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
onEnterFrame (James Kingsley)

Jonathan,

This new preloader does not need to be placed in the logopanel. After you publish your course copy the null.swf into the published course's /player folder. There is already a null.swf file in that folder; you will replace it with our special file.

That's it! When the course is run our code will start preloading files automatically. 

Thanks,

James

Tammy Smith

Hi everyone.  I didn't know that this thread I started awhile ago was still going.  Cool!   Well, I'm back here and my company is wanting to buy the custom preloader if that's the best one to get.  The custom preloader I'm referring to is this one:  http://elearningenhanced.com/products/bulk-articulate-preloader

(By the way, how do I get that into link format in my post?  The link option is grayed out for me.)

Is that custom preloader still the one that most of you all are recommending for MP4s?  And James, you were talking about the logo pane before.  Is it true that this preloader doesn't have to be in the logo panel like the other preloaders have had to be?

Jonathan Harvey

Hi James,

This preloader still isn't working as it should for me.  

Firstly it goes through and fails to find the swf's, flv's and mp4's.  Secondly it runs through and finds each of the swf's, flv's and mp4's, one at a time and then cancels them as they are preloading (it begins maybe a few KB's).  It then begins a third time runnong through, it begins to preload the MP4's and then cancells them.  It does then preload the SWF's and FLV's however.

You can see the test course here...

http://www.creativedesigndigital.co.uk/MP4_test3/

Also, if I load the same course on to a different server, the pre-loader doesn't function at all.  What's the problem?

Best wishes,

Jonathan

onEnterFrame (James Kingsley)

Hi Jonathan, 

Thanks for posting the link. I made a quick screenr of the preloader in action on your sample course: https://player.vimeo.com/video/204933258

In that video you will see that it does preload the mp4s in Firefox. It has also been tested in many other browsers. 

I think that what "Plugin Cancelled" means is that Safari loaded the mp4 but the default mp4 player was not called. 

Can you check your cache directory and see if the mp4s are in there?

I don't know why it would not work on a different server.

Thanks, 

James

Jonathan Harvey

Thanks for taking the time to produce the Screen-r but unfortunately the problems seem to be in the way the pre-loading is being invoked.

The issue is not cache limits or client side applications or browser dependent.  The 'plug-in cancelled' is not the computer attempting to find a missing program or plug-in either.  In fact, the pre-loading cache stops after only a few bytes where as it will then pre-load many megabytes on another server.  Just to re-iterate here, the pre-loader loads FLVs and SWFs of mixed file sizes fine eventually but it cancels the MP4s part way through.

In fact, we have tested this cross-platform and cross-browser.  So both Windows and OSX have been tested.  Safari, Firefox, Chrome and IE have all been tested on two different servers.  We find the results with Firefox and chrome can be a little miss-leading as the activity monitors show the status as '200' and that they are downloading but they do not download completely.  This is exactly the same result we get if we use the older free-preloader.

Being that we are producing e-learning material here, would you say it's fair that this pre-loader should work on an LMS system such as Joomla, Moodle or PeopleSoft?  Until this problem is resolved, we can't guarantee that our clients software will function as described...

I will send you through a link to the same course on one of our other servers for you to have a look at.  Thanks for your continued support on this, I hope we can help to get your product functioning robustly asap.  I am quite happy to help get to the bottom of this with you.

Kindest regards,

Jonathan.

onEnterFrame (James Kingsley)

Jonathan,

Of course we will happily refund your $50 if you are not satisfied. I have been at a conference and did not get a chance to test your sample course until this morning.

I made a screenr of the test. The preloader worked wonderfully for me. 

https://player.vimeo.com/video/204933273

Thank you 

James Kingsley

Tammy Smith

James, do you have any screenrs that show how to implement your preloader step by step?  There's one quick sentence in the description of the preloader that says how to use it, but I was still hoping there was a screenr that shows how to put it in place.  I'm not sure which file it is we need to overwrite after publishing.

onEnterFrame (James Kingsley)

Hi Tammy,

Sorry for the delay; I am on vacation this week... in a cabin in the middle of nowhere with little to none internet connection.

After you publish your course take a look in the published course's folder. Look inside the "player" folder. There you will find a file named null.swf. Replace that with the null.swf file you downloaded from eLearningEnhanced.com 

Thank you for your support.

James

Tammy Smith

Thanks James!  I'll try that when my company buys it.  I'm looking forward to that.  But just a heads up, you might want to include that info into the product description so others would know how to do it before they bought it.  Of course, maybe others do and it was just lost on me. lol.

And you should enjoy your vacation James!  Don't worry about keeping up on here, though I really appreciate your response.  Hope you have fun!

Tammy Smith

Hello.  I bought and used the custom preloader for the MP4s.  Now when I play the video online, the MP4 will play along for a few seconds and then just stop all together.  My video has 3 modules in it.  It branches off into three different sections.  Does this affect the preloader at all?  I don't know why the video would just stop playing now that I have the preloader in it.  I copied the null.swf file into my player folder.  That's all I did.  Nothing else.  I have a copy of the video with the preloader online and a copy of it without the preloader.  Without is slow, but at least it doesn't stop when it's playing.  James, can you figure out what might be going on?

I would give the website address, but it's not for the public, yet.  I was hoping you might be able to figure out something that might be going on without me having to share the site first.

George Hayman

Hi,

I haven't tried HTTP watch yet, but I have watched as things were downloaded in the "Activity" window of Safari.

Here's my question, when I see it download in Safari Activity, it shows everything in the list downloaded... but... when it gets to the slide with the FLV, it seems to bring it down again.  Is it working?

Love the solution, just want to make sure it is helping.

Thanks!

George

George Hayman

Hi Phil,

Yes it is the free one and I saw that in the posts and I have it that way with "../data/swf..."

So it does work in that when I didn't have the "..//" i would not see the download happen in Activity of Safari, and now I do see if full all the flvs... but the issue is that when it gets to one of the slides that has one of the .flvs that are listed as downloaded, it seems to download it again.  So I don't know if it is playing locally or just downloading it again.

So it's like:

.swf

.swf

video1.flv... 4.2Meg of 4.2Meg

Video2.... and so on

.swf

.swf

(presentation gets to video 1 in the slide...)

video1.flv.... 2.2Meg of 4.2Meg....

video1.flv....4.2 of 4.2....

.swf

.swf

So it's doing it, I just didn't expect to see it being pulled down again.

Make any sense?

Thanks,

Geo

George Hayman

Hi again,

I've got the content out on AWS S3 and it seems to deliver fine.  I actually have not had any issues with that so far.... (he says knocking on wood).

I know that it is working in that I have seen the before state and after of having the "../data" in there and it working, I just don't know if there is a way to verify that it is helping the presentation.  I can see the download, but it just threw me that I saw it again when the page containing the video started to load.

It's not a priority issue or anything, I just  want to understand how it is helping and if I am doing it right.

Thanks,

George

George Hayman

Hey guess what all... i was doing it again and it is perfect this time....  It loaded everything and then got to the appropriate video slide and just showed me the complete file without another call to get it.  All seems to be well.

Thank you!  I really like this availability and hope that something to manage content like this is built into whatever greatness is coming from Articulate!

Thanks again,

George