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The Galaxy team at Penn State has a slew of new screencasts at Bioscreencast.com going through the latest release of Galaxy.

As I have mentioned in the past, the Galaxy team really understands the medium and are using it effectively (along with wiki’s etc) to showcast the application. You can grab the RSS feed for all galaxy related screencasts

This screencast shows you how to look for protein coding transcripts among non-gencode ESTs

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As usual, silence from our end means that we are busy working on making Bioscreencast.com an even better experience. So keep your eyes on this page, since we have a couple of really cool updates up our sleeves.

In the meantime you might want to check out some screencasts about MYourScience, UniProt and OWL

“We’re announcing a new update to the Flash Player today code named “Moviestar” and it includes support for the widely used industry standard H.264 codec as well as High Efficiency AAC audio support”

So reads the opening statement on a blog post from Ryan Stewart an RIA evangelist at Adobe.

We at Bioscreencast are thrilled at this announcement. As you may remember Bioscreencast.com in its zeroth avatar was offering all its content as H.264 encoded *.mov formatted files that were playable using the quicktime plugin. We chose H.264 since the video quality was amazing for the size of file and also the codec itself was “open”. We were further encouraged by the choice of H.264 by other online screencast offerings such as the video-books at Safari from the O’Reilly stable.

A few weeks after our launch, we started hearing from a lot of our users about issues they had with the quicktime plugin. These were mostly apparent on older hardware using older versions of the quicktime plugin. Prompted by these problems and the ubiquity of browser flash support we decided to bite the flash bullet. The transcoded videos were very viewable but definitely suffered in quality compared to the original mov versions.

We are therefore obviously excited by this announcement today because it could mean that we can have our cake and eat it too. Flash and the flash player are incredibly powerful in the richness of the APIs backing them and there is no denying that Flash rules the Rich internet Application (RIA) roost.

We will definitely be looking into using the new platform to offer screencasts at the best possible resolution.

Hari Jayaram
Bioscreencast.com

The Bioscreencast.com site has serious issues today ( Aug 16th 2007). Our attempts at upgrading our webhost ran into some technical issues. We are sorry for any interruptions and hope we will be up and running soon.

Any uploads that took place in the last 24 hrs are also held up because of these issues.

We apologize for any broken links while we fix this.

We are moving to a faster host. This will allow us to offer our videos in a snappier fashion , experiment with better flash players and hopefully improve your user experience.

While we affect our move our users might experience some “slowness” till the name servers catch up . The move is scheduled for a few hours around 21:00 hr EST in the US (21:00 eastern standard time : 8th of August , 2007).

So bear with us and let us know if anything appears out of the ordinary after the move.

I am sure some of you are familiar with Galaxy,”an analysis medium that enables multiple tools to be applied to existing data in a simple unified way”. We like it for several reasons. It is a cool tool for genomic analysis, but most of all Anton Nekrutenko and colleagues get it. They understand the importance of wikis, blogs and screencasts in science and have embraced the medium. So it should come as no surprise that they understand what we are trying to do here at Bioscreencast. We now have a special category called “galaxy”, which you can track via RSS. There you will be able to find the latest screencasts on Galaxy.

Anton blogs about Bioscreencast at the Galaxy blog. As you can probably guess we are quite excited that they have chosen to serve their screencasts from our site. We have received positive feedback from some others as well. This is exciting stuff indeed.

First of all, thank you to everyone for all the feedback and suggestions. There are always a lot of things we can do to make Bioscreencast the perfect user experience, but we feel that some of the new features you might have already seen in the past day or so will make your time on the site a lot better.

So what do we have in store for you in this new beta release of Bioscreencast.com

Internet Explorer is no longer the forbidden zone. Bioscreencast.com should now run properly on both IE6 and 7. Please let us know if you find anything behaving in unexpected ways

Flash video format support is something we’ve discussed among ourselves for months, and finally we bit the bullet and now the screencasts are all flash. We have tried our best to keep the quality as high as possible, but this change should create a truly cross platform/cross browser experience for everyone. We also believe that the move away from H.264 will finally convince Apple to add Flash support on the iPhone.

A redesigned landing page will new icons, the most recent upload and a news feed (for now just this blog), should also make being visiting Bioscreencast.com a better experience.

There are some additional usability related changes as well. For example, you can now access the embed code and screencast URL without needing to play the screencast.

This is just the first in a series of updates you will keep seeing as Bioscreencast.com grows and evolves. Adding support for Internet Explorer was at the top of the list and we all need to thank Suresh for doing such a marvelous job of turning this around as quickly as he did.

Last but certainly not the least. Bioscreencast.com will only go where you, the users and producers will take it. So I encourage anyone who does computational life science to download Camstudio and start screencasting. If you want to learn how, just visit the wiki or check out one of the screencasting tutorials.

No, we haven’t gone on vacation or found solace in the Himalayas. We are continuing to work hard on addressing some of the main feedback we got when the site first went live. There should be exciting updates for everyone soon. In the meantime, your screencasts are always welcome. We would love to get some screencasts on subjects ranging from ligand docking to the visualization of complex cellular networks

It’s been a week since Bioscreencast.com saw the light of day. We’ve seen some growing pains and we would like to thank you for your support, especially those who have tested out a few things for us.

Without a vibrant user community, it just becomes a site for us to upload our favorite videos. We are looking Please let us know what we can do to make your experience better

Talking about experiences, this weekend will also see some cool new features being rolled ou. We hope that they will make your experience at Bioscreencast a lot better. In the meantime don’t forget to check out the Wiki for tips and tricks.

It has been a great start to Bioscreencast, and we would like to thank everyone for their feedback and support. I am sure some of you have noticed that Bioscreencast.com does not play nice with Internet Explorer. As many of you know, Internet Explorer has issues with web standards that create problems for sites like ours. We are aware that many of you are Internet Explorer users, either due to necessity or choice, and we are looking into addressing this limitation. However, as a small “in our spare time” operation with one developer, it might take us a while before we can add support for Internet Explorer. In the meantime, if you can, downloading Firefox for viewing Bioscreencast.com on Windows is highly recommended.