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pjf (2464)

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I run Perl Training Australia [].

I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.

I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.

Journal of pjf (2464)

Tuesday January 29, 2008
01:23 AM

Rant: The pains of publishing talks

[ #35509 ]

Rant: The pains of publishing talks
I've just spent about 16 hours in utter frustration trying to publish my dinner keynote from OSDC 2007. Normally I'd use SlideShare for this, as I've done with some previous talks, but I've found it simply can't handle my presentation. Here's why:

  • Slides of more than 30MB are not accepted. Mine is 36MB, even after slimming down the slides (I got around this by exporting PDF).
  • The slide editor insists that each slide is a beautiful snowflake that deserves at least five seconds worth of display time. I have large sequence where I'm displaying each slide for perhaps 1-2 seconds each.
  • The editing application only allows one to go forward/back one slide at a time. I have 275 slides, so navigation is extremely time-consuming.
  • The timing application is buggy, and regularly stops responding to changes to slide transitions. In fact, I've reached the point where I can't edit any slide times at all, and with about 100 slides to go.

So, I thought I'd do things the old fashioned way. I'll grab my audio, drop it into some video editing software, import my slides (as images or whatever), and tweak the timings.

However everything I've found is buggy, completely sucks in the usability department, or both.

I use Windows on my laptop, and thought that the Windows Movie Maker might do a passable job. It looks like it should do a passable job, but it crashes whenever I try to move more than eight slides into my project. I've tried to use Jashaka, but I've found the interface to be opaque, and nothing to work how I expect. My futile attempts at searching for something decent has resulted in large lists of what look like dodgy commercial tools, or unfinished FOSS projects.

I swear things shouldn't be this hard.

So, this is a lazyweb post. What free (as in beer or speech, for Windows or Linux) software would you recommend for taking an mp3 file, adding a bunch of images (or OOo slides), adjusting the timings, and outputting a file format I can upload to youtube or google video? If you're reading this on use.perl, then feel free to add your comments there, otherwise drop me an e-mail at

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  • Use screen capture software and export to flash?
  • See []

    OK, it's not free, but it is available for Windows as well as OS X and only costs about the same as a round of drinks.

    You can get very small file sizes - using AAC for audio and H.264 for video a 1m30s screencast with voice over came in at less than 900Kb, of which the audio track was 256Kb.