General Information


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General Information

  1. 1. General Information Q. What is Microsoft Producer? A. Microsoft Producer is an add-on for PowerPoint 2002 that makes it easy to capture, synchronize, and publish audio, video, slides, and images. With it, you can create engaging and effective rich-media presentations that can be viewed on demand, in a Web browser. Q. Who is the product designed for? A. Microsoft Producer is ideally suited for media professionals, training specialists, sales and marketing professionals, and knowledge workers—anyone whose job includes producing exciting, rich-media presentations. Q. How can I get Producer? A. You can download it from the Windows Media Technologies site. Q. How much does it cost? A. Producer is available at no charge to licensed users of PowerPoint 2002. Licensing is covered under your Office XP End-User License Agreement. Q. What special features and capabilities does Producer offer? A. Producer makes it easy to: Capture, import, and organize a wide variety of digital media elements. Easily synchronize digital media elements into customizable, rich-media presentations. Publish and share your presentations anywhere. Q. How is Producer different from PowerPoint? A. With PowerPoint, you can create slide presentations using diagrams, images, animations, and text. Producer enhances PowerPoint-based presentations by giving users the ability to synchronize audio, video, HTML, and other elements into their presentations. Producer also enables you to edit PowerPoint slides, and it supports the rich animations and transitions in PowerPoint 2002. Q. What are the minimum system requirements for Microsoft Producer? A. Producer requires the following: A 400-megahertz (MHz) processor, such as an Intel Pentium or an Advanced Micro Devices processor (a 600-MHz or higher processor is recommended for capture of digital video content) 2 gigabytes (GB) of free hard disk space for capturing digital video content (20 GB of free hard disk space is recommended) 128 megabytes of RAM A video capture device and an audio capture device Microsoft PowerPoint 2002, which is included in most Microsoft Office XP suites Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or later Microsoft Windows® XP Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, or Windows 2000 Professional.
  2. 2. How It Works Q. How do I view a presentation created with Microsoft Producer? A. You can view rich-media presentations created with Producer in a Web browser window using Internet Explorer 5.0 or later, and the Microsoft Windows Media® Player. Q. Where can I publish presentations created using Producer? A. To an intranet site, the Internet, a shared network location, a CD-ROM, or a personal computer. Q. What publishing features does Producer include? A. Producer provides a Publish Wizard that helps you publish content virtually anywhere. Producer also includes a software development kit that enables Web developers and IT professionals to create a custom publishing dialog, making publishing to the Internet or an intranet Web server even easier. Q. What audio and video formats are supported by Producer? A. Producer can import Windows Media audio (.wma) and video (.wmv), .avi, .mpeg, .wav, and .mp3, as well as a variety of other popular audio and video file formats. Q. What image data types can be imported? A. Supported image file types include: .jpg, .png, .gif, .tif, .bmp, .dib, .emf, and .wmf. Q. Can I use Producer to capture live video or audio? A. Yes. You can use Producer to capture live video and audio from capture devices that support the Microsoft DirectShow® application programming interface. However, Producer does not support the delivery of live content. Q. Can I use Producer to create video screen capture demonstrations? A. Yes. Producer supports the industry-leading Windows Media Format, which includes compressor/decompressors, or "codecs." You can create video and still-image screen captures within Producer, or you can import existing Windows Media files created with the Windows Media Screen codec, which enables you to capture computer screen movement. Q. Does Producer provide any special effects? A. Producer offers many different video features, including video transitions and effects. With them, you can seamlessly switch between clips and add variety to your presentation by selecting from fades, wipes, brightness controls, and other enhancement features. Q. How do I synchronize the different elements of a presentation with Producer? A. Producer includes a variety of wizards to guide you through the process of capturing and synchronizing audio and video with slides and other elements.
  3. 3. Q. How do I customize web pages that include rich-media presentations created with Producer? A. Producer provides presentation templates, which are simply Web page layouts based on industry-standard cascading style sheets (CSS). You can switch presentation templates during the course of a presentation to create a dynamic playback environment. You can also use the New Presentation Wizard to change fonts and colors. Q. Can I import slides from previous versions of PowerPoint? A. Yes. While Producer itself requires PowerPoint 2002, and only supports the PowerPoint 2002 animation engine, you can import PowerPoint files created in previous versions of PowerPoint. Q. Can I use Macromedia Flash files as part of my presentation? A. Yes. However, it isn't possible to synchronize the Flash animation with the rest of the presentation. Q. What is the difference between a presentation template that uses fixed slides and one that uses resizable slides? A. A template with fixed slides will not resize the slides, even if the size of the Web browser window changes. A template with resizable slides will resize the slides if the Web browser window size changes. Q. What is an e-service? A. This term refers to functionality developed to customize the Producer publishing capabilities. E-services can be developed by a corporate IT group, an independent software vendor, or an Internet hosting service provider. To find a list of companies that have created e-services for Producer, consult the Solutions Guide. Q. Is it possible to play more than one video at a time? A. No, not unless the other video is embedded in the PowerPoint presentation. Note This embedded video will not be reencoded and will not be able to stream on a Windows Media server; it will have to be downloaded first for playback. (This occurs automatically in the background.) Q. Can Producer use PowerPoint rehearsal timings? A. Yes. PowerPoint rehearsal timings remain when you import a PowerPoint file into Producer. In addition, Producer includes a PowerPoint add-in program that records the timing of each slide flip and animation and enables you to return to a slide you've previously presented. Q. Does the Pack and Go option preserve all my timings and files? A. Yes. Creating a Pack and Go version of your Producer project prior to publishing preserves all your assembled files, timings, templates, and transitions. Many Producer users use the Pack and Go as a way to archive a project prior to publishing.
  4. 4. Q. Can I output a Producer presentation into a .wmv file that includes my PowerPoint presentation and digital media, instead of using XML output? A. No. Microsoft Producer uses the XML output of the PowerPoint presentation and Windows Media technologies to create a synchronized, on-demand presentation inside a Web browser. Q. Can I use Microsoft digital rights management (DRM) technology to protect my content? A. Currently, you can only use DRM to help protect the digital media files. There is not a way to protect an entire rich-media presentation created with Producer. Troubleshooters Q. I need to use multiple audio clips that were created at different audio levels. How can I get them to the same level? A. Use the Normalize Timeline Audio feature. It ensures that all audio files play at the same level. Q. When I place content on the timeline, the default duration is too long and needs to be resized. Is there any way to control this? A. You can change the default duration of any element on the timeline. Here's how: On the Tools menu, click Options and select the Timeline tab, and adjust the duration. If you only wish to change the duration for a specific file, you can right-click the file on the timeline and then select Duration. Q. I'm having difficulty importing my PowerPoint slides. Is there anything I can do to resolve the problem? A. Try changing the Import option. On the Tools menu, click Options, click the General tab and then clear the check box called Separate audio and video files from slides on import. Then try importing again. Q. Playback on my computer running Windows 98 or Windows 2000 is choppy when the entire presentation resides on a Web server. What can I do? A. Try installing the latest version of Windows Media Player to improve playback performance from Web servers, or consider using a Windows Media server for streaming the digital media files. Also, you can consult one of the companies on our Solutions Guide page that can help you manage and distribute your rich-media presentations. Q. Sometimes when I use Producer to create "screen capture" video, the desktop background displays as black in my published output. Why does this occur? A. This behavior occurs when video frames are dropped during the process of re- encoding screen capture content. If there are dropped frames, the screen capture codec writes out complete blackness. To reduce this effect, make sure your Publish profile is the same bit rate as your Capture profile. This should mitigate against dropped frames.