Accessing a video file from Point A to Point B

mlapl1
mlapl1 Community Member Posts: 349
Hello

Cannot find the answer to this. I would like to have a video file as part of a title. Is there a way that I can control (ideally programmatically) how to play that file from a specific point let's call it Point A to another specific point, let's call it Point B? I know of course that I can make small clips in advance but (a) points A and B may not always be predictable (so I cannot make the clips in advance and it takes a lot of time rather than just providing the program with access indexes) and (b) having a multitude of small files just creates more and more clutter which may go well beyond the size of the original video file and create more confusion.

Also, while I think of it, is it possible to slow down or accelerate video playback?

Thoughts welcome

Thanks

Andrew

Comments

  • wendymiller
    wendymiller Community Member Posts: 244
    I've used the Popcorn.js library before when I've needed to make media sprites and jump around in a video file. It might work for what you're doing. It's free to try anyhow.  http://popcornjs.org/
  • mlapl1
    mlapl1 Community Member Posts: 349
    Again thank you Wendy. No idea what popocorn.js is yet - javascript is something I have avoided as much as possible but perhaps no more :)

    I presume the fact that you use it means that it integrates well with Lectora ???

    Cheers

    andrew
  • klaatu
    klaatu Community Member Posts: 988
    Andrew, you can open your complete video in the video editor (Tools tab) and very easily select an in point and out point then 'trim to selection' and save the clip. Takes about a minute.

    That being said, if you like to use external JavaScript, I favor VideoJs (http://www.videojs.com/). You can use a plug-in with it such as Rangeslider-VideoJS (https://github.com/danielcebrian/rangeslider-videojs).

    However, unless you like to dabble in JS and have full control of customization, it is much quicker and easier to just use Lector's built in editing tool.

     

    DRS
  • mlapl1
    mlapl1 Community Member Posts: 349
    Hi Darrel

    Actually I do like to have complete control but am limited with time and also getting others to use whatever I develop. I have two specific problems with what you suggest: (a) the builtin editor keeps "not responding" on my laptop and is useless but I can use something else (b) I specifically do not want to create a multitude of small clips for two reasons: (i) they occupy a lot of space and (ii) I would like to determine points A & B above programmatically if possible. Like Sergey said (correctly) the other day, Lectora is a quick development environment but for me it also provides a nice interface with many shortcuts and consistency which make a time investment in doing a few sophisticated things really worthwhile (provided they are actually doable - and this is what I am trying to discover right now).

    Thanks again

    Andrew

     

     
  • klaatu
    klaatu Community Member Posts: 988
    We still use SumTotal (now SkillSoft) ToolBook for almost all of our e-learning authoring as it is still a more robust application, especially with addition of the third party JavaScript Powerpac. It is not as polished as Inspire and it lacks in its built-in graphics. Unfortunately, SumTotal was purchased by SkillSoft and they have no plans on further updates to ToolBook so it, like Flash, is dying on the vine so to speak.

    I have two Inspire licenses and we are still evaluating this software and Storyline to see what direction we will go in. So far I have not run into situation with Inspire that I have not been able to find a solution by adding my own JS and CSS. I'm sure proponents of Inspire will disagree, but I seriously dislike the action system as I find it basic and limiting. In my opinion, ToolBooks is vastly better. Lectora seems to shine in it's ability to pretty easily incorporate and communicate with external scripting and styling. As you mention though, this takes up valuable authoring time.

    The best e-learning solution was Flash, but let's not go there.

    For what you are trying to do I think your best solution would be to use the VideoJS library with the RangeSlider plugin. Though I have not put this in a project, I am pretty sure from reading the docs that you can upload one video and programmatically select times (no preprogrammed built in markers in the video) to determine the start and end (and loop if you'd like) in an instance of the player.

    Good luck. I'd like to know what eventually works best for you.

    Darrel
  • mlapl1
    mlapl1 Community Member Posts: 349
    Funny you mention ToolBook, Darrel. That's exactly what I was thinking of.... the original ToolBook owned by Asymetrix. I could do all of these things trivially (like play from A to B) through a few lines of script BUT... to be fair, not online (tells you how old I am) (online versions that I knew were weaker). Still, they began to create hooks for the web and, I think, for databases. The applications I wrote were not as good-looking as what I can do here but were actually quite powerful (mostly scripted rather than wysiwyg). I miss having that level of control. In general I really like Lectora for many reasons but especially its hooks to the outside world e.g. really easy and fast to store information on google docs or elsewhere through forms get/post etc. I will pursue the path you have outlined and see what happens. Thank you once again. I will report back if I can invent a simple solution for naive authors and for dynamic learning materials.
  • ssneg
    ssneg Community Member Posts: 1,466 ☆ Roadie ☆
    @klaatu, a software developer could find Lectora's actions and variables too limited. I often find myself thinking, "it can take 4 lines of JS or it can require 25 actions", but the amazing advantage of actions is how easy they are for non-developers. It takes minutes to train people with absolute zero knowledge of programming to create e.g. conditional interactions.

    And if you do prefer JavaScript, then Lectora allows you to integrate it easily and transparently, unlike many other tools.
  • klaatu
    klaatu Community Member Posts: 988
    I totally concur, Sergey. My intent was not to disparage Inspire. I am impressed with its ability to easily integrate JS and CSS. I agree that non-developers can learn the simple actions rather quickly, however, when it comes to having to figure out how to do something that requires 25 actions, like a nested conditional, it looses its advantage. The actions system would benefit if it allowed 'basic'-like syntax (if/then else/if, etc.) in an expanding window similar to how it handles adding a Run JavaScript action. This way new developers can learn using the more visual menu driven system and when they advance or need more range they could code directly. Even still, Inspire is quickly becoming my favorite authoring application.
  • wendymiller
    wendymiller Community Member Posts: 244
    I love that idea, Darrel! I think you should submit it as a feature request here:

    http://community.trivantis.com/forums/forum/lectora-2/suggestions-for-lectora/
  • mlapl1
    mlapl1 Community Member Posts: 349
    Yes... great idea Darrel. I too really like Inspire (though I am far less experienced than anyone here).

    Andrew
  • klaatu
    klaatu Community Member Posts: 988
    Thanks, Wendy, I'll do that.

     

    Darrel
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