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GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities

 
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Picture of Clark Moodler
GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
Pie in the sky, a long shot, I know...

Currently there are several possibilities for incorporating voice and video but all are 3rd party (Wimba, Gong) and/or somewhat costly. While one can record files on the computer and upload them, this still goes beyond the capabilities of the majority of users.

Facebook already has the capability for users to easily record audio, or video from a webcam directly into its messaging and forum system with a click, yet no LMS/VLE (that I know of) has this capability.

If users had the built-in ability to click an icon to record voice or video (especially if this were built right into the HTML toolbar) and easily add that into any place where the HTML toolbar exists, this would be first class and very useful for foreign languages, but also for professors who'd like to record a/v and insert into web page resources and other places in courses (even quizzes) - but don't currently have the expertise.
 
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Matt Bury
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
Hi Clark,

I think that the facility to record students' voices can be useful for testing and assessment purposes and it'd certainly be a welcome addition for many Moodle users, but I don't think it should stop there.

Recording on-line requires a media server of some kind and if we're proposing to include one in Moodle, we may as well include it with the full range of facilities available. This includes recording audio and video but also VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol AKA Internet telephony and teleconferencing), instant messaging, true video and audio streaming, AMF (Action Messaging Format AKA Flash Remoting), etc.

Facebook uses an open source media server, called Red5, for many of its features and I believe there are some 3rd party Moodle plugins that use it too:

http://osflash.org/red5

I think it would be a valuable addition to Moodle. I'm not sure how long it would take to implement a Moodle/Red5 interface or to provide an API and adequate documentation so that 3rd parties can develop recording, streaming audio/video, VoIP, etc. plugins and modules but I do think that there's a strong case for providing a very desirable and requently asked for facility which doesn't appear to be supported by other LMSs.

Just my $0.02! smile
 
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Picture of Sylvio Runge
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
A Red5-Interface for moodle (SOA) exist; see OpenMeetings ( http://moodle.org/mod/forum/view.php?id=7298 , http://openmeetings.googlecode.com/files/openmeetings_moodle_mod_v03.zip , http://code.google.com/p/openmeetings/ )
Commercial support is also available (http://www.webbase-design.de/side/ )...

For recordings (lectures) is probably TTT (http://teleteaching.uni-trier.de/ttt_download.html ) interesting. It can convert also in flash, which can be later inserted.

Both is open source.


S.





 
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Picture of Jose Leonardo Diaz Ordoñez
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 

Dont forget the needs to track the student progress, and also the need to create new services, not just audio or video streaming, I think the goal is to create services that take some benefits of the presential environment to the virtual.

some taste of our work at the University of Cauca, in Colombia.

We are currently developing a streaming service architecture for integrating such services on a e-learning environment. the first stage is to create some playback streaming services, like video streaming but in a non conventional way. There is a service for content adaptation, so video can be ignore and just audio is played, there is sinchronization with a presentation, and there are advance services like content taging (you tag the content not the resource, for example you can tag at 1:30 second of a video and another tag at 2:00 minutes of the same video), it gives the chance to make a more sofisticated search or semantic too. There is a TOC for the video and the presentation, all of them sinchronized.

Some of the features are:

-  Integration is granted using SCORM (currently 1.2 Spec, so moodle and any other SCORM compliant platform can include our streaming player), so you just publishes from our architecture and import it to any scorm compliant and is ready to go.

- Security is in progress  as SCORM has limited capabilities in the message definition, so we are doing our best to propose something.

- Content adaptation.

- Web service behind the RTMP access gateway for the services.

- Flash based Client (server uses red5)

Everything sounds nice, but now we are develping the backend of the application for the tutor to create the content. this is the hardest of the project as it must integrate a lot of services, and also it must be online (sorry this is a requirement)

I think in 2 months it will be ready and released as opensource ('cause we need to do our thesis document and it eats lots of our time). 

 

 

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
You don't need a server to record audio, a Java applet will do it stand-alone. See the post I made in the GSOC thread. You can implement this nicely in Moodle 2.0 as a repository plugin.

I just created MDL-18341 for people to vote on.
 
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Me at the Moodle Moot NZ11
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
Yeah, I like the Java applet approach - I think that setting up a media server would be beyond the capabilities of many Moodle administrators (who don't actual admin anything else at all), and probably in the 'too hard' basket for those using remote hosting packages.

Voted for this smile
 
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Picture of Helen Foster
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup TestersGroup Translators
Thanks everyone, 'Record audio repository plugin' is now included in the Projects for new developers list.
 
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Picture of Matt Gibson relaxing in the Alps
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Plugin developers
Out of curiosity, is there any accepted moodle wisdom about whether flash or java would be preferable for a plugin like this?
 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
I think flash works by default on more computers. You are more likely to have to install a JRE yourself. However, I think that the only way to compress recorded audio to MP3 in flash is using one of their expensive flash media servers. (At least I think that was the case when the OU was looking into this a few years ago.) If I am right about that, it is insane from a software architecture point of view, but helps Macromedia Adobe sell software licenses.
 
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Martin Dougiamas
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers
I would totally prefer Flash for simplicity on clients.

But: can Flash record a sound a locally as a file and upload it to a server via http POST? I think it can't but would be ecstatic to hear otherwise.

On the other hand see Nanogong for a fully-realised version using Java in Moodle.
 
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Matt Bury
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
Hi all,

Flash is widely accepted because it's relatively secure. The downside is that it's so secure that it can't write anything other than a limited number of objects locally. Unfortunately, this doesn't include media files (i.e. MP3, FLV, GIF, PNG, JPG, etc.).

My original post in this thread was more along the lines of providing a unified framework in Moodle that would work on most user's systems that could be used for anything from chat, to collaborative whiteboards, to recording voice messages, to video blogging, to secure video streaming, to full-on VoIP conferencing.

If such a framework existed, I'm sure there are lots of developers out there who could think of some pretty ingenious applications to install as plugins. smile

This would, of course, also require an API with good documentation. Probably way too much for GSoC project. sad
 
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Picture of Jamie Pratt
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Plugin developers
Unfortunately the Flash client only allows you to stream audio / video to or from a server, there is no access to the audio sample data available on the client side. The open source red5 server software records audio on the server side and video and can stream video or audio to other clients.

Some kind of applet built into Moodle to record audio / video would be great I think. Guess the ability to record audio / video would be controlled by the capabilities system so that there would be a lot of flexibility to specify where and who can record.
 
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Picture of Ramesh Adeef
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
I think it is better to use flex. Using flex you can get the video and audio from the webcam. Then we can send those data to the red5 server and record the audio and video. After that other client can stream those video using a flash client.

thank you
Adeef


 
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Matt Bury
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
Hi guys,

I've just read an article that is relevant to this discussion regarding using Flash for recording audio:

http://theflashblog.com/?p=829

Basically, it looks like we'll have access to raw audio bit data in Flash Player 10 and above. Flash Player 10 has been out for a while now an it should have good coverage by the time Moodle 2.0 is released wink

In case you're wondering, have access to the raw bit data from the microphone opens up huge possibilities for processing and analysing the data - great for speech recognition, time-stretching and the like! smile
 
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Picture of Ramesh Adeef
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
Hi all,

I have wrote a proposal to google summer of code to implement record audio-video plugin. if you can please read the proposal and give some idea to improve it. In that i suggest to use flash player 10 to capture video from webcam. Red5 flash media server is use to save the content.The server application will be written in java. Also i writing a flex client to get the video from the red5 server and display to moodle client.

Thank you,
Adeef
 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
Since Moodle is a PHP application, it seems bad to require a Java server just for audio recording. (I know it is much easier to develop that sort of thing in Java, but ultimately we want a tool that can be deployed on most Moodle sites, and a lot of Moodle sites are on shared hosting that only has Apache+PHP.)

Surely all audio recording and compression can be done client-side with a Java or Flash applet, and all that we require form the Server-side is for it to handle a standard file-upload in a POST request?
 
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Picture of Ramesh Adeef
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
Hi all,
Red5 server is needed to stream video. If the user want see the video in Real-Time Streaming we should need a media server. If the purpose is to only audio recording and compression we don't need a media server. We can implement it using the flash or java applet like you mentioned above. But then user have to download the file and have to view it using a player. We can give progressive streaming method to view but it's only suitable for small clip like 3 minute or less. Anyway lecture is more than 3 minute so this method is not suitable. Therfore the viewer should download the content and have to view using a player.
I will rewrite my proposal to above requirement that you have suggest. Anyway the moodle need multimedia capabilities like video streaming, video conferencing,..etc. we should have to implement a media server in the future. I found media server called Jinzora it's written in php. I will go through it today. If we can integrate it then we can do realtime steaming.
Another method is use Youtube API. we can easily upload,share and view video's through moodle. But the only problem is moodle should have to access to the internet to view video.

Thank you
Adeef
 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
From what I have picked up in these forums and other discussion, most Moodle sites don't need streaming at all. Just serving audio and video content over HTTP works fine, and all the players start playing as soon as they have enough of the files buffered.

The main reason that people use a streaming server seems to be
  • to make it a little bit harder for people to download a copy of the clip, which I don't this is a major concern in most educational settings
  • so content can be streamed as it is recorded, which again is a special case that it better served by a separate tool like Eluminate, rather than Moodle. Moodle, being a web-based tool, is more suited to asynchronous interaction.
  • becuase they have a huge amount of video, and really need to use streaming to manage their bandwidth.
So, I think that the biggest cost/benefit payoff is an easy-to-deploy stand alone audio recording tool, with video if possible.


 
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Picture of Ramesh Adeef
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
Thank you for giving me the exact requirement for the audio/video recording tool. so i have been changed my project proposal to fulfill this requirement.

Thank you
Adeef
 
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Picture of Jaromir Sivic
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
Media server is necessary if you want to record audio or video directly from flash, but it is not necessary to stream recorded video to the client. We could use FFMpeg to ensure right conversion of any AV format to the (flv, vp6 or h264) flash video. After that, this video(audio) could be streamed by php pseudostreaming or mod_h264 for lighttpd or apache web server. Before two years I have created something what you are talking about as my Bachelor thesis. http://mirror2.cze.cz/breeze/breezehelp.htm, it was estabilished on Red5 version 0.5 smile, now I´m working with Red5 0.8 rc1 and I´m eagerly waiting for accurate description of RTMP protocol, which Adobe promised to release in first half of year 2009.
 
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Picture of Ramesh Adeef
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
Hi all,
I look at your site. It nice and that sort of requirement have to be fulfilled.but there is noway to use an additional java server like red5 server. Most of the people in thread were suggest that the plug-in should be easily deployed to current moodle system. So i have working on it. I thought after reading the data from flash can send trough http service and save the content. If it imposible and we have to use media server there is no option and have to write a java applet. I think through http service we can save the flash content.I am not sure.I will find more information about this.
There is php media server called jinzora(http://en.jinzora.com/features). we can directly deployed to the apache. This server is suitable for our requirment. I am not sure. Please can you refer it.

Thank you
Adeef
 
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Picture of Jaromir Sivic
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
Ok. Also there is posibility to use ffmpeg-php to transcode video from any format to flash h264 and stream it using php pseudo streaming (this work pretty nice) - I have added this option to my proposal.
After few minutes they will cut my internet connection. See you after the weekend.
 
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Picture of Mark Stevens
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
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Picture of Mike Smith
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 

As an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher I place the priority of a simple robust audio recorder far above that of video recording. I'd hate to see the audio function have to wait for the video issues to be solved, or an overly complex combined final solution. Wimba is a good product but also a good example of how expensive it might be to go down that development path.

Language teaching needs to check spoken skills, not learner's appearance. Sorry to be blunt.

We've been using NanoGong Java audio recorder applet "quite" successfully. It integrates nicely with Moodle's HTML editor for audio recording within any instance of that editor - forums, online assigments, OUWikis (but not the built-in Moodle wiki in 1.9.2). The NanoGong Moodle activity (additional to the HTML Area editor audio recorder) functions as a kind of combined online assignment and audio assignment.

None of the recorded audio survives a normal course backup/restore, which I notice in other forum threads has quite annoyed people. However finding and copying/archiving the storage folders manually is not hard, especially if you stick with the NanoGong HTML Area tool rather than the NanoGong Moodle Activity.

The above two tools do not require the Gong Server to be installed, so they are usable by most Moodle Administrators as long as they can access the Moodle installation directory folders. So they will need domain administrator privileges. I do this with FileZilla or CPanel on shared and dedicated webhosts.

I have found that the Java applet upload hangs on some webhosts, and I have been unable to find out why even after specifically asking the authors of Gong as well as the support techies on servers where it doesn't work and also where it does work. It's a mystery and I admit represents some risk for us, as does the prospect of it not working on Moodle 2 which has a HTML editor redesign.

I agree that requiring an additional server installation of something like Red5 will effectively exclude most Moodle administrators. I'm not comfortable about trying it. I feel that a concerted effort by Java programers would bring a simple Java applet like Nanogong up to full production standard relatively quickly. Placing it within core code would make many Moodlers very happy, I should think.

 
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Picture of Norbert Berger
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
I would second that. It woudl be perfect to have AV recording and playback integrated in the html editor. Nanogong is a great model for this. Yet I fear for its future. Without html Editor integration in new versions of Moodle, I can either not upgrade or else lose much appreciated functionality.

Nanogong works a real treat. Although I have managed to install Red5 and covcell tools which allow video conferencing, my concern is that they won't run in future versions of Moodle.

Please, please, pretty please with a cherry on the top: let's not have a repeat of what happened to MoodleSpeex which worked well in 1.7, then died as integration into form handlers changed and nobody managed to bring Moodlespeex along.

Such fantastic modules should be integrated into the main Moodle core.
 
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Picture of Ramesh Adeef
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
Hi all,
I wrote my proposal and submitted to Google summer of code. There is only one day is left to do changes. Please refer to the proposal and give me your suggestion. Its really important. So i can do the final changes.
Thank you,
Adeef

 
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Picture of Patrick Thibaudeau
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Plugin developers
If it is of any interest, we are presently developing a language lab here at Campus Saint-Jean University of Alberta, that will integrate into Moodle. It is flash based using RED5.

Here are some of the features.

* Like Nanogong, integrate into html area and TinyMCE.
* Student recording activity - similar to Nanogong - Teachers will be able to leave recorded messages.
* Student Dialog activity - Teachers will be able to evaluate students based on dialog and not just a recording of single student
* integration with Moodle messaging for voice chatting.
* Integration with gradebook.

Patrick
 
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Picture of Patrick Thibaudeau
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Plugin developers
Hello all,

First module nearly finished! All major functions are done. That is,
  • Creation of module - done
  • Flash recording applet to Flash server (Red5) - done
  • Student view/recording/saving data- done
  • Teacher view/recording/evaluation/saving - done
What's left before Wednesday?
  • Fix style sheets
  • Convert student view to AJAX
What will still need to be done?
  • Gradebook integration
  • Backup module
  • Restore module
I have never done any gradebook integration. Chances are, this will be the last thing I work on. Backup and restore procedures should not be too complicated. Those should be done by Friday.

Once all every thing is done, hopefully by the end of May, I'll have a linkl in plugins for all to download.

After that, work starts on the second module of the language lab. Dialogue between students (up to four students at a time)

Will keep you posted.
 
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Picture of Garret Gengler
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 

This sounds fantastic, Patrick.

Full speed ahead!

-Garret

 
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Matt Bury
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
Hi guys,

I had a thought...

I definitely think that Moodle should adopt easy integration with a media server with a well designed API. This would be most beneficial to organisations that require sophisticated client<->server and client<->client communication for VoIP, file sharing and interactive learning games and activities, and can afford the high costs of maintaining a media server.

On the other hand, we have Moodlers who simply want their learner to record and submit audio and/or use a 3rd party VoIP service such as GoogleTalk or Skype. There's already a Skype plugin module). I've experimented with NanoGong and other methods of allowing users to submit recordings and I've come across the following problems:

Audio recording performed server-side requires Java to run on the server. A service which is rarely offered on shared hosting providers.

Audio recording that is performed client-side via NanoGong, a Java applet, suffers from 2 problems:

#1 Audio is recorded in WAV format which is uncompressed and very bulky - around 1MB per minute.

#2 The recorded audio is saved somewhere on users' computers. They have to find the file they've just recorded and attach/upload it some way. A lot of users will find this problematic.

I think a more popular solution to audio recording could be to provide access to a 3rd party service, such as GoogleTalk, to perform the audio recording and give tutors and learners access to it. I'm not sure if this is possible but GoogleTalk has an API and it'd be well worth checking out.

There's also the possibility of using a Skype plug-in, i.e. not a Moodle plug-in for Skype but a Skype plug-in for Moodle. They have an API too: https://developer.skype.com/

...just a thought. smile
 
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Me at the Moodle Moot NZ11
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
Matt - you summed up my feelings exactly.

Dedicated media servers are fine for those that can justify it (time, technical expertise, etc).
But for many, many Moodle users a NanoGong-like solution is needed.
If using another API is the way to go that sounds logical.

It would be disappointing if audio in Moodle was only available for 'high end users' - because it's a functionality that could benefit many teachers/students, and many courses smile
 
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Matt Bury
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
Hi Stuart,

Yes, at the moment Moodle appears to be a one-way street as far as multimedia goes. Users can consume audio and video but users' interaction with Moodle seems to be limited to just text unless you get involved with users uploading files produced with 3rd party desktop software - hardly a satisfactory service.

Other websites offer simple, easy to use services for audio recording such as this one: https://www.livemocha.com/ I think for any LMS to take itself seriously as a web 2.0 application, it should have this kind of functionality built in as standard.
 
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Matt Bury
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers
Hey,

This looks like a promising option: http://riffly.com/api They already have a plug-in module for Wordpress, which I've installed and tested. It seems to work pretty well. Would anyone like to extend an assignment module to incorporate this?
 
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Picture of Andrei Băutu
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 
I did a repository plugin for riffly and one for nanogong. The two plugins are in CVS /plugins/repository/riffy and /plugins/repository/nanogong.

The riffly plugin allows audio-only or audio-video recording. The flv files can be stored on riffly.com servers or downloaded into Moodle. If I'm not mistaking, the audio sound is not compressed (it's only recorded at a very low sampling rate).

The nanogong plugin allows users to save files locally or submit them to the server (without the need of saving them locally). It supports ADPCM and Speex codecs at various sampling rates.

They will allow recording in all the places where repository will be used. Right now, that is as forum attachements and in resources description using the TinyMCE embed multimedia plugin. However, the embed multimedia will be disabled sooner or later, but at that point it will probably be replaced by a filter.

Please give feedback and bug reports here: http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-18341
 
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Picture of Jérôme Mouneyrac
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Plugin developers
Andrei's plugins are really fun to use, so we installed a demo version for them. If you wanna try them, you can go there: http://test.moodle.org/audiovideo/

 
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Picture of Don Hinkelman
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers

This demo site for the Riffy and Nanogong 2.0 plugins is not operating now.  Is there another place to go?

http://test.moodle.org/audiovideo/

 
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Picture of Rij Blr
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 

I tried it on my moodle 2.0 installation.

It doesn't show up the plugin name on repository administration page.

Thanks
Rij

 
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Picture of susan jq
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 

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Kevin Brake
Re: GSOC: Record Audio/Video directly into resources/activities
 

You might want to try this hack to add a video recorder to a forum posting:

Installation Instructions:

http://elearningshow.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/how-to-install-my-forum-video-recorder/

 
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