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Kaltura - Best Practices / FAQ (UW-Madison)
This document is intended to provide foundational information about UW-Madison Kaltura MediaSpace, including some guidelines and recommended best practices for usage.
Recommendations for creating and uploading media to Kaltura MediaSpace to help lighten the load on the system
These recommendations are more important while Kaltura MediaSpace is seeing unprecedented usage during the COVID-19 situation:
- Upload a short (<5 second) sample video first so you know what to expect from the recording and upload process.
- Break up your course content into 4-6 minute mini-lecture segments. Shorter videos keep your students attention and are faster to upload and process. See the Video Guidelines article for more info on recommended duration.
- Upload material in the order you need it and upload early to allow time for file upload, processing, and potential errors.
- Even when Kaltura MediaSpace is running smoothly other internet service providers are seeing degraded service which could limit your upload speed. Test your speed by going to fast.com, run the test and click the "Show more info" button to see your upload speed. 1 Mbps upload speed should be able to upload a 250 MB file in about 33 minutes.
- Don’t upload all your course content at once. Space it out over a few days if possible.
- If you are creating narrated slide lectures use Powerpoint for Office 365 slideshow (Win, Mac). If you use Kaltura Capture only record one input - webcam or screen. Recording both inputs doubles the file size, the time it takes to upload and process your file. Consider recording a short intro video with your webcam and the rest of your lecture segments with just the screen.
- Upload and processing times will lengthen when there are a lot of users uploading content (for example during the COVID-19 situation). It may take a half-hour to an hour to upload a 15 minute video. Keep an eye on the Learn@UW-Madison KnowledgeBase for notifications regarding performance impacts and outages. When Kaltura is being heavily used processing times will also lengthen:
- For 360p video, processing may be real-time (i.e. equal to the duration of the source video).
- For 720p video, processing may take be between 4x and 8x the video duration.
- For 1080p video, processing may take between 10x to 15x of the video duration.
How is Kaltura MediaSpace intended to be used?
Kaltura MediaSpace is a service to stream media files from UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students for UW-Madison-related purposes. Kaltura is not meant to be a permanent storage repository where media lives forever. We recommend you keep a backup copy of your media files outside Kaltura and delete media that is no longer needed or used. In the future it is possible media may be archived or deleted if a media item has not received any plays within two years.
What browser should I use to access Kaltura MediaSpace videos in Canvas?
Chrome and Firefox on Windows or macOS platforms work best for viewing embedded Kaltura MediaSpace videos in Canvas.
How fast an internet connection do I need to view Kaltura MediaSpace videos?
The speed required to view Kaltura MediaSpace videos varies based on the size of the video uploaded. At the high end, users will need up to 4.2 Mbps download speed to view the largest, highest quality videos uploaded to Kaltura MediaSpace. Many uploaded videos don't require that top-end speed. You can also manually select a lower quality version of a video by clicking Play, then Pause, and finally the gear icon to select a lower quality version. More information is available in the KnowledgeBase document Requirements to view Kaltura MediaSpace videos.
How large and what format should my media file be?
Kaltura MediaSpace doesn't have a file size limit. However, the larger the file, the longer it takes to upload and process. We recommend that you try to keep your file sizes under 2 GB as some browsers may have trouble uploading larger files. We generally recommend that you upload MP4 video to Kaltura MediaSpace. More detailed specifications can be found in Kaltura MediaSpace - Recommended video source formats and specifications (UW-Madison).
Is there a limit to how much I can upload to Kaltura MediaSpace?
Currently there is no quota or limit to how much media you can upload to Kaltura MediaSpace. However Kaltura MediaSpace is not meant to be a permanent storage repository. We do recommend you keep copies of your media files so you'll have your own copy should you leave UW-Madison. In the future it is also possible that we will need to implement a policy to delete media that has not received any plays within two years.
How long does it take to upload media to Kaltura MediaSpace?
How long does it take for media files to process in Kaltura MediaSpace?
After your file is uploaded, Kaltura MediaSpace will take additional time to initially display your video in your "My Media" area. When it does appear in My Media an icon indicating it is still processing will display until it is done processing. The amount of time it takes Kaltura MediaSpace to process a file is dependent on its complexity, file size, and duration.
Generally it takes about 2-3 times the video's duration for Kaltura MediaSpace to display an initial lower quality version of your video. For example a 15 minute video will usually take about 30-45 minutes to initially process. The other higher quality versions will take longer to process. When Kaltura MediaSpace is being heavily used, processing times will lengthen and could take up to 24 hours. If your video takes longer than 24 hours to process, please call the DoIT Help Desk. More detailed information is available in Kaltura's document involving transcoding times and quality of service.
Is Kaltura MediaSpace integrated with Canvas?
Yes, you can embed any videos you have in Kaltura in Canvas anytime you use the Rich Content Editor, such as in Discussions, or if your instructor gives you permission in Pages, Quizzes and Assignments. You can also access your personal Kaltura MediaSpace media by using the "Kaltura My Media" feature available from your Canvas account profile.
What's the difference between "Kaltura Media" and "Kaltura My Media"?
"Kaltura My Media" can be enabled by an instructor in Canvas course navigation or accessed by clicking your user profile and selecting it. Each instructor or student will see their own media here - not the course's media. For more information see Canvas - Upload, access, and share video in Canvas with Kaltura My Media . "Kaltura Media" (soon to be renamed "Kaltura Gallery" is a media gallery of shared media with the course participants. For more information see Kaltura - Using "Kaltura Gallery" course media galleries and analytics in Canvas .
Can I upload whatever I want to Kaltura MediaSpace?
While Kaltura MediaSpace content can be delivered to audiences outside UW-Madison, the service is not intended for viral videos that receive tens of thousands of hits. Please consider using an alternate video platform like YouTube or Vimeo if you want content to have a wide public audience. If a media item has “gone viral”, an alternative delivery platform may need to be considered.
What are your recommendations for webcam recordings and screen captures?
We recommend you keep your webcam and screen recordings short (5-10 minutes) for a few reasons:
- Shorter recordings reduce the cognitive load on the viewer;
- Lapses in the viewer's attention become more frequent with longer videos;
- Updating your material is much easier if it is more modular (updating a 5 minute video is a lot easier than a 60 minute video);
- Longer recordings tend to encounter more frequent technical issues
How long can I keep my media on Kaltura MediaSpace?
Kaltura MediaSpace is not a repository for the permanent storage or archival of digital media. Currently, it is the responsibility of each user to keep a copy of their media, monitor the active usage of their media, and remove media that is no longer being actively viewed or used.
For more information on how to monitor the active usage of your media please see Kaltura - MediaSpace media entry analytics (UW-Madison)
As of Spring 2020 there is no regular removal of media from Kaltura MediaSpace. However, we are exploring options for potentially removing media based on usage patterns or age. Users would be notified in advance of any removal policies. We recommend you keep backup copies of your media files outside Kaltura and delete media that is no longer needed or used. In the future it is possible old media may be archived or deleted after a period of two years of inactivity.
What happens to my media when I leave UW-Madison?
If you are leaving the university, please delete media that is no longer needed. If you would like to transfer ownership of your media to another user, please follow this tutorial: Kaltura - Media Collaboration: Changing media ownership, adding editors and publishers. Users can also submit a bulk ownership transfer request by following the instructions in Kaltura - Forms for requesting changes to Kaltura media (UW-Madison) .
Should I caption my video?
UW-Madison’s Web Accessibility Policy specifies that every non-text element posted on the web—including audio and video files—must have a text equivalent. Users can add captions by following Kaltura - How to add a captions file to media in MediaSpace (UW-Madison) . For more information on captions see Captioning transcripts, and audio descriptions - Getting Started (UW-Madison) .f
Can I give other people access to manage my media and channels?
Yes. For more information about sharing access to channels, please see Kaltura - Using channels in Kaltura MediaSpace. For more information about sharing access to your media, please see Kaltura - Media Collaboration: Changing media ownership, adding editors and publishers.
What do I do if I need help, have feature requests, or bugs to report?
Please contact the DoIT HelpDesk with any requests for assistance, feature requests, or bugs.