Learn@UW/D2L - Important Considerations When Using Audio and Video

This document summarizes options and known issues when using audio and video in Learn@UW.

When preparing to use audio or video with Learn@UW, a number of options are important to consider.


  • The easiest method for using media files in Learn@UW is to link files as content topics. Files will stream or download and then play in an appropriate external player (such as Windows Media Player, Real Media Player, QuickTime Player, or iTunes), which users must have on their computer.
  • Alternatively, files can be uploaded to the file manager, then quicklinked to a course file. MP3 and WAV files may play back with the QuickTime Player, embedded in a new page.


  • Embedding a media file in a Learn@UW document creates a player within Learn@UW so that the file can be played without being downloaded to the user's computer. However, WAV and Real Audio files will not play successfully from many browsers if they are inserted using the "embed object" button in the HTML editor in Learn@UW. The "embed object" button also does not include an option for .mp3 files.
  • If you must embed your media files so that users will not need an external player, you must place special code to ensure the files will play back properly for all users.


  • Large media files, those greater than 15MB, can and should be stored on a streaming server; a link in Learn@UW would then point to the file on the streaming server. Please visit the DoIT Streaming Media site for more information about the streaming media service. For more information about the basics of streaming media please review the documentation at Wisconsin Streaming Media site.
  • Note that, because Learn@UW operates on a secure server, you must insert special HTML code to ensure the files will play back properly for all users.
  • WAV is an uncompressed file type. If you have WAV files, you may wish to convert them to a compressed file type using software such as QuickTime Pro.


  • Podcasts are audio broadcasts available by subscription and downloaded for playback on a portable digital player. Podcasts published publicly on sites such as iTunes or Podcast Alley can be Quicklinked to Learn@UW files. Podcasts are typically .mp3 files for audio only or .mp4 with video.
  • Some streaming servers require that .mp3 and .mp4 files be converted to the QuickTime format. For instructions, see Learn@UW - Creating a Streaming Media File from an MP3 File.
  • If you wish to make podcasts available only to those with access to your Learn@UW course, you will need to work with your campus Learn@UW support staff for campus-specific instructions.

Keywords:learn@uw learnuw d2l desire2learn audio streaming embedded quicktime real windows media progressive download wav mp3 podcast video content important consider consideration   Doc ID:5090
Owner:Bob A.Group:Learn@UW Utility
Created:2006-11-05 19:00 CDTUpdated:2020-01-30 14:03 CDT
Sites:Learn@UW Utility
Feedback:  1   1