Learn@UW/D2L – Recommendations for Using Audio

This document recommends two solutions for streaming audio via the Learn@UW environment. If copyright of the audio being delivered is of concern, we recommend linking to wma or mp3 files stored on a streaming server. If copyright is not a concern, we recommend the files be made available for download via html.

This document is intended for instructors or staff members who wish to make audio available via Learn@UW. The recommendations are based on best compatibility with Learn@UW, broadest compatibility with browsers and operating systems, overall audio quality, and listener experience.

If you would prefer to consider all available options we recommend you read Learn@UW - Important Considerations When Using Audio and Video to become familiar with the concepts and then read our comprehensive audio and video solutions document Learn@UW - Using Audio and Video.

Audio Recommendations:

The primary considerations in audio delivery via Learn@UW are copyright protection of the audio, length of the audio file, and ease of implementation. Use the Audio Streaming Solution if you need to protect the copyright of the audio or if the file is over an hour long. Use the Audio Download Solution if you do not need to protect the copyright of the audio and your files are relatively short (less than an hour long).

Audio Streaming Solution:

Streaming format prevents or inhibits the ability of viewers to “copy” audio content, protecting intellectual property rights. In combination with a stand-alone player, it allows for navigation of the audio on a media player chosen by the end user, with control buttons similar to those on a CD player or tape recorder. Streaming media can also reside on an optimized server, external to Learn@UW, which smooths and enhances video speed and quality. Free and low-cost streaming hosting is available at www.doit.wisc.edu/streaming.

Files in the .wma,.mov, or .mp3 formats can be hosted on a Window Streaming media server. Windows format is the least complicated solution for over 90% of current users and for those new to streaming audio content creation.

To get a file to automatically open the Windows Media Player on either PC or Macintosh or to open the Flip for Mac QuickTime plugin on the Macintosh, enter the direct protocol "mms://" URL to your media file on the streaming server as a Content topic link. (*Note: more information about .asx files) Do not use http or rtsp when linking to Windows Media files this way, since only mms:// will be universally recognized as the protocol that will launch the Windows Media Player on Macintosh and Windows computers. You can also insert these mms:// URLs as links in HTML code as in the example code described below:.

<a href="mms://winstreamer.doit.wisc.edu/streamcompare/WindowsMedia.wma">Link</a>

Audio Download Solution:

Do not use this method if there is any question about the need to protect the copyright of your audio files.

  1. Go to the Manage Files directory in your Learn@UW course. Click the Upload button, browse to your .wma, .mp3, or .mov audio file, and click the Upload button in the dialog box.
  2. Go to Manage Content and create a topic by linking directly to the audio file. When the user clicks the link, the file will download or playback the file in a stand-alone player, depending on how the user's computer is configured.
  3. The file can also be embedded in an HTML document, for playback in an embedded player, although this is not our top recommendation. For further instructions, see Learn@UW - Embedding Media Objects into Content.