PIP: Help

1. What is PIP?

PIP is a set of web pages with sound files attached to it. It provides you with printed and corresponding spoken versions of texts of relevance to your module. PIP also provides you with a means to record your own voices. You will use PIP to practice your German Intonation and Pronunciation.

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2. Where can I use PIP?

You can use PIP on any computer with access to the Internet as long as the computer you are using has got speakers (or headphones) and a microphone. Please bear in mind, though, that some of the sound files used for PIP exercises are rather large. This means that if you are using your own computer and a dial-up connection, you will find that sound files can be rather slow to download. (Please see also “3.2 Using PIP from your own computer”)

It is recommended that you are using PIP on a classroom computer. You may find it preferable to access PIP in the Multimedia Centre, though, as in there you will have ready access to headsets.

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3. How can I use PIP?

3.1. Using PIP in PC classrooms

Once you are logged on, double click on the speaker icon, which is in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.

speaker icon displayed within red circle

This will bring up the Volume Control dialogue box. Make sure that none of the options is set to “Mute” and that the Volume setting for each option is set to maximum. Your Volume Control dialogue box should look as shown in the image below. You can close this dialogue box now.

Volume Control box

In some PC classrooms (e.g. in Butts Wynd) you can access PIP from the Start menu. (Please note that this feature is not currently available in the Multimedia Centre. Please see "Accessing PIP in the Multimedia Centre".) Click:
Start -> Modern Languages -> German -> PIP.

Finding PIP from the Windows Start menu

This will bring up the web pages for PIP within the Internet Explorer and will also launch the Windows Sound Recorder. Please note that it is possible for the Windows Sound Recorder to launch behind the Internet Explorer window. If this happens, please minimise the Internet Explorer window and drag the Sound Recorder window to a part of your screen that is not taken by the Internet Explorer when the window is expanded again. Your desktop should look similar to the image below:

the PIP desktop

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Accessing PIP in the Multimedia Centre

Please open the Internet Explorer and point it to: http://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/pip

The open the Windows Sound Recorder, please click:
Start -> Programs -> Entertainment -> Sound Recorder


3.2. Using PIP from your own computer

The normal version of PIP requires the Flash Player version 6 or higher to be installed on your computer. If the Flash Player is not installed, you can download it for free from the Macromedia web site: http://www.macromedia.com/downloads/

Open a browser and type the following URL into your browser: http://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/pip

It is important that you do not pass on the URL for PIP to anyone not taking your module. All the texts are copyrighted and reproduced online by permission of the publisher. This permission only extends to their use within your module.

Note that opening PIP from within a web browser will not launch the Windows Recorder, but you will need to open it separately. If you are using Windows XP, you can do this from the Start menu as described below:

Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Entertainment -> Sound Recorder

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3.3. If recording does not work …

The ability to record using the Windows Sound Recorder depends on some Volume Control settings and on the specific computer you are using. Even in different PC classrooms these settings are not identical.

Some initial problems were encountered in the Multimedia Centre. The paragraphs below describe how to resolve the problem in the Multimedia Centre. If you are unable to record your own voice in the Multimedia Centre, please check the following:

In the Sound Recorder select Audio Properties from the Edit menu.

Windows Sound Recorder: Audio Properties menu

This will bring up the Audio Properties window. Select Realtek HDA Primary input from the dropdown menu in the section Sound Recording. Click OK.

Windows Sound Recorder: Audio Properties dialogue box


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4. How does PIP work?

Your desktop should now display the introductory page for PIP and the Sound Recorder, i.e. it should look similar to the last picture in section 3.

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4.1. Two versions of PIP

At the bottom of the introductory page for PIP there is a hyperlink “Text only version”. The text only version will give you access to the same content – unformatted and without relying on JavaScript or the Flash Player.

Please use this version if you are using assistive software (e.g. a screenreader) or if your browser has problems with the JavaScript.

Everything else works similar to the description below.

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4.2. Using PIP

Open the exercise you were asked to complete by following the relevant hyperlink in the PIP index. In addition to the exercise you have chosen you will now hear its title. Each exercise gives you the option to listen to the whole chapter, to individual sentences and to some of the words individually. If you want to listen to the entire chapter, click the hyperlink “Listen to whole chapter” at the bottom of the PIP exercise. You can listen to individual sentences by clicking on the number that appears after each sentence. Words you can listen to are marked up in blue and bold indicating a hyperlink to the relevant sound file.

To record your own voice, click the Record button of the Sound Recorder, i.e. the button displaying the red circle. This will give you a maximum of one minute to record your own voice. To stop the recording, click the stop button, i.e. the button displaying the black square. To listen to what you have recorded, click the play button. This is the button displaying the black triangle.

Windows Sound Recorder

Before you start your next recording, please delete the content of your Sound Recorder file. You can do this by Selecting “Delete Before Current Position” from the Edit menu.

Windows Sound Recorder: Delete Before Current Position

This will bring up a Windows message telling you that this step will delete all data before the current position. Click “OK”.

Sound Recorder dialogue box: All data before the position xxx seconds will be deleted. Do you want to continue?

Important if you are using PIP in a PC classroom: When you are recording your voice, this will create a sound file. Sound files are large. Please do not save this file as this would fill up space in your home directory (not on the computer you are sitting in front of), which if you exceed your limit, will mean that you encounter problems, e.g. checking your email or logging on to another classroom computer in future.

For a note on how files are stored in PC classrooms, please see:

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