Two representatives from Real Networks http://www.realnetworks.com/index.aspx who are partnered with the Real Player gave a demonstration of their media streaming service. Helix Media Library is like having your own university You Tube channel, without any of the IPR or security issues that you would have with You Tube. You can customise the user interface for your own branding. It’s all mobile accessible so users can view your content whilst on the move. You upload your file (video) to your PC and that gets transferred to a Watch folder. It then goes to the Helix server which sends you back a link with a URL or an embed code, so that you can add the video to a web page or WebCT.
It uses simple metadata. It will select a number of thumbnails from your video and you can select which one you want as the cover for the video. You can then also upload associated files such as PowerPoint, so that they sit alongside the multimedia content.
It takes about 20 minutes for a file to upload. You can hide urls, embed codes, etc so that your viewers do not pass them to others for viewing. In the new version you can restrict the videos so that they are only shown within a certain IP range. If your university has an iTunes U, account it will automatically update it. The good thing about this is that unlike iTunes U you don’t need to have a large catalog of items before you can get started.
It also includes an Iptv omni library, which means that you can use the ERA recording licence to record live television and save it within the system. You can set the service so that it will record a certain television series or a week’s television at a time so that if an academic suddenly wants something, you can keep that part of the recording and delete the unwanted material. Users can authenticate to the service using their current authentication system.
Academics can add chapter points for set points in the video to aid teaching and to direct the learner to relevant content.
It’s used in about 20 universities. Manchester has about 500 files on there.
This is how the UCLan Media Library appears: http://vls.uclan.ac.uk/Default.aspx
I’m sure that if we had a service such as this, that our ERA recording licence would become better value for money. It would also give us a secure place to be able to upload our multimedia materials to, and the fact that it would give us an embed link would make the material easier to multi-purpose.
Post by: Lisa Anderson