Getting Menumaker to include the smartplayer and interactive video etc for CD/DVD distribution

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Menumaker is a cracker wee tool but it does have its limitations.

Scenario:

You have created a video or videos that have interactive elements such as interactive hotspots, jump to URL, quizzes etc and you want to package these files using Menumaker.

Problem:

When you package the files using Menumaker you discover all interactivity (hotspots, jump to URL, quizzes etc) have been lost.

Cause:

When you produce your video from CS8 the output folder will contain a set of files along the following lines (example output for only one video shown):



However, when you create a menu with Menumaker, Menumaker only outputs the following files:



All the files needed for interactivity contained in the source folder have not been included in the Menumaker output folder. However, this situation can be corrected.

Solution:

After you have created your final menu, in the Menumaker output folder will be a 'Media' folder. In the 'Media' folder will be another folder named with alphanumeric values e.g. 'dhhey674yrhtd536edt' and in this alphanumerically named folder will be a 'Misc' folder. It is this 'Misc' folder which contains the multimedia files Menumaker uses.

You must now replace the files in the 'Misc' folder with all the files in the original CS8 output folder. This is because Menumaker only selects certain files from the source folder and uses these to create the menu output i.e. the mp4 file and associated controller files.

Method step by step:

1. Locate and open the 'Misc' folder in the Menumaker output and delete all the files there (example shown in the second image above).

2. Locate and open the original output folder from CS8 (as shown in the first image above).

3. Copy all the files from the CS8 output folder and paste them into the Menumaker 'Misc' folder.

That's it! When you now run your Menumaker menu all the original interactivity (such as interactive hotspots, jump to URL, quizzes etc) will have been restored.

Note 1. The example above relates to packaging one video using Menumaker. If you want to package two or more videos then two or more media/alphanumeric/misc folders will be produced (essentially one set for each video). You must then open each 'Misc' folder, delete the files found there and replace them with the correct corresponding files and folders from the original source folder.

Note 2. I like using this method because I mostly distribute on CD/DVD media and have discovered that by using the smartplayer and Menumaker in this way avoids browser security messages e.g. 'file not found', 'cannot run from local machine', 'must run from server' type of thing.

Hope this is of benefit to someone - Menumaker is a nice tool to use and can be used to produce a polished interface. This method of 'forcing' Menumaker to include interactivity, quizzes etc is just an added bonus.

P.S. If Techsmith could rework Menumaker to include all the files and folders in the source folder then this would be brilliant.
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Tigger

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  • a happy bunny

Posted 6 years ago

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Tom

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Tigger,

Thanks for this, one question though, can MM publish to anything other than CD/DVD? I haven't yet figured how to do that - Just starting.
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Tigger

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Tom,

There are four suggestions I could make. The first two options are probably along the lines of what you are after but I haven't tried it, preferring to use options 3&4:

1. Put the all Menumaker files in a folder on a web server and create a user link to the Menumaker application file.

2. Compress the Menumaker files using rar/winzip etc and have the users download the zipped files from your server to their local computer.

3. Create a Screencast account (free or paid depending on your bandwidth requirements) and upload your original pre-Menumaker files to this account. You don't need to use Menumaker because Screencast presents your files to the user in a menuesque context (either in folder or list form).

3. Install Moodle (which is free) on your server and upload your original pre-Menumaker files to this account. You don't need to use Menumaker here either because Moodle also presents your files in a menu style context and you have a lot of security over the content.

Caution!

Before you spend too much time on Menumaker analyse your current and future target user's needs.

I have the understanding that Menumaker based applications can only be run on Windows based PCs (i.e. using options 1 and 2) - however, if I am wrong here could someone correct me. If this is the case and If you want your target users to run your videos on Windows PC, Mac, Android platforms etc then you should not use Menumaker.

Also, if you use options 3 or 4 you have greater control of who can assess your files and for how long etc. The last two options also provide a modicum of security for your files e.g. by setting privacy settings and passwords etc.

Options 3 and 4 also facilitate your videos being used on Android, Mac etc.

Hope this helps,

Tigger
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Tom

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Tigger,

Thanks for the long reply. I did notice that the file Menumaker creates is an exe file which means Windows only. I like the idea of web based and will check out Moodle (I have a screencaster account).

Thanks,

Tom

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