Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How to create synchronized multimedia PowerPoint presentations?

Do you want to create multimedia enriched PowerPoint presentations or  want to sync a PowerPoint presentation with live audio or video stream so that output can be viewed and shared online or on a DVD? Are you looking for a tool using which you can create class lectures comprised of  video synced with PowerPoint slides and animations? Here are two awesome tools; authorPOINT and Microsoft Producer which let you do exactly the same.


authorPOINT is a PowerPoint plugin from authorGEN. authorPOINT lets you create presentations with live audio or video from  devices like  webcam, handy-cam, or any other USB or fire wire based device. You can also use pre-recorded audio/video files (AVI, WMV, WAV and WMA) and sync them with PowerPoint.

Output plays video or audio side by side with PowerPoint slides. authorPOINT also lets you annotate on slides. Capture process of authorPOINT is pretty simple. authorPOINT is capabale of creating Flash as well as HTML output which you can host on your server and embed on your website or blog. authorPOINT  retains all animation and sound affects in Flash as well as HTML output.

authorPOINT not only lets you create multimedia enriched presentations but also provides free online hosting and sharing on it's PowerPoint sharing platform, authorSTREAM. authorPOINT is compatible with Microsoft Windows 2000, 2003, XP and Vista and  runs on 32 Bit OS Versions only.

authorPOINT presentation uploaded on authorSTREAM
authorPOINT  costs $299 for a single copy. If you are a education customer, you can apply for a special educational discount of $99 on their buy now page.

Player branding
If you want to get a custom player for output created by authorPOINT, you need to shell out $200 more. authorPOINT's Unbranded player has no logo or any other reference to authorGEN. You can buy it for $ 200 from authorPOINT's Buy Now page. You can also send your own logo in gif, png or flash (recommended) format, and they will put that in custom player instead of theirs.

Microsoft Producer

Like authorPOINT, Microsoft Producer allows you to get an existing presentation file, capture and synchronize video and audio narration, add additional media content, and produce a unified set of content ready for viewing in a browser on your intranet , on the web or on a DVD.

Producer is powerful tool for e-learning, corporate communications and sales. You can use Producer to capture video, audio, and still images from a Web camera, a video camera  (digital or analog), or from your computer screen. You can also use Producer to import existing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, Windows Media files, still images, and HTML files, and then synchronize narrations with your video and PowerPoint presentations. You can learn more about Microsoft Producer here. Microsoft Producer can be used with PowerPoint 2007 or PowerPoint 2010 and  on Windows 2000 Service Pack 3; Windows 7; Windows Vista and  XP.

Unlike authorPOINT which can create Flash output, Producer gives you output only in HTML format.

It's absolutely free. You can download Microsoft Producer here.

Using authorPOINT or Microsoft Producer you can create high quality, engaging, Rich-Media business, training  or sales presentations.

Both authorPOINT as well as Microsoft Producer may require you to download 'MS Office Animation Runtime' to view the output. However, authorPOINT' s Flash output do not require 'Animation runtime' but do need Flash player.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Create and Share PowerPoint presentations online with Docs

After Google presentations, authorSTREAM, Zoho Show, Slide Rocket and Slideshare, Docs is the new entrant in the list of online PowerPoint sharing platforms. Docs is the document sharing service from Microsoft Fuse Labs.

Docs not only lets you upload, but also the online creation of PowerPoint presentations. As the Docs is in beta phase so the PowerPoint creation has very limited set of tools and options. For now you can't add animations, sound or other formatting online. However, if you upload a PowerPoint presentation having animation effects, the converted online version retains all the animation effects which most of the online PowerPoint sharing platforms barring authorSTREAM fail to do. Only downside is that you need to have Silverlight browser plugin installed to view the animations. You just need a Facebook account to login and try out Docs.com.  Docs.com is so closely integrated with Facebook that at most of the places it looks like a Facebook app instead of independent website.

Beta version of Docs.com lacks in sharing options and post to social network buttons except the one provided for sharing on Facebook. Non availability of embed code is also one of the drawbacks. Hopefully Microsoft will be adding these features soon.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SlideShare is going to announce video uploads!

Update: As was guessed earlier today, SlideShare has released the video upload feature and joined the elite league of websites like YouTube and Vimeo. Here is the announcement video by Jonathan Boutelle, CTO of Slideshare:

video on slideshare
View more videos from Jonathan Boutelle.

It seems that document  sharing website Slideshare is going to announce video sharing in next few hours or sometime later. Though nothing has been mentioned on their official blog, yet  Slideshare users can see video upload link with a link to FAQs.  Slideshare will allow following video formats:

  • mp4, m4v (ipod)
  • wmv (windows media video)
  • mpeg 
  • avi (windows)
  • mov (apple quicktime)
  • mpg
  • mkv (h.264)
  • ogg 
  • asf 
  • vob 
  • 3gp, 3g2 (mobile phones) 
  • rm, rmvb (Real) 
  • flv (Flash)
You can find list of supported video codecs here. Slideshare has mentioned at their support fourm

Slideshare's new video feature allows you to upload and share videos. This is an experimental feature SlideShare is launching in response to demands from the community. So now, apart from presentations, documents & webinars, you can upload videos to your SlideShare account.

Users will be able to upload videos of size up to 500 MB.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Photoshop like image editing in PowerPoint 2010

PowerPoint 2010 offers editing options both for video as well as images. With images, quite common editing is removing the background or getting a small piece of a big picture suitable for your slide. Till now Adobe Photoshop is the widely used software for removing the background or other image editing related stuff.

Remove the background from an image in PowerPoint 2010
PowerPoint 2010 offers a cool new 'Background removal tool' which will make image editing quite a fun. As per Microsoft "Unlike similar tools, the Office Background Removal tool doesn’t just select color ranges or trim to a border you draw. Background Removal uses new capabilities and algorithms from the Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK to achieve better results automatically with very little effort or fine tuning from the user."

The new Remove Background tool as claimed by Microsoft is intelligent enough to identify background and forground thus making the task of background removal easy. You just need to select the area(marquee selection area ) of the picture which you want to keep or use on the slide. For refinemnet you can mark the areas you want to keep or remove manually.

You can find more information about image editing in PowerPoint 2010 on Microsoft blog.

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