being able to draw on it, it actually takes it a little step further, because you can use it as a review tool. Now I am going to stop the sharing here. The other type of media that you can add to your Share pod is an FLV file, so I'll go ahead and choose one of those, and I have provided an FLV file for you.
It's called Short Ad Video. Click Open, and while it's uploading, I want to mention that FLV is a video file format that is designed specifically for the Web. Adobe designed it to be a streaming format that retains quality while reducing file size, et cetera. The reason that we have to use it is because again, the Connect Server is based on the Flash Media Server and the Flash Media Server can serve FLV directly. If you don't have an FLV file, then you'll want to get some help from a video expert to convert your files to FLV before you put them up in a Share Pod, because you can't put an MOV or any other movie file type into the Share Pod directly, you can only do it with FLV.
Once it's uploaded, you can go ahead and click Play. (Video Playing) And just like any other streaming video service, you can go ahead and play this for your audience and they can watch what you're doing. When you Pause it, they pause, when you change the volume, their volume changes. And again, like with the MP3, I can go ahead and click on Draw and mark the document up. So if I'm concerned about the color of these roses, I can stop, we can circle it and start having a conversation about that or chat about that or whatever.
Now if you've been watching down here below, and you've seen the little progress bar move to the side, what's actually happening is the Connect server is trying to cache this information on the participant's machine, because what that's going to do is that's going to speed up playback, so that they don't have to wait for the caching to occur. So it's a good idea if you are going to show video and you know that you might have some people out there with lower bandwidth, you might want to Start it and Pause it, and give it a little bit of time to buffer. It's the same thing that happens on video sharing websites like YouTube, where you see there is a little line that indicates how much of the video is ready to play, and then you see the playhead move along behind that line.
The only caveat that I will throw in here is that when I play this -- (Video Playing) The drawing markup doesn't move along frame by frame with the content that's under it. So if you want to mark something else up, you'll just have to go ahead and delete this drawing markup and that time instead of clicking the Eraser tool, I actually just hit the Delete key which I can use to delete things, and then I can mark it up one more time. So maybe I am going to focus on the nice typewriter there that I am wondering how we were able to get such an old typewriter into our video. So adding audio and video to your meeting can add a lot of engagement to your presentation.
You can break things up. When you have some slides, interject some video. interject some audio if you can get those things, because they will make the audience a lot more interested in what you have to say. But at the end of the day it's very easy. Upload your file, click Play, and your audience can watch along with you.
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