SitePal User`s Guide

SitePal User`s Guide
User’s Guide
Version 2.0d
5/09/2007
Oddcast Media Technologies
Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Companies, names and data
used in examples herein are fictitious unless otherwise noted. No part of this document may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any
purpose, without the express written permission of Oddcast, Inc.
Copyright 2007 © Oddcast, Inc.
Oddcast Media Technologies
Table of Contents
Part I
Getting Started .................................................................. 8
Chapter 1 - Introduction to SitePal.................................................................... 9
1.1
The SitePal process ............................................................................9
1.1
Additional documentation and resources ..........................................10
1.2
Advanced features ............................................................................10
Chapter 2 - Quick Start Guide to SitePal ........................................................ 11
2.1
Open a Scene ...................................................................................11
2.2
Create your Character.......................................................................13
2.3
Add audio to your Scene ...................................................................16
2.4
Customize your Scene ......................................................................18
2.5
Publish your Scene ...........................................................................23
Part II
Creating Scenes.............................................................. 27
Chapter 3 - Working with Scenes ................................................................... 28
3.1
Log in to your account .......................................................................28
3.2
Use the Scene List ............................................................................29
3.3
Edit a Scene......................................................................................30
3.4
Save a Scene....................................................................................31
3.5
Set options for a Scene .....................................................................31
3.6
Link a Scene to a Web resource .......................................................33
Chapter 4 - Working with SitePal Characters.................................................. 34
4.1
Select a model ..................................................................................34
4.2
Save a model in the Character Library ..............................................35
4.3
Choose features and accessories for a model ..................................36
4.4
Adjust the appearance of a model.....................................................37
4.5
Adjust the color of a model's features ...............................................37
4.6
Position the Character in a Scene.....................................................37
4.7
About SitePal Custom Models ..........................................................39
4.8
About SitePal Specialty Models ........................................................40
Chapter 5 - Working with Backgrounds .......................................................... 41
5.1
Change the Scene background.........................................................41
5.2
Upload your own background image.................................................42
Chapter 6 - Working with Audio...................................................................... 43
6.1
Select an audio message for your Scene..........................................43
6.2
Record your own audio message......................................................44
6.3
Upload audio files .............................................................................45
6.4
Use a phone to record audio .............................................................47
6.5
Create an audio message using text .................................................47
6.6
About creating Text-to-Speech audio................................................49
6.7
Use voice talent to record audio........................................................49
Oddcast Media Technologies
6.8
Manage your audio Library ...............................................................50
6.9
Play multiple audio messages...........................................................50
Chapter 7 - Working with the Skin Editor ........................................................ 52
7.1
Select a Player skin...........................................................................52
7.2
Edit the Player Skin Options .............................................................53
7.3
Change the settings for the Player skin.............................................53
7.4
Set the Player Skin Colors ................................................................53
7.5
FAQ Player skin ................................................................................54
7.6
Lead Generator Player skin ..............................................................55
7.7
AI Player skin ....................................................................................56
Chapter 8 - Publishing and embedding a Scene............................................. 58
8.1
Use the Publish Wizard.....................................................................58
8.2
About SitePal publishing targets .......................................................59
8.3
Properties for embedded code ..........................................................59
8.4
Generate an example HTML page from Embed code .......................61
8.5
Embed a Scene in a Web page.........................................................61
8.6
Embed a Scene in a Flash movie......................................................61
8.7
Embed a Scene in a MySpace page .................................................62
8.8
Publish a Scene to an eBay auction..................................................62
8.9
Email your Scene to anyone .............................................................62
8.10 Embed a Scene in an HTML email message ....................................64
8.11 Embed a Scene in a PowerPoint presentation ..................................65
8.12 Limit audio playback..........................................................................65
Part III Managing Accounts......................................................... 67
Chapter 9 - Working with your SitePal account............................................... 68
9.1
Extend your SitePal account manually..............................................68
9.2
Extend your account automatically....................................................69
9.3
Update your billing information..........................................................69
9.4
Edit contact information for your account ..........................................70
9.5
Change your account password........................................................71
9.6
Upgrade your SitePal account...........................................................72
9.7
Add Scenes and audio streams to your account ...............................72
9.8
About audio playback limits...............................................................73
9.9
Prevent unauthorized playback of your SitePal Scenes ....................74
9.10 Reactivate your SitePal account .......................................................75
9.11 Deactivate a SitePal account ............................................................75
9.12 Remove Oddcast branding ...............................................................75
9.13 View a report of activities on your SitePal account............................76
Chapter 10 - Profiting from SitePal ................................................................. 78
10.1 About the Affiliate Program ...............................................................78
10.2 About the Authorized Reseller Program............................................79
10.3 Add advertising banners to a Web page ...........................................79
10.4 Shop at the Reseller Store ................................................................80
Chapter 11 - Managing Reseller accounts...................................................... 81
11.1 Manage accounts..............................................................................81
11.2 Manage users ...................................................................................84
Oddcast Media Technologies
Part IV Advanced Techniques ..................................................... 87
Chapter 12 - Advanced techniques and API examples ................................... 88
12.1 Use cookies to play alternate audio files ...........................................88
12.2 Publish a scene in different pages with different audio .....................90
12.3 Use JavaScript to play audio messages randomly ............................91
12.4 Vary audio messages by the time of day...........................................93
12.5 Concatenate audio messages...........................................................93
12.6 Queue concatenated audio messages..............................................94
12.7 Create a FAQ with SitePal ................................................................96
12.8 Invoke playback by clicking on a character .......................................98
12.9 Respond to click or rollover events ...................................................98
12.10 Use Dynamic Text-to-Speech ...........................................................99
12.11 Use SSML tags with TTS ................................................................100
12.12 Fine-tune SSML-driven TTS ...........................................................101
12.13 Troubleshoot Dynamic Text-to-Speech...........................................102
Chapter 13 - Artificial Intelligence and the AI Knowledge Base..................... 103
13.1 Set up the AI Management Center ..................................................103
13.2 Define concepts for your AI Knowledge Base .................................105
13.3 Edit the AIML file system.................................................................107
13.4 Compile your AI Knowledge Base...................................................108
13.5 Implement your AI Knowledge Base ...............................................109
13.6 Deploy your AI Knowledge Base.....................................................110
13.7 Access AI Management Center report logs.....................................110
Appendices ................................................................................. 112
SitePal Best Practices.................................................................................. 113
SitePal Glossary .......................................................................................... 118
Index............................................................................................................ cxix
Oddcast Media Technologies
Preface
How to use this manual
This manual is designed for users of SitePal virtual host software. No programming knowledge is
needed to use SitePal to create your own talking character and embed it in a Web page. Part 4 of
this manual is designed for advanced users.
This manual contains the following parts:
Part 1 – Getting Started
Includes the Quick Start Guide to SitePal. This chapter leads
you through the essential steps of creating your SitePal Scene
and embedding it in a Web page.
Part 2 – Creating Scenes
Provides all the instructions for using SitePal to create and
embed SitePal Scenes. This part includes chapters about
working with SitePal Models, Characters, backgrounds, audio,
and Player skins, and shows how to publish and embed Scenes
in various Web environments and email.
Part 3 – Managing Accounts
Describes how to manage all types of SitePal accounts. This
part also includes information about how you can profit from
SitePal by participating in the Affiliate Program and the Reseller
Program.
Part 4 – Advanced Techniques
Provides information about advanced techniques and how to
use the VHost API and JavaScript to extend the functionality,
flexibility and capabilities of SitePal.
Appendices
Includes a SitePal Glossary and a guide to SitePal Best
Practices that explains the concepts of Oddcast’s VHost
technology and how to maximize the effectiveness of your Web
enterprise.
Conventions
The following graphical alerts are used is this manual to draw your attention to a tip, note,
warning, or item that you can skip over.
Tip
3
Note
!
Warning
Oddcast Media Technologies
System Requirements
PC
Macintosh
Linux
3
•
OS: Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP
•
Browsers: Internet Explorer 5.5, Internet Explorer 6, Firefox, Mozilla,
Opera, etc.
•
CPU: 400Mhz or faster
•
Other: Flash Player 6 or better
•
OS: OS X 10.2 or better or Mac OS 8.1or newer
•
Browsers: Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Mozilla
•
CPU: 400Mhz or faster
•
Other: Flash Player 6 or better
Although SitePal is not officially supported on Linux at this time, Oddcast is
not aware of any of problems or issues with any of the system
configurations that we have reviewed.
Note: Some older or non-standard browsers, usually those released before 2001, may not
be compatible. Specifically, Netscape browser versions prior to 4.7 and Internet Explorer
versions prior to 5.0 are not officially supported.
Oddcast Media Technologies
Part I
Getting Started
Oddcast Media Technologies
8
Introduction to SitePal
Chapter 1
Introduction to SitePal
SitePal is an avatar creation software developed by Oddcast for small businesses and
consumers. Avatars are sophisticated animated speaking characters that you can add to Web
pages, email messages, Flash movies, and eBay auctions.
SitePal is an easy-to-use and affordable solution that can deliver amazing business results. A
SitePal Character
•
adds a personalized touch to your Web site
•
enhances a customer’s experience
•
increases the profile of your brand
1.1
The SitePal process
Using SitePal's online interface, you can create and deploy your own virtual salesperson in just
minutes. No programming knowledge is required to use SitePal.
The following describes the simple process of creating and deploying your own SitePal Character
on your Web site:
1. Edit a Scene
In the Scene Editor, you design your Character, choose a
background, and add the audio that you want your Character to
speak.
2. Create your Character
Design your SitePal Characters to fit your Web site design and
style. Change its looks, position, features and accessories, and
then save the character in your Character Library.
3. Audio in your Scene
Add audio for your Character to speak by recording the message
with a microphone or the telephone, uploading an audio file, or by
converting text that you type into synthesized speech.
4. Personalize your Scene
Choose a background image, choose and configure the Player
Skin in which your Character appears, and position your
Character in the Scene.
5. Publish your Scene
Use the Publish Wizard to embed your finished Scene in a Web
page or explore one of the many other available publish locations.
Oddcast Media Technologies
9
Introduction to SitePal
1.1
Additional documentation and resources
You can find additional documentation and reference information on the SitePal Support page.
Included on this page are the following resources:
•
SitePal User’s Guide
•
SitePal Online Help
•
Quick Start Tutorial Movie (Video)
•
SitePal Best Practices (PDF)
•
API Reference & Examples
•
Tech Notes
1.2
Advanced features
If you’re an advanced user, you’ll be interested in SitePal’s advanced features and capabilities:
•
Use the VHost API and JavaScript to extend the functionality and flexibility of SitePal Scenes.
•
Use Dynamic Text-to-Speech (TTS) to determine the text that your Character speaks
dynamically when your Scene plays.
•
Use the AI Knowledge Base to bring your SitePal Character to life with the power of artificial
intelligence (AI).
Oddcast Media Technologies
10
Quick Start Guide
Chapter 2
Quick Start Guide to SitePal
This guide leads you through the basic steps of creating your SitePal Scene and embedding it in
a Web page:
1. Opening a Scene
2. Creating your Character
3. Adding audio to your Scene
4. Customizing your Scene
5. Publishing your Scene
2.1
Open a Scene
You create your own SitePal Scene by editing a pre-configured Scene that is included with your
SitePal account. You edit a Scene by selecting it from your Scene List. In the Scene Editor you
select a model for your Character and adjust its features, change the background for the Scene,
add audio, and choose a skin for the SitePal Player.
1. Go to the SitePal page at http://www.sitepal.com.
2. Click My SitePal Login in the upper-right of the SitePal page.
The SitePal Login Page loads.
Figure 1 - SitePal Login page
Oddcast Media Technologies
11
Quick Start Guide
3. Enter the email address and password for your SitePal account, and then click Enter.
The home page for your SitePal account loads. Your account home page may contain
different content than is shown here.
Figure 2 - Account Home page
4. Click Enter.
Your SitePal Scene List page loads. The number of Scenes in your Scene list depends on the
number of Scenes included with your SitePal package and the number of additional Scenes
that you have purchased.
Figure 3 - Scenes List page
Oddcast Media Technologies
12
Quick Start Guide
5. Click Edit
for a Scene that you want to use.
The Scene Editor appears.
Figure 4 - Scene Editor
2.2
Create your Character
You create your own Character by selecting a pre-configured SitePal Model and modifying its
accessories, features, and color.
1. Click the Model tab
at the top of the Tools Panel.
2. Click the “more Models” button to view all the available models.
Figure 5 - Model Panel
Oddcast Media Technologies
13
Quick Start Guide
3. Click the thumbnail image of the model that you want to use.
The model you selected appears in the Preview Panel.
4. Click the Shades accessory
to choose eyewear for the model.
Adjust the features of the model
1. Click the Adjustments tab
at the top of the Tools Panel.
Figure 6 - Adjustments panel
2. Use your mouse to drag the orange slider in the Shoulder adjustment bar to increase or
decrease the size of the model’s shoulder.
Oddcast Media Technologies
14
Quick Start Guide
Adjust the color of the model’s features
1. Click the Coloring tab
at the top of the Tools Panel.
Figure 7 - Coloring panel
2. Click the Hair button.
3. Drag the selector up or down in the narrow rectangular color ramp to choose the shades of
color you want to work with.
The shade that you select appears in the color range box on the left of the color ramp.
4. Drag the small circle in the color range box to pinpoint the exact color that you want.
The color that you set is shown in the small square box to the right of the color ramp.
5. Click Apply in the lower-right of the Scene Editor.
Your changes to the model are saved.
Save the model as your SitePal Character
1. Click the Character Library tab
at the top of the Libraries Panel.
Figure 8 - Character Library
Oddcast Media Technologies
15
Quick Start Guide
2. Click Save Character.
The Save Character dialog box appears.
Figure 9 - Save Character dialog box
3. Type a name for the new character, and then click OK.
4. Click OK when you are alerted that the Character was saved successfully.
2.3
Add audio to your Scene
SitePal uses advanced technology to synchronize your audio recordings with your Character's lip
movements. This effect is known as lip-syncing and it enhances the overall realism and impact of
your SitePal Characters.
You can add audio for your Scene by recording it with a microphone, uploading an audio file,
record by using a telephone, converting written text into synthesized audio, or by having
professional voice talent record your message. To learn more about adding audio to your SitePal
account, see Working with audio in the SitePal User’s Guide.
For this example, add audio to your Scene by uploading an audio file.
1. In the Scene Editor, click the Audio Library tab
in the Libraries Panel.
Figure 10- Audio Library panel
2. Click Add Audio.
The Add Your Own Audio to SitePal dialog box appears.
Oddcast Media Technologies
16
Quick Start Guide
Figure 11 - Add Audio dialog box
3. Click Upload Audio File.
The Add New Audio dialog box appears.
Figure 12 – Upload Audio file
4. In the Name text box, type a name for your audio message.
5. Click Browse and locate your audio file.
The Enhance Audio Quality option analyzes your audio file and then modifies it to improve its
overall quality. The option is primarily for audio files originally recorded at a low volume. For
higher-quality audio files this enhancement is unnecessary, and in some instances, can
degrade the quality of an audio message.
6. Click Upload.
7. When you are alerted that your new audio is ready, click OK.
The Character in the Preview Panel speaks your new recording and saves the new audio
message in the Audio Library. This message is now the selected audio for your Scene. The
name of the selected audio message is framed in red.
Oddcast Media Technologies
17
Quick Start Guide
Figure 13 - Selected Audio for Scene
2.4
Customize your Scene
A background is a graphical image that you incorporate in a SitePal Scene. Backgrounds give
your SitePal Scenes context and atmosphere. Use an appropriate background to give your Web
site a polished, professional look that reinforces the relevancy of your SitePal Scene.
You can use the predefined backgrounds that are included with SitePal, or you can upload your
own images to use in your Scenes. To learn more about uploading a background image to your
SitePal account, see Working with backgrounds in the SitePal User’s Guide.
Select a background for your Scene
1. In the Scene Editor, click the Background Library tab
in the Libraries Panel.
The Background Library appears.
Figure 14 - Background panel
2. Select a category of backgrounds.
For example, you can select the Travel category.
Oddcast Media Technologies
18
Quick Start Guide
3. In the list of backgrounds, click the thumbnail image of the background that you want to use.
The background is applied to the Preview Panel and the thumbnail is highlighted.
Figure 15 - Selected Background
4. Click Apply in lower-right of Scene Editor.
The background that you selected is applied to your Scene.
Customize the Player skin for your Scene
The SitePal Player is the window in which your SitePal Scene plays. The Player skin is the frame
of the window in which your SitePal Character appears. SitePal includes many styles of
preconfigured skins that you can apply to your Scene. You can modify the skins by modifying their
appearance and choosing which playback controls to include with your Scene.
1. From your Scene List, open a Scene and click Edit Skin.
The Skin Editor appears.
Figure 16 - Skin Editor
2. On the Skin Select tab, click the left or right scroll arrows to select the Standard skin type.
To learn about using the FAQ, Lead Generator, and AI functional skins, see Working with the
Player skin in the SitePal User’s Guide.
3. Click the drop-down menu and select a category of skins.
Oddcast Media Technologies
19
Quick Start Guide
The skins that are available for the category appear in the list box.
4. In the list box, click a skin.
The Preview Pane is updated with the skin that you selected.
5. Click the Settings tab.
Figure 17 - Player skin settings
6. In the Scene Title text box, type a title for your scene.
Leave all the other skin options selected so that all the playback controls are included with
your Scene.
7. Under Set Skin Colors, select the Color2 pre-defined color scheme.
8. Set the base color scheme by dragging the selector up or down in the narrow rectangular
color ramp.
9. Pinpoint the exact color that you want by dragging the small circle in the larger color range
box.
The Preview Panel is updated to show the new color scheme. The color that you set is shown
in the small square box to the right of the color ramp.
10. Click Save to save your Scene.
The Skin Editor closes and you are returned to the Scene Editor.
Oddcast Media Technologies
20
Quick Start Guide
Position the Character in a Scene
1. In the Preview Panel, click Move / Zoom
.
You use the Zoom/Move controls to position the Character in the Scene.
Figure 18 Move/Zoom controls
2. Click one of the Zoom buttons
to increase or decrease the size of the Character.
3. Click one of the arrow buttons
to move the Character.
You can also move the Character by holding down the mouse button on the Character and
dragging it.
4. Click the Close button
or click Move / Zoom
to hide the controls.
5. Click Save in lower-right of Scene Editor.
Your Scene is saved and the Scene Editor closes.
3
When you use the Scene Editor to modify your Scene, any changes you make are
automatically reflected in all of the Web pages in which the Scene is embedded.
Set the options for your Scene
1. From your Scene List page, click Scene Options
for the Scene you just saved.
The Scene Options window appears.
2. Under Playback Settings, on the first drop-down menu, select Limit to 2 for the playback limit.
3. On the second drop-down menu, select per Day for the period of time for the playback limit.
Your Scene will play as soon as the Scene is loaded. The Scene will be played twice to each
viewer in a day. You can select Unlimited to play the Scene every time the page loads. The
viewer can still click the Play button to play the Scene at any time.
Oddcast Media Technologies
21
Quick Start Guide
Figure 19 - Playback Settings
4. If you have a Web site that you would like to link to your Scene, under Link Settings, in the
URL text box, type the address for the Web site.
Figure 20 - Link Settings
5. If you entered the address of a Web site to link to, select the Clicking on the scene opens the
link check box.
6. Under Follow Cursor Setting, select the Follow cursor in scene option.
Your Character's eyes will follow the mouse pointer when the cursor is inside the frame of the
SitePal Player.
Figure 21 - Follow Cursor Settings
7. Click Save.
Your settings are saved and the Scene Options window closes. To learn more about Scene
options, see Working with Scenes in the SitePal User’s Guide.
8. From your Scene List page, in the text box under the Title column, type a name for your
Scene.
Figure 22 Rename a Scene
9. Click Save All Changes
Oddcast Media Technologies
above the list of Scenes.
22
Quick Start Guide
Your title for the Scene is saved and the list of Scenes is sorted alphabetically.
2.5
Publish your Scene
Publishing a Scene means to embed, or insert, the code for a SitePal Scene in a Web page or a
Web environment. The embedded code generates a link to your Scene which is hosted on an
Oddcast server. You use the SitePal Publish Wizard to set the properties for your embedded code
and copy the code into a Web environment.
1. From your Scene List page, click Publish
for your Scene.
The Publish Wizard window appears. To learn more about Publishing targets for SitePal, see
Publishing and embedding a Scene in the SitePal User’s Guide.
Figure 23 - Publish Wizard window
Oddcast Media Technologies
23
Quick Start Guide
2. Click the Embed in Web Page publish option.
The next page of the Publish Wizard loads.
Figure 24 - Publish Wizard
Copy your Scene code to a Web page
Follow these steps if you want to create a sample Web page and embed your Scene code in the
page.
1. Create a new file in a text editor, such as Notepad.
2. Copy the following HTML code and paste it in the text file.
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<html>
<head>
<meta content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" http-equiv="contenttype">
<title>Bigg &amp; Littal Airport</title>
</head>
<body>
<p>
<big>Bigg &amp; Littal Airport</big><br>
<span style="font-style: italic;">
For airplanes of all sizes</span>
<br>
Long and Winding Road<br>
Binary, &nbsp;NY, 10101<br>
<br>
Bigg &amp; Littal has a runway to fit your plane. Please call
us at 555-1212 to learn more.<br>
<br>
</body>
</html>
Oddcast Media Technologies
24
Quick Start Guide
3. Save the text file with an HTML extension.
For example, mySitePal_sample.html.
4. Open the sample HTML file.
Your browser opens the sample page.
Figure 25 - Sample Web Page
Now you can embed the code for your SitePal Scene in this page.
5. In the SitePal Publish Wizard window, click in the panel that contains the code for your
Scene.
All the code text is automatically selected for you. For this example, you do not need to
change any of the properties under Settings. These settings are properties for the code that
you embed in a Web page. To learn more about properties for embedded code, see
Publishing and embedding a Scene in the SitePal User’s Guide.
6. Right-click the selected code and then click Copy.
7. In your text editor, paste the Scene code starting on the line following this line of code:
<body>
The HTML code for this page should appear as follows. The SitePal Scene code appears in
blue.
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<html>
<head>
<meta content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" http-equiv="contenttype">
<title>Bigg &amp; Littal Airport</title>
</head>
<body>
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"
src="http://vhost.oddcast.com/vhost_embed_functions.php?acc=27732&js
=1"></script><script language="JavaScript"
Oddcast Media Technologies
25
Quick Start Guide
type="text/javascript">AC_VHost_Embed_27732(300, 400, 'FFFFFFF', 1,
1, 482566, 0, 0, 0,
'bb7ac132f1f3494275f85e2f222d9115', 6);</script>
<p>
<big>Bigg &amp; Littal Airport</big><br>
<span style="font-style: italic;">
For airplanes of all sizes</span>
<br>
Long and Winding Road<br>
Binary, &nbsp;NY, 10101<br>
<br>
Bigg &amp; Littal has a runway to fit your plane. Please call
us at 555-1212 to learn more.<br>
<br>
</body>
</html>
8. Save the HTML text file.
9. Open the sample HTML file.
Your browser opens the sample HTML page and plays your embedded Scene.
Figure 26 - Scene embedded in sample Web page
Oddcast Media Technologies
26
Part II
Creating Scenes
Oddcast Media Technologies
27
Working with Scenes
Chapter 3
Working with Scenes
In SitePal, you generate Scenes that contain animated, speaking characters. A Scene is a
composition of a customized character, an audio message, background, and a player skin. You
use the SitePal Publish Wizard to embed your Scenes in Web pages, eBay auctions, and email
messages.
3.1
Log in to your account
1. Go to the SitePal page at http://www.sitepal.com.
2. Click My SitePal Login in the upper right of the SitePal page.
The SitePal Login Page loads.
3. Type the email address and password for your SitePal account, and then click Enter.
The home page for your SitePal account loads. Your account home page may contain
different content than is shown here.
Figure 27 - Account Home page
At the top of your Scene List page, click Log Out to log off of your account and return to the
Login page. If you have more than one SitePal account, you can log in to a different account
by selecting the account from the Current Account drop-down menu.
Figure 28 – Account selection drop-down
Oddcast Media Technologies
28
Working with Scenes
3.2
Use the Scene List
The number of Scenes in your Scene list depends on the number of Scenes included with your
SitePal package and the number of additional Scenes that you have purchased. If there are
multiple pages of Scenes in your list, use the navigation controls directly above and below the list
to view other pages of your list.
•
To view the next page of Scenes click the right arrow
•
To view more Scenes on a page, select the number of Scenes that you want to view per page
on the drop-down menu
.
.
Figure 29 - The Scene List
From your list of Scenes, you can do any of the following:
To
Do this
Preview a Scene
Click the thumbnail image for the Scene.
Edit a Scene
Click Edit
Rename a Scene
In the Title column, change the name of the Scene in the text
box and then click the Save All Changes button.
Change the settings and options
for a Scene
Click Scene Options
Publish or embed a Scene
Click Publish
Add a new Scene
Click the Add New Scene button. Learn about adding Scenes
and audio streams to your SitePal account.
Save changes to titles when you
rename a Scene
Click the Save All Changes button.
Oddcast Media Technologies
.
.
.
29
Working with Scenes
To reorder your list of Scenes in the Edit Scenes window, click the Title heading above the
column of your Scene names.
3
You cannot delete Scenes from your SitePal account.
3.3
Edit a Scene
You use the Scene Editor to customize a SitePal Scene and make it your own. In the Scene
Editor you can select a model for your Character and adjust its features, change the background
for the Scene, add audio, and choose a skin for the player. The player is the window in which your
Oddcast Character appears.
The Scene Editor consists of four panels:
1. Libraries Panel
The panel on the left side of the Scene Editor. The Libraries Panel
includes the Audio Library, Character Library, and Background
Library.
2. Preview Panel
The panel in the center of the Scene Editor. The Preview Panel shows
changes to your scene and includes controls for playing your scene,
adjusting the position and scale of the character.
3. Tools Panel
The panel on the right side of the Scene Editor. The Tools Panel
includes the Model Panel, the Character Adjustments Panel, and the
Coloring Panel.
4. Player Skin Panel
Use the Player Skin panel to choose and edit the Player skin.
Figure 30 –The Scene Editor
Oddcast Media Technologies
30
Working with Scenes
3.4
Save a Scene
To save all changes to your Scene and return to the Scene List:
•
In the Scene Editor, click Save.
To save all changes to your Scene and continue to work in the Scene Editor:
•
In the Scene Editor, click Apply.
To discard changes to your Scene and return to the Scene List:
•
In the Scene Editor, click Cancel.
!
If you do not save your Scene, the changes that you have made since opening the Scene
in the Scene Editor are not retained. The next time you edit the Scene, it will appear as you
last saved it.
!
Saving your Scene has an immediate effect on any published SitePal content. For
example, if you save changes to a Scene that you have already published to a Web page,
the Scene is automatically updated on the Web page and will reflect your saved changes.
3.5
Set options for a Scene
To set options for Scene:
1. In the Edit Scenes window, click Scene Options
for a Scene.
The Scene Options window appears.
Figure 31 - Scene Options
Oddcast Media Technologies
31
Working with Scenes
2. Set the options that you want for your Scene.
3. Click Save to save your changes and close the Scene Options window.
You can set the following playback options for a Scene:
Playback setting
Description
When the Play On Load check box is selected, the audio for
your Scene is played as soon as the Scene is loaded.
Play On Load
On the first drop-down menu, set a playback limit. Select
Unlimited play the Scene each time the page loads. On the
second drop-down menu, specify the period of time for the
playback limit. Learn more about playback limits.
Play On Rollover
Play the Scene when a user moves the mouse cursor over
the Scene. The Scene plays only once on rollover for each
user visit.
Play/Pause On Click
Play or pause the Scene when the user clicks within the
Scene.
You can set the following link options for a Scene:
Link setting
Description
URL
The Uniform Resource Locator, or Internet address, of the
target Web page or Web resource for the link. You can also
use the URL setting to call a JavaScript function. For
example: http://www.oddcast.com
Clicking on the Scene opens the
link
Open the linked Web page when a user clicks anywhere in
the Scene. Learn more about link settings.
Link is automatically opened
Open the linked Web page automatically after the audio
message starts or stops. In the first text box, type the elapsed
time in seconds. On the seconds after drop-down menu,
select audio starts or audio stops.
For example, to set the link to open just before the end of a
30-second audio message, in the Link is automatically
opened text box, type 25, and then select audio starts on the
seconds after drop-down menu.
Open the linked Web page in:
Open Link in
• the same frame of the current browser window
• a new browser window
• a named frameset
Oddcast Media Technologies
32
Working with Scenes
You can set the following Follow Cursor options for a Scene:
Follow Cursor setting
Description
Do not follow cursor
The Character's eyes do not follow mouse cursor.
Follow cursor in Scene
The Character's eyes follow mouse cursor when the pointer is
inside the frame of the SitePal Player.
Follow cursor in whole page
3.6
The Character's eyes follow the mouse cursor when the
pointer is anywhere in the host HTML page. If you select this
option, enable the JavaScript API property for your Scene
when you publish it.
Note: Enabling this feature adds JavaScript to the Scene
code that you copy to a Web page. To use this feature, the
Web page or environment where you embed your Scene
must allow JavaScript code.
Link a Scene to a Web resource
You can set up an interactive link to a Web resource from your SitePal Scene. You can link your
Scene to a Web page, a frame, or a JavaScript function. The link is triggered by the events you
select. These events can be invoked manually, automatically timed, or by a user clicking a button
or clicking anywhere on the Scene.
You can specify the target of a link to any of the following:
Target value
Link behavior
_self
The browser loads the Web page in the same frame that
contains the link. Setting this value has the same effect as
selecting same window in the Scene Options window.
_blank
The browser loads the link target in a new window. Setting
this value has the same effect as selecting same window in
the Scene Options window.
_parent
The browser loads the link target in the immediate frameset
parent of the current frame. This value is equivalent to _self if
the current frame has no parent.
_top
The browser loads the page into the full, original window and
cancels all other frames. This value is equivalent to _self if
the current frame has no parent.
_framename
The browser loads the page into the frame that you specify.
If you set the option for opening a link automatically, make sure that the link triggers at the
right time by trimming your audio message properly. A properly trimmed audio message
contains less than one second of silence at its beginning and end.
Oddcast Media Technologies
33
Working with Characters
Chapter 4
Working with SitePal Characters
You use the Scene Editor to create and modify the Characters that you use in your Scenes. The
Tools Panel in the Scene Editor contains the Models Pane, the Adjustment Pane, and the
Coloring Pane. You use these tools to select a model for your Character and adjust its features
and characteristics. As you modify your Character, the Preview Panel in the Scene Editor shows
these changes.
After you create a Character that you want to keep or use, save the Character in the Character
Library.
It is important to understand the difference between a SitePal Model and a SitePal
Character: Models are pre-defined and serve as the basis for the Characters that you
create. Characters are Models that you have modified to use in a Scene.
3
4.1
Select a model
You can create your own SitePal Character by selecting a model and customizing its appearance.
1. On your Scene List page, click Edit
for a Scene that you want to edit.
The Scene Editor appears.
Figure 32 - Scene Editor
at the top of the Tools Panel; click the “More Models” button to view
2. Click the Model tab
all the available models.
Oddcast Media Technologies
34
Working with Characters
3. Click the thumbnail image of the model that you want.
The model you selected appears in the Preview Panel.
3
The number and type of pre-defined SitePal Models that are available depends on your
SitePal account package.
3
Models with the
button are available for purchase. You can try these models within
the context of the scene editor but you will be unable to save the scene until you complete
the purchase of the model.
4.2
Save a model in the Character Library
After you modify a model and create a Character that you want to use, you can save the
Character in the Character Library. The Character is saved as it appears in the Preview Panel.
You can use your saved Characters in any of your SitePal Scenes or you can modify the saved
Characters to create new Characters.
To save a SitePal Character:
1. Click the Character Library tab
at the top of the Libraries Panel.
2. Click Save Character.
The Save Character dialog box appears.
Figure 33 - Save Character dialog box
Oddcast Media Technologies
35
Working with Characters
4. Type a name for the new character, and then click OK.
5. Click OK when you are alerted that the Character was saved successfully.
To load a saved Character:
•
Click the Character in the Character Library.
The Character appears in the Preview Panel
To delete a saved Character:
1. In the Character Library, click the X above the name of the Character.
2. Click OK to confirm that you want to delete the Character.
To rename a saved Character:
1. In the Character Library, click the name of the Character.
The Save Character dialog box appears.
2. Type a new name for the Character, and then click OK.
You can store a maximum of 100 Characters in the Character Library. If you reach this limit
you are prevented from saving new Characters. You can delete existing Characters from
the Character Library to make room for your new characters.
!
4.3
Choose features and accessories for a model
You can customize a model with the following features and accessories:
Hair
Facial hair
(male models only)
Shirt and clothing
Headwear
Eye wear
Necklace
Mouth
Oddcast Media Technologies
36
Working with Characters
1. Click the Model tab
at the top of the Tools Panel.
On the Model tab, features and accessories that are not available for a model are inactive.
2. Click the arrows next to a feature to browse the customization options for any available
feature.
The Character in the Preview Panel is updated to show the features and accessories that you
select.
4.4
Adjust the appearance of a model
You can refine how your Character looks by changing its mouth, nose, shoulders, head, and age.
You can also change the height and width of a Character, and you can adjust the blush level for
female models.
1. In the Scene Editor, click the Adjustments tab
at the top of the Tools Panel.
2. Use your mouse to drag the orange slider in an adjustment bar to the left or right for the
desired Character attribute.
Not all SitePal Models support age adjustments.
3
4.5
Adjust the color of a model's features
You can set the color of your character's eyes, hair, skin, makeup, and lips.
1. In the Scene Editor, click the Coloring tab
at the top of the Tools Panel.
2. Click the feature you want to change.
3. Drag the selector up or down in the narrow rectangular color ramp to choose the shades of
color you want to work with.
The shade that you select appears in the color range box on the left of the color ramp.
4. Drag the small circle in the color range box to pinpoint the exact color that you want.
The color that you set is shown in the small square box to the right of the color ramp.
You can also set the color of a feature by entering the hexadecimal value of the color in the
HEX box.
You can create Characters of either gender that accurately represent a range of ages and
ethnicities by simply adjusting a character's skin color, hair color, hair style, age, and eye
color. This is useful if you want a SitePal scene on your Web site to appeal to a wide
demographic and cultural audience.
4.6
Position the Character in a Scene
You can use the Zoom/Move controls to position the Character in the Scene Editor and Skin
Editor.
Oddcast Media Technologies
37
Working with Characters
1. Open a Scene in the Scene Editor.
2. In the Preview Panel, click Move / Zoom
.
Do any of the following:
To
Do this
Increase or decrease the size of
the Character
Click the Zoom buttons
Move the Character
Click the arrow buttons
Move the Character by using
the mouse
Hold down the mouse button on the Character and drag it to a
new location.
Undo your changes to the
position and size of the
Character
Click the Reset button
Center the Character
Click the Center button
Close the Move / Zoom controls
Click the Close button X or click Move / Zoom
Oddcast Media Technologies
.
.
.
.
.
38
Working with Characters
4.7
About SitePal Custom Models
A SitePal Custom Model is a talking, animated character that Oddcast designs to your exact
specifications. For example, you can create a SitePal Model that looks exactly like you, or you
can create a SitePal Model from your company logo or mascot.
Here are some of the benefits of using Custom Models in your SitePal scenes:
•
Provide your customers with a unique and truly memorable online experience.
•
Increase the profile of your brand and make it stand out in a crowd.
•
Maximize the value and flexibility of your marketing efforts by using a SitePal character
customized just for you and your business.
The following are examples of the variety of SitePal Custom Models that you can create:
Illustrated
Stylized
Wireframe
Anime
Animal
Photorealistic
To create a Custom Model, email Oddcast a photograph that you want to convert to a SitePal
character. For more information about ordering a Custom Model, visit the SitePal Web site,
contact [email protected], or call 877-300-6030.
3
You own any Custom Models that you purchase. Custom Models are not re-sold and are not
used by Oddcast for SitePal or any other Oddcast product.
Oddcast Media Technologies
39
Working with Characters
4.8
About SitePal Specialty Models
SitePal Specialty Models are premium models that you can purchase individually or as part of a
collection. Specialty Models are organized into collections that span a variety of genres, from
Anime to religious and political figures.
Specialty Models are functionally identical to standard SitePal models. Like other great SitePal
Models, you can customize the Specialty Models, add them to your existing SitePal Scenes, and
control them with the VHost API.
The following are examples of the variety of SitePal Specialty Models that you can purchase:
Teens: Teen Kevin
Japanese Animation: Kai
Fun: Flower
Animal Kingdom: Pixie
3D Characters: Angela
Anime: Nari
The Specialty Models that you purchase are added automatically to your Bronze, Silver or Gold
account. Purchasing Specialty Models is a one-time expense. The models that you buy remain
part of your SitePal account as long as you are a SitePal customer.
Oddcast is actively expanding the selection and diversity of Specialty Model offerings. Visit the
SitePal Store at the SitePal Web site regularly to see new package offerings and announcements.
3
Some Specialty Models cannot be colored or aged.
Oddcast Media Technologies
40
Working with Backgrounds
Chapter 5
Working with Backgrounds
A background is a graphic image, in the JPEG format, that you incorporate in a SitePal Scene.
Backgrounds give your SitePal Scenes context and atmosphere. For example, if you add a
SitePal Scene to a real estate Web site, you could use a picture of a house for sale as a
background. Using an appropriate background gives your Web site a polished, professional look
and reinforces the relevancy of your SitePal Scene.
You can use the pre-defined backgrounds that are included with SitePal, or you can upload your
own images to use in your Scenes. You can store a maximum of 100 images in your Private
Background Library.
The backgrounds included with your SitePal account are organized into diverse categories to help
you find the right image for your purpose.
3
The backgrounds included in these categories, vary depending on your SitePal account
package. The Private category stores the background images that you upload to your
SitePal account.
!
The backgrounds included with your SitePal account are yours to use, with perpetual
rights, anywhere online. However, you must have the legal rights to use any background
images that you upload.
5.1
Change the Scene background
1. Open a Scene in the Scene Editor.
2. In the Scene Editor, click the Background Library tab
in the Libraries Panel.
3. Select a category of backgrounds.
4. In the list of backgrounds, click the thumbnail image of the background that you want to use.
The background is applied to the Preview Panel and the thumbnail is highlighted. You must
save a Scene to apply the background to the Scene.
3
You can have no background for your Scene. At the top of a list of backgrounds, click No
Background. The Scene background in the Preview Panel is shaded in light gray to
indicate that the Scene has no background. If a Scene has no background, you can set
the background to a solid color when you embed your Scene.
Oddcast Media Technologies
41
Working with Backgrounds
5.2
Upload your own background image
You can upload images from your computer to use as backgrounds for Scenes. All the images
that you upload are stored in the Private category of the Background Library. You can use the
images that you upload in any of your Scenes.
1. Open a Scene in the Scene Editor.
2. In the Scene Editor, click the Background Library tab
in the Libraries Panel.
3. Click Upload Background.
The Upload Background window appears.
Figure 34 - Upload Background dialog box
4. In the Upload Info dialog box, type a name for the background image.
5. Click Browse and locate the image file that you want to upload.
The image must be a JPEG file and must be 300 pixels wide by 225 pixels high. If your image
is a different dimension, select the Resize check box. If you upload an image larger than 300
x 225 and you did not check the resize checkbox, the image is centered in the Scene and
cropped to these dimensions.
6. Click Upload.
When your image is uploaded successfully, it appears in the Private category of the
Background Library and becomes the active background for the Scene.
To delete an image that you have uploaded, click the delete icon X above the name of
the image that you want to delete.
3
You can store a maximum of 100 images in the Background Library. If you exceed this
limit, you cannot add new images. To free up capacity in your Background Library, delete
existing images.
Oddcast Media Technologies
42
Working with Audio
Chapter 6
Working with Audio
SitePal uses advanced technology to synchronize audio with your Character's lip movements.
This effect is known as lip-syncing and it enhances the overall realism and impact of your SitePal
Characters.
You can use the following methods to add audio to your SitePal account:
Record by microphone
Use a computer microphone to record your own audio messages for
your Characters.
Upload audio file
Use audio files that you upload as audio messages for your
Characters.
Record by phone
Use a phone to record audio messages for your characters.
Text-to-Speech
Voice talent
Use Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology to convert any written text into
synthesized audio messages for your Characters.
Note: The Text-to-Speech feature is available with Silver and Gold
SitePal accounts.
Use professional voice talent artists to record audio messages for
your characters.
You can store a maximum of 100 audio messages in your Private Audio Library. If you
reach this limit you cannot add new audio messages. To free up capacity in your Audio
Library, delete existing audio messages.
!
6.1
Select an audio message for your Scene
1. Open a Scene in the Scene Editor.
2. In the Scene Editor click the Audio Library tab on the Libraries Panel.
3. Select the Private or Public category.
The Public category includes pre-defined sample audio messages. Use these messages to
test and demonstrate Scenes. The Public category is read-only; you cannot add audio
messages to this category.
4. Click the audio message that you want to use for the scene.
The message that you selected is outlined in orange to indicate that it is now the active audio
message. SitePal automatically associates the active audio message with the current Scene,
synchronizes it to the Character’s lip movements, and then plays it.
Oddcast Media Technologies
43
Working with Audio
6.2
Record your own audio message
Use a microphone connected to your computer to record an audio message directly to your Audio
Library. You can use the audio message that you record in any of your SitePal Scenes.
1. Open a Scene in the Scene Editor.
2. In the Scene Editor, click the Audio Library tab
in the Libraries Panel.
3. Click Add Audio.
The Add Your Own Audio to SitePal dialog box appears.
Figure 35 - Add Audio dialog box
4. Click Record by Microphone.
The Record dialog box opens. If you are prompted to install the SitePal Plugin, click OK to
proceed and then follow the instructions on your screen.
Figure 36 - Record dialog box
5. In the Record dialog box, adjust the recording level for your microphone.
Drag the Mic Level slider to the left to decrease the level or to the right to increase it.
6. Click Record.
7. Record your message by speaking slowly and clearly into your microphone, and then click
Stop Rec.
You can record for up to 60 seconds. While you record your message, monitor
the Recording Time progress bar
Oddcast Media Technologies
44
Working with Audio
8. Click Play to preview your recording.
If you are not satisfied with the recording, record your message again.
9. When you are satisfied with your recording, click Save.
10. In the Save Recording dialog box, type a name for your recording, and then click OK.
11. When you are alerted that your new audio is ready, click OK.
The Character in the Preview Panel speaks your new recording.
6.3
Compare the recording volume level of your recordings to the sample audio messages in
the Public folder of the Audio Library. If your recordings are significantly lower or higher
than the sample messages, adjust your microphone input volume.
Upload audio files
You can upload your own audio files from your computer to the Private Audio Library. You can
then use the uploaded audio in any of your scenes. The maximum length of an audio recording
that you can upload is 60 seconds. However, you can concatenate, or chain together, multiple
audio files together to produce messages longer than 60 seconds. Learn how to concatenate
audio messages.
The following are requirements for uploading audio files to the Audio Library:
Channels
1
Sampling Rate
22.050 KHz or 44.100 KHz (22.050 KHz recommended for best
results)
Audio sample size
16 bit
Supported audio formats
WAV (PCM), MP3 (16, 32, 48, 64kbs), WMA (Windows Media
Audio)
Maximum Audio Length
60 Seconds.
Maximum Text-to-Speech
Length
600 characters
To upload audio to your SitePal account:
1. Open a Scene in the Scene Editor.
2. In the Scene Editor, click the Audio Library tab
in the Libraries Panel.
3. Click Add Audio.
Oddcast Media Technologies
45
Working with Audio
4. Click Upload Audio File.
The Add New Audio dialog box appears.
Figure 37 - Upload Audio window
5. In the Name text box, type a name for your audio message.
6. Click Browse and locate your audio file.
7. Clear or check the Enhance Audio Quality check box.
This option analyzes your audio file and then modifies it to improve its overall quality. The
option is primarily for audio files originally recorded at a low volume. However, for higherquality audio files, this enhancement is unnecessary, and in some instances, can degrade the
quality of an audio message.
8. Click Upload.
9. When you are alerted that your new audio is ready, click OK.
The Character in the Preview Panel speaks your new recording.
!
If the upload is unsuccessful, an error message that specifies the problem appears in the
Add New Audio window. Make sure that the audio file you are attempting to upload
conforms to the requirements for SitePal audio.
3
Although SitePal audio messages are stored and played in mono, the Audio Upload
feature can accept WAV, WMA and MP3 files recorded in stereo.
If your site includes more than one Scene, the Enhance Audio Quality option can insure
that multiple recordings are normalized to the same volume level. This can help you
achieve a consistent user experience, especially if the recordings originate from different
sources and individuals.
Oddcast Media Technologies
46
Working with Audio
6.4
Use a phone to record audio
You can record and update your audio messages for your SitePal scenes over the
telephone. Due to varying quality of many phone lines, the quality of audio recorded over the
telephone is lower than audio that you record with a microphone or audio files that you upload.
To maximize the quality of the audio that you record over the phone, make your recording
in a closed space with a minimum amount of background noise.
To record an audio message by using a phone:
1. In the Scene Editor, click the Audio Library tab
in the Libraries Panel.
2. Click Add Audio.
3. Click Record by Phone.
The Add New Audio dialog box appears. Use the information in this dialog box to record your
message.
Figure 38 - Record By Phone window
4. In the Name text box, type a name for your audio message.
5. Follow the prompts to record, play back, and save your message.
You can record for up to 60 seconds.
Once you save your audio message, it is automatically assigned to the Scene you specified. Your
Character delivers the new audio when your Scene is played.
6.5
Create an audio message using text
Use this procedure to create an audio message by using Text-to-Speech (TTS).
1. In the Scene Editor, click the Audio Library tab
in the Libraries Panel.
2. Click Add Audio.
Oddcast Media Technologies
47
Working with Audio
3. Click Text To Speech.
The Add New Audio dialog box appears.
Figure 39 - TTS Audio dialog box
4. In the Add New Audio dialog box, select a language from the Languages drop-down menu.
Each available language is associated with a unique set of voices.
Note: Not all voices are available in every language.
5. Select a voice from the Voices drop-down menu, and then click Voice Sample to hear a brief
sample clip.
Note: Not all voices are available in every language.
6. In the Audio Name box, type a name for your audio message.
7. In the Say box, type the text that you want the Character to speak.
You can type a message with a maximum of 600 characters. The TTS engine can convert
punctuation and all printable characters in your text, except angle brackets (< and >). Click
Preview to see your character speak the text that you typed.
8. Click Save.
SitePal converts your text to spoken audio, synchronizes the audio message with your
Character's lip movements, and saves the new audio message in the Audio Library.
Due to differences in the technology, some voices generate higher quality spoken audio
than others. We recommend that you experiment with changing the punctuation and
spelling of certain voices to achieve the best results.
For example, to make your character say the word VHost correctly with some TTS
voices, you can try spelling it as “Vee Host”. This is known as phonetic pronunciation.
Most dictionaries provide phonetic pronunciations of words. Use phonetic pronunciation
to help you adjust certain TTS voices to pronounce specific words or phrases more
accurately.
Oddcast Media Technologies
48
Working with Audio
6.6
About creating Text-to-Speech audio
You can use the Text-to-Speech (TTS) feature to convert any text into synthesized audio that is
spoken by your character. There are two types of TTS that you can use with SitePal:
Static TTS
Type in your text through the TTS user interface.
Dynamic TTS
Use JavaScript to call the API sayText function.
Static TTS is the simpler of the two, especially for non-programmers. Dynamic TTS is needed
only when your text must be determined while your Scene is played. For example, you can use
Dynamic TTS if you want your character to say a particular phrase based on a user's interaction
with your Web site. Both TTS methods support the full range of SitePal languages and voices.
You can also influence your TTS results by using SSML tags. These are commands that you
embed in your text to direct the TTS engine to interpret the text in a particular way. SSML tags
provide support for the following effects:
•
Inserting pauses in the text.
•
Altering volume in mid-sentence, or for part of a sentence, for emphasis.
•
Changing language in mid-sentence, or for part of a sentence, which is useful for multi-lingual
audiences and applications.
•
Changing pitch or rate of speech.
6.7
Use voice talent to record audio
SitePal offers you the option of using professional voice talent artists to record audio messages
for your Characters. Audio messages recorded by professional voice over specialists are typically
more effective than those you record yourself or that you create using the Text-to-Speech feature.
Oddcast recommends that you take advantage of this service if you are using your SitePal
characters for commercial purposes. You can order these recordings through the Voice Talent
Store at Oddcast.com.
3
A separate fee is charged for each voice talent recording. Any audio files you purchase
from the Voice Talent Store are yours to use, with perpetual rights, anywhere online.
To use voice talent to record your audio:
1. In the Scene Editor, click the Audio Library tab
in the Libraries Panel.
2. Click Add Audio.
3. Click Voice Talent.
The Voice Talent Store opens in a new browser window. The store lists a variety of voices
that you can sample.
4. Select a voice talent.
5. Complete the order form by following the instructions.
6. When you are finished, click Add to Shopping Cart at the bottom of the form and proceed to
checkout.
Professional voice talent recordings are typically available for download within 2 to 3 business
days, although some recordings require up to 5 days. You are informed by email as soon as your
Oddcast Media Technologies
49
Working with Audio
order is ready. The email includes a secure link for retrieving the recording. You can check the
status of the order by visiting your My Orders page. Click the Store link that appears at the top of
your Home Page or Scene List page after you log in to your account.
As with any audio file, you can upload your professional voice talent recordings to your account
and use them in any of your SitePal Scenes.
6.8
Manage your audio Library
You can manage all the audio messages that are associated with your SitePal account in the
Audio Library. From the Audio Library you can select, add, delete, and rename audio messages.
The Audio Library includes a Public category and a Private category of audio messages.
Public
This category includes pre-defined sample audio messages. Use these
messages to test and demonstrate scenes. The Public category is read-only;
you cannot add audio messages to this category.
Private
This category is provided exclusively to store the audio messages that you add
to your SitePal account.
To rename a recorded or uploaded audio message:
1. Click the audio message that you want to rename.
The Rename Audio dialog box appears.
Figure 40 - Rename Audio dialog box
2. Type a new name, and then click OK.
To rename a Static Text-to-Speech audio message:
1. Click the audio message that you want to rename.
2. In the Add New Audio dialog box, type a new name in the Audio Name text box, and then
click Create.
6.9
If you do not want audio in a SitePal Scene, select No Audio from the list of audio
messages.
Play multiple audio messages
You can use the Multiple Audio Files feature to associate up to 20 audio messages with a single
Scene. When you turn this feature on, the Scene will randomly play the audio messages that you
select.
To use multiple audio files with a Scene:
1. Open a Scene in the Scene Editor.
Oddcast Media Technologies
50
Working with Audio
2. In the Scene Editor, click the Audio Library tab
in the Libraries Panel.
3. Select the Multiple Audio Files check box.
4. If an alert appears, click OK..
5. Select the buttons next to the audio messages that you want to play with your Scene.
Figure 41 - Multiple Audio Files window
When you save your Scene, the Character will speak these audio messages randomly.
3
To stop playing multiple audio files, clear the Multiple Audio Files check box.
Oddcast Media Technologies
51
Working with the Skin Editor
Chapter 7
Working with the Skin Editor
The SitePal Player is the window in which your SitePal Scene plays. The Player skin is the frame
of the window in which your SitePal Character appears. You can use a preconfigured skin that is
included with SitePal to create your own customized skin. You can also change the appearance
of the player skin and select which playback controls to include with your Scene.
7.1
Select a Player skin
1. From your Scene List, open a Scene and click Edit Skin.
The Skin Editor appears.
Figure 42 - Skin Editor
2. On the Skin Select tab, click the left or right scroll arrows to select the type of skin that you
want to use.
3. Click the drop-down menu and select a category of skins.
The skins that are available for the category appear in the list box.
4. In the list box, click a skin.
The Preview Pane is updated with the skin that you selected.
Oddcast Media Technologies
52
Working with the Skin Editor
You can use the following types of skins for the SitePal Player:
Type of skin
Use to create
Standard
SitePal Scenes that include a speaking Character.
AI
SitePal Scenes that incorporate the AI Knowledge Base. The AI skin
includes a text box where users can type questions for your Character.
FAQ
SitePal Scenes that incorporate the FAQ Skin allow your scene to
answer frequently asked questions on your Web site.
LEAD
SitePal Scenes in which visitors to your Web pages can submit their
contact information.
7.2
Edit the Player Skin Options
1. Open a Scene in the Scene Editor.
If you make changes to the Scene before editing the skin, click Apply to save your changes.
2. In the Player Skin pane, click Edit Skin.
The Skin Editor appears.
7.3
Change the settings for the Player skin
1. Open a Scene and click Edit Skin.
2. Click the Settings tab.
Figure 43 - Player skin settings
3. In the Scene Title text box, type a title for your scene.
If you do not want to include a title for your scene, uncheck the Show Scene Title check box.
4. Click one of the buttons next the Scene Title text box to set left, center, or right justification for
the title.
5. Clear the check boxes for the playback controls that you do not want included with your
scene.
6. Click Apply or Save to save your Scene.
7.4
Set the Player Skin Colors
1. Open a Scene and click Edit Skin.
2. Click the Settings tab.
Oddcast Media Technologies
53
Working with the Skin Editor
3. Under Set Skin Colors, select the button for a pre-defined color scheme.
4. To set the base color scheme, drag the selector up or down in the narrow rectangular color
ramp.
5. To pinpoint the exact color that you want, drag the small circle in the larger color range box.
The Preview Panel is updated to show the new color scheme. The color that you set is shown
in the small square box to the right of the color ramp.
6. Click Apply or Save to save your Scene.
If you click Apply, you can click Reset to reset the colors to preconfigured colors of the Player
skin.
7.5
You can also set the color of a feature by entering the hexadecimal value of the color in
the HEX box.
FAQ Player skin
Use the FAQ skin to create a SitePal Scene where visitors can hear answers to frequently asked
questions. When a user clicks a question, your SitePal Character speaks the answer.
The FAQ Player skin is available only with Silver and Gold SitePal accounts.
1. From your Scene List, open a Scene and click Edit Skin.
2. On the Skin Select tab, click the left or right scroll arrows to select the FAQ skin.
3. In the list box, click a FAQ skin.
The Preview Pane is updated with the FAQ skin.
4. Click the FAQ tab.
5. Click Add.
A question dialog box appears in the FAQ Management panel.
Figure 44 - FAQ question dialog box
6. Under Edit Question Text, type a question and then click Choose Audio Answer.
The Audio Selection window appears.
Oddcast Media Technologies
54
Working with the Skin Editor
7. Select the audio message that you want to use to answer the question that you entered.
8. Click Select Audio.
The audio you selected is associated with the question and Audio Selection window closes.
9. Repeat steps 5 through 8 to add more questions to your FAQ.
10. Click Save.
3
To remove a question from the FAQ skin, click the X in the question window.
To change the order of appearance of your questions, click the Order pull down menu
and select a number.
7.6
Lead Generator Player skin
Use the Lead Generator skin to create a SitePal Scene where visitors can enter their contact
information and send it to you. You can use any text for your labels and messages in the lead
generator form.
The Lead Generator Player skin is available only with Silver and Gold SitePal accounts.
!
You must specify a valid email address in the Lead Generator skin. If you do not enter a
valid email address, you will not receive the contact information that your visitors want to
send you.
1. From your Scene List, open a Scene and click Edit Skin.
2. On the Skin Select tab, click the left or right scroll arrows to select the LEAD skin.
3. In the list box, click a Lead skin.
The Preview Pane is updated with the lead skin.
4. Click the Lead Generator tab.
The Lead Generator options panel appears.
Oddcast Media Technologies
55
Working with the Skin Editor
Figure 45 - Lead Generator skin options
5. Under Step 2: Form Customization, edit the labels and message caption that appear in the
form.
You can set the visibility of Field 1 and Field 2 in the form; this will allow you to customize the
number of fields you would like visible in your form. Note that the Email and Comments fields
are mandatory.
Four Form Fields
Three Form Fields
Two Form Fields
The form in the Preview Pane is updated as you edit the label text.
Under Step 3: In Case of Success, edit the success message text. Click Select Audio button if
you want a sound to play when the contact information is sent.
6. Under Step4: In Case of Error, edit the error message text if you want a different message to
appear if the data is not sent successfully. Click the Select Audio button if you want a sound
to play if the data is not sent successfully.
7. Click Save.
The Skin Editor closes and the changes to your Lead Generator skin are saved.
7.7
AI Player skin
Use the AI skin to create a SitePal Scene that incorporates the AI Knowledge Base. The AI skin
includes a text box where users can type questions for your Character. Your Character responds
to user questions with context-sensitive, spoken answers.
The AI Player Generator skin is available only with Gold SitePal accounts.
1. From your Scene List, open a Scene and click Edit Skin.
2. On the Skin Select tab, click the left or right scroll arrows to select the AI skin.
3. In the list box, click an AI skin.
The Preview Pane is updated with the AI skin.
4. Click the AI tab.
The AI skin options panel appears
Oddcast Media Technologies
56
Working with the Skin Editor
Figure 46 - AI skin option
5. In the Enter Custom Button Label text box, type the button text that you want to use.
6. Clear the Show Response Text check box if you do not want the response text to appear.
7. Under Voice Selection, select the language and voice that you want your Character to use for
responses.
Oddcast Media Technologies
57
Publishing and embedding a Scene
Chapter 8
Publishing and embedding a Scene
Publishing a Scene means to embed, or insert, the code for a SitePal Scene in a Web page or a
Web environment. The embedded code generates a link to your Scene, which is hosted on an
Oddcast server. When you use the Scene Editor to modify your Scene, any changes you make
are automatically reflected in all of the Web pages in which the Scene is embedded. Re-embed
the code only if you change the properties that you set in the Publish Wizard.
Use the SitePal Publish Wizard to set the properties for your embedded code and copy the code
into a Web environment.
8.1
Use the Publish Wizard
1. On the Edit Scene page, click Publish
for a Scene.
The Publish Wizard window appears.
Figure 47 - Publish Wizard window
2. Choose a publish option for your SitePal Scene.
3. Follow the instructions in the Publish Wizard to complete the process.
Oddcast Media Technologies
58
Publishing and embedding a Scene
8.2
About SitePal publishing targets
You can use the SitePal Publish Wizard to publish a Scene to the following environments:
Use the Publish Wizard to embed a SitePal Scene in most types of
Web pages. Learn more about embedding a Scene in a Web page.
Use this Publish Wizard option to publish to a variety of sites. The
following are a few of those sites:
Embed in a Web Page
•
Blogger
•
FrontPage
•
Homestead
•
Macromedia Contribute
•
Microsoft PowerPoint
•
Register.com WebSiteNOW!
•
SwishMax
•
Yahoo! SiteBuilder
Note: If your target environment does not allow the use of JavaScript,
use the Web Page (No JavaScript) option for publishing your Scene.
Embed in Flash
Use the SitePal Publish Wizard to embed your SitePal Character in a
Macromedia Flash movie (requires a SitePal Gold account package).
Learn more about embedding a Scene in a Flash movie.
Embed in MySpace
Add flair to your MySpace profile with a SitePal Character. Learn
more about embedding a Scene in your MySpace profile.
Publish to eBay
Use the SitePal Publish Wizard to include a SitePal Scene in your
eBay auction and dramatically enhance its effectiveness. Learn more
about publishing a Scene to an eBay auction.
Email
Use the SitePal Publish Wizard to send an email message that
includes a link to your Scene. Learn more about emailing a link to
your Scene. You can also embed a SitePal Scene in an HTML email
message.
8.3
Properties for embedded code
Use the SitePal Publish Wizard to set the properties for the code that you embed. The properties
that you can set when you publish a Scene do not modify your Scene in any way. These
properties affect only how your Scene appears inside the host Web page. By setting different
embed-code properties your Scene can appear different across multiple Web pages.
Oddcast Media Technologies
59
Publishing and embedding a Scene
Figure 48 - Properties for Scene code
Property
Description
The contents of your entire Scene, including your background
image, are re-sized to the dimensions you specify.
Scene Dimensions
Background Color
Secure Protocol (HTTPS)
The suggested dimensions are 400 x 300 pixels. To use different
dimensions, as you type a different width, the height is automatically
calculated so that it appears proportionally to the specified width.
Select a color from the palette by clicking on a color box or click
Transparent. Alternatively, you can enter the hexadecimal value for
a color in the box centered below the palette.
Note: The color you select here also becomes the background color
if you selected No Background from the Background Library in the
Scene Editor.
Select this check box if you want the embedded code for your
Scene to work with the HTTPS (secure) protocol. This protocol is
used by most Web-based e-commerce applications as well as
private areas of Web sites.
Note: Although this format of HTTPS embed code works for both
HTTP and HTTPS, it does not work in an HTML page launched
from the desktop. The Web page must reside on a Web server.
JavaScript API
Oddcast Media Technologies
Select this check box if you make VHost API calls from the Web
page or if you have set the Follow cursor in whole page option in
the Scene Options window. Learn about the options that you can
set for a Scene.
60
Publishing and embedding a Scene
8.4
Generate an example HTML page from Embed code
If you do not have a Web page where you can embed your Scene code, you can embed your
Scene in a sample Web page. In the Publish Wizard, click Generate Example HTML Page from
this embed code link.
8.5
Embed a Scene in a Web page
You can use the Embed in Web Page option of the Publish Wizard to embed your SitePal Scene
in an HTML Web page.
1. On the Edit Scene page, click Publish
for a Scene.
2. Click the Embed in Web Page option.
3. Follow the instructions in the Publish Your Scene window for copying your Scene code into
an HTML Web page.
Learn about the properties that you can set for the Scene code.
If your target environment does not allow the use of JavaScript, use the Web Page (No
JavaScript) option for publishing your Scene. For example, eBay does not support
JavaScript. The Web Page (No JavaScript) option does not support VHost API calls from
the Web page or the Follow cursor in whole page option.
3
8.6
Embed a Scene in a Flash movie
Use the Embed in Flash option of the Publish Wizard to embed your SitePal Scene in a Flash
movie.
3
The Embed in Flash option is available in SitePal Gold account packages only.
To embed a Scene in a Flash movie:
1. On the Edit Scene page, click Publish
for a Scene.
2. Click the Embed in Flash option.
3. Follow the instructions in the Publish Your Scene window for copying your Scene code into
your Flash movie.
Learn about the properties that you can set for the Scene code.
3
To embed a SitePal Scene in a Flash movie, you should be familiar with using Flash and
its scripting language, ActionScript.
Oddcast Media Technologies
61
Publishing and embedding a Scene
8.7
Embed a Scene in a MySpace page
Use the Embed in MySpace option of the Publish Wizard to embed a SitePal Scene in your profile
on MySpace page.
1. Log in to your MySpace account.
2. On the Edit Scene page, click Publish
for a Scene.
3. Click the Embed in MySpace option.
4. Follow the instructions in the Publish Your Scene window for copying your Scene code into
your MySpace profile.
Learn about the properties that you can set for the Scene code.
8.8
Publish a Scene to an eBay auction
Use the Publish to eBay option of the Publish Wizard to include a SitePal Scene in your eBay
auction. The Publish to eBay option is available only with the SitePal Gold account package.
To publish a Scene to an eBay auction:
1. On the Edit Scene page, click Publish
for a Scene.
2. Click Publish to eBay.
3. Sign in to eBay using the Web page that appears.
4. Follow the instructions in the Publish Your Scene window to embed a SitePal Scene in an
eBay auction.
Learn about the properties that you can set for the Scene code.
Be aware of the following when publishing your Scenes to eBay:
•
Your auction's description cannot be modified after the auction is bid on.
•
The auction cannot be modified within the last 12 hours of bidding.
•
Do not modify your Scene by using the Scene Editor through the life of the auction unless the
change is specific to the auction. This is because changes made to a Scene through the
Scene Editor are instantaneously reflected in the Scene.
•
If you are using the same Scene across multiple auctions, your audio message should be
generic.
8.9
Email your Scene to anyone
Use the Email option of the Publish Wizard to send an email message that includes a link to your
Scene. You can also embed a SitePal Scene in an HTML email message.
To email a link to your Scene:
1. On the Edit Scene page, click Publish
for a Scene.
2. Click the Email option.
3. In the From text box, enter the email address that you want to use to send the message.
4. In the Recipient(s) text box, enter the email addresses for the recipients of the message.
5. In the Message text box, type the message that you want to include with the link to your
Scene.
Oddcast Media Technologies
62
Publishing and embedding a Scene
6. Under Settings, set the properties for your Scene code.
Learn about the properties that you can set for the Scene code.
Figure 49 - Email Publish Wizard
7. If you want to receive a copy of the message, select the Send me a copy check box.
8. Click Send Email.
The message is sent and the Publish Your Scene window closes.
The recipient receives a message that includes a link to your Scene and the URL of the Scene.
Figure 50 - Email with link to Scene
Oddcast Media Technologies
63
Publishing and embedding a Scene
The Scene loads in the Web browser when the recipient clicks on the link in the email message.
Figure 51 - Scene linked from email
8.10 Embed a Scene in an HTML email message
You can embed a SitePal Scene in an HTML email, but the recipient may or may not see the
Scene, depending on the email client and the settings the recipient is using. You can also send an
email message that includes a link to your Scene.
Some email client programs can automatically remove the SitePal embed code.
Therefore you should design your HTML email in such a way that it still makes sense to
the viewer if the SitePal Scene is removed by the client. For such cases, you should
include a link, or an image with a link, to a Web page embedded with your Scene.
The following describes the general process of how to embed a Scene in an HTML email by using
Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0. You should test the HTML email with the embedded Scene by
sending it to yourself before sending it to others. Your results can vary widely due to the settings
and configurations of the recipient's email client program.
1. From your list of Scenes in the Edit Scenes window, click Publish
embed in an email.
for a Scene you want to
2. From the Publish Your Scene window, click the Embed in Web Page option.
3. In Outlook Express, on the Message menu, click New Message.
4. In the New Message window, on the Format menu, click Rich Text (HTML).
5. On the View menu, click Source Edit.
6. At the bottom of the window, click the Source tab.
The underlying HTML source code of the message is revealed.
Oddcast Media Technologies
64
Publishing and embedding a Scene
7. Modify the message's HTML source according to your design preferences.
Design the HTML so that it will display reasonably well if the SitePal Scene is stripped out by
the user's email client.
8. From the SitePal Publish Your Scene window, copy the code.
9. Paste the code between the <BODY> and </BODY> tags.
10. Add a link to the Web page where your SitePal Scene is embedded.
Recipients of the message who cannot see the Scene in the email message can go to your
Web site to view the Scene.
11. Click the Edit tab.
12. Enter email addresses in the To field, enter a subject in the Subject field, and then send the
message.
8.11 Embed a Scene in a PowerPoint presentation
Use the Microsoft PowerPoint option of the Publish Wizard to embed a SitePal Scene in a
PowerPoint presentation.
To play a Scene in PowerPoint, you must be connected to the Internet during the presentation.
Alternatively, you can load the Scene into the presentation while you're connected and then save
it. You can then give the presentation without an Internet connection as long as you do not exit
the PowerPoint program.
3
You must have Flash version 6 or higher installed on your computer and a SitePal Gold
account package to perform this operation.
To embed a Scene in a PowerPoint presentation:
1. On the Edit Scene page, click Publish
for a Scene.
2. Click the Embed in Web Page option.
3. Under Publish To, click Microsoft PowerPoint.
4. Follow the instructions in the Publish Your Scene window for embedding your Scene code in
a PowerPoint presentation.
Learn about the properties that you can set for the Scene code.
3
If you view the Scene before you save the PowerPoint presentation, the Playing property
reverts to False, and you must reset it to True.
8.12 Limit audio playback
Conserving your available Audio Streams is important since there are a pre-defined number of
Audio Streams allotted to each SitePal account package. The size of this allotment depends on
the SitePal account package that you have. The number of Audio Streams that are available in
your account is shown on your Account Info page. Learn more about audio playback limits.
In the Scene Options window you can limit the number of times an audio message is played and
repeated to a user within a specified period of time.
Oddcast Media Technologies
65
Publishing and embedding a Scene
To limit audio playback:
1. Your SitePal Scene List page, click Scene Options
for a Scene.
The Scene Options window appears.
2. Under Playback Settings, on the first drop-down menu, select a playback limit.
3. On the second drop-down menu, select the period of time for the playback limit.
For example, if you select Limit to 2 for the playback limit and per Day for the period of time,
your Scene plays twice to each viewer in a day. You can select Unlimited to play the Scene
every time the page loads. The viewer can click the Play button any time to play the Scene.
You can use the Secure Playback feature prevents unauthorized use of your SitePal Scenes on
Web sites other than your own. When you activate Secure Playback option, the domain
requesting the Scene is verified before the Scene is played.
To activate Secure Playback:
1. Click Account Info in the menu bar at the top of the SitePal Home Page.
2. Scroll down to the Licensed Domains panel, and then click the first Define Domain link.
A dialog box appears.
Figure 52 - Define Domain Name
3. Enter the name of the domain in which your SitePal Scenes are embedded, and then click
OK.
For example, www.my_domain.com. If your Scenes are embedded in Web pages in another
domain, click the other Define Domain link and enter that name of the additional domain.
4. In the Account Settings panel, select the Secure Playback check box.
3
Secure Playback is not compatible with the Publish to eBay and the Web Page (No
JavaScript) publish option.
Oddcast Media Technologies
66
Part III
Managing Accounts
Oddcast Media Technologies
67
Working with your SitePal account
Chapter 9
Working with your SitePal account
When you are logged in to your SitePal account, you can view, change, or edit any aspect of your
SitePal account.
To go to your Account Info page:
•
Click Account Info in the menu bar at the top of your Scene List page.
To return to your Scene List page from your Account Info page:
•
Click My Scenes in the menu bar at the top of your Account Info page.
9.1
Extend your SitePal account manually
Extend the duration of your account to prevent it from expiring. You also have the option of
extending your account automatically by turning on Automatic Billing.
1. Log in to your SitePal account.
2. Click Account Info in the menu bar at the top of the SitePal Home Page.
3. In the General Account Information panel, click Extend.
The Extend Your Account page appears
Figure 53 - Extend Your Account page
4. In the Extend Your Account window, select the account that you want to extend.
5. Click Continue and follow the instruction on your screen.
Oddcast Media Technologies
68
Working with your SitePal account
9.2
Extend your account automatically
You can authorize Oddcast to bill your credit card automatically to extend your account. Use
the Automatic Billing option to make sure that your SitePal Scenes are not deactivated if your
account license expires. Oddcast interfaces with VeriSign at the appropriate time to perform a
repeat transaction, your credit card information is sent only once at the time you sign up for your
account. Oddcast automatically generates an electronic invoice and emails it to you when your
credit card is billed.
1. Set up recurring billing if you have a credit card number on file at Oddcast
2. Log in to your SitePal account.
3. On the top menu bar, click Account Info.
4. In the Automatic Billing pane, select the Automatic Billing check box.
Figure 54 - Automatic Billing panel
5. From the drop-down menu that appears next to the check box, select either Monthly or
Yearly.
3
Any special promotions offered in the VHost Store that apply to your account extension at
the time of rebilling are automatically applied.
3
Turning off Automatic Billing does not deactivate your account. If you do not use the
Automatic Billing option, visit the VHost Store and purchase an extension before your
account expires. If you extend your SitePal account manually, you will receive a reminder
from Oddcast in the mail that your account will soon expire.
9.3
Update your billing information
Add or update your credit card information for your SitePal account
1. Log in to your SitePal account.
2. On the top menu bar, click Account Info.
Oddcast Media Technologies
69
Working with your SitePal account
3. In the Automatic Billing pane, click Edit Credit Card Information.
The VHost Store appears in a new browser window.
Figure 55 - Billing Info page
4. Under Billing Information, enter the billing information for your account.
5. Under Credit Card Information, enter the number, ID code, and the expiration date for your
credit card.
6. Click Update.
3
9.4
Oddcast does not store your credit card information on its servers. Instead, your credit card
information is used only when performing an authorized transaction with our secure billing
service at VeriSign, an industry leader in secure online transactions.
Edit contact information for your account
1. Log in to your SitePal account.
2. On the top menu bar, click Account Info.
3. Scroll down to the Contact Information panel.
Oddcast Media Technologies
70
Working with your SitePal account
4. Click Edit Contact Info.
The User Details window appears.
Figure 56 - Contact Information window
5. Change your personal and company contact information or your password.
6. Click Update.
9.5
Change your account password
1. Log in to your SitePal account.
2. On the top menu bar, click Account Info.
3. Scroll down to the Contact Information panel.
4. Click Edit Contact Info.
The User Details window appears.
5. In the Old Password box, type your current password.
Oddcast Media Technologies
71
Working with your SitePal account
6. In the New Password box, type a new password.
7. In the New Password Verification box, type your new password again.
8. Click Update.
9.6
Upgrade your SitePal account
If you have a Bronze or Silver SitePal account, you can upgrade your account package. For
example, when you upgrade from a Bronze to a Silver account, you can use the Text-to-Speech
feature to create audio messages. If you upgrade to a Gold account you can add the power of an
artificial intelligence (AI) to a Scene by using the SitePal AI Knowledge Base feature.
To upgrade your SitePal account:
1. Log in to your SitePal account.
2. On the top menu bar, click Account Info.
3. Scroll down to the Account Features panel.
Figure 57 - Account Features panel
4. Click Upgrade to silver or Upgrade to Gold.
The Select Your Account window appears.
5. Select the package that you want to upgrade to.
6. Use the VHost Store to find the upgrades you want, add them to your shopping cart, and
proceed to checkout.
9.7
Add Scenes and audio streams to your account
Your SitePal account includes a predetermined number of Scenes and Audio Streams. The exact
number of each item varies depending on your type of account package. You can check the
current inventory of Scenes and Audio Streams for your account on the Account Info page.
1. Log in to your SitePal account.
2. Click Account Info in the menu bar at the top of the SitePal page.
Oddcast Media Technologies
72
Working with your SitePal account
3. In the General Account panel, click the Buy More button for Streams or Scenes.
The SitePal Account Additions page of the SitePal Store appears in a new browser window.
Figure 58 - Account Additions window
4. Enter the quantity of Scenes or stream bundles that you want to add to your account.
5. Click Continue and then either continue to shop or proceed to checkout.
To purchase additional Scenes and audio streams from the SitePal Store:
1. Log in to your SitePal account.
2. Click Store in the menu bar at the top of the SitePal page.
3. Under Accessorize My Account, click Additional Streams or Scenes.
4. Click Select for your account.
5. Enter the quantity of Scenes or stream bundles that you want to add to your account.
6. Click Continue and either continue to shop or proceed to checkout.
9.8
You can see the number of Audio Streams that have played in a given period of time by
viewing a report of your SitePal account activities.
About audio playback limits
Audio Streams are audio messages delivered over the Internet by the Oddcast server. Audio
Streams are counted each time one plays in a Scene. For example, if you place a single Scene
that plays one audio message on a Web page with an average of 1,000 page views a day, expect
to use an average of 1,000 Audio Streams a day.
Conserving your available Audio Streams is important since there are a pre-defined number of
Audio Streams allotted to each SitePal account package. The size of this allotment depends on
the SitePal account package that you have.
Oddcast Media Technologies
73
Working with your SitePal account
In the Scene Options window you can limit the number of times an audio message is played and
repeated to a user within a specified period of time. Learn how to economize your use of streams
by limiting playback.
Figure 59 - Playback Settings panel
The number of Audio Streams that are available in your account is shown on your Account Info
page.
The playback limit is implemented independently for each page in which the Scene is embedded.
If a Scene is embedded in more than one page, there is an individual limit count for each one of
the pages, and it is the limit that is set at the time the Scene is published.
9.9
Prevent unauthorized playback of your SitePal Scenes
The Secure Playback feature prevents unauthorized use of your SitePal Scenes on Web sites
other than your own. When you activate Secure Playback option, the domain requesting the
Scene is verified before the Scene is played. This helps insure that your Scenes are shown only
in Web pages located in a domain that you specify. The Secure Playback feature prevents
someone from illegally hijacking your SitePal Scenes and audio streams.
When Secure Playback is not activated, domain verification is ignored for all Scene playbacks
except for Scenes that contain Dynamic Text-to-Speech.
To activate Secure Playback:
1. Log in to your SitePal account.
2. Click Account Info in the menu bar at the top of the SitePal Home Page.
3. Scroll down to the Licensed Domains panel, and then click the first Define Domain link.
A dialog box appears.
Figure 60 - Define Domain Name
4. Enter the name of the domain in which your SitePal Scenes are embedded, and then click
OK.
For example, www.my_domain.com. If your Scenes are embedded in Web pages in another
domain, click the other Define Domain link and enter that name of the additional domain.
5. In the Account Settings panel, select the Secure Playback check box.
3
Secure Playback is not compatible with the Publish to eBay and the Web Page (No
JavaScript) publish option.
Oddcast Media Technologies
74
Working with your SitePal account
9.10 Reactivate your SitePal account
If your SitePal account has not expired, you can extend your account or set up recurring billing to
extend your account automatically. If your SitePal account is deactivated, you can still log into
your Account Info page and activate the account.
To reactivate a SitePal account:
1. Log in to your SitePal and click Enter under My Account Info.
2. Click Account Info in the menu bar at the top of the SitePal page.
3. Under General Account Information, click Activate Account.
4. Select an Extension package and click Continue.
5. Click Continue and either continue to shop or proceed to checkout.
9.11 Deactivate a SitePal account
1. Log in to your SitePal account.
2. Click Account Info in the menu bar at the top of the SitePal Home Page.
3. Under General Account Information, click Deactivate Account.
The Account Deactivation window appears. Please note the information in this window about
deactivating your account.
Figure 61 - Account Deactivation dialog box
4. Select a reason why you are deactivating your account (optional).
Your response will help us improve SitePal and our services.
5. Click Deactivate my account, and then close the Account Deactivation window.
You will receive an email message from Oddcast confirming that your account is deactivated.
9.12 Remove Oddcast branding
1. Log in to your SitePal account.
2. Click Account Info in the menu bar at the top of the SitePal Home Page.
Oddcast Media Technologies
75
Working with your SitePal account
3. In the Account Settings panel, click Remove Oddcast Branding.
The SitePal watermark in the SitePal Player is removed from your Scenes.
Figure 62 - Account Settings panel
3
The option to remove Oddcast branding is available only with a SitePal Gold account
package.
9.13 View a report of activities on your SitePal account
Your account includes a reporting feature that generates detailed statistics about your SitePal
Scenes. The activities that you can track include:
•
The number of times your embedded or published Scenes are viewed
•
The number of Audio Streams that are played
•
Information about the various audio messages and background images that you have
uploaded
To view a report of activities on your SitePal account:
1. Log in to your SitePal account.
2. On the top menu bar, click Reports.
SitePal generates your report and displays the results.
Figure 63 - Account Reports window
Oddcast Media Technologies
76
Working with your SitePal account
3. From the Report drop-down menu, select the report type that you want to view.
4. From the Period drop-down menu, select the time frame for the report.
The time frames that are available vary by report type.
You can view the following report types for your SitePal account:
Report type
1. User Sessions Overview
2. Audio Usage - Overview
3. Detailed Audio Usage
4. Account Activity Events List
5. All About Assets
Oddcast Media Technologies
Description
•
Number of user sessions for period and total to date
•
Average number of concurrent sessions
•
Average session length
•
Number of first-time sessions and total to date
•
Number of repeat sessions and total returning users
•
Number of user sessions
•
Audio streams played for period and to date
•
Number of times each audio has played
•
Total for all audio messages played
•
Names of specific audio files that have were played
•
A list of account activities (the list may be empty)
•
Number of audio files uploaded for period and to date
•
Average length of audio files
•
Amount of audio data uploaded for period and to date
•
Number of background images uploaded for period and to
date
•
Amount of background data uploaded for period and to date
77
Profiting from SitePal
Chapter 10
Profiting from SitePal
You can profit by referring customers to Oddcast or by selling Oddcast products to your clients.
The SitePal Affiliate Program and Authorized Reseller Program offer you lucrative business
opportunities.
10.1 About the Affiliate Program
The Oddcast Affiliate Program rewards you with commissions when new users buy SitePal
through promotions placed on your Web site. Oddcast offers several advertising banners that
make it easy for you to place promotions on your site, and you do not need to have a SitePal
account to join the Affiliate Program.
To become an affiliate:
1. Visit the SitePal Affiliate Program Web site at http://www.sitepal.com/affiliates.
Figure 64 - SitePal Affiliate page
2. Click the Sign Up Now button.
3. Follow the instructions to complete the signup form.
You will receive an email confirming your enrollment in the program. To activate your affiliate
account, you must click the link included in the email.
Oddcast Media Technologies
78
Profiting from SitePal
3
Before Oddcast can pay you for commissions, you must update your taxpayer ID
information on the Affiliate Program Account Info page. Click the Edit button, and then
follow the instructions in the Payment Options section for downloading the appropriate form
and faxing it to Oddcast.
Once your affiliate account has been activated, you can log into it using the email address and
password you supplied in the signup form for the affiliate program. Once logged in, click the
Banners link to choose from an assortment of banner advertisements that you can use on your
Web pages. On the Affiliate Web site Reports page you can track impressions, clicks, purchases,
and earnings.
3
An impression is when a visitor to your site views a page containing a banner ad.
You can opt to extend the analytical functionality of your reports through Campaigns. Campaigns
can help you sort results based on banners ads and the Web pages containing them. By
assigning different campaigns to ad banners in different pages or sites, you can analyze the
results for each. Then you can use the Reports page to view combined results or sort them by
campaign.
10.2 About the Authorized Reseller Program
The SitePal Authorized Reseller program is a way for Web designers and developers to generate
income by selling SitePal account packages and related services to customers.
•
As a SitePal Authorized Reseller, you receive the following benefits:
•
A 30% store discount on all SitePal account package purchases, account extensions, and
account upgrades.
•
The ability to manage multiple SitePal accounts on behalf of your clients.
•
Marketing and sales collateral and ongoing business and tech support.
•
A listing in the SitePal Reseller Directory.
To sign up as a SitePal Authorized Reseller:
1. Visit the SitePal page at http://www.sitepal.com/resellers.
2. Click the Sign Up Now button.
Please email [email protected] if you have any questions about this program.
3
The annual cost to be a SitePal Reseller is $149.50. This price is subject to change.
10.3 Add advertising banners to a Web page
You can view the available banner advertisements for your Web page on the affiliate program
Web site at http://www.sitepal.com/affiliates.
The page displays a list of all available banners. Use the drop-down menus at the top of the page
to display banners based on size, type, and audio. Scroll through the available banner types until
you find one that suits your needs. Click the Preview button to see how it looks in a Web page.
Oddcast Media Technologies
79
Profiting from SitePal
To embed a banner in your web page:
1. Log in to your SitePal Affiliate account.
2. Click the Banners link.
3. Click the Get HTML snippet button above the advertisement of your choice.
4. In the Snippet panel, select a campaign or Untitled from the Campaign drop-down menu.
Select the Open in a new page when clicked check box if you want the Oddcast page to open
in a new browser window when a user clicks the banner ad.
5. Click Generate HTML Code.
The HTML code for the chosen banner ad is generated and appears in the text field.
6. Copy and paste the code into your Web page.
10.4 Shop at the Reseller Store
All Reseller Accounts and Reseller products are purchased through the SitePal Reseller Store.
The reseller price discount is available to you automatically as soon as you sign up to be a
reseller. As a SitePal Authorized Reseller, you will make all of your discounted purchases from
the Reseller Store.
If you already own one or more SitePal accounts, the reseller discount applies to any further
extensions or upgrades to these accounts. The reseller discount applies to account extensions
whether you extend your accounts manually or by using the automatic re-billing option.
Oddcast Media Technologies
80
Managing Reseller Accounts
Chapter 11
Managing Reseller accounts
SitePal Authorized Resellers can manage their accounts by using a special management
interface online at the SitePal Web site. As a SitePal reseller, you can use this facility to purchase
additional accounts, extend your own account, add more Scenes, add more Audio Streams and
even transfer the various accounts that you manage as a reseller to other parties.
SitePal resellers gain access to their reseller account information by logging into their accounts.
The interface is nearly identical to the standard SitePal Account Information area with the
following differences:
•
There are two additional menus: Accounts and Users. These menus allow resellers to
manage specific SitePal accounts and manage the users allowed to access each account.
•
The SitePal Scene List is replaced with an Accounts List. This page gives resellers direct
access to the various properties of each account
Figure 65 - Reseller Accounts page
11.1 Manage accounts
The Accounts menu is the first page shown when you log in to your SitePal Authorized Reseller
account. The Accounts menu includes options for managing properties associated with the
account that you select.
Click the Account, Exp. Date, Streams Left, Scenes, Status and Level column headings to
sort the list of accounts in ascending or descending order.
The following describes how to use these options.
Current Account
Oddcast Media Technologies
If you have multiple SitePal accounts, use this drop-down menu at
the top of the page to switch between different SitePal accounts.
81
Managing Reseller Accounts
Buy New Account
Show Users
Click this button to go to the SitePal Reseller Store and purchase
additional SitePal accounts at a 30% discount.
Use this option to view and remove users associated with the
current SitePal account. To remove a user, select the Delete check
box and then click Delete.
Note: There are no Administrators or Users listed when you first log
in to the Reseller management page because you have not defined
any users.
Select Account
Account Name
Use this option to enter the account you are managing. This option
takes you to the standard SitePal Scene List.
The Account text box shows the name of the account you are
managing. To change the name of the account, type a new name
and click the Update button at the top of the page.
Note: Reseller Account names can include only alpha-numeric
characters: A-Z, a-z, 0-9 and spaces. Account names cannot
include symbols and special characters such as dashes or
underscores.
Exp. Date
This column shows the expiration date for the account you are
managing. Click Extend to extend the subscription for the account.
Streams Left
This column shows the number of audio streams that remain for the
account you are managing. Click Buy More to purchase more audio
streams for the account.
Scenes
This column shows the number of Scenes that are available in the
account you are managing. The number of Scenes in an account
varies depending on the type of SitePal and whether additional
Scenes were purchased. Click Buy More to purchase additional
Scenes.
Oddcast Media Technologies
82
Managing Reseller Accounts
Status
This column shows the current status of an account. The status for
accounts is typically Active unless the account expires.
Level
This column shows the level, or the account package classification,
of the account you are managing.
Transfer Account
Use this option to transfer the management of a SitePal account to another user. Transferring an
account effectively detaches you from using and managing the account.
To transfer an account, click Transfer Account and follow the instruction in the window. You must
have at least one user assigned to an account to transfer it.
Figure 66 - Transfer Account window
Please note the following when you transfer an account:
•
Once you transfer the account to another user, you cannot administer the account or change
the account.
•
Transferring an account removes all other users associated with the account.
For example, if DavidH, SusanM and JamesL are users associated with an account, and you
transfer the account to DavidH, SusanM and JamesL can no longer to use the account. When
you transfer an account, make sure that you inform the other users of the transfer and that
these users can no longer access the account.
•
If you have set up Automatic Billing for an account that you transfer, Automatic Billing is
discontinued and Oddcast stops charging your credit card for the account.
Oddcast Media Technologies
83
Managing Reseller Accounts
11.2 Manage users
Use the Users menu to assign or associate different users with a specific SitePal account that you
manage. The following describes how to use these menu options.
Figure 67 - Resellers Users page
Click the First Name, Last Name, Login column headings to sort the list of users in
ascending or descending order.
Add New
Click the Add New button to create and assign a new user to the account you are
managing. In the Users window you enter the personal information of the user and assign
the user a password. Click Update to create the new user and return to the Users page.
Figure 68 - Create New User window
Oddcast Media Technologies
84
Managing Reseller Accounts
Update user information
To change the First Name, Last Name, Login or Password for a user, edit the information
in any of these text boxes and then click the Save All Changes button
.
Edit User Info
to view a summary of a user’s personal information. Click Update to
Click this icon
save any changes to the user’s information.
Figure 69 - Edit User Information
Show Accounts
to view a list of the SitePal accounts that a user is associated with.
Click this icon
Click Delete in this window to remove a user from an account.
Figure 70 - Accounts for user
Oddcast Media Technologies
85
Managing Reseller Accounts
Delete
Click this button
to remove a user from an account that you manage, click the Delete
button for a listed, and then confirm that you want to delete the user. You can also
remove a user from an account by clicking Delete in the Show Accounts option
Figure 71 - Delete User
Oddcast Media Technologies
86
Part IV
Advanced Techniques
Oddcast Media Technologies
87
Advanced techniques and API examples
Chapter 12
Advanced techniques and API examples
This chapter shows you how to use the VHost API and JavaScript to extend the functionality,
flexibility and capabilities of SitePal Scenes. Visit http://www.oddcast.com/support/examples/API/
for VHost API examples. Included on this page are links to examples of
•
facial control functions
•
speech functions
•
navigation flow functions
•
scene management attributes
•
event callbacks
12.1 Use cookies to play alternate audio files
You can use the value of a cookie to determine the number of times a user has accessed your
page and vary the audio accordingly. For example, if a user is returning to a page, an audio is
played that is different than the audio played on the user's first visit to the page.
1. With the Scene Editor, set your Scene's audio option to No Audio and click Save Scene.
2. Copy the code below and paste it into the <head> section of your HTML page.
Paste this code before the following line of code:
// and do not exceed one line unless the new line also starts with //
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
<!-var caution = false
// name - name of the cookie
// value - value of the cookie
// [expires] - expiration date of the cookie
// (defaults to end of current session)
// [path] - path for which the cookie is valid
// (defaults to path of calling document)
// [domain] - domain for which the cookie is valid
// (defaults to domain of calling document)
// [secure] - Boolean value indicating if
// the cookie transmission requires a secure transmission
// * an argument defaults when it is assigned null as a placeholder
// * a null placeholder is not required for trailing omitted
// * arguments
function setCookie(name, value, expires, path, domain, secure) {
var curCookie = name + "=" + escape(value) +
((expires) ? "; expires=" + expires.toGMTString() : "") +
((path) ? "; path=" + path : "") +
((domain) ? "; domain=" + domain : "") +
((secure) ? "; secure" : "")
if (!caution || (name + "=" + escape(value)).length <= 4000)
Oddcast Media Technologies
88
Advanced techniques and API examples
}
document.cookie = curCookie
else
if (confirm("Cookie exceeds 4KB and will be cut!"))
document.cookie = curCookie
// name - name of the cookie
// * return string containing value
// of specified cookie or null if cookie
// does not exist
function getCookie(name) {
var prefix = name + "="
var cookieStartIndex = document.cookie.indexOf(prefix)
if (cookieStartIndex == -1)
return null
var cookieEndIndex = document.cookie.indexOf(";",
cookieStartIndex +
prefix.length)
if (cookieEndIndex == -1)
cookieEndIndex = document.cookie.length
return unescape(document.cookie.substring(cookieStartIndex +
prefix.length,
cookieEndIndex))
}
// name - name of the cookie
// [path] - path of the cookie
// (must be same as path used to create cookie)
// [domain] - domain of the cookie
// (must be same as domain used to create cookie)
// * path and domain default if assigned
// null or omitted if no explicit argument proceeds
function deleteCookie(name, path, domain) {
if (getCookie(name)) {
document.cookie = name + "=" +
((path) ? "; path=" + path : "") +
((domain) ? "; domain=" + domain : "") +
"; expires=Thu, 01-Jan-70 00:00:01 GMT"
}
}
// date - any instance of the Date object
// * you should hand all instances of the
// Date object to this function for "repairs"
// * This function is taken from
// Chapter 14, "Time and Date in JavaScript," in
// "Learn Advanced JavaScript Programming"
function fixDate(date) {
var base = new Date(0)
var skew = base.getTime()
if (skew > 0)
date.setTime(date.getTime() - skew)
}
var now = new Date()
fixDate(now)
now.setTime(now.getTime() + 365 * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000)
var visits = getCookie("counter")
Oddcast Media Technologies
89
Advanced techniques and API examples
//Use this section of the code to test your cookie; if it's set, the
cookie will increment.
if (!visits)
visits =1
else
visits = parseInt (visits) + 1
setCookie ("counter", visits, now)
document.write("you have been here " + visits + " times(s).")
//The code is set for one visit, but you can change the numbers to
whatever you like:
//Oddcast API function call:
function vh_sceneLoaded(){
if ( visits <= 1 ){
sayAudio('sampleName')
}
else if (visits >= 1){
sayAudio('anotherSampleName')
}
}
</script>
3. Change the name of the audio messages that are referenced in the last section of code.
Change sampleName to the name of the audio message that you want to play for first-time
visitors, and change anotherSampleName to the name of the audio message you want to play
for returning users.
4. If you want the user to be able to replay the original audio message, set up a replay link using
the sayAudio function from the VHost API.
3
These functions do not work with the Enhance Audio Quality option or with the Web Page
(No JavaScript) embedding option. You must set the JavaScript API property in the Publish
Wizard to use this code in your page.
12.2 Publish a scene in different pages with different audio
To publish the same Scene in different Web pages while using different audio messages for each
page, you use the VHost API vh_slideBegin event with a sayAudio or sayText function.
1. Open your Scene in the Scene Editor.
2. Set the audio option for the Scene to No Audio, and then save the Scene.
3. Embed the Scene in your Web pages by using the Embed in Web Page option of the Publish
Wizard with the JavaScript API option activated.
4. In <head> section of your HTML pages after the call to the VHost, place the following code
and replace the name of the audio file Count with the name of an audio message from your
Audio Library.
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
function vh_sceneLoaded(){ //event function
Oddcast Media Technologies
90
Advanced techniques and API examples
playMyAudio();
}
function playMyAudio(){
sayAudio('Count');
}
5. For each different HTML page, change the name of the audio message to the audio in your
Audio Library that you want to play.
The following shows the complete and functional code for this example:
<html>
<head>
<title>
SitePal Say Multiple Audios Example</title>
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"
src="http://vhost.oddcast.com/vhost_embed_functions.php?acc=18&js=1"
></script>
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
function vh_sceneLoaded(){ //event function
playMyAudio();
}
function playMyAudio(){
sayAudio('Count');
}
</SCRIPT>
</head>
<body>
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
AC_VHost_Embed_18(229,350,'FFFFFF',1,1,578,1366,0,0,'2a718006e025d6c
ef28cc565cdeaeb8a',6);
</script>
</body>
</html>
3
These functions do not work with the Enhance Audio Quality option or with the Web Page
(No JavaScript) embedding option. You must set the JavaScript API property in the Publish
Wizard to add these functions to a Scene.
12.3 Use JavaScript to play audio messages randomly
You can randomly alternate the audio messages that play in a Web page using JavaScript. This
example assumes that you have uploaded the audio files to the Audio Library that you want to
play.
3
You do not need to use programming to play audio messages randomly. In the Audio
Library you can select the Multiple Audio Files check box to select the audio files that you
want to play in a Scene. For more information, see Play multiple audio messages.
Oddcast Media Technologies
91
Advanced techniques and API examples
1. Copy the following code and paste it in your HTML page following the code that calls your
SitePal Scene.
<!-- randomize audio code -->
<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">
<!-function random_Audio(){
var ranAudio= Math.round(Math.random()*5);
return ranAudio;
}
function vh_sceneLoaded(){
var Audio=random_Audio()
//specify random audio below, replace test1 through test6 with the
//names of your audio files.
var myAudio=new Array (6);
myAudio[0]="test1";
myAudio[1]="test2";
myAudio[2]="test3";
myAudio[3]="test4";
myAudio[4]="test5";
myAudio[5]="test6";
var audioToPlay = myAudio[Audio]
sayAudio(audioToPlay);
}
//-->
</script>
2. Change the names of the audio messages in the code to match the actual names of the audio
messages that you want to play. For example:
myAudio[0]="myFirstAudioFile";
To add audio messages to the array:
1. Copy the following code and paste it in your HTML page following the code that calls your
SitePal Scene.
var myAudio=new Array (6);
For example, if you call 10 audio messages, change the (6) to (10).
2. Change the multiplier in the code to a number that is one less than the total number of audio
files that you are calling in the script:
var ranAudio= Math.round(Math.random()*5);
For example, if you have 10 audio files, change the *5 multiplier to *9.
3
These functions do not work with the Enhance Audio Quality option or with the Web Page
(No JavaScript) embedding option. You must set the JavaScript API property in the Publish
Wizard to add these functions to a Scene.
Oddcast Media Technologies
92
Advanced techniques and API examples
12.4 Vary audio messages by the time of day
The following HTML code illustrates how you can use JavaScript to precede a regular audio
message with a specific audio message based on the time of day.
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>SitePal Time of Day Example</TITLE>
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"
src="http://vhost.oddcast.com/vhost_embed_functions.php?acc=12194&js
=1&followCursor=1">
</script>
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
function vh_sceneLoaded(){
var now = new Date();
now.setTime(now.getTime() + 30 * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000);
d = new Date();
mins = d.getMinutes();
hours = d.getHours();
if(hours < 12){
sayAudio('goodMorning');
}else if (hours < 17){
sayAudio('goodAfternoon');
}else{
hours = hours - 12;
sayAudio('goodEvening');
}
sayAudio('regularMessage');
}
</script>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
AC_VHost_Embed_12194(327,500,'FFFFFF',1,1,217600,469151,0,0,'27f8f45
d14efc8d47e78f86503522d26',6);
</script>
</BODY>
</HTML>
12.5 Concatenate audio messages
You can concatenate, or chain together, specific audio messages by using multiple instances of
the sayAudio or sayText functions. In the following example JavaScript code, the sayAudio
function concatenates four audio messages:
<head>
<title>
Oddcast VHost SitePal Say Multiple Audios Example</title>
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"
src="http://vhost.oddcast.com/vhost_embed_functions.php?acc=18&js=1"
></script>
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
function vh_sceneLoaded(){ //event function
singAsong();
}
Oddcast Media Technologies
93
Advanced techniques and API examples
function singAsong(){
sayAudio('LondonBridge
sayAudio('LondonBridge
sayAudio('LondonBridge
sayAudio('LondonBridge
sayAudio('LondonBridge
}
</SCRIPT>
</head>
1');
2');
2');
1');
3');
You can view the above example online. To see the complete source code for this example, open
the example in your browser and on the View menu, click Source.
If you have the Text-to-Speech option available to your account, you can also concatenate text
with the sayText function:
<head>
<title>
Oddcast VHost SitePal Say Multiple Text Example</title>
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"
src="http://vhost.oddcast.com/vhost_embed_functions.php?acc=18&js=1"
></script>
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
function vh_sceneLoaded(){ //event function
singAsong();
}
function singAsong(){
sayText('london bridge is falling down',5,1,1);
sayText('falling down',5,1,1);
sayText('falling down',5,1,1);
sayText('london bridge is falling down',5,1,1);
sayText('my fair lady',5,1,1);
}
</SCRIPT>
</head>
You can view the above example online. To see the complete source code for this example, open
the example in your browser and on the View menu, click Source.
For more information about the sayText function, see Using Dynamic Text-to-Speech.
12.6 Queue concatenated audio messages
You can use the setStatus speech function to either
•
stop playing the current audio message when sayAudio or sayText is called
•
queue, or sequence, the audio messages called by sayAudio or sayText to start playing after
the current audio message finishes
The API function setStatus accepts an integer of either 0 or 1 as its first parameter, which initiates
the interruptMode routine.
The value of the second routine of setStatus, progressInterval, steps through the audio
message playback and should typically be set to 0. For more information about setStatus,
see the VHost API Reference.
Oddcast Media Technologies
94
Advanced techniques and API examples
If the parameter for interruptMode is set to 0, the current audio message stops playing when
sayAudio or sayText is called. If the parameter is set to 1, the current audio message continues
playing and all audio messages called by sayAudio or sayText are queued and played after the
current audio message finishes.
function sayMyAudio() {
setStatus(1,0); //The value of 1 in the first argument specifies
//that the message not may be interrupted.
sayAudio('count');
}
In the following complete example, setStatus is demonstrated with both of its interruptMode
arguments and highlighted with comments:
<html>
<head>
<title>
SitePal Say Multiple Audios Example</title>
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"
src="http://vhost.oddcast.com/vhost_embed_functions.php?acc=18&js=1"
></script>
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
function vh_sceneLoaded(){ //event function
singAsong();
}
function singAsong(){
setStatus(0,0);
//The 0 value in the first argument specifies that the
//messages will be queued.
sayAudio('LondonBridge 1');
sayAudio('LondonBridge 2');
sayAudio('LondonBridge 2');
sayAudio('LondonBridge 1');
sayAudio('LondonBridge 3');
}
function sayMyAudio() {
setStatus(1,0); //The 1 value in the first argument specifies
//that the message not may be interrupted.
sayAudio('count');
}
</SCRIPT>
</head>
<body>
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
AC_VHost_Embed_18(229,350,'FFFFFF',1,1,578,1366,0,0,'2a718006e025d6c
ef28cc565cdeaeb8a',6);
</script>
<p>
Click
<a href="javascript:sayMyAudio();">here</a> to hear another
message<BR>
or click here to hear <a href="javascript:singAsong();">London
Bridge</a> again.
</body>
</html>
Oddcast Media Technologies
95
Advanced techniques and API examples
12.7 Create a FAQ with SitePal
You can create an FAQ SitePal Scene by adding some questions as links on your Web site.
When a user clicks a question, your SitePal Character speaks the answer. You can create an
FAQ SitePal Scene programmatically, as the following example shows, or by using the preconfigured FAQ Player skin for your Scene.
This example uses the sayText() function to speak the answers. You could also use sayAudio() to
have your SitePal Character respond with an audio file that you have uploaded to the Audio
Library. To create your own FAQ with SitePal, add your questions and replace the contents of the
sayText() commands with your own responses.
<html>
<head>
<title>
SitePal - FAQ Example
</title>
<!-- begin VHost embed code -->
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"
src="http://vhost.oddcast.com/vhost_embed_functions.php?acc=16851&js
=1&followCursor=1"></script>
<!-- end VHost embed code -->
<!-- the setStatus(1,0) call in the vh_sceneLoaded event will set
the audio Stream interrupt mode to True. -->
<script language="JavaScript">
function vh_sceneLoaded()
{
setStatus(1,0);
}
</script>
</head>
<body>
<table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">
<tr>
<td colspan="2" align="CENTER">
<P>SitePal FAQ Example (Scene embedded in
HTML)</P><BR>
<P>sayText(txt,voice,lang,engine)</P><br>
<P>sayAudio('audioTrackName', seconds)</SPAN>
<BR><BR><BR><BR>
</td>
</tr>
</table>
<!-- below is the table that is used to align questions to the left
of the VHost -->
<!-- easily modified by adding or removing table rows and adjusting
the "rowspan" property of the table data entry
containing the VHost -->
<table width="650" align="center" border="0" cellspacing="0"
cellpadding="0">
<tr>
<td></td>
<td rowspan=6 align="right">
Oddcast Media Technologies
96
Advanced techniques and API examples
<!-- begin VHost embed code -->
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
AC_VHost_Embed_16851(196,300,'FF9900',1,1,261347,516209,0,0,'e5bd
1aa695a66f5b74178e17aefa3d9e',6);
</script>
<!-- end VHost embed code -->
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="LEFT">
<a href="javascript:sayText('To view the source of
the page in Internet Explorer, click on view in the toolbar at the
top and then click on source.',1,1,3);">
How do I view the source of the page?
</a>
</td>
</TR>
<tr>
<td align="LEFT">
<a href="javascript:sayText('Send an email to
support, at oddcast dot com.',1,1,3);">
How do I contact the Support Team at Oddcast?
</a>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="LEFT">
<a href="javascript:sayText('Oddcast is located on
eighth avenue in new york city.',1,1,3);">
Where is Oddcast located?
</a>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="LEFT">
<a href="javascript:sayText('Only if you come bearing
gifts.',1,1,3);">
Can I come visit Oddcast?
</a>
</td>
</tr>
<tr><td><br></td></tr>
</table>
<!-- end FAQ table -->
</body>
</html>
Oddcast Media Technologies
97
Advanced techniques and API examples
12.8 Invoke playback by clicking on a character
You can use SitePal API functions to control when an audio message plays. You can invoke
playback when a user clicks the SitePal Character or clicks a button. You can also use the
Playback Settings of the Scene Options to play audio in response to click and rollover events.
1. In the Settings tab of the Skin Editor, make sure that the Show Play/Pause Button check box
is selected.
2. In the Scene List, click Link Setting.
The Link Settings dialog box appears.
3. Select the Click Anywhere on VHost to Trigger Event check box.
4. In the URL text box, type javascript:replay().
5. Select _self from the Target drop-down menu.
6. Click Update.
7. In the Scene List, under Playback Limit, select Never from the Play On Load drop-down
menu.
This specifies that the Scene does not play automatically when the page loads.
8. Embed your Scene on a Web page if it is not already embedded.
If your Scene is already embedded, the change to the Scene takes effect automatically.
12.9
Respond to click or rollover events
You can use JavaScript and the SitePal API to control the speech of your character in response to
user clicks or rollover events. You can also use the Playback Settings of the Scene Options to
play audio in response to click and rollover events.
The following code fragment is an example of how to make your Character speak on a rollover
event by associating the onMouseOver event with a table cell containing the Character, in
conjunction with the sayAudio or sayText VHost API functions.
<Table cols="1" width = "400" ><tr>
<td onMouseOver="sayAudio('Demo_F')">
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
AC_VHost_Embed_11851(300,400,'FFFFFF',1,1,173020,0,0,0,'dcf63db3e5ea
03c7b2f0b7f336497f58',6);
</script>
</tr></td></table>
When a user moves the mouse over your SitePal Character, the sayAudio API function is invoked
and the Character speaks the Demo_F audio message.
Similarly, you can modify the onClick event so the character speaks the audio message when a
user clicks on your Scene.
onClick="sayAudio('Demo_F')"
3
You can also use other SitePal API functions, such as replay and stopSpeech, to control
speech. For more information and example, see the VHost API Reference.
Oddcast Media Technologies
98
Advanced techniques and API examples
12.10 Use Dynamic Text-to-Speech
Dynamic Text-to-Speech (TTS) is an optional feature that you use to determine the text that your
Character speaks dynamically when your Scene is played. For example, you could store your text
in a database and have your character speak different TTS messages through a program that
interfaces with the database.
To implement dynamic TTS inside an HTML page, you use JavaScript to call the SitePal API
sayText function. This method supports the full inventory of SitePal languages and voices. For
more information about Voice Family IDs, Language IDs, and Voice IDs supported by the sayText
and sayAIResponse API calls, see Appendix B of the VHost API Reference.
The following describes the process of using Dynamic TTS with a SitePal Scene:
1. Turn off audio for the Scene that you want to use.
Open the Scene in the Scene Editor, and then select No Audio from the list of private audio
messages in the Audio Library.
2. Embed the Scene in your HTML page.
In the Embed Scene window, select the JavaScript API check box. If you are publishing the
Scene to an eBay auction, do not use the Optimized Playback option, which does not support
Dynamic TTS.
3. Set the Licensed Domain.
TTS is licensed by domain. To use TTS you need to specify the domain name from which
your pages are served. Domain-specific licensing is implemented as a security measure to
prevent TTS-stream theft from your account. A TTS license includes two domains. You can
change your licensed domains at anytime.
To set the licensed domain, go the Account Info page and activate Secure Playback. An
example of a domain name is www.mycompany.com (do not include http:// or any path
information). You can use multiple domains with your account to support deployments on
several Web sites. Your account includes two domains, and you can buy additional domains
in the VHost Store.
4. Review the sayText API function.
Review the syntax of the sayText function in the VHost API Reference. Call this function to
invoke dynamic TTS in response to events. Use the function parameters to specify the
language and voice that you want to use. For advanced functionality, review the available
SSML tags that you can use to fine-tune TTS audio. For more information, see Appendix B of
the VHost API Reference.
5. Call the sayText API function.
You can call sayText to induce speech at any time after the Scene is fully loaded. You can
have your Character speak when a user clicks the Character, when the mouse rolls over a
certain area of your page, or after a certain amount of time has elapsed. The following
example shows JavaScript that plays the audio when a user clicks a link:
<a href="javascript:sayText(‘something’,1,1,1);">Click here to say
“something”!</a>
In a similar way you can invoke TTS in response to rollover or other events that JavaScript
can detect or generate. The following example shows JavaScript that plays the audio when
the Scene first loads:
Oddcast Media Technologies
99
Advanced techniques and API examples
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
function vh_sceneLoaded(){
sayText("Welcome to my website!",1,1,1);
}
</SCRIPT>
The vh_SlideBegin callback function captures the vh_SlideBegin event. This event indicates
that the Scene is loaded and ready to accept your call. For more information about Event
Callback functions, see the VHost API Reference.
You can view an example of a Dynamic TTS implementation that uses the methods described
above. Right-click and click View Source to see the source code for the page. You can copy and
paste code from this page to use in your own implementation of Dynamic TTS.
12.11 Use SSML tags with TTS
You can use the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) to control, manipulate, and refine
Text-to-Speech.
SSML is a W3C specification and is based on the XML markup language that instructs a Text-ToSpeech engine how to process text to generate audio. SSML provides a standardized way for
authors of synthesized text to control such aspects of speech as pronunciation, volume, pitch,
rate, and other elements of speech.
SSML is based on XML, so certain rules apply to the use of SSML tags:
•
SSML tags must be properly nested and must not overlap.
•
SSML is case sensitive: opening and closing tags must match exactly.
Incorrect:
<Say-as interpret-as="Currency"> $25.32 </say-as>
Correct:
<say-as interpret-as="Currency"> $25.32 </say-as>
<SAY-AS interpret-as="Currency"> $25.32 </SAY-AS>
•
Attribute values must be set in quotes.
Incorrect:
<say-as interpret-as=Number:decimal> 3.14159 </say-as>
Correct:
<say-as interpret-as="Number:decimal"> 3.14159 </say-as>
•
The tags of empty elements must be closed.
Incorrect:
No time for a pause <Break size="none"> Keep going.
Correct:
No time for a pause <Break size="none"/> Keep going.
In addition, there is an SSML-specific markup rule:
•
Tokens (that is, words) in SSML cannot span markup tags.
Oddcast Media Technologies
100
Advanced techniques and API examples
A simple English example is "cup<break/>board"; the synthesis treats this as the two words
"cup" and "board" rather than as one word with a pause in the middle. Breaking one token into
multiple tokens this way will likely affect how the processor treats it.
3
Additional SSML markup guidelines appear in the SSML specification. A complete list of
supported SSML tags and examples of how to use them appear in Appendix C of the
VHost API Reference. A list of all SSML elements and attributes appears in the W3C SSML
Recommendation.
12.12
Fine-tune SSML-driven TTS
There are tools on the SitePal Web site that can help you fine-tune your SSML-driven TTS:
•
The Loquendo tool is at http://www.oddcast.com/sitepal/support/ssml/loquendo
•
The AT&T tool is at http://vhost.oddcast.com/vhost_minisite/support/ssml/att
•
The NeoSpeach tool is at http://vhost.oddcast.com/vhost_minisite/support/ssml/NeoSpeach
Paste your SSML-marked up text into the tool's text field, click the Say Text-to-Speech button,
and listen to how the engine interprets your text and tags. Then use the tool to edit your tags and
retest the message until you obtain the desired results. When you are finished, use the text and
the SSML tags in your Scene.
The following is an example marked up with SSML for the Loquendo speech engine:
Using <SAY-AS interpret-as="Acronym">SSML</SAY-AS> tags I can
pronounce addresses, currencies, dates, time, and more.
I can! pause <Break size="large"/> anywhere for any duration.
I can! <prosody volume="soft">speak very softly, and then</prosody>
<prosody volume="loud">surprise! speak loud!</prosody>
I can! <prosody rate="slow">speak very slowly, and
then:</prosody><prosody rate="fast">speak so fast, you could hardly
follow!</prosody>
I can! shift my pitch! <prosody pitch="high">I might be
high.</prosody> and <prosody pitch="low">I might be low!</prosody>
and everything in between.
The following is an example marked up with SSML for the AT&T engine. The voice tag gives you
control over the voice of the TTS speaker from the input text. You can use this feature to change
voices or language, as demonstrated below. This voice feature is supported only for the AT&T
voice family and must be processed by the AT&T engine.
I can! change my voice while I speak! <VOICE Name="Audrey16">A
different accent!?</VOICE> or speak in a different language!<VOICE
Name="Juliette16">Merci beaucoup!</VOICE>
Text with SSML tags can also be used with the SitePal API sayText function.
3
Additional SSML markup guidelines appear in the W3C SSML specification. A complete list
of supported SSML tags and examples of how to use them appear in Appendix C of the
VHost API Reference. A list of all SSML elements and attributes appears in the W3C SSML
Recommendation.
Oddcast Media Technologies
101
Advanced techniques and API examples
12.13
Troubleshoot Dynamic Text-to-Speech
Consider the following suggestions if your implementation of Dynamic TTS does not work
correctly.
•
Verify that you have properly copied the Standard Web Page embed code from the Publish
Wizard into your page. Before copying the code, make sure that you have selected the
JavaScript API setting.
•
Verify that the licensed domain name has been configured properly on your Account Info
page. One of the specified domain names must be identical to the domain name you see in
your browser's Address field after stripping away the preceding http:// and any path
information. For example, if your browser's Address field shows
http://www.mycompany.com/abcd/index.html, your licensed domain name should be
www.mycompany.com.
•
Verify that the sayText function is actually being called. You can verify this by adding a
JavaScript alert in the line before the sayText function call:
No time for a pause <Break size="none"/> Keep going.
If your implementation is correct, the alert will appear when your Character is about to speak.
If you do not see the alert, your code is not calling the sayText function, and you need to
examine your code for omissions.
Oddcast Media Technologies
102
Artificial Intelligence and the AI Knowledge Base
Chapter 13
Artificial Intelligence and the
AI Knowledge Base
Bring your SitePal Characters to life with the power of artificial intelligence (AI) by using the AI
Knowledge Base. You can think of the AI Knowledge Base as the personality and brain of your
SitePal Character, enabling the Character to respond to user questions with context-sensitive,
spoken answers. The AI Knowledge Base is also referred to as a Bot.
For example, a user who is visiting an art Web site can type a question for a Bot, such as:
"How much are these prints?"
The SitePal AI engine retrieves the relevant information from your AI Knowledge Base, and then
your SitePal Character speaks the answer:
"The price of the prints featured on this page is 45 dollars framed or 25 dollars unframed.
These prints are available for immediate shipping.”
To use the AI Knowledge Base, you need to:
1. Design and embed your SitePal Scene in a Web page.
2. Edit your Bot's characteristics.
3. Teach your Bot concepts, which is the detailed knowledge for responding to keywords.
4. Use the API function sayAIResponse to route visitors' questions to your SitePal character.
Your character will automatically respond to these questions. (you must add a text field to
your Web page so your visitors can type in their questions).
5. Use the vh_aiResponse API callback to capture and display the text response (optional).
6. Deploy your Bot on a Web site.
You use the Artificial Intelligence Management Center (AIMC) to edit the AI Knowledge
Base. Your SitePal Gold account includes a Bot which has defined characteristics including
name, age, and gender. This built-in Bot contains over 23,000 unique pieces of information. Using
the AIMC is optional. If you do not edit your Bot, your character will respond based on the built-in
information and pre-configured characteristics.
3
The AI Knowledge Base is available only with the SitePal Gold package.
3
The AI Knowledge Base is setup for English only. However, other languages are now
supported. Please contact SitePal Support to learn how to add French, German or Italian
AIML sets.
13.1 Set up the AI Management Center
You use the SitePal Artificial Intelligence Management Center (AIMC) to edit and maintain your
Bot. In the AIMC properties window, you can change your Bot's characteristics. In the AIMC's
concepts window, you can teach your Bot detailed knowledge about a specific subject matter.
Oddcast Media Technologies
103
Artificial Intelligence and the AI Knowledge Base
3
The changes and additions you make to your Bot through the AIMC are reflected in its
Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML) File System. AIML is a derivative of the
Extensible Markup Language (XML) and is used to create pattern-based, stimulusresponse knowledge content. AIML serves this content over the Internet with HTML,
XHTML, and XML. Knowledge of AIML is not required for you to use the AIMC or to use the
AI Knowledge Base.
To set up the AIMC for your Bot:
1. Log in to your SitePal account and go to your Scene List page.
2. On the top menu bar, click AIMC.
The AIMC Home page appears.
3. On the top menu bar, click Edit, and then click the Edit Bot Properties link.
4. Under Base Properties, enter the characteristics of your Bot.
Figure 72 - Base Properties for Bot
Oddcast Media Technologies
104
Artificial Intelligence and the AI Knowledge Base
5. Under Custom Properties, enter knowledge about specific subject matter for your Bot.
Figure 73 – Custom Properties
6. Click the Update Properties button.
3
To create a new custom property for your Bot, you must first write the corresponding code
in the AIML file system. To learn more about AIML, see the AIML Primer.
13.2 Define concepts for your AI Knowledge Base
Concepts are responses for a Bot to use when it encounters specific keywords or phrases that are
entered by users.
To define a concept for your Bot:
1. Log in to your SitePal account and go to your Scene List page.
2. On the top menu bar, click AIMC.
The AIMC Home page appears.
3. On the top menu bar, click Edit, and then click the Edit Concepts link.
Oddcast Media Technologies
105
Artificial Intelligence and the AI Knowledge Base
4. On the Edit Concepts page, click Add.
The Add a New Concept page appears.
Figure 74 - Add a New Concept page
5. In the Keywords box, type a keyword or a list of keywords.
Separate each keyword with a comma.
6. In the Response box, type the responses for the keywords.
You must enclose each response in quotes.
You can enter multiple short responses in one Response box. Each discrete response in a
Response box must be on a separate line.
You can enter one longer response in one Response box and then add additional Response
boxes. Click Add Response to add an another Response box
7. Click Done when you are finished adding responses for the keyword or keywords.
To save your keywords and responses for a concept and continue to work on the
concept, click Update.
To edit your keywords or responses for a concept, or to add more responses to a
concept, on the Edit Concepts page, click the concept and then click Edit.
Oddcast Media Technologies
106
Artificial Intelligence and the AI Knowledge Base
13.3 Edit the AIML file system
AIML code contains the underlying logic and Knowledge Base which governs your Bot’s
responses. In the AIML File System, you can create new AIML files, edit existing files, or upload
AIML files from your computer.
!
Editing AIML Code is optional! In most cases teaching your Bot by adding and editing
Concepts is sufficient for achieving the desired result. Only in cases where detailed control
and fine-tuning of your Bot’s responses is required is editing the AIML source code
necessary. To learn more about AIML, see the AIML Primer.
To edit the AIML file system:
1. Log in to your SitePal account and go to your Scene List page.
2. On the top menu bar, click AIMC.
The AIMC Home page appears.
3. On the top menu bar, click Edit, and then click the [Advanced] Edit AIML File System link.
The AIMC Home page appears.
Figure 75 - AIML File System
4. In the AIML File System window, do any of the following:
To
Create a new AIML file
Do this
.
Click the Create a file button
Refresh the list of AIML files
Click the Refresh button
Upload an AIML file from your
computer
Click the Upload file button
Perform an action on an AIML
file
Click on one of the buttons for the file in the Action column.
Hold the mouse pointer over a button to show the button name.
Oddcast Media Technologies
.
.
107
Artificial Intelligence and the AI Knowledge Base
!
It is important that you backup AIML files before you modify them. The AIML files that are
included with your account cannot be restored should you accidentally damage these files.
13.4 Compile your AI Knowledge Base
When you change Bot’s properties or add new concepts, you create new AIML code. You need to
compile this new code for these changes and additions to be activated and recognized by your
Bot. The AIMC automatically generates a Staging Bot when you compile the AIML for your Bot.
The Staging Bot is created so that you can test your changes before deploying your Bot on a live
Web page.
To compile the AIML for your Bot:
1. Log in to your SitePal account and go to your Scene List page.
2. On the top menu bar, click AIMC.
The AIMC Home page appears.
3. On the top menu bar, click Edit, and then click the Compile AIML - Generate Staging Bot link.
A window appears displaying the AIML files that are being compiled. Depending on the extent
of the changes or additions being compiled, this process can take up to 30 minutes.
The AIML files are compiled to the Staging AI Engine; the live AI Engine is not affected.
Figure 76 - Compiling AIML Files
4. Click the Test your Bot link.
5. Click Test Staging Bot.
The testing environment does not include your SitePal Character since just the Bot or
personality is necessary to test your changes and additions in its behavior.
Oddcast Media Technologies
108
Artificial Intelligence and the AI Knowledge Base
Figure 77 - Testing a BOT
6. In the Input box, type a question that will test your changes to the Bot, and then click Submit.
When you are satisfied that your changes are working correctly, deploy your Bot to a Web
page.
13.5 Implement your AI Knowledge Base
To use the AI Knowledge Base with the SitePal Character on your Web page, you need to use the
SitePal API sayAIResponse function along with the API vh_aiResponse event function. When a
response to the sayAIResponse function is returned, it triggers the vh_aiResponse event function,
which returns the text that is generated by the AI engine.
3
To implement the AI Knowledge Base on your Web page you should be familiar with general
programming concepts and JavaScript.
Perform the following steps to implement the AI Knowledge Base into your web page:
1. Insert the following code into the <HEAD> section of your page:
<script language="javascript">
var tempText;
function vh_aiResponse(args) { // args = AI text response
var aiString = args;
document.myForm.message.value += ("Q: " + tempText + "\n" + "A:
" +
aiString + "\n \n") + document.myForm.message.value;
document.myForm.textToSay.value = "";
}
</script>
2. Insert the following code into the <BODY> of your page under the code that calls your SitePal
Character:
<form name="myForm"
onSubmit="javascript:tempText=textToSay.value;sayAIResponse(textToSa
y.value,
5, 1, 1); textToSay.value=''; return false">
<input name="textToSay" value="">
<input type="button" value="Ask AI Engine"
Oddcast Media Technologies
109
Artificial Intelligence and the AI Knowledge Base
onClick="javascript:tempText=textToSay.value;sayAIResponse(textToSay
.value,
5, 1, 1); textToSay.value=''; return false">
<br><br>
<textarea name="message" value="" rows=6 cols=55 readonly
vscroll="true"></textarea>
</form>
3
The above sayAIResponse function has a female voice (the second parameter is 5 – the
voice value). To see a list of possible values for the voice parameter, see VHost API
Reference.
3. Go to your Account Info page and define your domain under the Licensed Domains section.
!
The Licensed Domain must match the URL of the Web site which is hosting the AI
implementation. This step is required for your security so that malicious users can’t steal
your Audio Streams.
13.6 Deploy your AI Knowledge Base
You must implement your AI Knowledge Base on a Web site before you can deploy your Bot to a
live environment.
1. Log in to your SitePal account and go to your Scene List page.
2. On the top menu bar, click AIMC.
The AIMC Home page appears.
3. On the top menu bar, click Edit, and then click the Deploy Bot from Staging to Live link.
A window appears that informs you that that the AI Engine is being transferred to the live
database.
13.7 Access AI Management Center report logs
You can view logs of the conversations visitors on your Web site have with your Bot. You can also
view the logs of test conversations that you have with the Staging Bot.
1. Log in to your SitePal account and go to your Scene List page.
2. On the top menu bar, click AIMC.
The AIMC Home page appears.
Oddcast Media Technologies
110
Artificial Intelligence and the AI Knowledge Base
3. On the top menu bar, click Reports.
The reports page appears.
Figure 78 - AIMC Reports
4. Select Live Bot or Staging Bot.
5. Select the dates for which you want to view conversation logs.
6. Click Get Log File.
The File Download dialog box appears.
7. Click Open or Save.
Extract the files from the WinZip file or save file. The log file is a CSV file that you can open in
spreadsheet.
Oddcast Media Technologies
111
Appendices
Best Practices
Glossary
Oddcast Media Technologies
112
SitePal Best Practices
Appendix A
SitePal Best Practices
You can maximize the effectiveness of your Web enterprise by understanding the concepts of
Oddcast’s VHost technology and by following these guidelines and best practices for
implementing and maintaining SitePal Scenes.
1. Strive to create SitePal Characters that are unique and
personalized for your business
Unique and personalized SitePal Characters can help your business standout from the rest. A
specialized SitePal Character is appealing to prospective customers on both an aesthetic and
emotional level. This type of customer-friendly Web environment can lead to increased traffic and
better sales conversion.
With the Scene Editor you can create thousands of different Characters by adjusting various
physical attributes. For example, you can change skin, eye and hair color, age, hairstyle, makeup,
facial hair, and eye, nose and mouth shapes. You can also change accessories such as clothing
and headwear. The Scene Editor is available with all SitePal accounts.
Given this, you are strongly encouraged to experiment as much as possible with SitePal’s
Character design capabilities. The end results will be more than worth it.
2. Create a SitePal that matches your image and appeals to the
audience you are trying to attract with your Character
This is simple common sense. If your Web site caters to specific socio-demographic groups or
market segments, it makes sense to use a SitePal Character that accurately reflects and engages
that audience. Doing so will insure that you are projecting the right image while making your
prospective customers feel more comfortable about doing business with you.
3
SitePal’s incredibly flexible character design tools make it possible to design
Characters that fit a wide variety of businesses, site designs, and audiences.
3. High-quality audio makes for a high-quality SitePal Character
SitePal is an audio-visual tool, so how your SitePal characters sound when they speak is just as
important as how they look. Since most Web sites get only one chance to make a good
impression, having SitePal Characters with inaudible or otherwise poor-quality audio is
tantamount to turning away prospective customers. You can find guidelines for recording high
quality, low bandwidth audio for SitePal at
http://www.oddcast.com/support/docs/vhost_Tech_Note_3.pdf.
The following are best practices for producing high-quality audio for your SitePal Scene:
Tips for making your own audio recordings:
•
Use a high-quality microphone and make sure that you are not too close or too far from the
microphone when recording.
•
Speak slowly and clearly while you record. Remember: haste makes waste!
Oddcast Media Technologies
113
SitePal Best Practices
•
While recording, try to minimize any background noise that can diminish the quality of your
recording.
•
Keep in mind the requirements for uploading audio files to the Audio Library:
Channels
1 (mono)
Sampling Rate
22.050 KHz or 44.100 KHz (22.050 KHz recommended for
best results)
Audio sample size
16 bit
Supported audio formats
WAV (PCM), MP3 (16, 32, 48, 64kbs), WMA (Windows
Media Audio)
Maximum Audio Length
60 Seconds.
Tips for using pre-recording audio:
•
If at all possible, use SitePal’s Professional Voice Talent services in lieu of making your own
recordings. The difference in quality will far out-weigh the cost.
•
Make sure the audio file is recorded at the proper volume level.
•
Make sure that that your audio files meet the requirements specified by the SitePal
application as this will minimize problems. This includes uploading mono (not stereo) audio
files for the best results.
Tips for using Text-to-Speech audio:
•
Only use the best-sounding Text-to-Speech voices. Not all SitePal Text-to-Speech voices
have the same quality and some are better suited than others for certain purposes. You will
need to experiment to see which ones work for you.
•
Take advantage of Text-to-Speech’s Prosidy commands, which allow you to adjust various
elements such as volume, the rate-of-speech and other Text-to-Speech features on a wordby-word basis. These commands are extremely powerful and can dramatically improve the
quality and realism of Text-to-Speech messages if applied judiciously.
4. Be considerate when using audio with your SitePal
Both research and experience tell us that many Web users find audio that they don’t initiate to be
annoying, especially if they aren’t provided with a way to control it.
If you’re using SitePal for business purposes, the last thing you want to do is annoy prospective
customers. Therefore, please be considerate when using audio with your SitePal by allowing your
site visitors to have control over the playback of your audio messages.
Although there are several ways to do this, the easiest is to simply publish your Scene with a
SitePal Skin. The SitePal Skin provides the option to adjust he volume and pause the playback of
the audio. The SitePal Skin offers users a way to control your SitePal Character without negating
the impact of its audio message.
Oddcast Media Technologies
114
SitePal Best Practices
5. Use SitePal’s various audio capabilities wisely
SitePal supports several different Audio technologies, with each being suited for specific
situations. The following suggestions help you to choose the right technology for the right
application:
Audio type
Description
Recorded audio
Use recorded audio for simple messages where audio quality is
not paramount. Recorded audio is also useful when time or
budget prevent you from taking advantage of professionally
recorded audio.
Uploaded audio
Use uploaded audio files for situations when you have access
to a large library of pre-recorded audio files or when you want to
use professionally recorded audio messages with your SitePal
account.
Text-to-Speech
Use Text-to-Speech audio to take advantage of interactive and
dynamic messaging. Text-to-Speech can be controlled by way
of a program to speak a certain message based on a visitor’s
action on your site, time-of-day or some other event.
Text-to-Speech is also useful when you want some flexibility
with regards to the sound of your audio messages but do not
have the budget for creating professionally recorded audio.
Update by phone
Record a message by using a phone for those times when you
need to change or update an audio message and you do not
have access to a computer or are traveling.
Professional Voice Talent
Use a professional voice talent when you want to make the best
possible impression to your audience. SitePal’s Professional
Voice Talent services are provided by seasoned TV and radio
voice-over specialists at very reasonable prices.
6. Avoid lengthy SitePal audio messages
Currently SitePal supports audio recordings up to 60 seconds long. This number came about from
research that indicated that most people start to “tune out” when exposed to spoken audio
messages longer than 1 minute.
Even though SitePal supports recordings up to 60 seconds long, it is strongly suggested that you
keep your audio messages under :30 seconds for maximum impact and to insure that your
message was actually heard. Otherwise, you risk boring and alienating your audience.
7. Emphasize calls to action and always keep your SitePal’s
messaging fresh
Regardless of what you use your SitePal’s audio messaging for, always emphasize calls to action
as much as possible. For example, use terms such as “buy now”, “check out our special offer”,
“register now”, or “available for immediate shipping.” Ultimately, it is the specific call to action that
get visitors to do things on your site, including important things like buying your products.
Oddcast Media Technologies
115
SitePal Best Practices
3
Calls to action are most effective when placed at the beginning and at the end of your
audio messages.
In addition, you should always keep your SitePal’s messaging fresh and up-to-date. Regardless of
how good they are, older audio recordings will eventually lose their effectiveness as people get
used to hearing them. Therefore, to catch people’s attention and keep them interested, you
should change your SitePal’s audio message frequently, at least every week or more often
depending on the nature of your business.
8. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of all of SitePal’s features
SitePal is much more than a “cool” technology that features animated speaking characters. In
fact, SitePal is a complete environment for creating fully interactive Web sites.
For example, you can use SitePal’s API to create SitePal characters that can interact with your
site’s visitors and perform a wide variety of actions based on their input. With SitePal Silver and
Gold accounts, you can create Characters that access artificial intelligence by using SitePal’s
AIMC technology. SitePal Characters that access artificial intelligence respond “intelligently” to
user questions. And this only scratches the surface of what you can do with a SitePal!
3
You can view examples of what can be done with SitePal’s API by viewing these
links: http://www.oddcast.com/support/examples/API/ and
http://www.oddcast.com/support/examples/practical_examples/
9. Don’t devalue SitePal’s potential by implementing it poorly
SitePal, for all of its merits and features, is only as good as its implementation. If implemented
well, SitePal can produce impressive results for its users by improving site traffic, sales
conversion, brand awareness, brand differentiation, and other benefits. However, if implemented
poorly, SitePal won’t live up to its full potential.
Keep in mind the following issues to implement SitePal effectively:
Where SitePal will be used on your site
The role and/or function of your SitePal. Will it be used for promotional purposes, for
pitching your goods and services or just for a “wow, that’s cool” factor? SitePal is good for
many things but you must understand what you intend to use it for in order to see real
benefits from it.
Where SitePal will be used on your site
Will it appear on the home page or in a specific section or sections of your site? Position
on your site and its placement on the Web page are key variables when implementing
your SitePal. Your SitePal should be visible to a user yet not obtrusive to their
experience.
How SitePal will integrate into your existing site design
Are you going to artfully “graft” your SitePal to blend seamlessly into your site’s design or
are you just going to “shoehorn” it in? SitePal works best when time and thought are
given to how it will work with your site’s design.
Oddcast Media Technologies
116
SitePal Best Practices
How often will you update your SitePal to keep it messaging fresh and unique
Will you keep the both look of your SitePal updated and its messaging fresh or will you let
them go stale? SitePal will quickly revert to a novelty on your site if you don’t make the
time or effort to keep it constantly updated with new messaging.
Although SitePal was designed to be easy-to-use and compatible with virtually all websites, it will
not implement itself. If you are wary about or uncomfortable with the prospect of properly
implementing SitePal there are many consultants available who will be glad to help you.
10. Don’t panic! The answer is probably in the SitePal User’s Guide
(a.ka. The Hitchhikers Guide to SitePal)
Believe it not, chances are that 95% of the issues that most users face when using or
implementing SitePal can be answered by reading the existing documentation. To that end, the
team at SitePal has invested a significant amount of time and resources to giving SitePal
customers access to professional quality documentation.
So when facing a problem, why not try looking in the SitePal User’s Guide? You can also find the
information you’re looking for in the SitePal Online Help.
Oddcast Media Technologies
117
Glossary
Appendix B
SitePal Glossary
The following are definitions of the names and terms that are used in SitePal and Oddcast’s
VHost technology.
AI Knowledge Base
The artificial intelligence (AI) that enables a SitePal Character to respond to user
questions with context-sensitive, spoken answers.
AIMC
Artificial Intelligence Management Center. You use the AIMC to edit the AI Knowledge
Base (Bot).
AIML
Artificial Intelligence Markup Language. AIML is used to create pattern-based, stimulusresponse knowledge content.
Audio
The message which your Character speaks in a SitePal Scene.
Audio Stream
One playing of an audio message is one audio stream.
Avatar
An animated graphical representation of a person, animal, or object. SitePal Characters
are sophisticated speaking avatars.
Background
An image that appears as the background of a SitePal Scene.
Bot
A SitePal Character that uses the AI Knowledge Base.
Character
A SitePal avatar. A SitePal Character is based on a SitePal Model, or a model that
Oddcast creates for you from an image that you provide.
Concept
Responses for a Bot to use when it encounters specific keywords or phrases that are
entered by users
Lip-synching
The synchronization of an audio message with your Character’s lip movements.
Message
An audio message that your SitePal Character speaks.
Oddcast Media Technologies
118
Glossary
Model
A pre-configured SitePal Character. You create your SitePal Character by starting with a
Model.
Player
The window in which your SitePal Scene plays.
Player Skin
The frame of the Player window in which your SitePal character appears.
Scene
The presentation of a speaking SitePal Character in front of a background. A Scene is
played in the SitePal Player.
Scene Editor
The tool that you use to edit and customize your SitePal Scene.
Skin
The frame of the Player window in which your SitePal character appears.
Skin Editor
The tool that you use to edit and customize the Player Skin for a SitePal Scene.
Text-to-Speech
The process that SitePal uses to synthesize typed text into an audio message that a
SitePal Character speaks.
Index
A
accessories for model................................36
account activites ........................................76
Account Additions page.............................73
Account Info page......................................68
activities on account ..................................76
Add a New Concept page........................106
Add advertising ..........................................79
add audio ...................................................43
add Audio Streams ....................................72
add audio to your Scene (tutorial) .............16
add Scenes..........................................29, 72
Adjust model appearance..........................37
advanced techniques.............................v, 88
advertising banners ...................................79
aeactivate account.....................................75
Affiliate Program ........................................78
AI Knowledge Base .................................103
Oddcast Media Technologies
compile ............................................. 108
define concepts for ........................... 105
deploy ............................................... 110
edit AIML file system......................... 107
set up AIMC ...................................... 103
AI Player skin ............................................ 56
AIMC ....................................................... 103
AIMCreport logs ...................................... 110
AIML File System.................................... 107
AIML Primer ............................................ 107
API ............................................................ 90
appearance of model ................................ 37
artificial intelligence........................... 10, 103
assign a new user ..................................... 84
AT&T speech engine .............................. 101
audio
add streams ........................................ 72
119
Index
by time of day ......................................93
cancatenate messages........................93
enhance quality ...................................46
languages ............................................48
no audio...............................................50
play multiple.........................................50
private category ...................................43
public category ....................................43
record by microphone..........................43
record by phone...................................43
rename ................................................50
select ...................................................43
Text-to-Speech ....................................43
upload requirements............................45
using text .............................................47
voice talent ....................................43, 49
audio files...................................................92
Audio Library tab........................................43
audio playback limits .................................73
audio usage report.....................................77
Authorized Reseller Program ....................79
Automatic Billing ........................................69
automatic link.............................................32
available Audio Streams......................65, 73
background
change.................................................41
delete...................................................42
upload..................................................42
Background Color setting ..........................60
Background Library....................................41
banners......................................................79
Best Practices..........................................113
billing automatically ...................................69
Bot ...........................................................103
branding removal .......................................75
Center the Character .................................38
chain together audio ..................................93
Change account password ........................71
Character Library .......................................35
Character Library tab .................................35
Character Models ......................................35
Characters
features and accessories.....................36
miximum ..............................................36
saving ..................................................35
Choose features and accessories .............36
Clicking on the Scene opens the link.........32
color of model features ..............................37
Coloring tab ...............................................37
colors of Player skin...................................53
Compile AI Knowledge Base ...................108
Concatenate audio messages ...................93
contact information ....................................70
cookies.......................................................88
Create a FAQ.............................................96
create Characters ......................................34
create Scenes............................................30
Oddcast Media Technologies
create your own Character (tutorial) ......... 13
Credit Card Information ............................ 70
current account menu ............................... 28
Custom Models ......................................... 39
customize your Scene (tutorial) ................ 18
Define concepts for AI............................. 105
define domain ........................................... 66
delete saved Character............................. 36
Deploy AI Knowledge Base .................... 110
Dimensions ............................................... 60
Do not follow cursor .................................. 33
documentation .......................................... 10
domain verification.................................... 74
Dynamic Text-to-Speech .................... 10, 99
Dynamic TTS ............................................ 49
Dynamic TTS troubleshooting ................ 102
eBay.......................................................... 62
edit a Scene .............................................. 30
Edit contact information ............................ 70
Edit Credit Card Information ..................... 70
edit Player skin.......................................... 53
edit Scene ................................................. 29
Edit the AIML file system ........................ 107
edit user info ............................................. 85
Email ......................................................... 59
Email link to Scene ................................... 62
embed a banner........................................ 80
Embed a Scene in a Flash movie ............. 61
Embed a Scene in a Web page ................ 61
Embed in a Web Page .............................. 59
Embed in Flash ................................... 59, 61
Embed in MySpace............................. 59, 62
embed in PowerPoint................................ 65
Embed Scene in HTML email ................... 64
Enhance Audio Quality ....................... 17, 46
example HTML page................................. 61
Extend SitePal account............................. 68
FAQ Player skin ........................................ 54
FAQ SitePal Scene ................................... 96
features of model ...................................... 36
Fine-tune SSML-driven TTS ................... 101
Flash movie............................................... 61
Follow cursor in Scene.............................. 33
Follow cursor in whole page ..................... 33
Follow Cursor setting ................................ 33
General Account Information panel .......... 68
Generate an example HTML page ........... 61
glossary................................................... 118
guide ......................................................... 11
HTML email message ............................... 64
HTML example page................................. 61
Implement AI Knowledge Base............... 109
introduction to SitePal ................................. 9
JavaScript 88, 89, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 98, 100
JavaScript API setting............................... 60
languages ................................................. 48
Lead Generator Player skin ...................... 55
cxx
Index
Libraries panel ...........................................30
Licensed Domains ...............................66, 74
limit audio playback ...................................65
link a Scene ...............................................33
Link is automatically opened .....................32
Link setting.................................................32
link triggered ..............................................33
list of Scenes .............................................29
load Character ...........................................36
log in ..........................................................11
log out ........................................................28
Loquendo speech engine ........................101
manage account ........................................68
Manage audio messages ..........................50
manage Reseller accounts ........................81
Manage users ............................................84
maximum audio messages........................43
maximum Characters ................................36
Microsoft PowerPoint.................................65
Model tab ...................................................34
models
pre-defined ..........................................34
selecting ..............................................34
thumbnails ...........................................35
Models
Custom ................................................39
Specialty ..............................................40
Move the Character ...................................38
multiple audio messages ...........................50
Mute button................................................53
my account info page.................................28
MySpace....................................................62
name for Character....................................36
No JavaScript ............................................61
Oddcast branding ......................................75
open a Scene (tutorial) ..............................11
Open Link in...............................................32
options
Play On Load.......................................32
Play On Rollover..................................32
Play/Pause On Click............................32
options for Scene.......................................31
panels in Scene Editor...............................30
password ...................................................71
phone recording.........................................47
Play multiple audio ....................................50
Play On Load .............................................32
Play On Rollover........................................32
Play/Pause button......................................53
Play/Pause On Click ..................................32
playback by clicking ...................................98
playback limits ...........................................73
Playback setting ........................................32
Player skin .................................................52
Player Skin panel.......................................30
position the Character................................37
PowerPoint ................................................65
Oddcast Media Technologies
prevent playback....................................... 74
Preview panel ........................................... 30
preview Scene .......................................... 29
Private category ........................................ 42
process for SitePal...................................... 9
professional voice talent ........................... 49
Profiting from SitePal ................................ 78
Properties for embedded code ................. 59
Public category ......................................... 43
publish Scene in different Web pages ...... 90
Publish to eBay ................................... 59, 62
Publish Wizard .......................................... 58
publish your Scene (tutorial) ..................... 23
Publishing a Scene ................................... 58
purchase additional Scenes...................... 73
Queue audio messages ............................ 94
Quick Start Guide...................................... 11
random audio ............................................ 91
reactivate SitePal account ........................ 75
Record by microphone.............................. 43
Record by phone....................................... 43
Record your own audio message ............. 44
recording quality........................................ 48
recurring billing ......................................... 69
remove Oddcast branding......................... 75
remove user .............................................. 86
rename audio ............................................ 50
rename saved Character .......................... 36
rename Scene........................................... 29
report logs ............................................... 110
report of activities...................................... 76
Reseller Program ...................................... 79
Reseller Store ........................................... 80
reset Character position............................ 38
Respond to click or rollover....................... 98
responses for a Bot................................. 105
Save All Changes button .......................... 29
save Character.......................................... 35
save Scenes ............................................. 31
Scene background .................................... 41
Scene Dimensions setting ........................ 60
Scene Editor ............................................. 30
Scene List ................................................. 29
Scene title ................................................. 53
Scenes
adding ................................................. 29
audio ................................................... 43
creating ............................................... 30
editing ................................................. 30
editing ................................................. 29
email link to......................................... 62
linking.................................................. 33
opening ............................................... 11
options for ........................................... 31
previewing........................................... 29
renaming............................................. 29
saving ................................................. 31
cxxi
Index
working with.........................................28
Secure Protocol (HTTPS) setting ..............60
select a model............................................34
Select an audio message ..........................43
select Player skin.......................................52
Select Your Account window .....................72
settings
playback ..............................................66
Player skin ...........................................53
Publish Wizard.....................................59
Shop at the Reseller Store ........................80
show accounts ...........................................85
SitePal account..........................................68
SitePal Best Practices .............................113
SitePal glossary .......................................118
SitePal Player ............................................52
SitePal process............................................9
SitePal Publish Wizard ..............................59
SitePal publishing targets ..........................59
Skin Editor .................................................52
Skin Select tab...........................................52
skin types...................................................53
skins...........................................................52
Specialty Models .......................................40
SSML
AT&T tool...........................................101
fine tune .............................................101
Loquendo tool....................................101
NeoSpeach........................................101
SSML tags with TTS ................................100
Staging Bot ..............................................108
target of link ...............................................33
test AI Knowledge Base...........................108
Test Staging Bot ......................................108
Text To Speech .........................................48
Text-to-Speech ..........................................43
Text-to-Speech audio ................................49
Oddcast Media Technologies
thumbnail models...................................... 35
time of day audio....................................... 93
title of Scene ............................................. 53
Tools panel ............................................... 30
Tools Panel ............................................... 34
transfer account ........................................ 83
triggered link ............................................. 33
Troubleshoot Dynamic Text-to-Speech .. 102
TTS ........................................................... 47
tutorial ....................................................... 11
unauthorized playback.............................. 74
unlimited play ............................................ 32
update billing information.......................... 69
update user information ............................ 85
upgrade SitePal account........................... 72
Upload audio file ....................................... 43
Upload audio files ..................................... 45
Upload background image........................ 42
upload requirements for audio upload ...... 45
URL........................................................... 32
Use a phone to record audio..................... 47
Use cookies to play alternate audio .......... 88
Use JavaScript to play audio randomly .... 91
user sessions report.................................. 77
Vary audio messages ............................... 93
Voice Sample............................................ 48
voice talent................................................ 49
Voice talent ............................................... 43
voices........................................................ 48
Volume bar................................................ 53
Web Page (No JavaScript) ....................... 61
Web page embedded code....................... 61
Wizard....................................................... 58
Working with audio.................................... 43
Working with backgrounds........................ 41
Working with the Player skin..................... 52
Zoom/Move controls ................................. 37
cxxii
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement