OpenOffice Slide Capture

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2008-06-06 , Capturing a lecture, Capturing a mathematics lecture, Manual Audio and Slide Capture, Automated Audio and Slide Capture, OpenOffice Slide Capture, Lecture browsing system.

Clearly the processes mentioned in Manual Audio and Slide Capture can be made simpler if you can install and use suitable capture software, discussed on Automated Audio and Slide Capture.

It's a shame that OpenOffice currently doesn't have a facility built in for capturing presentations. It would be possible to do something quite basic, yet effective, in the following way:

  • While the presentation plays, OpenOffice simply records the (system) times of the slide transitions and build stage
  • After the presentation is finished, there needs to be an export function from OpenOffice, that will export:
    • a still image per slide transition and build stage
    • a file (say in xml format), that gives the timings of each slide transition and build stage, together with the name of the corresponding image

This would give you a cross-platform way of capturing presentation slides, straight within OpenOffice. You'd still need to record the audio, but this could be done externally, e.g. with an audio recorder.

Of course, you could also do this in software (at the risk of crashes etc). Any basic audio recorder would do: When you stop recording, the modification time on the file will tell you how the audio recording synchronises with the slides.

In an ideal world, this would also work inside OpenOffice. So:

  • Audio recording starts when presentation starts
  • Time stamp is somehow recorded when the recording stops
  • A copy of the original audio is saved, that is automatically normalised, with the option to apply Dynamic Range Compression
  • Optionally an mp3 file is exported (original time stamp e.g. part of the name of the file). mp3 would be encoded as mono, at 32kbps, see Encoding Timebased Media

This would then give you a cross-platform way of capturing presentation together with audio, straight within OpenOffice.

For web presentation, you'd need to tie this together, see Lecture browsing system.