May 29, 2009

Don’t let low bandwidth stop you from wearing that genious hat!!

You make a nice captivate movie with all jazz and background audio. And there pops up a hidden glitch – end users of your captivate movie are short on bandwidth. But you, Mr. genious knows it pretty well that you have pre-loaders in Captivate to your rescue. So you go ahead and set the pre-loader percentage to 10%. This would mean that the movie will start playing when 10% of the content has loaded, with the remaining content  loading as the movie plays. Wow!! You punch the air and all that….

Next day you get your users complaining that your preloader ‘rocket science’ is not working at all. The movie content loads 100% before starting regardless of preloader setting. Amused?? What did you do wrong?? Confused??…well this post will help you.

your problem is…

Your movie has background audio across the movie. Ideally, as soon as the movie is loaded(after 10% preloading), the content should start playing. But to play the first slide, the associated audio is needed and since there is only one big audio file, Captivate attempts to load the entire audio file(irrespective of the slides) prior to play the content. And this eats up the bandwidth.

….and the solution is….

Inside Captivate, for each slide start the audio after 0.1 second. This prevents the audio to be stiched as one huge audio file in the final output. Consequently this would prevent the need to load the entire audio when you don’t intend to do so. And your content will start playing flawlessly with audio once 10% of the entire content is loaded (assuming that you set pre-loader=10%). Rest of the content loads in background.

So with this solution you could once again wear that genious hat. WOW!!

,,,,

Posted by Manish Anand1:16 PM
  • kevin kissack

    you think background audio is a good for e-learning? It’s a distractor.If you just used voice narration – one per slide) you would not have one large audio file would you – or does cap assemble all audio into one file regardless if separate or not?

  • Mukul Lele

    Hi Kevin,If every slide has audio inserted and there is no time lag between two audio clips (e.g. audio on slide1 ends at the end of slide1 and audio on slide2 begins as soon as slide2 is displayed), then Captivate assembles these audio files into one single audio file.To avoid this behavior, you can give a very small (may be 0.1 secs) lag before starting the next audio clip.Regards,Mukul

  • http://www.diystorageshedplans.com DIY Storage Shed Plans

    can you move to slide to end just after the audio, so that it will break the audio up.It seems counter productive to preload the video but have to load the all the audio, adobe need to address this problem. Especially when captivate is an $800 piece of software.But, thanks for your help, hopefully this will solve my problem.

  • Mike McKinney

    I’ve tried this fix, and it is still not working for me. I have the Preloader set to 10%, and my file still won’t start playing until about 50%. I ensured there is space before any audio on the slides starts to play. Any ideas?

  • http://habniya.co.il/bernardbarthelemyjapiot/ zulutrade

    Hi,thanks for the great quality of your blog, each time i come here, i m amazed.

  • http://www.injoysolutions.com John Richter

    I also tried this fix, and it did not change anything at all. The preloader does not seem to work, no matter what percent I put in there (1%, 5%, 10%, 25%, etc.) the entire file loads before it plays. Adobe tech support has not been helpful at all, and they suggested that buying Adobe Connect (at $8,000+) would solve the issue.

    • http://blogs.adobe.com/captivate/ Allen Partridge

      John, which version of Captivate are you using? I think this old article is in reference to Captivate 4 or 3. Not sure which. Did you set the Preloader to an AS3 preloader?

  • christoph

    hi allen, i have the same problem like john. newest version, 5 with upgrade. i can do, what i want, no chance. a have to audio in 15 slides… but not to big.

  • http://millercreativemedia.com Scott Miller

    I have always placed the audio at .1 from the beginning of the slide to avoid this problem. Which is an issue because it makes your cc blink. So if I understand you correctly, background music/audio throughout a program is not an option unless you want the entire program to pre-load?

  • Jan van Bokhoven

    Ditto. Tried several different things in CP5 to have swf start playing before completing preload, but it seems to start only when entire swf is loaded. When trying to insert 1 sec of silence at start of slide 1, after saving and closing the Slide Audio the inserted 1 sec silence was gone. Even setting the Fade In in the Audio Properties of the slide doesn’t make a difference. I also discovered when changing the ToC (for example grouping slides) of a project, one has to specifically reset the ToC. When previewing or pre-running a published project from C-drive, the preloader is not shown; it has to be executed from a website to see it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kaftory Yael Kaftory-Eliyahu

    Isn’t the whole purpose in backgroun music is that it suposed to play out continuously no matter when the user desides to go to the next slide?
    I don’t understand How i can cut and paset portions of the audio file, if i want the music to play in a loop.. :(

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