23 Replies
S B

When I upload the FLV files using the "flash movie" button on the Articulate tab and publish the volume is greatly reduced. I tried Engage and same results. I checked/unchecked the Optimization Audio box and it makes no difference. Participants would have to use headphones to hear the flv movies.

Brian Batt

Hi Shawn,

I apologize for the issues that you're having.  In the Studio '09 products, we don't do any type of conversion with the FLV file.  Thus, that's why the "optimize audio" option didn't impact the file.  My guess is that the volume at which your player starts is probably low.  Alternatively, there could be a setting in your browser that is impacting the way the Flash Player handles the audio.  Can you test your content in IE, Firefox, and Chrome and see if you have different results?

S B

I'm using Leawo and VLF. It's not the files. 

I will email you a link to the original presentation. It's proprietary so I can't post the link here.

You'll notice volume overall is low. I had to lower the mp3 files in the regular slides to match the poor volumes of the FLV files. I was hoping it was "good enough" but after receiving feedback from peers the consensus is the module is too quiet. If the FLV files were playing at the original volume I could return the mp3 files back to their original volume levels. 

David Anderson

Shawn - you can open your published output to verify how the video sounds after publishing:

Time Management > data > swf > and select one of the video files. You'll find they sound the same as they did before importing.

Opening the same .flv in both Quicktime and Adobe Media Player, I hear two different audio levels. Quicktime is adding volume to the file or Adobe Media player is reducing the audio. That's likely what's causing the difference in perception of the files.

Can you raise the audio settings in your source video and then re-save as .flv? 

David Anderson

Hey Shawn,

Do you have the option to increase the volume of your FLV videos to align with your audio clips? It's possible there's a difference in auto gain between Presenter and the FLV players you're testing.

Presenter doesn't modify your clips. You can verify this by opening the FLV prior to publishing and after publishing by navigating to your published folder/data/swf/ and selecting the specific flv file. The video levels will sound the same.

I do hear what you're saying about the levels being different in Presenter and your FLV players. But I also hear a difference playing the same clip in two different players (Quicktime and VLC players).

What I'm curious about is why your Time Management course (very cool design, btw!) plays the FLV files correctly while the other course you sent doesn't.

S B

"Do you have the option to increase the volume of your FLV videos to align with your audio clips?"

The audio IS maxed out and once again - plays fine in other players....only in Articulate Presenter does the volume get clipped.

"What I'm curious about is why your Time Management course (very cool design, btw!) plays the FLV files correctly while the other course you sent doesn't."

Exactly - that's what I would like to know. FLV files are fine before Articulate but when I publish they play at a lower volume. Meanwhile mp3s imported on other slides play at a volume nearly identical to the level I recorded them. Pretty plain to see it's something Articulate is doing and plain to see you don't have a solution.

I'm not trying to be a jerk but I'm going to look for another alternative to Articulate. EVERY time I publish there's some hiccup SOMEWHERE. I've missed multiple deadlines because I've spent days looking for solutions for little glitches. I have to factor in a couple of days in every project for debugging. 

If you knew how hard I had to fight for my company to cough up the money to buy Articulate suite and how stupid I constantly look now you'd understand why I'm so frustrated. You guys provide quality customer service but I only know that because I have to use it ALL THE TIME. Not sure that's what I'm looking for...

Dave Mozealous

Hey Shawn,

Sorry to hear you are having so many troubles.  I took a look at this and to be honest, to me the NewsBooster.FLV audio is really low no matter where I view it, in our player, or external to our player in the Adobe Media Player (at max volume).  The audio just seems low in the FLV.  My guess would be the reason it sounds so much louder to you is that the external FLV viewer you are using is boosting the audio somehow.

Just to make sure I am on the same page though, I tried to viewed the "News.flv" file that was inserted on Slide 3 in the presentation that was hosted on adobeconnect.com.

Here is what I did:

1. Downloaded the FLV directly using fiddler

2. Compared the audio in the presentation to the audio of the FLV when viewed directly in the Articulate Presenter player

That is where you are experiencing issues right?

-Dave

Justin Wilcox

Hi Shawn.

I have reviewed your files and I can tell you for certain that Presenter does nothing to your FLV videos. If your audio that you narrated in Presenter is louder than the audio in the FLV, you can easily reduce the volume of the narration to match your FLV using the Audio Editor in Presenter. If I play your video in the Articulate FLV Player and the presentation that I published using your movie, the audio plays at the exact same level.

3rd party FLV players can certainly play audio at a different volume than our standalone FLV player. That is not indicative of a defect or anything else really. That's how different tools handle volume differently. That's all that means.

If you want to use Articulate with this FLV the simplest solution would be to reduce the volume of the audio in your presentation to match that of your FLV. It is not uncommon when working with a variety of different tools that your audio won't be consistent from one to the other.

I did a quick test where I simply recorded some narration using whatever recording volume I have been using and then inserted your video and played the presentation. You should note that the volume is consistent in the slide I narrated and the FLV video. Here is the sample presentation I created.

S B

Justin your reply really just reinforces my frustration. You're not even reading what I've already written. I've already commented in a post above yours about lowering the volume on the slides that are narrated.  

"You'll notice volume overall is low. I had to lower the mp3 files in the regular slides to match the poor volumes of the FLV files. " - ME

The problem is just as stated in the title of this thread, the FLV volume is too low...I don't need to lower my good quality audio to match the crappy audio levels Presenter is giving me. I've also commented previously that I've tried SEVERAL flash players and they all sound the same level, yet when I import into Presenter it's lower. 

BTW I tried to convert the mp4 to FLV using Articulate video encoder thinking your own encoder might work better with Presenter??Nope. After 20 minute conversion time for one 3 minute video (Leawo does it in about 60 seconds) the result was the same. Volume still clipped when published in Presenter.

Let's face it guys. It's not the other programs. You can talk all you want about this FLV player does this and this FLV player does that. In the end all my other players sound the same and Presenter publishes at a lower volume. Your stuff still says '09 and you expect me to believe it's not your software, it's the new stuff that has the problems?

I'm moving on. I've wasted almost a week working on this and now I'm reiterating my problems to new guys that want to blame everyone else's software that works fine for me normally. No thanks.

Dave Mozealous

Hey Shawn,

Yeah we are sorry you are having issues, we are doing our best to help out.

Just a couple of comments/suggestions.

>BTW I tried to convert the mp4 to FLV using Articulate video encoder thinking your own encoder might work better with Presenter??Nope. 

Yeah, the fact that your FLV sounds the same to me no matter where I play it, indicates that the problem is with the source FLV.  But that problem aside...if the source video is MP4, why not just import that directly?  Articulate Presenter supports both MP4 and FLV.  I don't think this will help your issue though if the problem is as I suspect (the audio being too low in the source).

>Let's face it guys. It's not the other programs. You can talk all you want about this FLV player does this and this FLV player does that. In the end all my other players sound the same and Presenter publishes at a lower volume.

That isn't what I am seeing (or hearing) here.  That FLV plays at a low volume everywhere for me.

>Your stuff still says '09 and you expect me to believe it's not your software, it's the new stuff that has the problems?

Our software is still labeled '09, but if you look at how many updates we have done since '09 (8, including some cool new features, like MP4 support, custom skins, etc), so we have really tried to stay on top of updating our software to address bugs, add features, and then pushing out big new product launches, instead of charging people for small incremental new versions

>I'm moving on.

I'm sorry to hear that, we are more than happy to help you out if you would like us too.  I would try out using the MP4 above and see if that produces any different results for you...

-Dave

Sara Fromme

Perhaps you are having an apples and orange conversation with each other.

You claim that Articulate is lowering the audio of your .flv on publish.  Articulate says it is not.

I think the truth is that technically Articulate is correct. They are not altering the audio levels of the .flv when you publish. What is probably causing the difference in audio is that the player plays at a different level than the other players you are using to preview.

The ideal for audio recording is to have a controlled environment like a studio.  That is the only way you can control audio quality and keep it consistent. Without the controlled environment you introduce many variables that are difficult to calibrate.

For example, each multimedia application has different record settings.  What may be low and high on one, may not be the same on the other. I see this all the time. Unless the tools are all calibrated to each other (which can't be done) then you introduce variables.

I think one variable that you are experiencing is that the .flv players (Articulate's included) you use to preview are not calibrated. So while they all may be at 70%, 70% is not equal. Product A may play 70% at 10 decibels while product B 70% may play at 30 decibels. My guess is that the other video players are playing the audio back at a different level than the audio levels you get in Articulate. This really isn't the same as the audio levels of the video being altered.

You need a baseline to keep things as consistent as possible. I recommend that you always use the same player for playback which would include narration, videos, Flash files, etc. If you're recording with Articulate then that would be the device to playback all audio and calibrate to. If not, then play all audio through the other devices.

Also curious why you are converting the .mp4 to an .flv. Why not insert the .mp4 without converting. There will always be some degradation when you convert from one format to another. I'd keep the original .mp4 if possible. If you have to convert the .mp4 to .flv there may be a way to boost the audio on conversion. I don't know because I don't have any tools on this computer.

In either case, i think the issue isn't that the video is being altered. It's just that the volume levels on the players are different which is common. You just have to determine which playback device you want to use and then do all of your audio with that.
Dave Mozealous

Shawn Buxton said:

There's a bunch of comments in the forum about using mp4 in Presenter and it's clunkiness because it has to load all the way before it plays. That's why I go to all the trouble of converting to FLV files. 


Yeah, that is only the case with MP4s that weren't created correctly...MP4s that don't have the proper header won't download progressively in our app, or any Flash app for that matter.  If that happens for you, I can tell you how you can "fix" the MP4 so that it will stream (technically it is progressive download in Flash, but pretty much same difference).

keith massey

Shawn, 

 

  For adjusting volume in an engage interaction vs presenter volume we're all used to using...well...there doesn't seem to be an option to edit audio for engage.  However, I may have found a solution.  It seemed to have worked wonders for me. 

 

  You can increase your microphone recording level on your PC.  Then all recording volumes will be the same.  You can do this by suing the following path.  (realize these are instructions for a pc using windows 7) =-)  You computer or MAC may be different. 

 

  Click Start

 

  Control Panel

 

  Hardware and Sound

 

  Under SOUND click Manage Audio Devices

 

  Select Recording Tab

 

  Select Jack Mic (or source you're recording from)

 

  Click Properties button at bottom right

 

  Click Levels

 

  Now you'll see a scaled adjustable option called "Microphone Boost"

 

  Move it to the right to increase your microphone recording volume 10+db or 20+db

 

  Note...10+ worked great for me...now engage volume is just as good as presenter! 

 

 

 

Hope this helps!

 

 

 

Keith