The Adobe Connect 9.5 release provides new features and functionality across many different areas of the product. Here’s a summary of the new features you can find in Adobe Connect 9.5. For additional details please refer to the release notes.
The first thing that you will notice in the new release is the brand new logo for Adobe Connect which will replace the existing logo at all places in the product.
Adobe Connect already had the feature to convert recordings into MP4 format but this option was available only to hosted account users. Also, the conversion of recordings happened on Adobe Connect servers which meant users had to queue their recordings for conversion which could take up to 24 hrs. Users also had the ability to make recordings offline for distribution purpose.
With this new release, we are introducing the ability to make recordings offline directly into MP4 format and all of this happens on the user’s machine.
The process is no different than the existing make offline feature, just that the user now gets the ability to choose the format (MP4/FLV) of the offline recording file. User is also given further options to choose some quality settings of the MP4 file to be created through some presets as well as through a manual settings option (Advanced Options).
Higher resolution or higher quality settings lead to larger file size. Consider this when creating recordings on the users you would like to distribute the recording to, especially if users are to consume this on a mobile device.
the actual resolution of the resultant MP4 file will depend on the screen size and supported resolution of the system being used to create the offline recording. Appropriate message will be given if the selected resolution cannot be supported on your system.
We are further enhancing the Film Strip mode to ensure better webcam video experience inside Adobe Connect. Film strip mode in the video pod is especially useful when there are many users sharing their feed and users need to focus on the main or active speaker.
With Adobe Connect 9.5, we are enhancing this mode to recognize which feeds are visible in the strip and which are not. Those feeds which are not visible to a user will be paused automatically on his client and this ensures that the user requires lesser bandwidth and computation for video feeds which results in improved quality of overall meeting room.
Once the user shuffles around the strip feeds and brings in view the earlier hidden/paused streams, Adobe Connect will automatically play these now visible feeds.
We are also replacing the existing meeting connection status icon with a new icon . These icons are found on the top right corner of your meeting room and they depict the condition of the available meeting connection.
This new icon is more contemporary and will go a long way in getting better user attention to the status of their meeting connection.
Two often requested functionalities have now been added to the whiteboard. They are as follows:
Hide Whiteboard Tool Bar
Presenters now have the ability to hide the whiteboard tool bar to fully utilize the available area. With a single click the tool bar can be hidden and then made visible as well.
Export Option for Participants
Hosts can now provide options for participants to export the whiteboard by enabling it in the preferences menu. Participants can then avail the “Save as PNG” option for keeping a copy of the whiteboard discussion.
Virtual classroom users will now be able to share additional content type – Captivate and Presenter content published as HTML5. The actual content sharing experience remains same like any other content type – it can be loaded in the share pod using all supported methods. This content will support sync and quizzes, recording as well as all supported reporting capabilities.
While the user experience with the content itself is not changing, there are few requirements with this functionality, such as:
If a user already has the new addin, he will not be prompted to download it again.
On sharing HTML5 content, presenters and host will be prompted to check if all users in the classroom are ready to view the shared HTML5 content.
Such users can be easily identified by glancing over the attendee pod where a new icon against the user indicates that the user cannot see the shared content yet and needs little more time.
Above workflow is one time only for each user. Also, it is triggered ONLY if the presenter chooses to share HTML5 content.
Similar requirements will be for users to view a recording of the session in which HTML5 content was shared. If the participants were part of the original session, their system will already be ready due to the above workflow and would not need anything else. However, a new user will need to go through the same steps as above to view the shared content in such a recording. He may choose not to install the addin and continue but that means certain portions of the recording will not be visible. Again, this is a onetime setup only.
In order to make the process seamless for the learners, the virtual classroom email has been modified to include instructions to prepare for the session. The users can download and install the addin from the provided link. Such users will not be asked for any additional steps while in the session. See below:
If you don’t plan to use HTML5 content and are concerned about your learners seeing this instruction, you can edit the email body to remove this section before sending it.
Two new reports have been added as part of this release which allows administrators to have a better view of usage on their Adobe Connect accounts. These reports are available under Reports -> System Usage. Both the reports can be downloaded as CSV for further analysis.
The meeting sessions report provides a summary of various meeting sessions that happened over a period of time and provides details per session such as start and end time, duration, session type (meeting/ seminar/ virtual classroom), total and peak participants.
The meeting usage report provides a summary of meeting activity over a period of time. Users can find out total user minutes clocked as well as the peak concurrent users for the given period.