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Cursor location & action tracking data

Community Beginner ,
Jul 30, 2013 Jul 30, 2013

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I've asked this same question in another forum, but I am still unable to locate the answer that I am looking for. Basically I am wanting to extract the cursor location information that Adobe Connect uses to properly display a presenter's mouse movements during the playback of a recorded session. If I download a local ZIP file of a recording and examine all of the XML files, none of them seem to relate to the mouse's location over time. I've even looked at all of the metadata that is embedded into each of the FLV files. No such luck there either.

I know this data is being saved because the cursor actions are overlaid/replayed during a server-side playback of a recording, but it does not get included in the XML files of the ZIP when downloading a local copy. Does anyone have a thought as to where I can pull this data? I have nearly 50 recording sessions that I need to access this data for.

Thanks for any help!
-Bill

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 31, 2013 Jul 31, 2013

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Bill, There can be 2 type of cursor data -

First one is those that are stored while Presenter is sharing his computer screen in a share pod and using his cursor to click on things on his own screen.

Second type of cusror data would be those that are stored when Presenter is sharing a PPT/PDF etc in a share pod and has enabled pointer, which causes Presenter's cursor to show up as Green pointer over the share pod.

The first type of cursor data is not stored in an XML file. It is encoded within the FLV file named screenshare_x_x.flv in Connect 9.

The second type of cursor movement (or pointer movement) data is stored in respective ftcontent.xml file. It can however be tricky sometimes to figure out the correct ftcontent.xml file, especially if there are more than one share pod in the recording.

I may be able to help locate it if you can point me to any specific recording you have.

Thanks,

Jaydeep

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 31, 2013 Jul 31, 2013

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Jaydeep-

Thanks for the clarification on the types of cursor data. In my particular instance, I am interested in the first method that you described.

With the work that we do for our recordings, we have already worked out a process for extracting the necessary mouse data from the XML files based on the second method that you described.

During my testing, I recorded a very simple screen share where I move the cursor to each corner of my screen and clicked in each corner, and then moved to the center and clicked. I was hoping to be able to use this recording to decifer the mouse actions, in particular the mouse clicks, and generate a text file that had a time stamp for each click. If that data is somehow stored within the screenshare_x_x.flv, I guess I am asking for a method to extract that data from the FLV. Any thoughts on how I might go about that?

I appreciate any further help you might be able to provide.

The URL for the demo recording that I set up is:  http://ibmstg.adobeconnect.com/p57wu7mx0xb/

Thanks again!

-Bill

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 01, 2013 Aug 01, 2013

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Hi Bill,

The data you're looking for in this case is buried inside the FLV file. Here's a small utility that you can use to extract it : https://my.adobeconnect.com/p4rl7btx8iz/

Download the zip file using the link and unzip it. It'll have an executable named ExtractCursorPos.exe.  You can run it as follows :

ExtractCursorPos.exe {file-name}

Replace {file-name} with the name of the screenshare FLV file and this will output the cursor position in following format :

Timestamp(in millisecond), xPos, yPos, cursorType, mouseDown

Timestamp(in millisecond) = This is the times in millisecond for which the cursor position is recorded

xPos = This is the X coordinate of the current cursor position.

yPos = This is the Y coordinate of the current cursor position.

mouseDown = This is a value in either 0 or 1, where 1 indicates that the mouse was pressed down.

Hope this helps !

- Jaydeep

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 01, 2013 Aug 01, 2013

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You rock Jaydeep!

Bill: I just want to re-iterate that that Adobe does not officially support such workarounds say, to edit the recordings. As always, taking a backup of your data is a prerequisite before trying any workarounds.

Having said that, experimentation always leads to betterments. The community would love to hear about your experience. Even your use case and the whole process. Who knows someone might be looking for just this information. If you feel like writing about it, feel free to message me.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 01, 2013 Aug 01, 2013

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Ashish...

I concur... Jaydeep Rocks!

But, yes, I do understand that the way that we modify our recordings is not supported by Adobe, and to avoid problems we never actually damage or destroy the original material.

I'll be happy to go into further detail into the process that we are using to edit our recordings, but it will take me some time to do a write up, and I don't have the availability to do it at the moment. I'll be sure to follow up as soon as I get a chance. Perhaps I might even be able to record the process to show the macros that we use that extract XML data that we use for our recording edits.

Thanks again everyone!

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 06, 2013 Aug 06, 2013

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Sure Bill. Let me know when you have some content ready. We can iterate and finalize it. I can get it published under your name.

Personally message me here or my direct mail is asgupta at adobe .com

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 01, 2013 Aug 01, 2013

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I have to be honest.... You have no idea how excited I am to have this utility available! I wasn't holding out much hope for being able to capture the data that I needed. Unfortunately I have a 12 hour day of Adobe recordings scheduled before I can take the time to test this out and put it to work, but just knowing that it's available takes a massive amout of weight and worry off of my shoulders.

Thanks a million! Honestly... I really can't thank you enough!

-Bill

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 05, 2013 Aug 05, 2013

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I managed to spend a little time working with the executable, and have learned a couple of things. One, it works exactly the way I requested it, and the output is ideal for the needs that I have for editing the recordings. But apparently I was wrong in asking for a method to capture "mouse clicks". For the few presenters that we've recorded who are in front of their PCs and actually click their mouse button in order to advance a slide (or interact in some way with their desktop) it works perfectly... but a large majority of our presenters are up on stage wandering aimlessly as they talk to the audience and they are using a wireless presentation device to advance their slides. It would seem that those devices are not triggering a mouse event, but rather something else... perhaps a "page down" or some other trigger. So, that being the case, what are the chances of being able to pull that type of data from the FLV files?

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 05, 2013 Aug 05, 2013

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Hi Bill,

Connect recording stores the entire screen capture in the screenshare.flv file. And screenshare.flv broadly stores only 2 types of data.

First is the video capture of the entire screen being shared. This data is nothing but simple video frames encoded using some video codec.

Second is the mouse movement and click data. This data is stored in a different format which can be converted to text, and that's what the utility does for you.

These 2 types of data are sufficient for Connect recording to be able to playback the screen share done during the live session. And hence it doesn't store any other information like keystrokes or any other type of device's events.

So I'm afraid the data you're looking for (the click or other events of wireless presentation device) are not stored in any of the recording files.

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