Recording Content with SnapKast

Starting a Recording Session

SnapKast offers two types of recording sessions: PowerPoint and Whiteboard. To record a PowerPoint session, the user is required to prepare the slides before hand. Please follow these tips for preparing the slides so that they are fully compatible with the SnapKast Recorder. Note that SnapKast offers the ability to add blank slides (white boards) to a PowerPoint driven session at anytime during the recording. Whiteboard sessions do not require any preparation.

The following elements are recorded during a session:

Configuring Your Microphone

It is important to test your microphone to be sure that your your voice is being recorded. Some PCs have built-in mics, others will require that you connect an external mic. Please review the Audio Setup and Testing instructions for more details.

To Start a PowerPoint Session

There are two ways to initiate a PowerPoint recording session from the SnapKast Media Center using the Record button:

Record Tab

  1. Click the Record button
    From the Record tab, click the Record button. Otherwise, click the File menu and select "Record New...".
  2. Drag-and-drop a PowerPoint file to the Record button.
    Make sure the Record tab is showing. Find your PowerPoint (PPT) file by navigating to the file as you normally do, e.g. in My Documents, My Computer or opening a Windows Explorer. Finally, drag-and-drop the PowerPoint file to the "Record" button (this is accomplished by clicking on the PPT file, holding down the mouse button, dragging the file to the Record button and releasing the mouse button). The Recorder program will now open your PowerPoint file and prepare it for the recording session.

To Start a Whiteboard Presentation

  1. Click the "Record" button in Media Center (see screen shot above).
  2. Click the "Start" button when the Recorder loads.

    Recorder Start

  3. Choose the "Whiteboard (blank slides)" option.

    Choose Lecture Type

Using the SnapKast Recorder

Preparing your Content for Recording

Follow the steps above to launch the Recorder. If you launched the Recorder by the drag-and-drop method described above to open a PowerPoint file, then skip to step 5. Otherwise, read on.

  1. Click on the Start button to show the startup wizard window.

    Recorder Start

  2. Choose the type of session you would like to record. For a PowerPoint session, select the "PowerPoint" bullet. For whiteboard, choose "Whiteboard". Click the "Next" button to continue.

    Choose Lecture Type

  3. If you chose the "PowerPoint" bullet, then you will be taken to a file chooser window. Use this window to navigate to the PowerPoint presentation of interest. Click "Next" when done.

    Choose PPT File

  4. Each slide in the chosen presentation is then converted to the svg format to make it compatible with the Recording engine. Note that this happens once per PowerPoint file. The resulting converted slides are stored for later reuse. If this conversion step has occurred for this presentation previously, then skip to the next step. Otherwise, click "Next" to continue.

    PPT SVG Conversion

  5. To start the recording session, click "Start Recording". Click "Later" to record the session at a future time. Clicking on "Previous" enables the changing of options selected in the steps above.

    Start Recording

Recording

If your PC speakers are on, you will hear a beep indicating that the recording session has started. The Recorder main window is organized into three main sections. These are the tools section, slide thumbnails, and current slide. All aspects of recording can be controlled from the tools section near the top of the window. Controls are grouped into the following categories: slide navigation, timing control, audio control, and drawing tools. Each category is discussed in turn below.

Recording

Recorder Toolbar

There is a toolbar to control various aspects of the recording session near the top of the recording program window.

Recording Toolbar

Slide navigation

Slide navigation is governed by "Prev", "Next", and new-slide buttons. The session starts at slide 1 of the presentation or whiteboard. To move to the next slide, click the "Next" button. Moving to the next slide can also be done by pressing the N, ENTER, or PG-DOWN keys (or simply clicking on the slide). Similarly, to move to a previous slide, click the "Prev" button or hit P, BACKSPACE, or PG-UP keys.

Recording Toolbar

Timing Control

The "Stop", "Pause", and "Resume" keys do as their titles suggest. Clicking on "Stop" ends the recording session with no means of continuing so care should be taken before using this. "Pause" suspends the recoding of slides, voice and mouse or pen strokes (the timer also stop). "Resume" will pick up recording at the point where "Pause" was clicked.

Audio Control

The "Mute" checkbox stops voice capture without pausing the presentation. This is useful for non-voice presentations where no background noise is desired. The voice meter indicates that sound is being recorded. Activity in this meter is dependent on the system sound configuration. If the input volume is low, then there will be little to no activity and vice versa. It's always helpful to do a test recording levels in advance. Please review the Audio Setup and Test instructions.

Recording Toolbar

Drawing Tools

The drawing tools affect the look of pen strokes in the Recorder. Use the color choser to change the color and use the line thickness pull-down box to change the width of the strokes.

Recording Toolbar


Recording Toolbar

Ending Your Recording Session

Click "Stop" to end the recording session. Then simply click the "Return to Media Center" button to close the Recorder and return to the Media Center automatically.

Recorder Done

The recording program window exits and you are now returned to the Format tab in the SnapKast media Center.