Audio + Slides = SlideCasting!

July 24, 2007

For the last several months, we've been toiling away on a really ambitious project. Our goal : the integration of web audio with slideshows.

Today we're psyched to introduce a new multimedia format that we hope will revolutionize the way knowledge is shared on the web. We call it "SlideCasting" (SlideShows + podcasting). Slidecasting makes previously static web slideshows true, compelling multimedia experiences.

Here's what SlideCasting means. You can connect any mp3 on the web to your slideshow. Once you do that, you can synchronize *each* slide to a particular section of the audio track. This means that you can now use slideshare to truly share a talk, instead of just the slides from a talk. And instead of having to listen to the entire mp3, listeners can use slideshare to quickly navigate to the section of the talk that they are interested in listening to. We think this might make podcasting a lot more mainstream, by providing an easy way to visually navigate them.

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We're pretty proud of the synchronization tool we've built for slidecasting. It is a Flash rich internet application that shows your slideshow and a visualization of the sound signal from the mp3. You can easily navigate around your slideshow (and the audio file) and edit the synchronization between the two by dragging and dropping. It took a LOT of work to get right: I can say without exaggeration that this was the hardest technical and design task we've taken on so far with slideshare. Go here to watch a screencast of how it works. And this is what the end result is like.

Getting this tool right took many iterations: it is designed for intensive use by multimedia producers. We think our interface provides an efficient, intuitive, and pleasurable way to synchronize an audio track to a slideshow.

For the lazy, we also offer a couple of simpler options: you can associate your slideshow with an mp3 file WITHOUT doing any synchronization. Or you can evenly divide your mp3 track between the all your slides with a single click (this works great for music files that you want to associate with photo slideshows)

We can't wait to see what our amazing, creative, passionate users will do with this new multimedia format.

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