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You should run the tests below before further troubleshooting if you are having problems. Remember you must have the Adobe Flash Plugin version 8 or greater installed:

You can try this test application to check your current version of Flash.

Use this application to check and adjust the speakers, microphone and camera connected to your computer, when using Flash.

A Basic Check List:
1) Are both your web browser and the Adobe Flash 8 or greater plugin correctly installed?
2) Are all plugs and cables correctly connected?
3) Have you installed your web camera's drivers correctly and selected it from the list of video devices within Flash?
4) If you use a separate microphone is it selected and the level set correctly in your operating system's audio mixer? If it is built into your web camera you may still need to select it from the Flash Audio panel (it is sometimes 'helpfully' labelled 'Unknown USB Audio Device'!).
5) Is your speaker or headphone volume correctly selected and set?
6) Are you running conflicting software? - You may have to shut down any software that is or has been using your web camera.
7) Do you have a 'very restrictive' firewall running or other 'bottle-neck' on your network that will only allow poor performance or none at all; or are you using a modem or a slow 'wireless' connection? Try setting the quality to LOW in the preferences panel.
8) Are your browser security settings too restrictive? For example you must have Javascript enabled to see a meeting.

Flash version: We recommend you install/update to the latest version of both Flash and your browser before you try a meeting. At the very least you must have Flash Player 8. You can try this test application to check your current version. If you need to update your Flash Player go to www.adobe.com.

Setting Up: Use the 'prefs' tab at the bottom of the application interface to optimize the Flash settings for your video and audio. Choosing between HIGH or LOW as a connection speed, also alters the video and audio quality and therefore processor usage. This may be a problem on lower speed systems if the application seems to be 'running' slowly or poorly and you have chosen too high a quality setting for your system.

No picture? Make sure that:
a) you have closed any other applications that use your camera!
b) you double check the settings: clicking on the 'prefs' tab allows you to change the standard Adobe Flash video, audio and other options. The Privacy setting, for example, enables local access to your media input devices (mic, web cam), and this setting can be saved so that this warning box doesn't come up each time you run a meeting.
c) you choose the camera tab from the Flash settings panel. Choose your camera from the drop-down list, the 'thumbnail' view should show the 'live' image from your camera. If not sometimes clicking on the thumbnail 'forces' it to appear. If it still does not appear your camera is not working with Flash applications.

Camera and Microphone: You can use the application without any media 'input' devices to just 'view' the meeting. However, you should have a properly installed web cam and microphone to participate and get the most from the application. Of course Flash will only 'find' your web cam and microphone if they are already correctly installed and recognized by your operating system and you have them plugged into the correct (and working) socket on your computer. Clearly, you won't be 'seen' unless you have a working camera, and won't be 'heard' unless you have a working microphone! Note that unfortunately some makes of camera are inflexible to the changes in resolution required and show only part of the total image.

Check your Camera and Microphone before entering the meeting! There is a facility to check both input devices on the 'Title' screen (where you enter your name). Look to see that you have an image from your web cam and 'bars' appearing on the audio 'ladder' when you speak. If not use the 'open test application button' to open a test application to help you with your diagnosis.
If you find that you don't have sound when you broadcast within a meeting use the 'Audio' button from the 'prefs' tab to open the Flash audio settings and choose your microphone and set the volume.
If you still don't get any sound you may have to open your operating system's control panel and find the audio mixer controls and make sure that the volume level sliders are 'up' and also not 'muted' for microphone inputs. Of course for this to work at all, you have to have a working microphone plugged in to the correct (and working) socket on your computer!
If you use the microphone in your web cam, this may still need to be selected from the list of audio devices in the Flash audio settings 'pop up' window, independently from choosing the web cam from the video settings 'pop up' window.

Sharing a URL: When broadcasting, if you 'share' a URL your sound may be interrupted under certain circumstances and you may even appear to 'skip' or 'speed up' to the others watching.
Broadcasters using 'mid' to 'high' end 'Window's PC's' should experience no problems. Mac users using 'high speed' machines should also have few problems but if using 'mid range' Mac machines your broadcast may be interrupted. For example, if you have the window containing the URL in front of the application's window, or when you hold down the mouse to drag the scroll bar, or if you drag the window around the screen. Also, depending on the page content, a small interruption may occur as the page downloads on both platforms.

Firewall issues: You will need two ports 'open' to run a meeting successfully, Port 80 and also either 443 or 1935. The application automatically attempts to find these ports. There may be a few seconds delay while it is doing this.
The successful port is stored on your computer to make connecting to a meeting quicker next time. If you need to delete the 'saved' port number (for example, if you connect the computer to a different ISP that uses a different port from the one stored), click on the 'Clear Port' text at the bottom of the 'Title' screen and the application will automatically scan through the ports the next time that you connect (refresh your browser window to do so immediately).

Slow connections: When using a modem (i.e. slow connection) use of the broadcast button may seem 'sluggish' - click once and wait for the appropriate action rather than repeatedly click the button, as this may cause the meeting to become 'out of sync'. Take note of the 'hourglass' that appears near the broadcast button when communicating with the server. If one person has problems due to a slow connection it may help if all users use the 'low' speed setting.

FlashPlayer Settings Panel:
The Flash Player Settings Panel contains a number of useful settings and options. Open it either by 'right-clicking' on the application, or clicking the appropriate button on the 'prefs' tab.

flash privacy screen The 'Privacy' panel enables local access to your media input devices (mic, web cam), and this setting can be saved (click the 'remember' tick box) so that the 'warning' box doesn't come up each time you run the application.
If the Flash settings panel appears when you first load the application and you have to choose between 'Allow' or 'Deny', choose 'Allow' to enable both your sound and video. If this causes Flash to 'hang', restart the browser and choose 'deny' to use the application in a limited way without your sound and video. This obviously means there is some video or sound 'set-up' problem between your system and Flash.
flash local storage screen The 'Local Storage' panel allows you to set the amount of data the application can store on your hard disk for a particular web domain. The default size is 100KB which should be fine.
If you find that your preferences and settings are not being 'remembered' between sessions, check that the size is not set to zero KB.
flash video screen The 'Camera' panel allows you to choose your video input device from a drop-down menu. You may have to click on the small 'picture' rectangle to get an image to appear.
If you don't see an image here either you haven't chosen your camera correctly from the menu, or Flash cannot find your camera software.
flash audio screen The 'Microphone' panel allows you to chose your audio input device from a drop-down menu and set the sound level. Adjust the level so that you see a 'green and yellow' bar when you speak.
If you have an older graphics card and are having 'graphical' problems in a meeting, you can try disabling hardware acceleration. If not leave this feature enabled.

Entering a meeting

Tip: Take a look at the QuickStart page for simple help and advice on using the interface.

Flash Popups: If a 'Flash Player Settings' alert box appears when you run the application, you will need to answer 'Allow' to use your camera and microphone. You can open this 'Privacy' panel from within the 'prefs' tab and click the 'Remember' check box so that it won't appear each time you start a meeting.

The initial 'log in' screen: This is automatically filled in if the user uses the 'link' provided by the booking system. Otherwise enter the password and click 'Enter'.

The Sign In screen: You can also choose to 'Sign In' to the meeting from this screen. Enter your account details into the input boxes and click the 'Continue' button. If you don't have a 'Sign In' account you can request one by clicking on the 'Apply' button (this does not appear in some versions). You will be sent a password by email and you can use this to 'Sign In'.

You can choose to have your 'Sign In' details remembered by selecting the check box, so that you will always automatically enter a meeting with the advantages of being 'Signed In'. Or you can just save your email and type in your password for each individual meeting.

Advantages of being 'Signed In' to a meeting include; you can text chat to another person privately; use the whiteboard; upload and delete files for the meeting; directly access your administration web pages.

If you automatically 'Sign In' to meetings and you don't want to, deselect the remember password check box and refresh the web page. To clear your email address, deselect the remember email check box and refresh the web page.

Notes on Requesting a new 'Sign In' account (where available).
You only need to create a new 'Sign In' account once. You can do this:
a) From within the meeting you are attending - but you will have to wait for an email containing your new password (you could still enter the meeting as a guest and then 'Sign In' from within the meeting when the email arrives).
b) From the Sign In web page.

The 'Title' screen: The meeting 'Title' screen showing title and description taken from the booking form. Enter the name you wish to appear on screen and click 'Enter'. Also use this screen to check that your microphone and camera are working before you enter the meeting. If you see an image your video is working. If green and yellow bars appear in the 'ladder' when you speak your sound is working. If not click on the 'Open Test Application' button, or right click and open the Flash settings panel. You must tick the box to agree to the terms before you can enter the meeting.

Pre-meeting Timer: If you try to join a meeting before it has started you will not be able to get farther than the 'Title' screen. A timer will show you how long you have to wait. You can either leave and join again nearer the start time or wait for the meeting to start. If you are 'Signed In' and wish to enter the meeting automatically when it begins, click on the check box to make the tick appear. As soon as the meeting starts (and the 'name' field is not blank), you will enter.

Ending a meeting: When the meeting time period reaches its end, you will be shown the 'Final' screen. Any URLs you may have 'saved' within the meeting are shown, so that you may copy and save them permanently if you wish. If you want to leave a meeting before the end, simply close the browser window and the application will automatically remove your thumbnail from all of the remaining participant's screen.

The Interface

The 'standard' interface is described below. The 'presenter' interface contains the same controls and functions but with an integrated whiteboard, go here to see a screen shot.

flashmeeting screen

The Broadcast Button (9): If no one is broadcasting clicking the button labeled 'Start Broadcasting' means your video and sound will be broadcast to all those joined to the meeting. If another person is already broadcasting this button shows a hand and some text. If you click on it you will be added to the queue and wait for your turn, a hand will appear on your thumbnail to indicate that you want to speak. The first person in the queue automatically starts broadcasting when the current speaker stops.

The numbers on the button indicate where you are in the queue. As an example if you were second in a queue of four people it would show 2(4). The first number (note: this doesn't appear if you are not in the queue) indicates your position in the queue and the number in parenthesis shows the total number in the queue. When the person broadcasting clicks the button again to end their broadcast whoever is first in the queue takes over automatically.

Tip: Pressing the 'Page Up' or 'Page Down' key is the same as clicking the 'Broadcast' button.

When using a modem (i.e. a slow connection) use of the Broadcast button my seem 'sluggish' - click and wait for the appropriate action rather than repeatedly click the button (look for the 'hourglass' to check for any delay).

The Interrupt Button (8): If you wish to interrupt a broadcast click the 'Interrupt' button. This will force any broadcast to stop and you will take over.

If you want to hand back to the original speaker, simply Ctrl+left click (Cmd+click Macs) on their thumbnail image or name from the list view and it will force that person to begin broadcasting again, ignoring any queue positions. You must be 'Signed In' to do this.

Note: If there is just two people in the meeting, simply using the Interrupt button to quickly alternate between the two of you is a good way to keep the conversation flowing.

When using a modem (slow connection) use of the Interrupt button my seem 'sluggish' - click and wait for the appropriate action rather than repeatedly click the button.

Boards, Image and Names Tabs (6): By using the tabs situated at the top right of the interface, you have a choice between viewing the whiteboard and concept map, or a list of all the people in the meeting by their name or their image.

Choose the 'boards' tab to view the whiteboard and concept map:
The whiteboard enables you to create and share 'images', including loading jpgs. The concept map enables you to create and share knowledge and concept maps etc.
If you are 'Signed In' you can 'interact' with either board. Guests can only watch.
See the QuickStart page for detailed help.

Choose the 'images' tab and a number of small images appear showing each person in the meeting (this may be slow to update at first):
When a person is broadcasting their thumbnail's border turns green.
A hand appears on the thumbnail if they are in the queue, the number indicating their position.
Any Vote, Private text and Emoticon icons appear at the bottom of each thumbnail image.
If there are too many people to see all the thumbnails at once, use the two scroll buttons to the right of the list to scroll through them.
If you are 'Signed In' and the broadcaster, Ctrl+left clicking (Cmd+clicking Macs) on a thumbnail from the list will force that person to begin broadcasting, ignoring any queue positions.

Choose the 'names' tab and the people at the meeting will be shown as a simple text list:
This is a useful choice for people using a slow connection, as it means the thumbnail images do not use up your bandwidth.
When a person is broadcasting their text 'line' will turn green.
A hand appears to the left of their name if they are in the queue, the number indicating their position.
If there are too many people to see all at once, use the two scroll buttons to the right of the list to scroll through them.
Any Vote and Emoticon icons appear next to a person's name.
If you are 'Signed In' and the broadcaster, Ctrl+left clicking (Cmd+clicking Macs) on a name from the list will force that person to begin broadcasting, ignoring any queue positions.

Private text chat (5): If you are 'Signed In', by clicking on a thumbnail or list item you can enlarge the person's image.
Clicking the 'X' in the top corner of the image will close it. If both you and they are 'Signed In', clicking the 'CHAT' button will open a private text chat between the two of you.
If you receive a private text message, an envelope appears on the sender's thumbnail to indicate a new message. Click the thumbnail to read it. In addition, an envelope appears above the image list, in case the thumbnail has been scrolled out of view. Clicking on this envelope shows a list of people from which you have new private messages. You can select one from the list to view their message.
If you are a moderator you can enter 'commands' into private chat to 'target' that individual, also a panel appears containing buttons enabling you to quickly use some of the more common commands, and change the person's microphone level. See the moderator page for details.

Vote Tab (10): The 'vote' tab allows people in a meeting to vote on a topic. Click on the small square buttons to chose between 'Yes', 'No' or 'Abstain' to have your vote counted. Click on the button again to remove your vote, or on a different button to change your vote. Only the person who is broadcasting can 'clear' all the votes.
The 'Emoticons' can be used at any time to display one of five indicators on your thumbnail. These can be used to unobtrusively indicate your 'feeling' or 'state' to everyone at a particular point of the meeting. Click on an icon to display or remove an Emoticon. Apart from the 'time' Emoticon, all automatically disappear after about 10 seconds.

Text Chat Tab (10): Click the 'chat' tab to see the text chat panel. Type some text into the chat input box and click the 'Send' button to send the text to everyone (you can also press 'Enter').
Use the small square buttons to alter the size of the text. 'Alt'+click on the 'Send' button if you want to clear your chat window.
The chat tab turns green when a new message is received and you have another tab window open.
Typing @@ at the begining of a message tells the meeting that you are entering a 'Command' line instruction instead of a text message. See the commands web page for details.
You can also create 'minutes' within the meeting. If you type ### at the start of a text chat message, it is recognized as an 'annotation' remark and not just a text chat message. It will appear in the meeting's replay as a 'loud' annotation. Alternatively you can type *** at the start for a 'silent' annotation, this will not appear in the meeting's text chat window but will appear only in the Memo replay.
The Emoticon icons work the same way as on the 'Vote' tab, but save you swapping tabs.
Click the Chat tab again to increase the area of the text chat.

Your URLs Tab (10): This tab allows you to share a URL during the meeting (you will only see a shared URL if your browser allows popup windows).
When you are broadcasting, clicking a URL line's 'Send' button open's the URL in a window on everyone's computer. The sent URL will also appear at the bottom of the meeting's URL tab, click the 'Add' button if you want to add someone else's URL to your own list.
Click a URL line's 'edit' button if you want to alter the URL.
Click a URL line's 'Del' button to delete a URL line you no longer want to keep.
If you want to add a new URL click the 'New' ('+') button. This opens the URL panel where you can type (or paste) URL's. You must use a new line for each separate URL. When you are finished click the 'Done' button.
URL's will be lost when you leave the meeting, so 'copy' a URL if you want to keep it.
Use the scroll buttons to scroll through the URL's.
Note that people will only see the web page that is opened by the URL they are sent. If you click on a link on that page, or point at something with your mouse it will not be shared. You must explain or describe your subsequent actions so that others can follow them.

The Prefs Tab (10): Clicking on the 'prefs' tab allows you to change the standard Flash video, audio and other options. The Privacy setting for example, allows you save the option to allow local access to your media input devices (mic, web cam), so that this warning box doesn't come up each time you access a meeting.

The application can also be configured for your connection speed using this window, choose between HIGH and LOW for best results (this changes the quality and therefore the amount of data being sent and received over the network - a problem for people with a slow connection and/or slow computer if the quality is set too high).

Resize Thumbnails: Choose Yes if you want the 'thumbnail' images of the people in the meeting to reduce in size when more than six have joined. When they are too small to read the name, rollover them with the mouse and the name will appear at the top of the window.

Open URLs: When the broadcaster 'shares' a URL do you want it to appear in a browser window? Choose Yes if you do (this feature only works if your browser allows popup windows). Note the URL address will still appear in the lower text field of your 'urls' window.

Button Rollovers: When the box is 'selected' you will see a description appear at the top of the interface about the button the mouse is over. If you do not want to see these 'rollover' descriptions, 'deselect' the box. The setting is saved.

Text Chat History: Clear your text chat history window. This only clears it on your machine but may save you a lot of scrolling! If you re-enter the meeting the chat history will refill with all the chat from the start of the meeting.

Port Connection: When you first use the application it searches for a valid port and then stores it to save time the next time you enter a meeting. Click the Clear button to clear the saved port and the application will check again for valid ports next time you enter.

Warning Sounds: Select the box if you want to hear the warning sounds as the meeting end time nears. You can also choose the volume of the sounds. This setting is saved.

The About Tab (10): Choosing this tab shows you information about both the current meeting and the application. If applicable your 'Sign In' status is shown with a button to access the 'admin' panel for this. Click on the logo to open a new browser window containing the main The Flashmeeting Project web site.

The Xtra Tab (10): This tab contains buttons that link to extra features that are available depending on your 'Sign In' status and the type of meeting.
Manage Files: You can upload, download or delete files associated with this meeting.
Boards: Open the meeting's whiteboard and concept map, to share images, text and concept maps. See a detailed description on the QuickStart page.
My Events: Open a browser window listing all of your 'events'. You can list meetings you booked, attended or both.

Countdown Timer (1): At the top left of the application's interface, a countdown timer shows you in hours, minutes and seconds the time remaining to the end of the meeting. Five minutes before the end of a meeting, a green 'indicator' appears under the time and a warning sound plays. With three minutes to the end of the meeting the indicator's colour changes to orange and the warning sound plays again. The indicator flashes red and the sound plays for a third time when the last minute of the meeting is reached. Note: the warning sounds can be turned off under the 'prefs' tab.

Next Speaker Indicator (2): When you are broadcasting, if there is a queue, the name of the person in the first position is put at the top of the broadcast window. This allows you to quickly see who would automatically 'follow' you when you stop speaking.

Broadcast Window (3): This is where the main video broadcast appears.

Total Joined Counter (4): Normally how many people have joined the meeting appears here. However, if you rollover a person's 'thumbnail' image their name is shown instead. This is useful if the images have been reduced in size.

Audio Level Meter (7): Your audio level is shown on this volume indicator. Green 'lights' are ideal for most situations. If the 'upper' red light appears continuously you probably sound distorted and should reduce the level of your microphone. The lower red and orange lights indicate that your audio level is too low and you should increase the level of your microphone. Use the 'audio' button in the 'prefs' tab to open a panel allowing you to adjust the sound level.

Annotation Window

Open the annotation window by typing the command @@note into the text chat. Use it to make annotation notes at specific points in the meeting, so that people can 'jump' to those points when viewing the Memo replay.
Key - from left to right: Press the left arrow to minimize the window; Press 'make' to send your text; Choose between 'loud' to also show the annotation in the text chat of the meeting, or 'silent' for it to just appear in the replay; View with either a translucent or solid background; Close the window. Enter the text in the input box at the bottom of the window. You can also drag the window up and down the screen.
When the annotation window is minimized you can; drag it up and down, click the arrow to open it, or click the cross to close it.

Note: Annotation notes can also be entered directly into the main text chat if prefixed with either *** for 'loud' and ### for 'silent'.

Making Bookings

You can join a meeting, without doing anything but clicking on the provided URL, but you must be a registered user with a booker level account to be able to create your own private meetings.

Use the 'Login' link on the main page to book a meeting. Type in your account email address and password in the 'login' screen that appears, and click the enter button.

You will also see a graph detailing the server usage. Use this to browse to the date and time (based on the server's location) you want to hold your meeting and check that the server has enough capacity to run the size of the meeting you wish to arrange. The booking system will tell you if you try to arrange a meeting at a busy time but checking the chart will save you disappointment or the need to resubmit the form.

Filling out the booking form:

Choose the start date and time, and the duration of the meeting. Remember the meeting will be booked using the server time you must bear this in mind when informing participants that are not in the same country as the server, across different time zones, or when booking from outside the same country as the server. The server time will be shown in relation to GMT.

Choose the number of places you wish to reserve for the people attending the meeting. Note: the server keeps track of each computer joined to the meeting. It issues a 'sticky ticket' whenever a different computer joins. This 'ticket' is valid for a few minutes after disconnection. This means that if you have to leave for a few moments your place is 'reserved' and is still available to you when you return. It also means however, that one person for some reason joining on several different computers uses up that many places, possibly forcing others to have to wait to enter or even finding no more places available. Make sure you reserve enough places.

Enter a booking title - this will be used on the email you get to confirm the booking and also appear as the title on your meeting's interface. If you wish you can enter a short description of the meeting that will also appear on the interface.

Keywords: You can enter a keyword, or keywords (separated by a comma), for the meeting. This will be used when categorizing, or searching through meetings. It is also used in conjunction with 'syndication'.

Associated Groups: If you are a member of at least one group, you can choose your meeting to be associated with one or more of your groups. The meeting will then appear on the relevant group pages.

Recording the meeting: Meetings will be recorded by default for playback using Memo replay. If you do not want the meeting recorded (and you have been provided with an account that gives you the choice), change the 'Record the Meeting' selection box to say 'No'. Choosing to record the meeting will provide you with a valuable historical resource.

Recorded meetings are saved to the server. Access to the replay of the event is via a web page requiring the password (details are provided at the time of booking). It is the responsibility of the organisers of a meeting, to inform attendees that a recording is being made. Recordings will not necessarily be kept indefinitely.

A meeting has to have at least one person make a broadcast for a recording to be made.

Syndicate the recording: Syndicated recordings are available as a public resource and will automatically appear on two publicly accessible web pages; the booker's public page and the Folksonomy page. If you choose to make the replay public by setting the syndicate option to 'yes', it is important that the meeting attendees are aware that this will be the case.

Make the live meeting public: Choose 'yes' if you wish the meeting to be listed on the web page address shown within this section of the form (i.e. your 'personal' meeting web page).

As a registered user you have your own personal web page that has an address that will not change, which lists the up-coming meetings you have booked. This means that a 'fixed' URL can be given to your friends or colleagues that they can go to. They simply click on a link from the list that will take them directly to the actual meeting they are interested in.

The page can be left 'open' if the only 'security' you want is the knowledge of the address to your personal 'Links' page; or if you want extra security, the page can be set to require an 'access key' before it can be viewed. This 'key' or password is set using the web form via the 'My Details' link.

Be aware that anyone you entrust with your current personal 'Links' page password can potentially enter any meeting that is listed there.

Use the presentation style meeting client: Choose 'yes' if you want everyone in the meeting to use the 'presentation' meeting client which contains an integrated whiteboard that is always visible and as such is ideal for meetings where the whiteboard will be used frequently, for example if presenting a slide show. If the meeting is recorded then a similarly styled Memo replay client with integrated whiteboard will automatically be used to display the recording. Leave the default choice 'no' to use the 'standard' appication style, with a separate pop-up window for the whiteboard.

Allow guests into the meeting: Choose 'yes' to allow guests to enter the meeting (i.e. attendees will not have to enter their 'Sign-In' account password but they will lose some features). Selecting 'No' will require all attendees to have 'Sign-In' accounts in order to enter.

When you are happy with the details of your proposed meeting, click the submit button and wait for the web page to be updated with the result. If your meeting is accepted, information appears at the top of the page. This lists the details and provides you with the web link directly to your meeting. An email is also sent to you confirming your booking, containing the details and link to the 'meeting details' page.

If there is something wrong with the booking a warning is returned, appearing on a coloured background beneath the blue usage chart. Use this prompt to correct your form and try again.

When you have finished, click the 'logout' link to leave the secure booking system.

Use the details on the email (or forward the whole thing) to pass on relevant information to the people you want to attend the meeting. When they receive it they will just need to click on the web link to the 'meeting details' web page that the email contains (note that if it is 'wrapped' or 'broken' over two lines of the email, the link may not work if 'clicked' on).


You need to click on the 'Login' link and enter your account email and password to access the pages below.

Events: Clicking on the 'Events' link at the top of an administration page will show you a list of all your meetings. Forthcoming meetings have buttons associated with them that allow you to either edit the meeting's details or delete the meeting. Past meetings may have a different number of buttons displayed in the 'Replay' column depending on whether the meeting was recorded or not.

Buttons appearing for forthcoming meetings
icon Delete the forthcoming meeting (confirmation box appears).
icon Edit the details of the forthcoming meeting.
icon Meeting is not set to be recorded.
icon Meeting is set to be recorded.
Open the meeting details web page, containing links to the meeting and 'calendar' file.
Buttons appearing for past meetings
icon Edit the replay of the meeting.
icon Editing of the replay is not available.
Open the meeting details web page, containing links to the Memo replay and other meeting information.
icon Meeting was not set to record.
icon Meeting was set to record but no recording was made (no one broadcast).
icon Meeting is unlocked and can be edited either by you, or others with correct authorization.
icon Meeting is locked and can't be edited.
icon Meeting is syndicated and will appear in the relevant 'public' meeting lists.
icon Meeting is not syndicated.
Status Buttons
icon Appears if you have booked the meeting.
icon Appears if you have attended the meeting.
icon Appears if you have flagged a meeting.

If you think that an icon should be in the list for a particular meeting, because it has just begun or ended for example, refresh the page to see if it appears.

You can download an ICS Calender Feed if you like to add your meetings automatically to your calender.

My Details: Clicking on the 'My Details' link at the top of an administration page will display your personal account details. You can correct any spelling mistakes to your name or change your password. You can also set the access key to your personal 'links' page here. Leaving the 'key' blank means the page is 'open access' and requires no password to view it.

Tick the box to receive notification, via email, regarding news and updates.

Remember to use the 'logout' link to leave the booking system when you have finished.

Contacts: Clicking on the 'Contacts' link at the top of an administration page will display a list of people who have 'Signed In' to a meeting you have also attended or who are group members of the groups you are a member of too. Select a radio button to view the list in different ways.

Click on the contact's name to send that person a messages via the FM Mail Pages.

If there is a little camera icon next to the contact's name you can see a picture from the last shared meeting of that person if you click on the camera icon.

Click the 'View' link to see a list of meetings that you and the person have both attended.

Store: Use this page to upload your own personal collection of individual images (jpgs only at the present time) that you want to use in the whiteboard. You can then use these to create 'collections' of slides called presentations (use the 'Presentations' link at the top of your personal web pages to see these). You can still use the 'Images' button on the whitebard within a meeting, to load individual pictures directly from your hard drive if and when the need arises.

Click the 'add new item' button to choose a new image to upload it to the server. Enter a title for the image and a description if you wish. Each image has buttons to allow you to edit it (change details or swap for a new image), or delete it.

Images larger than 800 x 600 pixels will be resized down to 800x600. Very large images (a few thousand by a few thousand pixels) may 'hang' the connection.

Presentations: You can sort individual images from your 'Store', into any number of 'Presentation Lists', to enable you to load only the ones you require for a specific meeting. This web page displays all of your Presentation Lists. You can create a new 'List' here, or edit or delete an existing one.

When you create or edit a 'List', the screen divides in two, with all of your 'Stored' images at the bottom and the images in the presentation at the top. 'Tick' the 'check boxes' on the left of the rows of individual images in your store that you wish to appear in the presentation you are editing and click the 'add to presentation' button to add them. The images 'physically' remain in your store of course for you to use in other presentations, this just allows you to make different 'sets' of images for individual meetings.

Images in a list can be re-ordered or edited - click on the round 'check button' to the left of an image to select it, or click the 'dustbin' button to delete it. Deleted images will still be in your 'Store', just removed from this particular 'Presentation List'.

You access your Presentation Lists from within the application by using the 'Lists' button on the whiteboard (you must have 'Signed In' to the meeting to do this).

For some tips on creating Presentation Lists click here.

Meetings Page

On the Meetings Page you will find all the necessary information around your meeting including Title, Description and Date.
If you are signed in to FM you will find a lot more buttons and features on the page.

Buttons appearing for future and current meetings
icon Go to the the live meeting.
icon Download an ICS calender file for that meeting. (future only)
icon If you are a booker you can upload/download and delete documents for that meeting. All other people can download the documents which have been made available by the booker. You need to be signed in to use this feature.
icon You can use this button to label a meeting as flagged. All meetings that you have flagged will appear on your 'My Events' web page. You need to be signed in to use this feature.
icon You can unflag a meeting if you are not interested anymore. You need to be signed in to use this feature.
Buttons appearing for past meetings
icon If there are any recordings of that meeting you can go to the replay.
icon If there are any recordings of that meeting and there is a podcast available you can download it.
icon If there are any recordings of that meeting and the booker has opened the edit of that meeting to everyone you can go the edit page.
icon If there are any recordings of that meeting you can see the analysis of it. You need to be signed in to use this feature.
icon If there are any recordings of that meeting you can see the minutes of it. You need to be signed in to use this feature.
icon See a cloud of the meetings most recent words. You need to be signed in to use this feature.
icon You can use this button to label a meeting as flagged. All meetings that you have flagged will appear on your 'My Events' web page. You need to be signed in to use this feature.
icon You can unflag a meeting if you are not interested anymore. You need to be signed in to use this feature.

The Replay

memo replay screen

The replay will appear slightly diferently depending on whether a Snapshot or Mapshot were saved during the meeting. Recordings are accessed using a special 'direct' URL link, which can be kept as secret or 'open' as required. If this URL is not used, the meeting's password will have to be entered into the text field on the 'start' screen, before the replay can be viewed.

Full details can be seen on the Memo replay web page.


Clicking on the 'Groups' link at the top of an administration page will display your group list. If you are not a member of a group or if you would like to find other groups you can switch the view to 'All Groups' to see a list of all existing groups.

If you are a booker or an admin and would like to organise your events and/or project into your own groups you can create them by clicking on the green 'plus' button at the top of the group list.

Create a Group: After clicking on the button you will see a page with some empty form fields.
1) Enter the new group title. (Mandatory)
2) Enter a significant description.
3) Choose a short name for your group which will be the last part of the final url to your group page. (Mandatory)
4) Upload a picture for the group page.
All of these details can be changed later on the group's administration page.

Group Page: Non-Group-Members will only see the top part of the group page which consists of title, list of founder and moderators, description, picture and a link to become a group member.
Group members will also see a list of meetings which are associated with a group. There is a radio group available to change the event list to future, current or past.
In addition to that it is possible to subscribe to a calendar and podcast feed. If you do so your calendar and podcast will be updated automatically (refresh frequency depends on the programme settings) if there are new entries available.
As a group member you will find links to different analysis pages (Word Cloud, Top Users and Maps of Connections etc.) and a list of the 50 most recent keywords on the group page too.

Group Administration: If you are the group founder or a moderator you can administer the group page. That means you are able to change title, description, short name and picture.
You are also allowed also to accept or refuse users who like to join a group and invite new users to the group.
It is also possible to delete associated meetings if you wish to.

Contact another group member: To contact another group member you first have to click on the link 'xx Members' (xx = number of group members) underneath the group title on the group page.
Then you will see a list of all group members. Clicking on the name you will get a mailing form to fill in.
By clicking on the little 'i' next to the member's name you will be able to see all group meetings the member has joined.

Buttons appearing on group pages
icon Click to join a group.
icon Click to leave a group.
icon Click to administer a group.
icon Click to accept a group invitation.
icon Click to refuse a group invitation.
icon Appears on the groups overview page to create a new group and on the group administration page to accept a user who likes to join a group.
icon Appears on the group administration page (in combination with the 'plus' button) to refuse a user who likes to join a group.
icon Click to remove a meeting or a user from a group. It does not delete a meeting or user from the system itself.
icon Click to get a list of group meetings a member has joined.
icon Click to subscribe to the calendar feed of a group
icon Click to subscribe to the podcast feed of a group.
icon Click to get a cloud of the most relevant words from the last 10 group meetings.
icon Click to get a picture of the group's top users measured by the number of meetings a group member has joined.
icon Click to get a map of all live connections to the last 10 group meetings.
icon Click to get a map of all replay connections to the last 10 group meetings.


Clicking on the 'Mail' link at the top of an administration page will display your personal mailbox. You can read sent and received mails by clicking on the subject. You can answer a person's mail by clicking on their name. It is only possible to send mail to one of your contacts at a time. Contacts are either people who have 'Signed In' to a meeting you have also attended, or are members of the same groups as you.

If you want to delete a mail you can do so by clicking the red minus button.

You can also reach the 'send a mail' page by clicking on the name of one of your contacts or group members. Your mail will be stored in the FM system but will also be emailed directly from the system to your contact.

Frequently Asked Questions

What did you use to create the application?
The application used in The Flashmeeting Project is written in Flash, an application that creates programs that 'run' using a standard web browser plug in which is used throughout the world.

What do I need to use it?
A correctly set-up and working computer connected to the internet, running a modern web browser with the Flash 8 (or greater) plug in installed. Windows PC and Mac based computers work fine.

Why do I have to register to get all the features?
Some of the more powerful features of a meeting need to have some 'accountability' in case they are misused. Most people behave 'properly' within a meeting, however any 'inappropriate' behaviour will result in the perpetrator being banned. In addition to this safeguard our research requires us to collect data on the people's use of our applications.

What are the differences between the account types?
Look at account types web page to find out.

What can I do to make a meeting run more smoothly?
Quit all other applications you have running, leaving maximum resources for your browser. You can also switch the meeting's quality setting to 'Low', found on the 'prefs' tab panel.

Why does my camera not work, as it is working in another application?
Some web cams do not seem to be able to 'share' video 'between' applications. If this happens shut down the other application and reload the meeting.

Will it work on Linux, Mac OS9, Solaris, Windows 95 or NT based machines?
Only when Flash 8 or greater is released for these systems.

Is my meeting secure?
Each newly booked meeting is given an automatically created security code which is included in the URL for the meeting. Only those people given this unique URL, are able to enter the meeting.

What's the idea behind broadcasting?
People take turns 'broadcasting' their video and audio to all the other people in the meeting. No one can speak 'over' someone else.

How do I broadcast?
If no one else is already broadcasting clicking once on the large button labelled 'Start Broadcasting', will begin broadcasting your image and sound to everyone else connected to the meeting. Click the button again to stop your broadcast.
Click once - to broadcast...
Click again - to stop...

Do I have to 'click' on the Broadcast button each time using the mouse?
No, pressing either the 'Page Up' or 'Page Down' key is the same as clicking the 'Broadcast' button.

What is the Interrupt button for?
If you really need to speak and can't wait for the queue or the broadcaster to stop, click the 'interrupt' button and you will begin broadcasting immediately.

I feel bad about interrupting someone if there is a queue?
If you are the broadcaster you can click on a person's thumbnail whilst holding down the Ctrl (Cmd) key, to 'force' that person to broadcast. This is the polite way to return them to being the 'broadcaster' after you have interrupted them. Otherwise they would have no other option but to join the end of the queue (or click the 'interrupt' button themselves).

What is the Queue?
If someone is already broadcasting and you click the 'large' button displaying the words 'Join Queue' and a number in brackets (indicating the length of the queue), you will be put on to the end of the 'queue' and the button will change to display your position within it. For example 3(3) means that you are third out of three people in the queue. A small hand with a number on it also appears on your thumbnail, to indicate to other people that you are in the queue and your position within it.
If you are first in the queue, when the person broadcasting finishes, you will automatically take over and begin broadcasting yourself, you don't need to press the 'broadcast' button in this case.

Why do you use a low frame rate?
The application is designed with a low but useful video frame rate, to allow better audio over 'normal' web connections and in preparation for the many possible connections spread over separate but simultaneous meetings.

How do I leave or quit a meeting?
Simply close the browser window.

Will I have problems using a Firewall?
The application works with most Firewalls. Normally port 80 must be 'open' and also either port 1935 or 443. When you first use the application it will automatically search for ports. If you fail to get a connection ask your network administrator to open the required port numbers.

Where can I find the port that has been chosen to use for the connection?
The port number is displayed at the bottom right of the 'prefs' screen.
If you think you can get a 'better' port, you can clear your saved port and reload the meeting, to make it search again through the ports available to you.

Can I enter a meeting without a web cam and/or microphone?
Yes, you will still see other people's images and you can use the text chat to communicate.

Will it work with a modem?
Yes, the application is low data rate friendly. Choose the 'Low' connection setting from the preferences tab. The broadcast might 'breakup' sometimes, depending on the quality of your connection.
Note that it has been commented that if one person is having difficulty on a low bandwidth/poor connection, it may help the meeting overall, if everyone switches to the 'Low' setting.

What do the beeps and flashing colours towards the end of a meeting indicate?
At intervals of five, three and one minute before the end of the meeting an audible warning is played and the countdown timer in the top left corner is 'coloured', as an indicator that the meeting time limit is nearing the end. You can adjust the volume of the sounds or turn them off.

Is the meeting recorded?
Yes. However the person booking the meeting may have the option to not record a meeting. A notification appears on the title screen if the meeting is set to record. The replay is viewed using the application 'Memo replay'. The URL to the replay is given at the time of booking the meeting and is 'secure' as it can only be viewed by those given this specific URL. The replay can be edited, for example, if an individual broadcast needed to be removed and also annotations can be added.

Can I annotate the meeting live?
Yes, you can create 'minutes'. If you type ### at the start of a text chat message, it is recognized as an annotation remark and not just a text chat message. It will appear in the meeting's replay as an annotation. Alternatively you can type *** at the start for a 'silent' annotation, this will not appear in the meeting's text chat window but will appear in the replay. Or use the command @@a or @@as (annotation or silent annotation respectively) before your message.

How can I make sure my camera and microphone are working before I enter the meeting?
You should see the image from your camera and see indicator bars on the 'audio ladder' as you speak, on the application's 'title' page. Either click the 'open test application' button, or right click and open the Flash settings panels. Open the appropriate Flash panel that lets you choose your media input 'devices' and make adjustments. If your device does not appear in the list it is not installed properly on your computer and Flash can't find it. See the manual that came with the device.

Will I get sound problems if there are two of us separately joined to a meeting in the same room?
If one of you makes a broadcast and the other has speakers instead of headphones, the sound will probably 'feedback', producing an undesirable looping 'screeching' type sound. You should both use headphones, turn the speakers off, or to a very low volume.

Can I use headsets?
Yes properly set up headphone/microphone combinations can work well, but be aware that the close proximity of the microphone to your mouth may 'fool' the indicator 'ladder', and your sound may be louder and more distorted than you expect.

Do I have to remember the password to a meeting?
No. Most people joining a meeting will simply click on a link in an email message (provided to them by the person who booked the meeting) that already contains the password. When using such a link the details are entered automatically. You just 'Sign In' (or not), fill in your name and press the 'Enter' button.

The 'URL link' in the email I received doesn't seem to work when I click on it?
Does it 'run over' two or more lines? If so sometimes it doesn't include the complete URL when it opens in a browser window. You will have to copy and paste the complete URL from the email into the address line of your browser window.

How can I quickly agree or disagree with someone without interrupting them?
Open the 'vote' tab and click on the 'Emoticon' conveying your feeling at the time! This appears on your thumbnail on all machines connected to the meeting for approximately ten seconds.
The 'Clock' Emoticon stays 'on' until the button is clicked again. This can be used, amongst other things, to indicate that you are temporarily away.

How can I clear the vote?
Only the person who is broadcasting can 'clear' (reset to 0) the current vote. Go to the 'Vote' tab and click the 'Clear ALL Votes' button.

What does the 'hourglass' mean when I click the Broadcast button?
The 'hourglass' appears when your meeting is making the 'connection' to the server after you have clicked the Broadcast button. When using a modem or a slow connection, use of the Broadcast button my seem 'sluggish' - click once and wait for the appropriate action rather than repeatedly clicking the button.

Why would I want to choose the 'names' tab?
The 'names' tab displays the people connected to the meeting in a text form, as opposed to the display of thumbnails. If you have a slow connection this will help as the thumbnail images won't have to continually update, taking up your connection bandwidth. You will still get to see Emoticons and who's in the queue etc. Of course you may just prefer seeing the names in the larger type size.

Why does my broadcast seem to cut-out occasionally?
On Apple Macs, if you are broadcasting and you make the window containing a meeting go to the 'background', because for example you open a URL in a new window, be aware that your broadcast may break-up. This doesn't seem to be a problem on a Windows PC.
A slow connection or processor can also be a cause of intermittent broadcasts.

How can I stop the Flash 'Privacy' popup box appearing each time I start a meeting?
Click on the 'Privacy' button on the application preferences 'tab' to open the Flash preferences popup. 'Check' the 'Remember' option, so that a tick appears in the square next to 'Remember'. The privacy box should not appear again.

When someone makes a long broadcast it seems to be split up?
If the length of a single broadcast within a recorded meeting is greater than 5 minutes, it is automatically 'split' to keep the sections 'manageable' when viewed later in Memo Replay.

Can I edit or cancel a meeting?
Yes. Use the 'Login' or 'Book' link at the top of the page and log in using your email and password. Use the 'My Events' link at the top of the new page to see a list of the meetings you have booked. Click on the appropriate icon accociated with the meeting you wish to change to alter or delete it. The help page contains a chart to explain the administration icons.

Can I edit my personal details?
Yes. Use the 'Login' link on the main page and log in using your email and password. Use the 'My Details' link at the top of the new page to see and alter your details.

Someone shared a URL but I didn't see it?
You will not see it if your browser blocks pop-ups.
When a URL is sent it appears in a new window on everyone's machine. However, if your web browser is set to block 'pop-ups' it will not appear. Depending on which browser you use, you should see a warning and you can 'allow' your browser to display the window. On a Windows PC every subsequent 'launch' (if not blocked) should appear in the same window. If you close the window, then another will open. Apple Macs open a new window for each URL sent.
The application's preferences tab contains a setting that allows you to turn off this feature if you do not wish to view any shared URLs within the meeting.

Do other people see the same as me?
Everyone will see the same interface during the meeting - the same broadcast, text chat, URLs for example. The only minor differences will be the top left 'thumbnail' will always show the user's own image and a different 'tab' may be chosen (i.e. the chat tab rather than the URL tab).

Do I have to 'Sign In' to a meeting?
No, but you will be missing out on a lot of features!

Can I disconnect or bar a person from within a meeting?
If you are the booker of a meeting and have also 'Signed In', Alt+Click a person's thumbnail or 'list' name to see a panel that allows you to either disconnect that person, or bar them from the meeting. Alternatively you can also type a 'Command' into a person's private text chat. This could be for 'technical' reasons, as well as the more obvious 'social' reasons.

What is a Command?
You can control certain aspects of a meeting by entering a valid 'command' into either the main text chat, or private text chat. The application recognizes a Command when @@ is used at the beginning of the text chat line. A moderator can also enter more powerful commands that effect the whole meeting or a specific individual. The first Command you should learn is @@help, to open the Command help web page!

What is a Moderator?
A moderator (usually the person who booked the meeting), is a person who has access to powerful 'commands' that can target a single connection or every connection in the meeting. As an example they could remotely alter the microphone level of the broadcaster. See the moderator page for details.

Must I have Javascript enabled?
Yes, you must have Javascript enabled for your browser. If you can't see the application when you click on a link you may have Javascript disabled in your browser settings.

When I tried to upload an image to the whiteboard, it just says 'Loading image...' and doesn't appear?
You have tried to upload a very large jpg - many pixels by many pixels in dimension (1000's). This may 'hang' the server connection. Don't upload very large images. The ideal size to load is about 800x600.


Copyright KMi, The Open University, UK.