Testing with the mobile phone version of Synote is proving exasperating! The different devices, operating systems and browsers all produce different results despite the fact that the pages have been designed in HTML 5 with media element js player and jQuery mobile. The transcript, synmarks and the PowerPoint slides all appear to display in the same way on the various browsers and devices.
Issues arising with videos and the media element js player have caused several headaches. The way YouTube videos are presented on iOS 5 (iPhone) where the controls work but the video is launched in the iOS player and Android where there are variations in the software used on different phones e.g. some HTC and Sony phones. On the latter the video is seen but cannot be played using an Opera browser but will play in the built in Android webkit browser – on the former an error message appears within the Chrome browser as it cannot load the player. There is no mobile Firefox for HTC Wildfire.
The HTC OneXL with a 4 inch will run Synote Mobile in the same way as the tablet and desktop version.
Audio is not a problem as the transcript can appear below the player in this case. Synmarks can also be seen with a separate tab.
The view of the video page will have titles, tags and description – the options page will allow the user to go to the video or audio page, transcript, slides or synmarks. The transcript has the thumbnail picture from the video and the start and end times for each transcript block. The slides can be displayed in a row or line with start times and actual slides, the synmarks are listed with title, description and tags plus start and end time and a thumbnail of the YouTube video for that time.
At present there is also a huge variation between the way mobile phones show the captions as taken from the transcript (as seen in the tablet version) because the players (whether built or in the browser) react differently to the selection of the caption button. This is a testing phase and we are trying to see if there is anyway to overcome this issue. If you use a Flash player on the HTC Wildfire it will display the captions but this does not help us with HTML5! At least we know there is a fall back player that will cope with closed captioning on Android
Testing with the iPhone – it did not matter whether we used Chrome, Opera or Safari the player once launched just would not play the YouTube closed captions despite having closed caption settings on. This appears to be a known problem as mentioned in the blog “YouTube – Apple’s Lack of Caption Support“