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Q45 : Webshow Slide Viewer

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Q45 : Webshow Slide Viewer

Just came accross your website last night. I look forward to spending some quality time there in the near future.

Additionally, your use of an audio/slide presentation grabbed my attention. I have seen this method used before and have been trying to find out how it is done as we are just getting into mp3 CDs at my church.

Could you please share what you can regarding this method of delivery including tutorials, applications, websites, etc.?

A45 : by Tony Garland

The approach we use for our "webshows" uses code that I wrote specifically for our need at the time:

  • A way to correlate visuals with audio teaching.
  • The visuals would provide full HTML support to allow linking to an online bible to look up verses, linking to other course pages, or linking to other websites.
  • The visuals and audio must be useable over slow dialup connections (powerpoint or flash is unacceptable in this regard).
  • Ideally, the user should not have to download anything to view the material. (Admittedly, in some installations, the user may need to download an MP3 plug in if the browser or operating system doesn't already provide it.)
  • The viewer should not rely on any server-side technology so that the material on the website can be placed on a CDROM and play stand-alone directly from CD without an internet connection.

At the time, we couldn't find any good solution on the internet, especially ones that didn't cost a substantial amount of money. So I wrote "webshow" using HTML and javascript.

You can obtain the webshow components free of charge and for unrestricted use here:

http://www.spiritandtruth.org/download/tools/index.htm#webshow.js.tgz

(TGZ files can be unzipped using the free version of www.winzip.com.)

Unfortunately, I haven't had as much time as I would like to document how webshow is used, but the package includes an example webshow showing the basic ideas. The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Create Slide Files - Create a series of files representing the slides These are usually HTML files, but they can be any type of file that a web browser can display (e.g., JPG files exported from Powerpoint.)
  2. Identify Slides and MP3 Files - Edit the slides.js file to list the slide files and the corresponding MP3 file to be played with each slide.
  3. Make the Play List - Edit the index.m3u file to list the MP3 files (so you can play them as a sequence without the slides).
  4. Launch Webshow - Open the index.htm file in a web browser.

That's pretty much it. The webshow.js.tgz download includes a python program which I use to make my HTML files from TXT files, but this is not necessary. You can use any HTML-capable editor (e.g., www.OpenOffice.org, bluefish.openoffice.nla) to make your slides.

My apologies in advance for not having spent the time to make webshow easier to compose for. When I find the time, I want to create a tool which allows the visuals for a webshow to be generated automatically from a powerpoint presentation. This would probably be useful for people who don't know how to write (or generate) HTML files and often work with powerpoint. As it stands now, you have to manually "save as" from powerpoint and do some manual things to get the JPG images into the slide show.

I hope that helps you as you seek to serve the Lord.


Links Mentioned Above
a - See http://bluefish.openoffice.nl/.
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