General help

Audio file has no sound - but not all the time

 
 
Picture of tim wilde
Audio file has no sound - but not all the time
 

Hi All,

Moodle version 2.4.1+
$version  = 2012120301.02;
$release  = '2.4.1+ (Build: 20130118)

We are encountering a very strange problem with audio files (mp3).

If we link or insert an audio (mp3) AND video (flv) file into the same Moodle page, sometimes there is no sound on the audio file. The video file is always fine.

The files are currently uploaded on our server and are set as links in the web page, as opposed to using the “insert media” option of the editor

An example of this is on our test site here http://smart.perceptiveits.com.au/mod/page/view.php?id=274

My findings so far are as follows;

1.The sound may work initially and then we lose it after refresh or if it is opened in more than one browser

2. If we refresh/close down the browser the sound may come back.

3. I have tried adding the files as links (as they are now) and inserting them as media using the editor and we still encounter the same problem

4. If I remove the video file all is OK with the sound file- consistently. i.e we have sound back on the audio file

The files can be downloaded from here

TestVideo.flv

 Any idea/help would be appreciated.

 Thanks

 
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Picture of tim wilde
Re: Audio file has no sound - but not all the time
 

Hi All,

I have linked the same files to another test site on the same server, but this site uses a differenet version of Moodle;

$release  = '2.2.6+ (Build: 20121116)';
$version  = 2011120506.01;

On this site they play fine, which may indicate a problem with the latest software???

Site is here

http://sli.perceptiveits.com.au/mod/page/view.php?id=2245

I am unable to roll the software back as the database has been updated.

Any help/pointers would be appreciated

Thanks

 
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Picture of Justin Hunt
Re: Audio file has no sound - but not all the time
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Tim

Try setting your text cache lifetime to "No" in the Site Administration -> plugins -> filters -> Common Filter Settings

Sometimes the filter caching can mess things up. It is more noticeable in Moodle 2.4 after some caching changes came in.

 

Justin

 
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Picture of tim wilde
Re: Audio file has no sound - but not all the time
 

Thanks for this Justin,

I have set the cache lifetime to "no" as instructed above and purged all caches, but unfortunately I am still experiencing the same problems!

We are currently testing Dewplayer (http://www.alsacreations.fr/dewplayer.html)

This appears to work without any problems. I hope that this may give you a clue to the problem.

Tim

 
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Picture of Justin Hunt
Re: Audio file has no sound - but not all the time
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Oh, I was pretty sure that was the problem, because we had almost the same situation. The way it clears up after a refresh and is an issue on 2.4, look like it too.

Is the problem consistent across different browsers? And do you have any 3rd party plugins installed that might be causing problems?

 

Justin

 
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Kate & fiddle
Re: Audio file has no sound - but not all the time
 

I am having this same problem in Moodle 2.7. I teach music courses so it is quite inconvenient. For pages with both audio and video examples, I have had to upload my videos to YouTube (unlisted) and embed them using the iframe code that YouTube provides.

 
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Picture of Justin Hunt
Re: Audio file has no sound - but not all the time
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I have not seen this in Moodle 2.7, so I wonder how the audio files are being displayed on the page.

Moodle inserts plain text links onto the page when you insert an audio or video. Later when it displays the page, Moodle looks for audio/video links and replaces them with a player. The thing that does the looking and replacing is called a "filter."

Different filters use different players and in general behave differently. And sometimes they battle over the same link and mess it all up. So the first step to solving this issue is to find out what filters are operating on your audio/video links.

Look in site administration -> plugins ->filter ->manage filters

for PoodLL or Multimedia plugins filter. Do you see either or both? Are they enabled? Which is closest to the top?

When you have an audio player is it small and black (multi media plugins) or is it big and eventually blue(poodll)?


Other information that would be useful to know:

Are these audio and videos embedded in Moodle labels when the problem occurs? Or in activity descriptions etc?

Does it make a difference if you wait 1 minute after loading the page before , playing the audio?

 
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Kate & fiddle
Re: Audio file has no sound - but not all the time
 

I only have "course administration" but under "filters" I see that "Multimedia plugins" is on -- and "MathJax" too, which I'm guessing I could turn off since I don't teach math. The only other thing that is there is "Activity names auto-linking" and it's off. "PoodLL" is not listed -- but actually, I'd much prefer a bigger player so that it would be easier to click on the play arrow. A strange thing though; I have seen a larger blue player once or twice when a page was loading slowly, which then disappeared and was replaced by the little black ones. So maybe PoodLL is lurking.

I don't embed audio and videos in Moodle Labels, only in Lessons and Pages. I didn't notice a problem in the Lessons, but I usually only have short sections of text with one example in each section of a Lesson. My Pages sometimes contain more than one video plus 3-10 audio examples.

It didn't make any difference when I waited a minute after loading the page before playing the audio. Or possibly it made a difference as to which audio example(s) didn't function correctly, but that seemed almost random. I couldn't really detect a pattern except that it tended to be certain audio files that would take turns not making a sound.

 
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Picture of Justin Hunt
Re: Audio file has no sound - but not all the time
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

OK. If PoodLL is not listed that simplifies it. Because it can't be part of the problem. It also means the ghosty large player you see briefly is probably not PoodLL. It is likely to be the html5 audio player in your browser. Once javascript loads (its the last thing to load) it probably replaces that player with the tiny black player. 

If you are not an admin, to be frank, there is not a whole lot that you can do. Its time to go and complain to someone. You might try on a few different browsers and see if it makes a difference. 

As an admin I would mess with the multi media plugins settings to see if you can find the problem there. I might try turning off flash, and just relying on html5 (a bit hit and miss with different browsers). As a developer I would look in the browsers javascript console and see if there were errors there, or in the network settings as the browser requests the audio files. Since I am the PoodLL guy, I would also maybe install PoodLL , set it up, and use that. 

If you really have had enough and can't get any help from an admin person,  you could host your audio files on soundcloud.com and then embed the iframes from there, as you do youtube iframes now. Though Moodle is well capable of hosting them, so that would be a shame.

 
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Kate & fiddle
Re: Audio file has no sound - but not all the time
 

I had the same experience in both Firefox and Chrome but I didn't try any other browsers.

I have emailed the school admin a couple of times, but we have had quite a few snow days this past couple of weeks in Nova Scotia (yup, it's past mid-March and we have 4-5 feet of snow on the ground) and I think he is probably still catching up on things. Thanks to this thread I was able to come up with some sort of solution for now anyway (using YouTube and iframes for the videos), and we have all the clues lined up for further investigation.

Thanks so much for all your suggestions!

 
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