Custom Preloader question

Hello everyone.  I'm using a custom preloader (the xml version) for my presentation right now.  I can't tell if it's working, though.  I downloaded Fiddler 2, but that doesn't help since I'm just loading the player.html file from my CD.  I'm not publishing it to the internet.  However, when I load the player.html file on my Mac, it's slow and choppy.  I'm assuming this is due to each slide containing a swf and it takes awhile to load.  So I thought a preloader would be perfect.  I can't tell if it's working, though.  It looks a little faster, though not as fast as I'd like it to be.  It could just be my wishful thinking, though.

Does anyone know how to test if the custom preloader is working if it's not published to the web and it's just being viewed from the .html file on a CD?  Here is my code:

<!-- Originally Created by Philip Corriveau modifed by James Kingsley -->
<preloadinfo>
<!-- logo max size is 244x75px due to flash 6 it must either be a .swf or a .jpg-->
<logo>InUseStand.jpg</logo>
<files>
<!-- list your files to be preloaded -->
<file>data/swf/fm_SmartStand.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Intro.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_SafetyNotes.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Warnings.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_LCDDisplay.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Operation.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Harness.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Transferring.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Ambulating.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_Accessories.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_HarnessLaundering.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_ChargingBatteries.swf</file>
<file>data/swf/fm_EmergencyLowering.swf</file>
</files>
</preloadinfo>

116 Replies
Tammy Smith

Great...  I tried installing it, but I got a message saying it can't install on this computer, that I had to get a version for PowerPC.  So, I downloaded the latest version that was in a zipped file.  Got the zipped file, extracted it, and there are two different folders.  In these folders are so many files and folders that it's just insane...  So that won't work.  Ugh.  I'm so tired of everything going wrong with this presentation that could go wrong, you know?  It's like, can't I just catch a break and have something go right and stay right?

But anyway, that's a different topic than this thread.  So what does everyone think of the new preloader that has tried it?  Are you guys for it or just say stay with FLVs and use the XML free custom preloader?

Nita  Venter

onEnterFrame (James Kingsley) said:

From all accounts it looks like the preloader is working on Macs. You can see in her screen shot and in my screenr https://player.vimeo.com/video/204933154 that the files are indeed loaded before the user gets to the slide. 

There is something else going on that is keeping the Mac from playing the media smoothly. 

Hi Gerry and James, (on my Windows machines) do you know how much of the preloader process is accessible via cache? I can see through HTTPWatch the files preload, and certianly within the next batch of files I can see when the Cached files are accessed, BUT some of the videos that are located near the end of my course dont "stay" cached i.e when the vidoe loads, I can see that the vid file is slower and reloading - somehow not remaining preloaded. Not sure how much is preloaded into the browser cache?


Nita  Venter

onEnterFrame (James Kingsley) said:

Hmm I do not know what would be causing your issue Nita.

If the browser's cache were full then it would dump the oldest items; meaning your latter videos should still be cached.

How did you determine that they do not "stay" cached?


Hi James, I fisrt noticed that those in the later part of the course seemed to load slower. When I took a look at HTTPWatch, I could see that the files did in fact load in the first part of the session. However, when I scrolled down the report, I could see at the point of the video instead of reflecting (Cache) in the Result column, I could see the video reloading (and watched the progress bar within HTTPWatch) . The performance is certianly better, but I wondered if there is a Browser Cache threshold? In the interim, I have placed a slide before the last vids notifying the learners that there could be a slight "delay" in loading the vids.

Many thanks for the reply - I will keep you in the loop as our testing progressess.

'N

Nita  Venter

Hi Tammy, the new preloader certianly does make it easier in that the *.flv and *.swf files are automatically identified as opposed to ensuing you have correctly copied the vid info when you are using the free xml preloader tool. In my opinion yes, I would recommend this preloader. I think the OS issues I have seen thus far have to do with the browser and OS.

We work with alot of video so the less I have to double check they are listed the better.

Gerry Wasiluk

I'd also heartily recommend using it from my testing, which I just re-ran just now. 

I'm re-doing an corporate course with 6-7 videos in it from an external vendor, and we're having the videos redone in FLV or MP4 so we can use the custom preloader forworldwide delivery.

The only slight delay I see is in the browser/on the user's PC  if it needs to do some processing to display the video from cache.

Tammy Smith

Thank you all so much for your responses and opinions!  This has really helped me a lot in deciding if I should get it or not.  I think I will try and talk my company into getting it if I can ever get this MP4 conversion thing working right... lol.  Nita, you said that you think the problem you experience with the later videos loading later might be due to your browser or OS?  I want this to be able to work on Mac computers if anybody has one...  But you think it still works with MP4s on your computer and presentations?

Jonathan Harvey

Hi, I have tested this preloader with MP4s and it cancels the plug-in quite early on in the pre-loading of the mp4?  So it's not working.

I have developed a FULLY AUTOMATIC Pre-loader that requires no outside intervention using Flash to pre-load all FLVs and SWFs in your course but need it too to pre-load P4s.  

Any help would be appreciated.

Gerry Wasiluk

Jonathan Harvey said:

Hi, I have tested this preloader with MP4s and it cancels the plug-in quite early on in the pre-loading of the mp4?  So it's not working.

I have developed a FULLY AUTOMATIC Pre-loader that requires no outside intervention using Flash to pre-load all FLVs and SWFs in your course but need it too to pre-load P4s.  

Any help would be appreciated.


Hi! 

What do mean by "canceling the plug-in"?  In my limited testing, it worked just fine.  It searched all the course directories for the videos and when it found them, it preloaded them.

Also, just curious--what browser were you using?

Phil Corriveau

@ Jonathan:  Which preloader are you referring to that does not work with MP4s...the new automatic one by elearning enhanced, or the old ones (Flash and XML-based)?

If you are talking about the old ones, then you are absolutely correct that MP4s generally do not preload correctly.  My understanding from the folks here (including what Gerry just mentioned) is that the "commercial" one handles MP4s quite well.

Jonathan Harvey

My findings suggest otherwise on the preloader loading MP4s.  It doesn't work.

@Gerry, is that screen shot of Firefox?  If so it's miss-leading you, I get the same information - Unfortunately, all it's showing you is that the MP4 was found, download was invoked and that no errors were reported back.  What it's not showing you there is the total file size downloaded against the total size of the file as well as the status of the file.  

If you use Chrome or Safari, you would see that although the file pre-load has been invoked, the status would be cancelled shortly after and the therefore, the file will not have completely downloaded. 

My advice to anyone trying to analyze the activity when launching your courses would be to use either Google Chrome or Safari as this provides you with the actual status and file size information.

Am I right in thinking then that the MP4s stopping downloading part way through do so because of something written into the actual MP4?

Jonathan Harvey

I think it may well be the old one.

@Jerry, try Google Chrome, click on 'view' then 'developer'.  This will give you much more information.  If you choose the 'Network' Tab then you'll see hopefully what you are looking for

@James, I have sent you a PM.  You might be interested in collaborating on this as I have written quite a cool automatic Pre-loader.  I would definitely be interested in sharing.

Jonathan.

onEnterFrame (James Kingsley)

Jonathan Harvey said:

I think it may well be the old one.

@James, I have sent you a PM.  You might be interested in collaborating on this as I have written quite a cool automatic Pre-loader.  I would definitely be interested in sharing.


That is pretty cool, is it more automatic then the one we are using?