About 2 years ago I made an srt file for a video the library had on YouTube. I made them using TextEdit on a Mac and then saving as an srt file. When I uploaded it, everything was fine.
Now, I was testing the captions on MediaSpace and I used the same srt file I had in YouTube. It did not work. After a bit I realized that even though I had saved as an srt file, TextEdit was adding the txt extension automatically. Deleting it out of the file name was predictably not working. MediaSpace would not recognize the file, wouldn’t so much as import it.
In order to fix the issue, my employee sent me to a converter site, but that wouldn’t recognize it either. In the end I had to copy/paste the content from my original file into Window’s Notepad and then save as srt with the drop down option of “all files”. Then MediaSpace accepted this version and displayed the captions without issue.
I now have the file saved as the srt version and a Word version. This is because the srt file I made in WordPad would not open afterwards for me to make any edits.
I was asked to teach a class this year that I had done last year. The professor wants to have the students take photos and video for a group project. Last year, I showed them Glossom, which I still believe has some great features. This year though, I thought perhaps I should use Behance since that is the way Adobe is going. I’d played with Behance briefly last year and didn’t like the features (or lack there of , I should say), so I went back to get a more in depth view of it.
After a few hours of playing with it I knew I couldn’t possibly promote this to a class of students. Behance is designed for users to promote and sell their work. And there’s nothing wrong with that per se, but for a class of students working on a project, it’s just not appropriate mostly because of it’s lack of group features. In Behance your photos are either completely public to the world, or private only to the user. Their is no privacy function for sharing any images with just a small group of people. I was willing to overlook their terrible portfolio formatting (one long scroll of photo with no way to put two side-by-side), but the lack of group work was a deal breaker. In other words, Behance was made for the professional, not really with education in mind. Which is kind of shame since I’ll have Adobe CC in my lab soon, but still no easy solution to the student portfolio question.
So this year I’m just going to recommend Flickr. Despite Glossom having amazing features, Flickr is still better known and has it’s own useful features. Here is a bullet list of why I’ve decided on the Yahoo program. Glossom does have some of these features, but I think my tipping point was really the ability for the Flickr app to upload pictures into the account. Glossom should think about improving their mobile app.
- Group Settings
- Privacy Settings
- User retains rights
- Mobile app
- Optional Creative Common settings
- Good Metadata options
- Knows what type of camera was used for pic
- Easy to use
- connects to social media
- Commenting feature
- Large storage space
- ability to upload video
“Scalar is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online. Scalar enables users to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways, with minimal technical expertise required.” – Scalar’s About website
I’ve spent the last few days transferring an annotated bibliography I’ve been working on into this Scalar website to test it out. The demo I went to was about a year ago, but now is when I’ve really had time to focus on some new technologies to try out.
To start, a person creates a new “book”. To this book they can add “pages” and “media” to the pages. There is a “Main Menu” on the right hand side to help users navigate through the book. That’s the simple version, but it can all be as simple or as complicated as the creator makes it out to be. To better understand the confusion I had when I tried to use this tool, watch their own promo video:
Overall, I’ve found it to be a useful resource, but I’m a bit confused still as to what are the best types of work that can benefit from Scalar. It’s definitely not a traditional novel. I would liken it more to a series of articles or essays that were grouped together. It almost feels like putting together a website, but the connections and controls are slightly different.
A few things of note:
- I could not get images from Flickr to appear
- The site supports animated gifs
- If the learning curve to get started was steep, it’s even worse when you try to figure out annotations
- Not having a “Preview” option makes me worry it’ll look wrong when I’m done
- There are not a lot of controls, you’ll have to add HTML and CSS to customize something as simple as Tables.
- There is no way of really organizing the back end. If you have 100s of pages, you will have to scroll through the entire list to find it.
- The word “The” is not discounted when listing things in alphabetical order (back end problem)
- You can replace media files on the back end instead of deleting and re-uploading
- Upload file size is capped at 2MB. It is easier if you do any pixel sizing before upload. I still haven’t figuered out if I can resize later because it’s not an intuitive feature.
- supported file types for upload: css, gif, html, java, js, kml, jpg, m4v, mp3, mp4, pdf, png, txt, wav, xml / also available, but not always compatible: 3gp, aif, flv, mov, mpg, oga, tif, webm
I’m still very confused about the upkeep of what I created. I get that its a free open source tool in beta, but that usually means “take our code and install it into your system” not “upload all your stuff into our serverss for free”. There’s no FAQs page and their forums are near empty. But, overall I liked the tool and I’m going to finish the project I started so I can show it to others.
Someone showed me a video tutorial and asked me “ok, so how did they do that?” Well, I can guess, but using the tools we have available readily, I made something that looks identical.
Here is a screen capture using Kaltura through Blackboard. I set up templates using Illustrator and PhotoShop and then I wrote into the program using a Bamboo writing tablet.
The tablet is difficult to control and I spent a couple of hours laughing at myself at how badly I was at controlling it. However, we have at least 1 digital artist who can work the thing like she was doing a commercial for the brand. If you watch the video you’ll wonder “why didn’t she use shapes?” And the answer is I am pretty bad at Illustrator.
With practice, I think this could be a viable solution. But, I say not bad for something I had to set up and learn to work yesterday. There were about 7 tries before I got this clip. Overall, I think about 3 hours to make it but that includes the learning curve. If I made more I bet I could get the hang of it and do them pretty quick.
Materials: Adobe Illustrator CS5, Wacom Bamboo writing tablet CTH-670, Labtec headset, Windows 7, Kaltura
CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO. You could watch the embed video here if WordPress wasn’t trying to annoy everyone by making videos impossible to embed from anything other than youtube and vimeo. I’m going to have to start testing Blogger.
Infogr.am is useful, but only allows downloading of the graphs if you have the paid account. However, I can share the graphs on social sharing websites like Facebook. I can also get an embed code, but it is an iframe code. And wordpress treats iframe codes as if they had anthrax. It would be best for me then to find a different infographic system that allows for download or for a link I can actually embed into this blog.
There are a few guides online on how to embed Prezi into WordPress.com after more recent upgrades to WordPress. I’m going to include some links below, but I haven’t to be able to make anything work. I manage to have the Prezi appear, but it won’t play beyond the first slide. I tried a few variations, but not a different browser.
Digital Media Lab – my prezi I tried to embed
embedding prezi to my blog (forum post)
Test post from Flickr. This is not my Flickr account. I clicked on the Share button in their Set and then by adding in my website address and logging in, Flickr created a post in my blog with thumbnails from the Flickr set. The title of this blog post was the title of the Set from Flickr, but I changed it myself by going into WordPress.
On my personal website I use the Flickr photostream widget that displays the most recent upload. However, this is a good way to bring in other images.
For Instagram , wordpress has a widget (widgets are in dashboard under “Appearance”) so you can place a stream from Instagram on a sidebar or footer area. The embed and URL options don’t seem to actually work in the WordPress blog.
This is a test post as an Editor to the website. I can upload images. I can also add categories and tags. There’s very little I can’t do. But since Author is the next level below this one but can’t access the Pages section, I guess Editor will have to do and everyone will have to be on the honor system.
Deep Thought, Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy
With a Facebook account you can create Pages and Groups. I was only vaguely aware of this until today. I have both versions on my FB page, but I didn’t really think about why they were different. On my work FB I help admin the Libraries Facebook page which I’ve been calling Community without realizing how this related to Facebook terminology. It is a Community, which is a subsection of Page, which vaguely resembles a regular personal FB. It can a get a bit confusing.
This is where you select a Page
I have been unknowingly following several Facebook Pages without really being aware of it. For example, I follow the page for Tate’s Comics store in Ft. Lauderdale and receive feeds from them. This is not the same as the personal FB page for the owner of Tate’s comics. On my work FB I have admin rights to the University of Miami Libraries Page.
I’m using Office 2010. I can’t believe no one noticed when I did this during the live presentation.
Here is the link to the tutorial I used: InternetClassroom.com. I’m not sure which version of PowerPoint they are using, but below are the 2010 instruction.
- Make a new slide where you want this feature to come in
- Under “Developer” in the section “Controls” you will see the text box feature
- Add into the slide whatever size you want, wherever you want.
- You can adjust it later by clicking in the box. The edit features will turn on
NOTE: While you are typing in presentation mode, in order to go to the next line, you must press the Shift key at the same time as the Return (or Enter) key.
That’s it. I’d say “amaze your co-workers”, but mine didn’t even notice I’d done anything out of the norm of our usual presentations.