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Bad audio quality in Moodle Kaltura recordings on iMacs under ambient sound conditions. A running log (closed)

  1. Symptom: See title.
  2. Cause: While speakers of the 3.5 mm headset take over from the iMac speakers, when plugged in, the 3.5 mm headset micro does not disable the webcam micro. The webcam micro remains the recording source for Moodle Kaltura (mac os x.6, safari 6, flash 10).
  3. Possible solutions:
      1. 1st choice: is there a way for the admin to override this permanently?
      2. 2nd choice: is there a way for the end user to override this on a case-by-case basis?
      3. "The Califone 3066AV is compatible with both Windows and Mac audio outputs (but is not compatible with iMacs)." ("The Wow starts now!").. Do we have to tie up our boom and lavalier microphones for this?
      4. Try the flash settings by right clicking in the video window, selecting the microphone icon, then choosing the external (= non-webcam) microphone for input.
      5. kaltura flash microphone settings0kaltura flash microphone settings
      6. Fail. The real culprit is the iMacs line-in audio-in for which you need a preamp to get it to work with analog microphones. Preamps seem to start at $40, but for that I can get a PC webcam (Microphone included). 

LRC daily walkthrough for iMacs and printer

  1. For the iMacs,
    1. clip_image001 
    2. make sure headset is plugged into the USB adapter as pictured,
    3. make sure the 2 “Do not use” labels on the adapter and over the inputs on the rear of the screen are in place and intact (or apply spares from box on reception desk).
  2. Check that the printer has papers (or replenish paper from the reserves shelves in coed436).
    1. clip_image002

LRC headset test on iMacs

  1. Logon to the iMac.
  2. Double click Macintosh HD.
  3. Click Application.
  4. Find Garage band and double click it.
  5. image
  6. Save the file to the desktop
  7. Press record image
    1. Speak into the microphone; then tab the microphone with your finger several times, to make sure you are recording through this source.
  8. Stop then play
  9. If there is no sound or you cannot hear anything, go to the Apple menuimage
  10. and click system preferencesimage
  11. Click sound then select the output tab
  12.  image
  13. Choose the usb option
  14. Select the input tab then again choose the usb option
  15. Close system preferences
  16. Try again to record then listen.
  17. Still not working? Check the iMac headset hardware , as described here: LRC routine walkthrough for iMacs and printer.
  18.  If it still does not work, report Computer # on clip board.

Why is Mac OS X forcing power cycle?

Categories: e-infrastructure, iMacs Tags:

How to view LRC hours&events ….

Delete the Flash Global Settings if the iMacs webcam displays black frame only

  1. Problem: Safari and (not recommended after last testing round) Firefox both hung on iMAC6 when a student tried to do a Moodle Kaltura Webcam assignment and got to the built-in ISight camera display page.
  2. Cause: maybe a Flash security problem accessing the web cam? maybe security dialogue was not answered by the student correctly earlier, and the “preference”stored in her account?
    1. Solution (presumably): System started working again after I deleted the Flash Global settings, by right-clicking on the webcam video preview window like so: CIMG0020
  3. imageimage

  4. Ceterum censeo that we need a computer management infrastructure if we want to use MACs for language learning technology. Faronics-Deepfreeze would have prevented this problem, provided we have a software imaging system (CASPER coming up apparently) that can let us start with a usable image, and the staff time to learn and configure 2 usable OS images and dual usable computer management infrastructures. TCO now > TCO dual OS infrastructure > TCO web cams for 45 PCs. 

SOLVED: How to record, in Adobe-Flash, video from my built-in iSight web camera on an 2010 iMac, combined with sound from an external cs100 PnP USB audio device

  1. Problem : Our new campus-wide Moodle Kaltura installation enables authentic oral proficiency examinations (we have no other Moodle Plugin for audio recordings). However, we still have no webcams on our mainstay PCs. We do have a few iMacs with built-in iSight webcams, but for providing students more privacy during their assignments in the language resource center, we need headphones. We have for spare some old headphones which we would like to use up, but they are analogue. These iMacs do not have an analog headset connector, only a line-in which would require a preamp. We have good sturdy USB headsets from Sanako, but these are too expensive to purchase for the iMacs that have no ways to secure them and little other specialized language learning use which we do not already get from the PCs (and more…).
  2. Workaround :
    1. Try an inexpensive USB audio device that has 3.5mm analog headset inputs.
    2. On my iMac 2010
    3. If in system preferences / sound/ I direct input and output to the USB PnP device
      1. test passes playing system sounds
    4. in audacity (if you CRANK the microphone sensitivity to the max!)
      1. recording test passes: The headset loudspeakers and micro work (not well, but they work, as a tab on the microphone indicate: there is static, and the recording volume is still softish, but better than the built in webcam microphone)
    5. in Kaltura,
      1. Flash only brings up the security dialogue (in Safari 5  and current Firefox ESR and Chrome) for allowing the  web application accessing to the built-in iSight web camera, but no options to choose a separate audio device
      2. However, if you control-click on Flash’s a video preview window for the  web camera, and click on “settings” (not “global settings”, although that is useful for always allowing access from certain URLs like your LMS) .
      3. CIMG0020
      4. Click on the microphone icon :
      5. CIMG0021
      6. Make sure the USB PnP  device is selected.
      7. CIMG0022
      8. You can bring up the settings dialogue, make sure the USB PnP device is chosen for audio and CRANK up the microphone input sensitivity! Then test the volume levels with the built-in volume meter (should  show lots of green bars when you speak. You may have to adjust the Califone headset microphone arm so that the microphone is very close in front of your mouth. ) Unlike in the picture, do not choose “reduce echo ”.
      9. CIMG0024
    6. Remaining
      1. Questions :
        1. Can this sensitivity setting be permanently stored for all users in the iMac software image, or do our students always have to adjust the microphone sensitivity?
        2. It remains to be seen whether this inexpensive and unsecurable device survives long when being used by our student population.
      2. Problem : The review video function of the Moodle Kaltura Flash video remains very temperamental on the Mac OS X (In my testing, one of the numerous problems we had with Moodle Kaltura on the iMacs popped up again: when starting to review the recording, the time counter goes, but the video stalls for  a few seconds – afterwards everything seems to play  fine, but this is enough to confuse the heck out of my users) . While we made another small step of progress towards  enabling Moodle Kaltura webcam recordings in the language resource center, it seems easier to just get web cameras for the PCs.