1. Why so many audiofile options (as of 12/15/2001)?
Some people have the Windows Media player (Options 1 and 2), some have the REAL Player (Options 3 and 4). So we need both. In 2005 we began also adding a Flash option. This is nice because it is platform-independent, and also, it allows the slides to go full screen. However, some of the slide files are 1-4 megabytes, so you need a fairly good broadband connection to play the flash versions.
2. Why the preload options (2 and 4)?
People with terrible connections might as well preload the whole sound file. It may take up to 20 minutes, but then they can enjoy the talk, and the slides still will scroll. The talk may begin to play while downloading as well, depending on how Preferences are set in older Real Players. If all else fails, right click on options 2 (WMP) or 4 (Real), then choose "Save-Target-As" and copy the saved file (.asx or .ram) to some name to your local computer, and then open the file locally on your computer using either the Windows Media Player or the Real Player.
When playing the files locally, you need to be connected to the internet while playing the talks, and then the slides will still scroll. These preload options are also good when playing the talk in front of a group, where you don't want a slow internet connection to prevent smooth playing of the talk.
3. Any advantage to the Windows Media Player (1 and 2)?
Not really, although pressing View - File Markers on the Media Player will allow you to go to the audio part of any given slide. On the other hand, if you advance the slider on WMP and the talk has not been completely loaded, the proper slide will not appear until the next slide in sequence comes up. On some computers, however, the WMP option will work and the Real player will not.
4. Any problems with the REAL ONE player? The REAL ONE player is still in a "beta" version (i.e., buggy) as of December, 2001. We suggest that you use the Real Player Basic 8.0 for now. At present, the REAL ONE player opens up one (sometimes two) special browser windows. After the talk begins to play, you need to open up these windows to find the scrolling slides. The link(s) to the REAL media browser will initially appear at the bottom of your screen. You need to maximize this link, as the slides and text will only scroll in the newly opened media browser, not in the standard browser. The new REAL ONE player also asks for the loginID and password for each of the windows that it opens, which can become annoying, but is beyond our control.
5. Why don't the slides scroll?
If you are using Real One player, you need to maximize the MEDIA BROWSER link at the bottom of your screen. With earlier versions of Real Player, if slides do not scroll, make sure that View - Preferences - Content - Enable Automatic Links is checked. In some cases, the talk will not scroll with Real Player. Then try the Windows Media Player link.
In Windows Media Player, the newer versions, the slides may not scroll depending on how the player is set up. In Options - Security or Privacy - make sure that Enable Embedded Scripting is checked.
6. I can't find the FREE Real Player
Trust us, the link is there at wwww.real.com. The company intentionally makes the link to the free Basic 8 Player or the free REAL ONE player hard to find.
7. Windows Player asks for password prior to each slide, opens up a new browser window for each slide (Dec 1, 2002)
This is a bug in the Windows Media Player version 9 beta for XP, that is not present in the beta version for Windows ME, 2000, or 98. Microsoft has been notified and hopefully will fix this before the final release of version 9 .0. Only recourse is to uninstall WMP9-beta, which must be done using the RESTORE method, and install one of the older, non-beta versions.
December 21, 2002: This bug appears to have been fixed in the latest release for WMP-beta-9 for XP. Check the version number in Help-About. If the build number of your player is: 9.00.00.2926 or later, it should work.
March 25, 2006: This bug has reappeared in the latest version of Firefox. Please see #10, below.
8. My CD burner accepts only MP3 files. How can I burn the ASF or WMA files on HDCN to my CD?
We put up the audiofiles as WMA or ASF files (ASF = WMA, just rename them) because the sound quality of spoken audio is better with WMA files than with MP3 files at low bitrates. After some searching, we did find a nice WMA -> MP3 encoder for those who use software that does not burn WMAs directly to CD. The software is free for 30 days evaluation; the full version costs only $20.00 U.S. Go to http://www.audio-converter.com/download.htm and download the full program (size 7,315 KB).
Set WMA -> MP3 conversion options at 16,000 Hz frequency and 24 Kbits (fixed) bitrate, and encoder quality to BEST. The output MP3 file will be about 40% larger than the input WMA file. You can also set a 16 Kbit conversion rate for a slightly smaller file with a modest loss in audio quality.
Update March 12, 2004: We will for the moment also be posting the audiofiles in MP3 format, for those people whose CD burners don't accept WMA files.
9. I can't play the CD that I burned in my regular CD player.
This is because you burned the CD as a DATA CD. To make it readable by regular CD players, you need to burn it as an AUDIO CD.
Update October 28, 2006:
10. When using Windows Player with Firefox, I get a new browser window (or tab) with each slide.
This is a bug in the latest version of Firefox, including Firefox 2.0. It has been reported to Mozilla. Meanwhile, please use Internet Explorer to play the slide/audio talks using the Windows Media Player (see October 28, 2006 update, below, bullet point no. 12, or use the Flash versions.AUDIO CD.
Update August 12, 2006:
11. No video when viewing slide/video presentations (black screen or still image). The problem is that you are using Flash 7.0 or earlier. Flash 8.0 or higher is required to view the videos. Please go to this link to download the latest version of the Flash Player.
Update October 28, 2006:
12. When using Windows Player with Internet Explorer 7.0, I get a new browser tab with each slide.
Fortunately, whereas this bug has not been fixed with Firefox 2.0, it is fixable with IE 7.0. Hit the ALT button to see the toolbar. Go to Tools - Internet Options. Click on "General". Then click on Tabs (Change how web pages are displayed in Tabs) - Settings. Look at "Open links from other programs". Make sure this is set as: "The current tab or window". Also, please make sure that Internet Explorer is set as the default browser. Otherwise each timer point will try and open up any alternative browser (e.g., Firefox) which is identified as the default browser. The DEFAULT BROWSER setting is in Tools - Internt Options - Programs.
Update March 13, 2007:
12a. Hooray! Windows fixed Explorer 7.0.5730.11IC
Now the tab choice option is no longer there, and the browser works like it's supposed to. Also works in Windows Media Player version 11. Still does not work with Firefox. Make sure you set Internet Explorer as your default browser to run these talks.
Update October 28, 2006:
13. The Real Player version browser disappears when opening up a new slide.
Unfortunately, with the update from Firefox 1.6 to 2.0, and with the update of Internet Explorer from version 6.0 to 7.0, the Real Player navigation of the slides no longer works. We will be removing the scripting navigation in the near future. Please use the Flash version where available, or the Windows Media version using Internet Explorer, with Tabbed browser options set as per (12.) above.
13a. December 19, 2006: Removed all embedded timer files from legacy Real Media files. You can now hear the talks without the annoying attempts to open up the Real browser that no longer works with the new Firefox 2.0 or IE 7.0 browsers. But you'll have to scroll through the slides manually when using this option.
14. April 10, 2009:
New Flash/XML option to scroll the single-page transcript
With the last update, we have changed over to a Flash/XML application to scroll the talks as the .MP3 file is played. This should work for both PCs and MACs. Please contact the editorial office if you have any trouble running this new way of scrolling the slides. We will go back and implement this option in all slide/audio talks from Renal Week 2008 as well as the 2008 ASN Board Review talks if compatibility testing confirms that this new method works for all browsers.