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University Web Developers

Delivering videos of lectures online - any suggestions?

Hi there, I have been charged with investigating the above - namely finding the best way of showing our lectures in video format online.

We do of course have a youtube channel (which we could use to show snippets) - but I am specifically talking about showing lectures in full (ie potentially up to an hour long).

How do you guys do it? I don't have access to a media streaming server on site (at present) - after some googling came across a company called - anyone used them? Their offering seems very good but of course no prices are quoted on the site :)

Do any of you use things like Vimeo?

Any help/suggestions appreciated :)

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You might want to look into iTunes University. It is free to all colleges and universities and it allows you to have both/either a private site and public site on iTunes where you can post pretty much anything you need.
aha :) thank you will do

cheers Stu
on reflection I'm not sure itunes is right for us yet - we have only just started documenting lectures in this format and I would be concerned about putting off potential subscribers by them being 'underwhelmed' by the amount of content we could offer at this time. Does this sound like a legitimate concern or am I being overly cautious?
Viddler is also nice. (similar to Vimeo).

We are in the process of finishing up our iTunes U implementation (you could look into that).

If you are using Blackboard as your online Learning Management System, then Vanderbilt University has built a "building block" that installs into Blackboard and grants simple access to iTunes U for instructors and students.

iTunes U is free from Apple, but you have to request an application, and sign a contract to get the free service. You can, of course, use iTunes U without Blackboard and like to lectures from any web page. (have to setup a cgi transfer script on a public web server at your institution's site, which is not difficult to do).
This is currently only being used by the bigwigs, but may be worth looking into in the long term (if you're comfortable with your lectures being seen by a wide audience):
You can now put longer videos on YouTube. I'm not sure if that is true for everyone or if certain accounts get a special exception, but Case Western Reserve has many long lectures on the Case YouTube channel. I've since left the university, but while I was there I found it very helpful as it made it easier for everyone to repurpose the video's on the Web. For example, I built the Year of Darwin site and published the lectures on the Year of Darwin Video page.

Rather than just cutting and pasting the embed code provided by YouTube I encouraged campus Web maintainers to use SWFObject2.0 to maintain standard compliant code (which is still easy).

I've also used Vimeo and have found that the video quality seems much crisper, but I think posting on YouTube is important from a marketing standpoint. YouTube has the biggest user base, so by maintaining a presence there you present a greater opportunity for visitors to find your videos via searches than if they were only hosted on your own site. For that matter you could create channels on both Vimeo and YouTube. You could embed the versions from Vimeo on your own pages while taking advantage of the exposure the videos will get on both services.

Additionally you could save the files as .mv4s and podcast them via topical blogs so viewers could subscribe to them in iTunes. (Slightly different approach than iTunes U., but I think the subscribe option is rather convenient.)

You could also create your own Ning Network to host videos but the size restrictions may be too small for your purposes. Good luck!
thank you all for your (very helpful!) responses - much food for thought there :)

cheers Stu



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