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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Screencasting and NetMeeting

For the special RSS club meeting last Thursday on Peer Review in the Google Age, I wanted to do a live screencast. Thanks to a lot of help from Rob Rasberry at Drexel, we got most of it to work. This is what transpired:

1) Frank Fulchiero from Connecticut College and Heather Morrison from Simon Fraser University in BC watched the screenshared feed over NetMeeting. This installs easily from any Windows machine. Just go to Start->Run and type "conf".

2) We had a webcam in Philly and, although we could not get it to work inside of NetMeeting, I just displayed it on the desktop and it was shared along with the rest of the desktop.

3) Although I think NetMeeting is supposed to prevent feedback, we never really got the audio to work well so I just shut off the speakers on my computer and left the mic on. Heather talked with us through a regular telephone conference call.

4) We also had the Polycom unit running to connect with Frank. This enabled both sides to control a video camera remotely and worked great. The downside, of course, is that everyone needs to have a unit installed. But this was useful because Frank was able to compare the audio quality of the feeds. He found that the Polycom was much better than NetMeeting. I was on a wireless connection on my end - we'll see if it improves with ethernet next time.

5) During the live presentations, everything went fine. Heather was able to share her screen and do her presentation. However, the Camtasia recording got very choppy (audio and video) at that time and really was not usable. I don't know if it is because of the screen share or the addition of the camera but the AVI after an hour was gigantic (800 Meg vs. 200 Meg normally) and it was very difficult and slow to edit in Camtasia afterwards. I'll try without the webcam next time to see if it solves that problem.

6) Two of the three presentations are now available as podcast, screencast and vodcast. The Powerpoint presentations are actually podcast in separate posts but iTunes still does not recognize ppt as a valid enclosure (they should show up other podcatchers like ipodder).

Jean-Claude Bradley mp3 podcast/screencast vodcast and Powerpoint
Peggy Dominy and Jay Bhatt mp3 podcast/screencast vodcast and Powerpoint
Heather Morrison Powerpoint


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