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1025 - How can I insure that graphics and sounds that were developed to be in sync are in sync on a target machine?

by - Joseph Ganci

I have just finished a very simple piece--just audio and synced graphics--very little interactivity. I am using MediaPosition in Decision Icons to keep the program in sync. The audio is in several files rather than in one long one. So I am using Waiting =IconTitle in the calc of the sound icons. All of this so I can get the program to pause--the one interaction that the client is insisting on.

It all works very well in the authoring mode but when packaged it hangs up at various places. Since it is worse on a machine with less memory than the authoring machine, i thought it had something to do either with the size of the graphics and/or because the transitions may increase the total time in a particular section exceeding the time of the sound icon. I can continue to test each section by shortening the transitions or lengthening the sound in a sound editor...but the real testing requires packaging and burning a cd each time. This is taking forever so I am wondering if anyone out there has any experience with this and has a less painful solution.

Unfortunately, you may be facing a classic tug of war between transitions, sounds, and large graphics, all of whom are trying to grab as much memory as possible, and all with a little Authorware overhead to boot. When your memory is limited or your machine is slow, you will definitely see some slowdowns. When you say your system hangs, though, does this mean it's actually freezing up so that you have to reboot or that Authorware is having to play catch up?

Whenever starting a project, it's important to know the lowest common denominator machine and test on that often. Some transitions are much kinder than others. You may need to consider scaling down the audio quality so that the files are smaller and easier for Authorware to digest. Also, are you erasing any images that you no longer need? I've seen Authorware files where items are placed on top of other items, hiding those underneath, without erasing those hidden items. They still hang around in memory, though, and will definitely slow down your system.

In your case, none of the above may apply. It may be a problem inherent in the design - trying to squeeze too much into a limited amount of time on a slow machine. Is there any way to scale back some it?

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