October 28, 2006
Problems with slide/audio talk displays using legacy Windows Media and Real Player methods when using Firefox 2.0 or Internet Explorer 7.0

About 18 months ago, we changed to Flash/MP3 as the primary method to show slide/audio talks in synchronized fashion. This new method continues to work well with the recently released Internet Explorer 7.0 (IE7) and Firefox 2.0 browsers. During the past 18 months, we continued to also make the slide/audio talks available using our legacy methods, which were set up in 1997, and which were designed to be used by people with very low bandwidth modem connections. These legacy methods involve timer script files which are embedded into Windows Media Player and Real Player audiofiles. After the changeover to the Flash/MP3 method, we continued to include the two legacy methods, because (a) the audio quality of WM and Real files is higher, and (2), for people dialing up using a modem, the legacy method works better, since the file size of the slide images is often smaller.

With each new browser or player update, we have had problems with these legacy systems.

Windows Media Player legacy option: tab problem: Versions 1.5 and higher of Firefox, including the newly released version 2.0, do not link to the slides correctly in the course of a talk when using the Windows Media Player legacy method. The embedded timer file opens up each new slide in a new window or tab instead of simply scrolling to the desired slide on the already opened web page. One can listen to a talk, and the correct slide will appear, but one eventually will have 30 tabs or browser windows open (as many as there are slides) for a given talk. There is no cure for this available unless Firefox fixes this bug in its browser.

The Windows Media Player legacy system DOES work with Internet Explorer, and also works with the newly released tabbed browser update of Internet Explorer 7.0 (IE7), but with the default settings, IE7 behaves like Firefox, opening up each slide in a new tab. To fix the problem with IE7, one of the default TAB SETTINGS needs to be changed, which can be done very easily. Please see hdcn.com/audiofaq.htm, the October 26 update (bottom of page, bullet point no. 12) for details on how the default TAB SETTING needs to be changed.

Real Player legacy option: Repeat authentication requests and failure to open Real Browser: With updates to Firefox 2.0 and Internet Explorer 7.0, the legacy method of using Real Player no longer works. So this legacy method has now become non-functional. We have left the Real Media audiofiles in place, but have removed the synchronization files, so the talk no longer scrolls as the Real Media audio is played.

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.