[clug] ANU Lecture Recordings

Karun Dambiec kdambiec at ieee.org
Thu Mar 13 08:52:02 GMT 2008

I havent had any issues with it, other than Mac OS X wanting to  
automatically play mp3s rather than download them.

If its available as a MP3 then it should just download a normal file  
that you can listen to.


On 13/03/2008, at 1:00 PM, Grant Baldwin wrote:

>>> #1 daughter is in her first year at ANU this year. She missed
>> lectures
>>> yesterday and tried to download them from the ANU's site, without
>>> success, so called to Dad for help. The system is an abomination.
>> The
>>> recordings are only available as streaming Real Audio - they can't
>> be
>>> downloaded, the system doesn't recognose Firefox as a browser, and
>> what
>>> should be a simple HTML page is so thoroughly java-infested that I
>>> couldn't but shake my head in bewilderment.
>> Oh - *that* system... I remember wasting at least 3 or 4 hours to
>> listen to a 1 hour lecture.  (Engineering law about 3 1/2 years  
>> ago...
>> the lecturer couldn't be at some of the actual lectures, and so
>> pre-recorded something instead.)
>> From what I remember, it works better when nobody else is trying to
>> use it, and it works better if you are trying to use it from  
>> somewhere
>> inside the ANU network.  If the server is under too much load, then
>> your connection has a tendency to drop out, and you have to start
>> listening right from the start all over again...  (and once people
>> start having to do this, the congestion escalates)
>> I am astonished that this system is still in use.
> a) It's implemented as a component of WebCT. The complaints about
> java/javascript relate to WebCT and not the digital delivery system.  
> WebCT
> is primarily off-the-shelf with minor customizations for style.
> b) As far as the learning support IT section (whatever they are  
> calling
> themselves now) are concerned, it only matters that the system works  
> from
> ANU computer labs with the software installed therein. Usual reasons  
> being
> to not have to support myriad configurations etc.
> c) Realplayer is a format which lets the lecturers add visual  
> information.
> In the case of the pre-recorded law lectures Iain referred to, this  
> amounted
> to power point slide automatically changing at the right points.  
> Clearly,
> this is difficult with MP3. At the time the system was planned/ 
> implemented,
> about 5-7 years ago (?), realplayer was still occasionally used.
> I could be wrong, but doing anything other than bitching is akin to  
> pushing
> water uphill.
> There is however a related system with related functionality that,  
> to my
> understanding, is/was being considered as part of an eventual  
> replacement.
> The related system, Sakai, is OSS, so you can hack the upstream with
> functionality you want integrated. Of course, AFAIK, it doesn't  
> include any
> digital lecture delivery backend support. Yet.
> --
> Grant Baldwin
> -- 
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> linux at lists.samba.org
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