Herbi Speaks - With audio and video

A new version of Herbi Speaks is currently being developed. This new feature can play audio or video when a button is clicked. So this means that a sound recording that you've made, or a piece of music or film that the student likes can be presented in response to them clicking a button.


To install the latest media-enabled version, click Download Herbi Speaks with audio and video.



A demo of the media-enabled version of Herbi Speaks





For more demo videos of free Herbi.org apps, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/BarkerHerbi/videos.



Learn about the exciting new features in the latest version of the Herbi Speaks app!


Using the media-enabled version of Herbi Speaks

Preparing audio or video for use in Herbi Speaks


First you'll want to get a media file of interest onto your computer. Each media file store its audio/video data in a particular way, and that way is indicated by the extension of the file. (The extension is often shown as the last few letters of the file's full name.) Herbi Speaks can work with files with the following extensions:


    Audio: mp3, wav, wma

    Video: avi, mp4


If you can make sound or video recordings on your phone, you could copy these recordings on to your computer for use with Herbi Speaks. You might want to make a new folder on your computer and put all the files relating to Herbi Speaks in that folder, in order to make it easier to remember where they are when you later want to add them to a board in Herbi Speaks.



Using audio or video in Herbi Speaks


Say you've created a new button in Herbi Speaks, and you now want to add audio or video to the button. If you click with the right mouse button on a button in Herbi Speaks to see a list of things you can do, you'll see an item that says "Set audio or video on button", as shown below.


Menu of actions for Herbi Speaks buttons



If you click the "Set audio or video on button" item, a window will appear that has the title "Open". This is the typical window that appears in Windows, when you want to open a file. So you can use that window to find and select the media file that you want to associate with the Herbi Speaks button. For example, this might be an audio file in your "Music" folder, a video file in your "Videos" folder, or some file that you copied from your phone earlier to a folder that you made specifically for use with Herbi Speaks.


Once you've selected the file and returned to the button in Herbi Speaks, the button looks the same as it did before. If you click the button, the audio or video file will be played. The audio and video file will be played until it's finished, unless something happens to interrupt it. Things that will interrupt the playing of the audio or video include:


    - Clicking on another button, or the same button again.

    - Herbi Speaks switches to another board.

    - Pressing the right mouse button.

    - Pressing a key on the keyboard.



You can set other audio or video on the button later by repeating the steps above. Or you can remove the audio or video that you've already selected on the button by choosing the "Remove audio or video from button" item shown above.


Note: When the board is saved to a Herbi Speaks file, only a reference to the audio or video file on your computer is saved, not all the data in the audio or video file. This means that if the Herbi Speaks file is copied to another computer or e-mailed to someone, the reference will get broken. To fix this, the referenced audio or video files will need to be copied onto the computer where Herbi Speaks is being used.




Enhancements for version 1.16 of the media-enabled version of Herbi Speaks



1. Import boards from other Herbi Speaks files

Use the new Import Boards feature to bring one or more boards from another Herbi Speaks file into the set of boards you’re currently working with. The imported boards are added to the end of the set you’re working with. If an imported board has the same name as an existing board, then a number is added to the end of the imported board name, in order to make all board names unique.

If a board has a button with a link to a board which is not being imported, then that link will no longer work in the imported board.

2. Set a picture to appear on a button when the mouse cursor moves over the button

Now set a “hover” picture to appear when the mouse hovers over a button, to allow for a slight animation effect or hide and seek type activity.

3. Remember the folder you most recently selected when you opened or saved a file

This means the next time or open or save a file, that most recently selected folder will be the default location for the next open or save.

4. More types of video files can be played when a button is clicked

When the window appears to select an audio or video file for the button, by default, the window will show you any files it can find with the following file extensions:


If you have another type of audio or video file that you’d like to select, click the button near the bottom right corner of the window and change “Media files” to “All files”, and then select you file. Today, the visuals from a video will only appear on the button for files with the following file extensions:


The menu that appears when you click with the right mouse button on a board button, now shows the name of any audio or video set on the button.

In general, links to video content on the internet will not play when selected for a button. This includes links to YouTube video content. But if you link to a specific audio or video file on the internet, (and which has a file extension listed above,) then that audio or video should play when the button is clicked.

5. Let speech and audio or video complete before moving on

If a button has both speech and audio or video set on it, then the speech will complete before the audio or video starts.

Also, if the button has a link to another button, then all speech, audio and video will be completed before the jump to the linked board is made.


6. The mouse cursor now appears as the Hand cursor


The mouse cursor more visible to the student by changing its size at the Windows Control Panel.


Note: If you do this, it changes the size of the mouse cursor everywhere in Windows.


To change the size of the mouse cursor, follow these steps:


- Go to the Ease of Access page in the Windows Control Panel.

- Click the link "Make the mouse easier to use".

- Click on of the options in the group "Change the color and size of mouse pointers".

- Click the OK or Apply button to accept your change.