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Topic: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

Hi All,
I have a question pertaining to a customer I have in the commercial industry that's using Presenter (we are a reseller).  It seems that they are having problem after problem and I can't quite find the reasoning for all of these things.  Does anyone have feedback for the problems below?

They started out having problems saving a slide show to a pdf using Presenter.  This turned into a larger problem when they were able to save and every time they save the ppt, after recording audio, the system crashes.  For them it  seemed to  work better to record a separate audio file and then import.  On a seperate note when they publish PDF

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

Presenter has 3 updates. The first is critical:

The story so far:

Adobe Presenter 7.0.0 was released. It was unstable and liked to crash and delete your audio files when you saved.

Update 7.0.1 was released. It resolved the crashing/deleting issue and should be done before you even look at the menu for Presenter in PPT. It also resolved a few other less annoying bugs.

Update 7.0.2 was released. It resolved some issues with the integration of PPT 07, though not all, and also made it so that you could do more customization of the quiz feed back messages, among other bug fixes.

Update 7.0.5 was released. It improved integration with PPT 07, Word Art, and font support. It also made it so that you can put content slides in with quiz slides, and it doesn't ignore that they are there.

All the updates can be applied through the Adobe updater tool, the Update option in the Help menu of Adobe Presenter or by downloading the patch files from the support section of the Presenter product page at adobe.com.

As to the slide show publishing to PFD, what exactly are they trying to publish (a PPT file to PDF, some PPTS file to PDF, etc) and what problems are they having when they try to save to PDF?

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

We are using this latest version 7.0.5 and are stil having major issues.  Opening the PPTX or even PPT is fine.  Once we hit the Adobe Presenter tab in PPT and synch or just listen to something, from that point on it takes over a minutes to move from one step to next.  Next step can be as simple as moving to the next slide.  We noticed that the program is using anywhere from 2mb-12mb bandwidth.  That is we can have a ppt we are working on open, do something like synch audio or move to next slide and watching the processor graph see it go from 2mb -12mb.  After about a min of waiting and watching the spinning wheel of death we can proceed.  Sometimes, we can proceed because eventually the program will completely freeze.  Tech support was of no help.  I'm at the verge now to cancel my agreement...any help.....

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

Hi suanwcfla,
Odd. I'm not clear on what you are doing in Presenter that is using bandwidth. Are you saying that you are doing a screenshare of Presenter inside a connect meeting? I can imagine that would be CPU intensive and hog bandwidth if so. Is your data on a shared network drive that Presenter is trying to access across a LAN or something? It may help to be able to work with your data locally if so (even on an external hard drive wired directly to your machine.) Otherwise, I'm not clear on what's going on here. Others have some thoughts about this?

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

User has the powerpoint put together, she is now trying to synch the audio.  We noticed when she does anything it recaches every audio file even if it has nothing to do with that slide.  Our users do not save anything locally.  It is directly on the server.  We are loading up a new laptop for her with Windows 7 instead of Vista to see if that helps.  If not then we will try giving her local access and putting her presenter files there.  Do you know why Presenter pulls all audio files each time a minor change is made and not just the audio dealing with the slide being changed?

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

I do not. You need someone with more brains than me to chime in. The pros at RealEyes Connect can probably answer this, haven't seen them stumped yet :)
There are several criticisms of the audio editor in Presenter. Personally, I don't do much editing with it, preferring to edit audio with audacity, and import a finished track. That doesn't really help your situation though.

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

We noticed that working on the ppt without audio everything is fine.  Once we start adding audio (tested with 4 small clips) and we got the "not responding" message from PPT.  PPT will freeze for about a min or so and then start working again.  The more audio we add the longer the system stays at the "not responding" mode.  Of course with 65 slides and 63 audio clips this "not responding" freeze will take forever to finish the presentation.  Hopefully reps at RealEyes Connect will chime in soon....

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

Presenter is VERY moody when it comes to dealing with presentation that are on shared drives. If you can allow the person to save the presentation locally and, when they are finished, move it back to a shared drive, that may resolve a lot of the issues.

As to the freezing issue, when working in Presenter, after you do something (add audio, sync animations, etc) it auto saves the presentation. For larger presentations this save can take a while, and that may be the issue. Test with a smaller test presentation and see if it runs faster.

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

Jorma_at_RealEyes,
               What we noticed is that our fileserver was not optimized for audio, and graphics saving.  So our system admin created a virtual machine that will solely host presentations for Presenter.  In a quick test this seemed to resolve the issue.  We'll know for sure in the next day or two.  If it works we'll have staff who work on Presenter to save to this server opposed to the shared server.  Hopefully this will resolve the issue...thanks...

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

FWIW, at our site, we keep the presentations on a server, but whenever a developer wants to work on one, they copy it to their own desktop hard drive first.  Then, as soon as the Powerpoint is opened, they immediately do "File" -> "Save" which seems to make Presenter "re-sync" itself to the new environment.  (What we found in the past was that Presenter would somehow "remember" where it was copied from and corrupt the audio on the original server, even though we were now working on the local hard drive.)

Another trick we do is ZIP and save the PPT and its associated folder each time we copy it to/from the server.  Many's the time we've had to recover from the ZIP when Presenter decides to have a snit-fit and wipe out our audio.  Oh, and we're using 7.0.5 and it's still quite cantankerous.

As others have reported, the size of the file has an impact.  We typically produce 1-hour sessions with about 70 slides containing lots of graphics.  And, yes, it does get slower as the file size increases.  One way to speed it up is to insert->link all images rather than just insert them in-place. 

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if Adobe is planning a new release soon?  I believe Presenter has excellent potential if it were reliable.  It's playing havoc with our budgeting  since a typical 1-hour presentation is taking over 30 hours to prepare due to all the false starts, recoveries, and re-recording we have to do when Presenter mangles our files.  I'm just not accustomed to Adobe releasing such an unreliable product! 

-RW

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

FWIW, at our site, we keep the presentations on a server, but whenever a developer wants to work on one, they copy it to their own desktop hard drive first.

is this a 'real' server, or just a file share on a desktop os somewhere??
if an actual server, set up to serve files, your workflow can be improved fairly easily.

(i'm assuming windows server and win os)

- have users map the file share to the same drive letter on their machines (so, all users map the file share to drive p:\, for example (now your paths are all the same) (this could be done on login via login scripts, batch files, wsh)

- turn on vss on the file server (vss = volume shadow service) this will enable recovery of previous versions if presenter munges what you are working on.  it's a simple right click operation from the file system.

Now you'll have a central file store, no paths issues, and a way to recover in the event of problems.


greg

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

gajett wrote:

is this a 'real' server, or just a file share on a desktop os somewhere??
greg

Greg, it's a Linux server, offering Windows "mapped network drives".  All our developers have that server mapped as drive "V:" on their PCs.  We did try editing "in-place" for a while, but found Presenter was very slow to respond, and it crashed a lot, even version 7.0.5.  By copying to the local drive on developers' PCs, performance is acceptable, and Presenter crashes less often.

Regards,
RW

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

Wanted to let everyone know what we found thus far.  To resolve the issue of presenter taking so long to process after each action we put presenter on its own server and have staff writing to that opposed to a shared server.  We did this for each site we have so the server would be local. Next we ran into issues with using the custom animation and after previous option.  We found that there is a bug and so you can only use on click and coordinate the animation in the synch portion of presenter.  Once you set animations to on click and go into Adobe Synch click on the stop watch icon.  From there you can coordinate timing of animations taking place.   Doing this we were able to traverse through 63 slides with system only crashing twice because user went in to change type of animation.  I say only twice as if this is good, it's still unacceptable but better than every 2 or 3 clicks we made.  Working with Adobe tech support on this.  They actually told me they had an engineers report stating it was reported to occur in ppt 2010.  Well we are using ppt 2007 so we know it's not a ppt version but presenter issue.  Hope they resolve soon because we are about to pull plug on Adobe completely.  These constant bug issues aren't worth the money we pay. 
FYI...we have another user who is also on 7.0.5 and is now reporting that everytime she tries to record audio via presenter it crashes after hitting stop then ok.  Adobe freezes and shows not responding message.  Great another issue............

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

Any type of mapped drive (network share) is not supported on Presenter 7x.  You really are stuck with editing and creating all files locally, and then back them up to a shared devide after you are done.

This is a PowerPoint and Presenter limitation.

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

Matt,
It must really depend on how they're mapped and used. We use network drives almost exclusively with no noticeable issues.
Our default save location, for instance, My Adobe Presentations, which gets placed in the 'My Documents' folder, is a network share maped at login.  We've also got others that seem to work just fine.  We access them via a drive letter, rather than path, though, if that might make a difference.

greg

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

We are still using network drives but made sure drives are local to user instead of travelling across the WAN and we established a virtual server just for Adobe presenter items and nothing else at each of our sites so that it is not overwhelmed.  This solved the issue with time outs.  However, this was not necessary before.  Don't think it is wise of Adobe to change specs especially if users went through a thorough check before purchasing item to ensure it works with their system set up.  Then after purchasing Presenter, Adobe goes and switches it.  Not user friendly.  Bad move Adobe. 

Regarding our powerpoint issue : system crashing when making changes to animation times.  Adobe said that this is a bug and they are working on it.  Not sure what that means for time frame resolution.  A week, a month, a year....next patch.  Who knows....

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

So, I'll ask the question again -- does anyone know if Adobe is committed to improving Presenter? 

It has so many features we really want to use, but the project I'm working on has literally taken 30 times longer than we planned, and the developers are heading for nervous breakdowns with all the random crashing, freezing, lost audio, click syncs being lost, file corruption, etc.  We're very disillusioned given Adobe's usual excellent product quality.

So, can anyone from Adobe comment on this? 

Thanks,
RW

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

RW333, we set up a local server for each site using Presenter.  That is instead of them saving their files and working on their files from a remote server located at our headquarters we set up a server at their site.  We still publish to the Internet once it is completed.  This helped to relieve our issues for the post part.

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

suzanwcfla wrote:

RW333, we set up a local server for each site using Presenter.  That is instead of them saving their files and working on their files from a remote server located at our headquarters we set up a server at their site.  We still publish to the Internet once it is completed.  This helped to relieve our issues for the post part.

Susan, thanks for your post.  However, we are already doing this.  We keep zipped copies of the projects in progress on a central server, then each developer downloads and unzips what they need onto their own desktop hard drive.  When they're done, they zip and upload the file set.  Despite working locally, we still get all the problems I reported.

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

RW333 The fact that your staff are pulling it off the central server and working on it locally and then putting it back on central server I think is causing the issue.  We have our staff work on it locally and never put on a central server.  We found the fact of pulling it off and then back on lost files. Trying having them work on the file locally only.  Unless you are hosting your webinars no reason to move to another server.  Our webinars are hosted by Adobe so after our staff work on them locally they just one time publish to the web.  This helped us...hope it helps you...

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

suzanwcfla wrote:

RW333 The fact that your staff are pulling it off the central server and working on it locally and then putting it back on central server I think is causing the issue.  We have our staff work on it locally and never put on a central server.  We found the fact of pulling it off and then back on lost files. Trying having them work on the file locally only.  Unless you are hosting your webinars no reason to move to another server.  Our webinars are hosted by Adobe so after our staff work on them locally they just one time publish to the web.  This helped us...hope it helps you...

Susan, I appreciate your comments.  However, since we have several people working on the same presentation, we can't keep it all on the same local system.  (We have a graphics specialist who loads in the images; an audio specialist who syncs the soundtrack; a web specialist who sets up the clickable links; etc.) 

And yes, we originally tried copying the PPT and its associated folder full of stuff from place to place only to have it corrupt itself every time.  Now all we do is store the zipped bundles on a central server and only do the unzipping and zipping locally.

Despite this, we find that Presenter causes corruption, lost links, unsynchronized clicks, and Powerpoint crashes several times a day.  Usually, the files are not recoverable and we have to go back to the previous ZIP bundle and re-do everything from that point.  Needless to say, this adds a lot of time and anxiety to the process.

I can only repeat how disappointed I am -- I've been a loyal and satisfied user of other Adobe software for decades and I feel betrayed by Presenter.

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

Hi, I am having some similar problems. My Adobe Presenter has been crashing recurrently when I click on the Synch button in the audio group.  It reaches to the point of displaying the source slide, and then it crashes before displaying the synching controls. I am currently using Adobe Presenter 7.0.5 on a Windows XP Pro system with Service Pack 3 and my Office Version is Office 2007 with Service Pack 2 installed. I am at odds on what to do. Thanks!

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Re: Problems with Presenter Crashing etc.

We have had some related issues in that Presenter crashes constantly -- when clicking anything on the ribbon after working with audio.  We've found that if we perform a Disk Cleanup on our computer and delete all of our cookies, Presenter will work fine.  It seems to be something we have to do every couple of months.