I have been using Adobe Captivate 4 on a more or less daily basis since it’s release on January 20th.
One of the things I really love with Adobe Captivate 4 is the speed. In Adobe Captivate 2 & 4 you often had to wait several seconds after clicking on an action until something happened. Now with Adobe Captivate 4 everything goes quickly and smoothly and that is really something you can feel when you work with Adobe Captivate all day.
The second thing I really like with Captivate is the ability to included external flash animations into the Adobe Captivate SWF file when publishing. It works really well and eliminates a lot of the problems you could encounter with Adobe Captivate 3 and external content. Complex Flash animations/components still need to be published seperatly on some occasions, but in my experience approximatly 90% of all the external resources I used can easily be integrated into the Adobe Captivate swf when publishing.
The third thing which I find extremely useful is the reviewing feature. It’s brilliant when you are working on project with multiple stakeholders it’s very useful and userfriendly to send the project for review like this. The only downside is that the reviewer application is a separate program that need to be installed on the users computer. If you work with big companies or cooperations chances are that most of the users don’t have admin priviliges and therefore need to involve their IT-department in order to install the application.
Now to the downsides of Adobe Captivate 4.
The audio part of Adobe Captivate 4 is terrible. I have a course produced in Adobe Captivate 3, which contains a lot of speak in the form of MP3 files. When I converted it to Adobe Captivate 4 the sound quality had gone down significantly. I tried to create a new Adobe Captivate 4 project and import the source MP3 files into the project again, but the sound quality is still poor. From what I gather Adobe Captivate 4 uses some form of compression on the imported MP3 files, which compromises the quality. This is a serious issue with Adobe Captivate 4 and if you look at the Adobe forums you can see that a lot of users have the same problem.
For courses which contain audio I’m still using Adobe Captivate 3 and will not be able to use Adobe Captivate 4 until Adobe has fixed this problem.
I urge you to report this problem to Adobe by clicking http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform&product=5
The TOC (Table of Contents) finally got usefull in Adobe Captivate 4. Unfortunately there are some issues with the TOC feature, which reduces the usability. I really like the fact that the user gets a check mark once they have completed a page. However these checkmarks apparantly only appear when a user has watched the entire timeline of that particular slide. I usually construct my courses with my own navigation buttons and these buttons pause before the timeline ends and when clicked they perfom a “go to next page” action. If you use buttons like this (or have any form of branching in your course) then you will never get the check mark in the TOC for those pages.
It’s really too bad because it’ s a great feature – especially for people who doesn’t use an LMS to deliver their Adobe Captivate content.
Some other issues with the TOC feature is the lack of customizability of the TOC and the fact that you need to use the default >> button to open/close it. It would be nice to be able to customize the TOC 100% and then open/close it with a script from your own button in the course.
All in all I’m pleased with Adobe Captivate 4 but I must admit the main thing leading to this is how it’s much much quicker than Adobe Captivate 3.
I still haven’t explored all the features with user defined variables and customized widgets yet, but I’ll start on that soon.
I agree with you. Captivate 4 is a huge upgrade, and as thrilled as I am with the TOC and Aggregator, they went half-assed on them and should have given us the .fla or at least made every bit of it customizable via the toc ini file.
I also noticed that the audio is much worse in Captivate 4. I had done some audio setting comparisons last year using Captivate 3 (they’re on my blog) and the sweet spot for a good quality/filesize ratio was much lower than in Captivate 4. In Captivate 4 I have to set my voiceover audio to FM quality (96kbps) minimum, whereas in CP3 I never had to go past 44kbps and it sounded better.
That said, the audio issue isn’t enough of a drawback for me to stay with Captivate 3 because, quite frankly, I barely used Captivate 3. The lack of a decent TOC and aggregator (as they’re now called) made it so that I just had built a custom UI and did everything that didn’t require screen recording in Flash. But now, with the TOC/Aggregator features and especially the Reviewer, it just makes the most sense to standardize myself (and eventually some of my colleagues once they get up to speed on it) on Captivate. It’s still got a lot of polishing needed though.
I am having a problem trying to figure out the preloader,when you use the aggregator in Captivate 4. It seems like there are two preloaders,one for the aggregator and one for the swf file.
If I do not place a preloader on in the project preference for the swf film when published,a default preloader is shown, when published in the aggregator. There is no loading percent action given ,just an image of the default preloader. If I place a preloader on the swf file when published,when I load it and publish it in the aggregator,two preloaders are shown,the video one works showing a percentage up to 30% then shuts off and the still image of the aggregators preloader is shown.(Even though I placed 100% for the value of the preload for the swf film) Is this normal? Does the preloader for the aggregator supposed to show no percentage, and just an image of the preloader. I am using AS2.
To be honest I haven’t really used the aggregator in Captivate 4 at all. I use a third party solution to create SCORM manifest when I upload courses to an LMS.
I’ll try and take a look at the aggregator function tomorrow and see if I can figure something out.
It is very noticeable the improvements in speed. Big wrap for that! TOC is also useful but agree that ‘look and feel’ is limiting. The panning of the capture window while screen recording is taking place is also a nice new feature. Pity about the sound issues.
We were having some crazy ticking issues with audio in Captivate 4 and it was driving us nuts. If we import the audio into a captivate 3 file and use the Captivate 3 library for the Captivate 4 file, we completely eliminate the annoying downsampling that Captivate 4 was doing when importing audio (because we’re not importing the external mp3 in Captivate 4). I hope I worded that all right.
I’m new to Captivate and I’m wondering if anyone else is having the same issue as I am regarding the features in the TOC. The option to hide/turn off the “duration” at the bottom of the TOC isn’t working for me. I want to turn it off so that it is not visible. Any suggestions?
Also, do the status flags work only when the slides are set to automatically advance or can they work when the using the control bar to advance to the next slide?
Your input would be super appreciated!
As far as I know you cannot disable the duration at the bottom completely.
As for the status flags I found that the only work for me if I let the slide play all the way to the end, but others are getting it to work even though they are using the playbar navigation. I’m not really sure why to be honest.
We are using Captivate 4. We have built customized course using the Table of Contents with status flags (check marks) in skin TOC settings.
We have some interactive slide where the user clicks on the page the menu check mark gets updated.
But on the slide where there is no activity, after clicking the next button the menu check mark is not updated.
How can we update the menu check marks on each slide where there is no activity (Static/image/text only page)?