Friday 10 August 2012

Enhanced support for PDF files

A new media engine to support PDF files

Almost directly related to the same video suffrage that mobile and tablet units have with video, the same issues are also true with the popular Adobe Reader package. Whilst highly portable and successful for desktop devices such as Linux, Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows – Adobe use their own PDF “App” to provide web support for their PDF format.

Unfortunately they do not [as yet] provide the ability to actively embed a PDF file for use directly within a website. They do however, provide a freely downloadable Adobe Reader “App” as a download from iTunes or Google Play Store.

Our team have re-written our PDF detector to now provide ‘fallback’ support for any mobile and tablet devices that do not have the “App” installed. This means that even if the user has not installed the free application, that the file will be downloaded to the device.

Again, My Learning highly recommend that users download and install the “Adobe Reader” application from their respective application store in order to support Adobe PDF files.

New video engine for 19.3

The re-write of the My Learning video engine:

Many mobile and tablet devices suffer issues with incorporating and supporting non-desktop based video inside web browsers. The main problems that manufacturers face are the lack of ability to embed video players within their stock browsers.

  • ·         Apple iPads are unable to embed their own video technologies such as MOV and MP4 and have to rely on ‘Apps’ from the iTunes store to accomplish video playback.
  • ·         Android devices have similar issues with supporting FLV and OGV formats, although to perform better with MP4 playback.

The My Learning development team spent a number of weeks researching and developing a universal video playback engine to support all mobile and tablet devices, and introduced ‘fallback’ behaviour to ensure that there was always a method of playing back video that was either attached (as a file), or embedded (using a gadget) inside the VLE.

The result of this work has now been tested and released as a major update to the v19 “Dione” edition. As such, the system is now capable of directly supporting the following formats on any type of device, from Windows and Mac desktops, through to Android and iPad devices (on smartphones and tablets).

Video format support:

The improved edition 19.3 can now handle all of these formats either directly within the browser, or by using the devices own playback engine. As ‘fallback’ the video can also be downloaded for playing or use offline.

My Learning highly recommend the installation of the most popular playback tool for mobile and tablet devices entitled “MX Player” – users should install this tool from their respective “App stores”, and all additional “Codec” packs. Please note that our team is unable to offer support with any 3rd party tools or applications – but in suggesting these tools, we can assure that they do handle and playback the formats above.