Meeting Notes

How-To: Create an Archival Recording of a ZipDX Conference Involving WebSharing

While most people think of ZipDX as an audio conference service, every ZipDX call can include shared visuals using our WebShare feature. WebSharing is the perfect way to deliver a PowerPoint presentation, go over the latest budgetary spreadsheet, or give a software demonstration in real-time.

A WebShare Refresher

Presenters

There’s a lot to like about the WebShare feature. It works entirely in the browser, requiring only that the person sharing their screen use Firefox or Chrome as their web browser.

The conference host begins the WebShare. Once begun they can pass it to any participant who is also using Chrome or Firefox. So the conference can feature various people, presenting from different computers.

Audience

The WebShare is easily accessed using a simple web URL. If the conference is being held in a secure manner only those who are properly authenticated will be able to see the WebShare.

The WebShared visuals can be viewed in any web browser, on any device! That includes desktops, laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, and even smart phones!

It’s equally effective shown on the board room monitor, tablet or smart phone.  The presentation is scaled for optimal display on each type of device, regardless of screen size or orientation.

It even works well over connections with limited bandwidth.

For more information about our WebShare feature see the WebShare section of our knowledgebase.

Conference Recording

If the conference is recorded, the WebShared visual presentation is also captured. The organizer of the conference can make the conference recording available to anyone who has the link to the recording.

That link takes them to a ZipDX web page where the audio will play. The WebShare visuals are also replayed. They are effectively a series of images sequenced time along the length of the audio recording.

WebShare Playback

The audio recording is made available for download as an MP3 file. Being downloadable in a common file format, the audio is easily repurposed in any way you may desire.

The WebShared visuals can be played back via the ZipDX web portal, but they are not made available to download. In fact, they are stored in a format that’s ideal for playback online by your audience, but not useful beyond ZipDX.

If you want to do something more with the conference archive, like load it to your YouTube or Vimeo account, or incorporate it into a company video, you need to create a video clip of the entire presentation. Such a video clip is a single file that has the entire presentation (voice and visuals) in perfect synchronization, that can be played on any computer, tablet or smart phone…even while offline if necessary.

Screencast Tools

Since the WebShare can be replayed via the web portal, the simplest approach to creating an archival copy is to use a screencast tool to record the WebShare playback, capturing it to a video file.

There are literally dozens of screencast tools available. Some are software to be installed to your computer, while others are web-based services, delivered entirely online. There are free or open source screencast tools, but most of the good ones carry some cost.

How they work, and the nature of what they produce, varies widely. Based upon my own experience I recommend the following:

1. Screen Flow For OSX

Telestream’s ScreenFlow is the definitive screencast tool for Mac users. At just $99 it’s affordable, especially given it’s ease of use and impressive suite of capabilities.

2. Screencast-O-Matic For Windows

Screencast-O-Matic for Windows comes in both free and paid versions. The free version is limited to recordings of 15 minutes or less. The Pro version costs just $15/yr and adds a diversity of tools for editing and publishing the finished videos to different services.

3. vMix For Windows

vMix is actually a desktop video production tool. It’s more complicated than a dedicated screencast tool, but also tremendously powerful. The author offers a 60 day, fully-functional, trial version that includes everything you need to capture WebShare playback to a video file on disk.

If you decide to keep vMix as part of your regular toolbox, they offer a free version that’s limited to creating SD video. The “Basic HD” version costs just $60. Both get the job done nicely.

4. Open Broadcaster Studio

OBS Studio is a free, open source program available for Windows, OSX and Linux. Like vMix, it’s fundamentally a desktop video production tool. It’s primary user-base are gamers streaming their game play online. The basic ability to cleanly and reliably capture a computer screen makes it a great tool for creating a screencast.

An Example

The following video was created using OBS Studio to capture playback of a ZipDX conference using WebShare. The video was not edited or altered in any way.

Tip: The WebShare tool works best if you use “none or “cut” transitions between slides. Similarly, it works best if you use the “Appear” animation to introduce layers as a slide is played.

Summary

WebSharing is a great way to add a visual dimension to your ZipDX conferences. If the conference goes very well you may want to leverage the recording in other mediums. Capturing the WebShare to a screencast makes that possible.

Each of the tools presented can create a video file from anything that you see on your computer screen, recording the audio at the very same time. This happens in real-time, so a one-hour conference can be recorded to a file in just an hour, plus a little setup time.

Questions?

If you have questions about any aspect of ZipDX please contact our support team at:

We’re here to help you get down to business.

Posted in: Good Ideas

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