slide show test

(Note: This blog is defunct as of March 2015, but I’ve left it online for posterity’s sake. I’ve moved my activity to Please keep in mind that many of the links, platforms, services and apps I used in creating posts have become outdated and no longer may work — one of the issues I frequently warned my students about in trying to help them anticipate problems.)

Click here for a slide show about Willow River State Park, stored in myfiles, and linking to the soundslider.swf folder using the procedure in the post below for linking to an .mp3 file as a podcast.

Note that your URL will be something like “,” with “students” in place of “myfiles” and NO inclusion of “inetpub” in the path name of your URL.

Note also that this URL includes a subfolder inside my “inetpub” folder called “slideshow.”  You don’t have to have such a subfolder — as long as your entire folder structure is housed in inetpub, it will be accessible to the public (assuming you link to it properly).

Here’s another example of a slide show — this one on soccer.  Note how there are six different sources used in this one, in addition to my voiceover.  With proper source-building and scripting, it’s not that tough.  While this one is 3:30 long instead of three minutes or less, there’s a lot of material in it and virtually nothing that can be edited out without cutting interesting detail from the story.

And one more — this one is too long and is more interpretive and analytic. It was not done as an example for the class as much as just fooling around, learning how to use the software to tell a story.  But it’s useful for showing how SoundSlides can be used to match sound and imagery. Note in particular the timing of transitions and the selection of pictures for characteristics such as their topics or even colors (red flowers during the lyric about blood; pictures of my son playing in the water during a lyric that reflects that idea). Note also how the captions appear automatically (this is a setting) and how the font on the captions is larger so they are more noticeable during playing of the slideshow. Finally, note how credit is given for the songs at the end.  I contacted Dr. Urena directly for permission.

Here’s another test I did to check publication using the basic, free version of Soundslides.  I spent about three minutes making the slide show just to test the software. Click on the picture below to access the slide show. From start to finish, it took me 20 minutes to post this.


updated 11/7/17

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test podcast

Testing once more.

Your basic tag will look like this:  [ audio = URL ] without the spaces.

Your URL in the audio tag will look something like this:

See screen capture below.  Note that the URL in the address bar below (highlighted in yellow) says “myfiles,” whereas your link (the URL you type in) will say “students.”  So the URL below would normally be

Here, the full path name is simply hidden from public view and the inclusion of “students” instead of “myfiles” in the path name tells your browser to go to the hidden folder (inetpub) to find your file (and any associated folders/subfolders, etc.).



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Today’s podcast tests

For my COMM 320 students: here are multiple tests I ran this afternoon using both the Dropbox linking procedure AND the inetpubs folder on campus.  Most of them work fine, including the inetpubs test that worked yesterday but would not work in class today, if I follow the two recommended methods. Here is a document that shows the exact coding for each one, with highlighted coding for the recommended procedures.

podcast test procedures and links (Word document)

In a couple of cases, a file didn’t work the first time I tried it but did later.  Sometimes it takes a second or so longer to load, but even with a large file (15 MB), the file loads fairly quickly on some tests but never on others. You’ll know when it loads because a white bar appears on the player.

All I can conclude about the problem is that (a) it’s a password/MyFiles access issue, or (b) there’s some odd glitch in the interaction between the Mac and the coding on the audio player or in WordPress itself, or (c) both of these things.  In one case this afternoon,  I had the exact same coding — every individual character matching — from MyFiles in two different audio players, and the first one worked but the second didn’t until I repasted the same address, and then it worked. Maybe there is some type of bug or even hidden character; I have no idea.

Accessing an .mp3 from MyFiles seems to be a relatively stable process on my home PC using any browser if you follow the recommended IT procedure with the default audio tag (“http://URL”):

Accessing an .mp3 from Dropbox is a very stable procedure regardless of location, platform or browser that I try, assuming that we follow proper procedure.

I also tested links on Chrome and Explorer from my PC at home and on all three browsers (Chrome, Explorer, Firefox) from my office PC using these links below and got virtually all the same results except where noted.

Copied link from new Dropbox, changed coding, works

Manually retyped MyFiles URL per IT instructions, wouldn’t work in class Wednesday, works fine at home on Explorer and Chrome, but not from office on Firefox on first try, worked later (password may have been stored in system by then)

Longer file name, works from UWSP following last UWSP instructions I got; didn’t work before, retyped with exact URL, works

Copied directly from home from inetpub directory — has “inetpub” in URL; IT told me not to do it this way; works on Chrome, but not on Explorer or Firefox (both want password, but Chrome automatically supplies it), 

Uses directly copied link for large (15MB) file from dropbox, new account, drops “dl” from end,  doesn’t work; 

another try from dropbox, same large file, copied a different way, doesn’t work

same large file, copied and name shortened, doesn’t work

same file, uses manually changed (alternate) link from Dropbox on old Dropbox account, works

old (2014) file, new Dropbox alternate linking, works 

Uses my OLD Dropbox direct-copy linking, 2014 file, directly copied whole tag and link from old post into this one, works:

My first podcast: works on original post, entire audio tag & URL directly copied this week

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Another podcast test!

Dropbox and Windows seem to get along better.


Near the end of this post is a podcast I just recorded on my Google Nexus tablet (an Android-based machine) in the kitchen of my house.  I set out to learn how easy it would be to post a podcast on my tablet using Dropbox and the tablet.

After piddling around with Dropbox for a few minutes, I realized it should be really easy to copy a link directly into my tablet’s buffer and then pop it into a post (turns out it IS easy, but it still doesn’t give the right link).

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Planning for problems, posting your podcast: some basic tips (updated)

Works like a charm with virtually any OS.

Dropbox should work like a charm with virtually any OS.

Last Tuesday, I tried to show my class how easy it was to post a podcast using Dropbox and the WordPress audio tag.  Instead, I gave them a basic demonstration of the class maxim: plan for trouble, because you’ll have it.

The basic Dropbox linking procedure should be quite simple.  Here’s the URL to the cloud service’s page on linking files or folders; at the top is a menu bar that will take you to the specific instructions for linking from any of eight different operating systems.  I’ve never had a problem making it work on the teaching station Mac in our lab, but when I tried to demonstrate last week, it didn’t work.

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