Mediator 9: The Basics

Mediator 9 Box

This is the first in a series of screencasts focusing on Mediator 9 – a multimedia authoring tool that enjoys some popularity in the education market. This first episode looks at some of the fundamentals of working in Mediator, including an overview of the interface and some of the key tools. Subsequent episodes will delve increasingly deeper into the more advanced features of the application.

You can download a trial of Mediator from the Matchware website.

Jeremy’s Blog is not affiliated with Matchware or Mediator in any way.

Duration: 15min 53secs

Level: Beginner

Download (click a link below):

Quicktime – 960 x 600

Quicktime [small] – 640 x 400

Download this screencast in iPod/iPhone format via iTunes

38 comments

  1. Andreas

    Hi Jeremy !!
    I was very pleased to find your blog with these great videos teaching me the basics of Mediator 9.0.
    Iv’e emaild MatchWare team about a question but their support is soooo poor.. So i’ll ask you instead..
    Is there a way in mediator to get some kind of filedialog ? For an example i want to make a Mp3 player for Windows and therefore i don’t wan to include the songs with the application but let the users of my app choose some of their own mp3’s on their own computer ??

    Really thankful if you could help me with this and pleast email me back at: andreas.malmqvist76@gmail.com

    // Andreas

  2. jcalvert

    There are no controls on these videos. Most frustrating when you cannot quickly review something!
    Can this be done??

  3. Jeremy

    Sorry to hear that you’ve had problems with this – I can see why this would be frustrating. The control bar should in theory be accessible for all of the screencast videos (it shows up fine for me). You may find that updating your QuickTime Player plugin to the latest version fixes the problem (go to http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/). Alternatively you could try using a different web browser (e.g. Firefox or Safari). One final suggestion – download the video (right-click on the link and choose the option to download the file) and then open it in QuickTime Player where you should be guaranteed to have access to a control bar. Hope this helps.

    Incidentally – I’d be interested to hear how you came across my screencasts?

  4. Curtis Nelson

    Huge thank you for what you’re doing, Jeremy! I have looked in vain for some sort of Mediator user group. I agree with Andreas in that the support from Matchware is at times extremely disappointing. They did have a user group linked from their site several years ago, but it vanished some time ago.

    Thanks for the video demos. As your time allows, keep them coming. They are an important expansion to the manual.

    Speaking of which — are there other books out there on Mediator besides the manual? Other user groups?

    Again, huge thanks!

  5. Jeremy

    Many thanks for the feedback, Curtis. Very happy to know that the screencasts are helpful. To the best of my knowledge there are no books available other than the manual. I’d be interested in writing one if I knew that there was a big enough demand for it. I’ve not found any user groups either. I have plans for some more advanced screencast tutorials and hope to be posting these in the coming weeks and months. If you have any requests for particular topics that you’d like covered I’d be interested to hear about these. At the moment my programme is developed in response to the needs of the students that I work with (who are probably the biggest users of these tutorials) but I’m certainly open to suggestions.

  6. Curtis Nelson

    I realise that your website is more informational and educational than tech support, but I’m stymied with a drag & drop problem and wondered if you might have a look at it to see what I’m doing wrong? I have 12 objects that I want to have correctly placed (4 on each of three frames or “doors”) I can’t seem to get the appropriate response each time. Also, I’m not sure how to hide or prevent further drag & drop once the correct placement has been reached. Any possibility of having a look at it to see what I’m doing wrong?

    Thanks much!

  7. Jeremy

    Sounds like the problem might be in the programming of your ‘IF…’ action. You need to use a statement like the following:

    IF… dragged_object = "object1" OR dragged_object = "object2" OR dragged_object = "object3" OR dragged_object = "object4"

    THEN… [perform whatever actions you want to indicate correct match]

    Note that if you write this like dragged_object = "object1" OR "object2"… then it won’t work correctly.

    Then you could use a ‘Hide’ action (perhaps nested inside a ‘Timeline’ action) to hide the objects once they have been correctly placed.

    I’ve been meaning to do an Advanced Drag & Drop screencast that would cover this kind of thing. Keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks.

  8. Curtis Nelson

    Thanks, that seems to solve some of the problem!

    On the “hide” action, is that embedded in the events of the object or of the target? If target, how does it differentiate which object to hide?

    An Advanced Drag & Drop screencast would be great!

    Btw, I use Mediator to create an interactive Etext on American Popular Music History – one of the classes I teach at college. The final product is used like a “book” except that it is interactive with video, audio and self-grading practice tests. Mediator is a great program, even with a few limitations.

    Thanks for your help.

  9. Jeremy

    Advanced Drag & Drop screencast to follow soon, I hope. In the meantime you could try using a series of ‘nested’ IF actions. For example…

    IF x=1 THEN do y
    ELSE IF x=2 THEN do z
    etc…

    Hope this is enough to get you started.

    The eBook sounds great. It seems to me that exploiting multimedia technologies for teaching and learning purposes is the right way to go. What is perhaps even better is getting the kids to make their own multimedia and tools like Mediator make that very achievable.

    I’m looking into the possibility of setting up an unofficial Mediator community forum where folks can post questions and solutions. In the meantime, keep the comments coming.

  10. Curtis Nelson

    Thanks! I’ll try that! How would that work to return an object to its original position if an incorrect choice was made?

    A Mediator (unofficial) community forum would be fanatastic!! Let’s pool our knowledge, discoveries, and experiences!

  11. Jeremy

    I’ve started work on a new screencast that explains this and more stuff relating to drag & drop. I’ve already made up some demo pages which I will be uploading along with the screencast. Just bear with me and I’ll try to get the screencast up within the next week or so. This one takes a bit more time to make as the concepts are a little trickier to explain and I want to make sure that it is really clear and easy to follow.

    I’m definitely going to look into setting up some kind of Mediator forum/user group – and I have some ideas about making this part of a broader online forum for folks who have an interest in both learning and technology. Watch this space!

  12. Curtis Nelson

    Thanks for providing the screencasts! They certainly fill in the gaps from the manual provided.

    Looking forward to the next one!

  13. eLearning Bird

    Nice tutorials! Well done!

    Wish I could find more details on using some of Mediator 9 advanced features / abilities. I see great potential in this product for many things I do!

    Would love to find (or perhaps even start) a user forum/exchange.

  14. Jeremy

    Thanks for the positive feedback and if you set up that user group then do let me know. I have thought about setting one up myself but haven’t had the time to do so.

  15. wil

    hello, im a advanced mediator developer and might be able to assist some of your posters with their. I have successfully created a drag and drop that disabled the dnd feature once it was placed. I did this using a array that flagged whether or not a tile was placed and then checked this array each time a tile was picked up.

  16. Jeremy

    Hello Wil and thanks for offering your support to other readers of this blog. Whilst I never intended this to be a Mediator support forum it seems to be heading that way. If I get time I may well set something up that is more suited to that function. I’ve received a few comments that suggest this would be welcomed but it needs people like yourself to post responses to prevent it from ending up as a list of unanswered questions.

    I like the idea of using an array for the purpose you described. Keep the good ideas coming!

  17. wil

    Sounds good, I have a ton of mediator projects that i could share, and it would nice if someone could help me at times! lol.

  18. wil

    Hey up,

    You still about these days? I was thinking about taking the mediator forum idea further and maybe setting small n cheap forum for mediator issues/development. would you be interested in helping me get it started?
    Mail me back on my registered email address, if you are!

  19. Jerry Lyden

    Jeremy-
    I am trying to develop a testing product for learning disabled students, including the viusally impaired. I am trying to find a way to control the playback speed of audio with Mediator 9. Most VI kids listen at much higher speeds than sighted persons and need to be able to vary the speed of the playback. I contacted Matchware and after a week they got back with an explanation to insert an activeX control (third party) but nothing further. I am not a programmer (which is why I chose Mediator to begin with). Can you offer some insight.

    Thanks.

  20. wil

    Hello, don’t think jeremys about much at the moment.
    Im assuming that if the matchware guys have told you to do it using an activex then its probably not possible just using their scripting language. I have had limited success with active x controls, most of the tem dont work! As a work around you could include multiple versions of the audio at different speeds and have the user select one?

  21. Jeremy

    Ah ha! This looks like an official Matchware forum – is that right? Or is it one that you’ve set up? I’ll add a link to my blogroll. I expect to be sending some traffic in that direction :)

  22. wil

    hello there,

    yes, its one i have setup! ive been adding content when ever i get the chance. thanks for any linking you can do!

  23. Colum Higgins

    Hello, i was wondering are you able to add a search bar into mediator?
    I’m using it for my A-level coursework, im creating a Diary of Events within my local area.
    I was wondering can a user input dates dd/mm/yy to dd/mm/yy and local events will come up?
    Please email me back as quickly as possible
    Thank you

  24. matthew

    Hi Jeremy !! thanks to your basics! i’ve got a lot. but for me, i feel it will take me more steps to learn it. I wonder if you have a documentation to illustrate how to use mediator both at basic level and deeper. if so, would please send me a pdf. thanks for sharing.

  25. Nathan Patel

    I wanted to use a message box to pre-warn the user before exiting what would the result variable be?

  26. Meg

    I was wondering if I can insert a search bar in Mediator 9.
    Please email me asap.

  27. Maryum

    Hi Jeremy,
    It looks like you haven’t updated your Mediator 9 tuts in a while now. Could you please help me with a couple of blocks I’m facing.
    1. When exporting to CDROM, how do I make the software automatically adjust the screen resolution of the destination computer. If that is not possible, how can I at least give a message to users to adjust their screen resolutions on program launch?

    2. I need to be able to hyperlink while in the same CDROm format. I know this is only enabled in Flash export. Can you suggest a way around it… like executing the specific webpage on the local browser on clicking on the hyperlink? Or do you have any other ideas of how to hyperlink outside of Flash export?

    3. How can I make the screen text selectable (copy and paste-able) in the final program? Right now, all text is just a flat non-selectable area.

    4. Any solutions/thoughts on how to get rid of Mediator runtime errors on random destination computers. This error has been consistent enough to cause problems. What do you think the problem could be and how should I address it?

    I know these are a whole lot of questions but I’d really appreciate it if you could get back to me on these as soon as you can as it’s pretty urgent. Many thanks!!

  28. Maryum

    Hello Jeremy, just to let you know I figured out how to hyperlink to the web in a non-Flash export format. In Events, on mouseclick I gave the command for open doc and put the address in there. It was a fluke but it worked. Any ideas for screen resolution, selectable text and the runtime error issues?

  29. chloe

    I REALLY NEED HELP..
    im doing course work on mediator and have pressed the undo button too many times and deleted like 2 pages of work!! i need it bak=ck its due in a few days :( ive tried looking for a redo button but cant find one anywhere can u help please x

  30. Conor

    hi, thought i asked you to help me out cos of the bad matchware support.
    i have used one of the quiz templates and every time you go onto the next page, it makes a fuzzy sound. this happens for the quiz part of my project. the other pages i have included in it are fine.
    can you help me out with a solution on to how to get rid of the fuzzy sound?

  31. joshua moore

    what video format does mediator 9 use and does it work with windows live movie maker video format

  32. Debra Spencer

    Hi could you help me? Do you know if Mediator has anchors? I need to get my pupils to create an e-newsletter and this needs to be one longer page where the jump from one section to another then back up to the top again. Can you give me any advice on how I can do this? Many thanks

  33. Robert Skinbaws

    Huge thank you for what you’re doing, Jeremy! I have looked in vain for some sort of Mediator user group. I agree with Andreas in that the support from Matchware is at times extremely disappointing. They did have a user group linked from their site several years ago, but it vanished some time ago.

    Thanks for the video demos. As your time allows, keep them coming. They are an important expansion to the manual.

    Speaking of which — are there other books out there on Mediator besides the manual? Other user groups?

    Again, huge thanks!