General add-ons

 
 
Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul and Boris

Okay! I finally found the correct link:
https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=assignsubmission_onlineaudio

I've installed it and setup an 'Online Audio Recording" assignment with the correct setting ticked. However, when I load up the Recorder, I get this overlay message "Loading Please Wait" that goes on forever. See image. What's wrong with my site?

If I click the Cancel or Upload button, nothing happens. I have PoodLL installed. My filters are:

Need a little help here...
Frankie Kam

 
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Picture of Boris Puhanic
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Just a stab in the dark, but have you tried after temporarily deactivating PoodLL?  Maybe there's some conflict with the way mp3 files are handled while poodll is running.

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Boris

I disabled PoodLL and it makes no difference. The problem remains.

Frankie

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Boris 

It's confirmed working on my Windows XP laptop.
Couldn't get it to work on my Windows 7 PC. Strange.

Frankie Kam

 
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Picture of AL Rachels
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Hi Boris and Frankie,

Frankie, I hate to say this, but I think it might be something to do with your Windows 7 PC. I am using Win 7 and the onlineaudio submission works fine for me, with PoodLL installed. In fact, my PoodLL filter is providing the player for the onlineaudio submission in the student assignment after recording, and also in the grade book view.

Just for fun, I just made an assignment that included File submissions, Online text, Online audio recording, and Online PoodLL all at the same time. It worked. Just have to do the online audio recording before doing the online Poodll recording due to the save and upload buttons used by online audio. It wipes out the online Poodll recording if it was made first.

AL

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Frankie,

The fact that the Cancel and Upload buttons (and the progress bar) are visible is a sign that it hasn't loaded correctly.  The most common reason for this is that an incompatible version of Flash Player is being used.

Which browser (and version) are you using, and which version of Flash Player is in use?  You can check the latter by right-clicking on the recorder (broken though it may be) - one of the items in the context menu should be "About Adobe Flash Player [version]".  Note that some browsers can have multiple Flash Player versions installed at the same time - so even if you have the latest version installed, it might be using an older one...

 

-Paul

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul

Thanks for checking in. I'm using "You have version 11,7,700,225 installed" of the Flash PLayer. Google Chrome Version 27.0.1453.116 m. Also doesn't work on my Mozilla Firefox 17.0. Strange. I've tested it on my colleague's PC (also Win7) and the same thing happens.

Frankie

 
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Picture of Boris Puhanic
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hi Frankie,

it's working for me with Win 7, Shockwave Flash 11.7.700.224 and Firefox 22, and also with Internet Explorer 10 (same Flash version).

Boris.

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

It sounds like something's making it hang/crash. There's an official debug version of Flash Player that traces errors in a popup window. It suspends code execution until you dismiss it (like break points). If there's any coding errors, they'll show up there: https://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html

These are the two you want:

Download the Windows Flash Player 11.7 ActiveX control content debugger (for IE) (EXE, 16.58MB)

Download the Windows Flash Player 11.7 Plugin content debugger (for Netscape-compatible browsers) (EXE, 17.21MB)

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Frankie,

This might sound a little odd, given that we're discussing an audio recording plugin - but do you have an audio input plugged in and enabled?  I tested in the exact same Chrome version (which therefore has the exact same Flash Player version), and also in Firefox 17, both on Win7 - and it worked perfectly... I wrote a response with possible next steps, but while I was doing so, I thought about what might possibly be different between your setup and mine.  That's when it hit me that lack of an input source might cause unexpected behaviour - and sure enough, if I unplug my USB headset (the only audio input) and try again, it does exactly what you're reporting.

I'll have a quick poke around and see if I can tweak the recorder to put up a "Please plug in a microphone" message in such circumstances, rather than failing in that most useless of ways.

 

-Paul

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Just a quick update:

  • I've just put together a new version of the recorder which includes a new message for that situation: "Couldn't initialise microphone."
  • I'll do a bit more testing (with my other Moodle plugins which use it) to make sure I haven't broken anything, then I'll roll out updates to all three plugins (old assignment type, new assignment submission and repository) with the new recorder
  • Chrome now seems to latch on to the microphone request, and blocks access until you allow it as well:

    This seems to pop up the first time you hit the record button - which is annoying, as it results in you recording silence until you hit "Allow".  It's a once-only (per site) thing, though; by default, it'll remember your choice.  You can always stop and restart that initial recording to get rid of the silence...

-Paul

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

It looks like your testing it in Google Chrome. Chrome manages Flash Player differently and it looks like instead of putting the access to mic message in a context menu in the FP window, it's doing it through the browser.

Does it still record silence in other browsers when the standard context menu for mic access pops up? If so, you can pre-empt the permissions so that it asks as soon as the app loads.

BTW, you can test for mics and cameras with flash.system.Capabilities: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/FlashPlatform/reference/actionscript/3/flash/system/Capabilities.html

I hope this helps! smile

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Matt,

Yes, that was Chrome.  As I said, it does this in addition to Flash Player's request for access to the mic.  So for somebody who hasn't used it on a given site (in Chrome) before, the process (assuming the user accepts everything) is as follows:

  • When the page loads, the recorder will display the Flash Player settings request for access to the microphone
  • User allows access
  • User clicks play button
  • Recorder starts recording silence
  • Chrome slides out the banner in the screenshot above
  • User clicks on "Allow"
  • Recorder starts actually receiving audio

So it seems that Chrome has tried to be clever by supplying Flash Player with a silent audio source until the user grants access (again).  This is quite annoying, since Flash Player already allows the user to control access; my guess is that it's an attempt at consistency with the HTML5 getUserMedia() system, which uses the same grey banner at the top of the page - and I think it's even consolidated, so granting Flash Player access will then allow getUserMedia() the same access from that site (and vice versa, assuming Flash is also granted access through its own system).  To me, this seems like a half-baked attempt - if Chrome wants to control Flash Player's access to mic/webcam, it should take over completely rather than adding a second layer of settings; that's a pretty big step, though, since it'd require changes to Flash Player and would make the behaviour inconsistent between different Flash Players (Chrome's Pepper Flash vs everyone else's Flash).  This isn't really the place for that discussion, so I'll hunt for existing discussions in the appropriate places (and start one if there isn't already one).

 

-Paul

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Maybe there's a workaround where you can prompt the Chrome access first with JavaScript so the Chrome bar pops up as soon as the page loads?

It looks like there's a similar bug in the Chromium tracker: https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=180204

[edit] I took the liberty of copying and pasting your description of the issue into the Chromium bug tracker. Very clear and concise and better put than I could've done it. I hope you don't mind.

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Matt,

Thanks for that.  I'm not sure about a workaround; it could work, but you'd still have to give permission twice - which is what I'm most annoyed about! 

I'm not sure if that issue you found is quite the same thing - that sounds like two related-but-separate places where you can consume audio inputs, which currently require separate approval rather than prompting once and it then working for both.  I've started a separate issue for our Flash-related problem, with another copy-paste of a large part of my earlier post here along with some more information: https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=257514

-Paul

P.S. I've run out of time today to prepare and release updated versions of the plugins, but if anyone's desperate for it before next week, they can drop the SWF from the "build" directory of the audio recorder's git repo (https://github.com/pauln/local-audio-recorder) into the "assets" directory within whichever of my Moodle plugins they're using - overwrite the existing one.  I've done some quick testing in the assignment submission and repository plugins, and it seems to work fine in both.

 
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