Playtime with Audio and Widgets

Intro

Holiday time means playtime, travelling to me. For personal reasons not travel for me this year. So thought it a good idea to offer you some information and fun about a small country that I visited several times being the home country of my husband. In this text I will not try to explain everything. If you want explanations about some of the techniques I have been using, please post a comment. Just know that I used of course Captivate but also enjoyed the roundtrip functionalities with Audition and Photoshop in the eLearning Suite 2.5 extensively. 

In several previous articles I have been using widgets that are included with Captivate. Those were all static widgets. But recently two great widgets were published by friends, and I had a lot of fun including them in this movie.

Since months I planned to offer some tips about audio, will try to keep them really simple (KISS) and as promised without long texts.

Playtime

Watch this movie and try to have a high score playing with the widgets described further. You'll need some patience, due to the many audio clips it is bigger than the files I normally add to these posts. You can also download it if you want.

Widgets

I used two widgets, one is an interactive widget and the other is a question widget. This means that both can be (and were) used to include scores in a quiz. Here is a short description of the widgets and of course a link to the sites where you can find them. Highly recommendable, both of them!

Drag and Drop Interactive Widget 
This interactive widget was released by InfoSemantics (by Rod and Tristan Ward) and can be found here: Drag and Drop Interactive Widget. Rod explains very well the functionalities of an interactive widget and offers also a comparison with their previously released Drag and Drop Lite Question Widget. Of course, I used Advanced actions to construct the Question slides created with this recent widget. Let me know if you want me to explain those actions in a more elaborate article. I love this widget for its great range of functionalities, especially in combination with advanced actions.

Jumbled Word Widget
This question widget was released by another Captivate-friend, Yves Riel (Flash-Factor) and can be found here: Jumbled Word Widget. Because it is a question widget, it takes over all functionalities of question slides. Just one example: here I used Captivate 5.5 and the new Review feature is automatically attached to the slide with the question widget. No need for advanced actions to add scores to the Quiz in this case. But of course you also get the limitations of question slides : no way to have a partial score (as I created with the other widget for dragging the names to the map). I love this widget for its great design and it confirmed what I suspected since a while: Yves is a perfectionist!

Audio

A lot of audio was used in this movie: background (drums music), slide audio (some of the Voice overs are attached as slide audio) but the most powerful way to add/control audio is using object audio. Some reasons with examples:
  • Object audio allows you to have more than one audio clip playing simultaneously without having to create a multi-track audio file. 
    Example: slide 8 with the rollover slidelets; each slidelet has two audio clips, the first is attached to the image, and the second (Voice over) is attached to the Text Caption that appears later. This allowed also to fade out the first music clip, without effect on the Voice over.

  • You can manipulate object audio by (advanced) actions: hiding the object results in the audio not playing, showing the object plays the audio. If you want an audio to play only the first time that a slide is visited, this is a solution: attach the audio to an object that is visible to Captivate but not to the user. To myself I call those audio clips "audio objects".
    Example: the question slides constructed with the widgets have a Voice over that plays when the user takes the quiz, but not when he is reviewing the quiz. Moreover some question slides have a music clip as well, that will only play during the Quiz time, but not when reviewing. This was realized by attaching each music clip (VO and music) to a rectangle with a stroke width of 0 and a Fill with Alpha=0, thus making it invisible to the user. With an advanced action I hide those rectangles when reviewing, resulting in not playing nor the VO nor the music.

  • Same technique can be used to play another music clip in different situations.
    Example: I did not imply it in the movie because it was already very heavy, but this can be used to replace the Text Captions (Review Messages) in the Question slides created with the Drag and Drop Interactive Widget by Voice overs, or to add a Voice Over to those text captions.

I do feel that you have more questions, but I promised a no-text-heavy post this time. If you want me to explain something more in depth, please post a comment.

Have fun! 

20 responses
How great to see such clever use of multiple audio tracks. Also, I now feel a bit validated that I've been employing some of the same techniques, such as, using "invisible" objects to launch various tracks. But, as usual, your elegantly executed production is still something for me to aspire too.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful work.

Great work and also a vindication of my own approach to using "invisible" objects to control multiple audio tracks. Even so, this elegant production, like all your examples, are ones I continue to aspire too.

Thanks!

@CharlieMullin Was disconnected for some hours, that is why I only approved your comment today. Thanks for your nice words, it makes me happy that my examples can inspire, that is why I started this blog less 10 months ago. Feel free to make suggestions or if you have questions about this or previous examples, fire away!
Lilybiri, as always an awesome post. I particularly loved the subject - but as always it's wonderful to see how you implement these elements. The sound layering is really great. Thanks as always for the ideas you share so generously. - Allen
Thanks Allen, thought it to be time to do something creative with all my travel photos and Burundi is a country with a tragic history but that I love nevertheless. Object audio is really powerful.
Wow, just amazing implementation... Very inspiring!
Thanks for sharing this fine example! Where is the download link?
@viluvilu Sorry about that, thought that it was possible to download the SWF, but seems no longer to be the case. So I published it on acrobat.com, only the SWF (not the companion HTML or JS), but should befunctional: https://acrobat.com/#d=Ii8rpQHse1hFpXIM0ZkRcg
Thanks, all the same! This file should do for the time being.
What a beautiful, thoughtful, creative piece. I just found your blog, so look forward to reading more of your wonderful ideas!
@herbst Thanks for your nice comment, appreciate it really. Thought that most Captivate users had already discovered my blog :-)
Hi - I am wondering if there is a way to not allow the learner to move on to the next slide until the audio is complete. I am sure there is a way with advanced actions and variables, but I am having difficulty figuring it out.
I saw really much useful information above!
posicionamiento web
Hi Lieve This is a great file! Thanks so much. I'm having difficulty getting sound to work in my Captivate file. I'm using Captivate 7. My speakers are working. The sound file plays when I insert audio in an object and test it but won't play when I play the slide. Do you have any idea what the problem might be? Thanks so much! Best regards, Sandy
That kind of questions would be answered more easily on the Captivate forum. You have to know that 'Play slide' (F3) is not a real Preview. Do you have same problem when using another Preview mode? For F3: check that the small audio icon at the bottom of the Timeline panel is not muted.
Hi Lieve, Thanks for this blog post. I'm new to Captivate (9.0) and I was using buttons to trigger audio files. If I clicked on another button the 2nd sound file would stop short and not play the whole file. Your technique has fixed my problem and removed the need for a 'close/stop' button. Thank you very much - I couldn't find an answer anywhere else.
Indeed the only way to have two audio clips playing at the same time, is to use audio objects as I described in this post, and also in a more recent article: http://blog.lilybiri.com/audio-objects-control-... 2017-02-27 3:28 GMT+01:00 Posthaven Comments :
3 visitors upvoted this post.