Video Files as Content

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Video Files as Content

Postby Krixquet » Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:02 am



Hello all. I am a Saba Administrator working in a hosted environment on 5.3. I am rather new to Saba and am trying to identify some best practices and how to's with video.

Currently, our organization used Centra or Camtasia recordings to train. We are now implementing the use of e-Learning and converting many videos to WBT or inserting them as content to an offering.

I have a few questions:
1. What is the best way to attach video as content to a course or offering?
Since most video files are large, should the video be added as a zip file or just a file.

>> when I attempted to add it as a zip file (content format), I received an error. So, I am not sure if I am not zipping it correctly or if this is not the way to add video as content.

>> when I attempted to add it as a file (content format), it worked;however the download time was awful (2.8 MB file for a 3-5 minute video)

2. If someone has successfully added video as content, what are some tips or tricks to reduce the size of the video without loosing too much quality (lossy)? Is there a software program that can squeeze or reduce file sizes?

Any feedback or recommendations on the matter would be great.

Thanks so much.
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Postby Clif » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:08 pm

According to the Content Administrator Guide regarding content format of Zip, "On import, Saba Content unpacks the ZIP file, deploys the contents to the specified content server, and sets up an access URL pointing to the specified start file." I'm not sure if this explains the error you get or not.

You said the download time was awful. What format is the file? What is your connection speed?

We have a variety of video and audio content; some packaged as AICC WBTs, some plain Webex recordings. For the WBTs we use the format "AICC" and for the non- AICC/SCORM we use "URL", after uploading the content via FTP to our content server. This method should also work for providing a zip learners could download. If you do not have the access to FTP files to the content server, you should be able to load the zip file using the format of "File", or is that what you did?
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Postby hvuori » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:15 am

All video content is normally already compressed, so compressing with Winzip or similar won't help. A video compression codec is needed. If you're working in Windows enviroment, take a look at Microsoft's free tool Windows Media Encoder. Were using it to reduce the file sizes.

Also you should look at putting the video content on a streaming media server. This enables the video playback to start already before the full video file has loaded. You can have the streaming media server serve the video and then launch the video from inside your content package.
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Loading Video Files

Postby Krixquet » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:18 am

I am on a network in a work environment, so I am not sure of my connection speed.

The format was WMV (.wmv).

We are hosted, so I do not have the ability to ftp files to the content server. It is uploaded using the Saba UI web.

The first time I tried uploading the video to the content server, I tried content format as zip and content type video. When I clicked preview, it sent me to a web page that said unable to access.

The second time I tried loading the wmv unzipped and selected file for content format, and video as content type. It worked, but it took a long time to download to preview.

I hope that answers your questions. I have not tried URL as a type. But I will. I did not realize, until I read your post, that "on import, Saba Content unpacks the ZIP file, deploys contents to the specified content server, and sets up an access URL...." I mean I read that, and knew that; however, my lightbulb didn't turn on until now :-)
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Postby Clif » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:35 pm

As Harri said, you probably won't gain any noticeable performance improvement with the zip file as format type of file and I doubt you will be able to use format type of URL. The only thing left that I can see is compressing the wmf file. Your playback will not be as nice, but there always has to be a trade off.
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Postby Krixquet » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:40 pm

Thanks for all the replies. I just wanted to make sure I was using the most effiecient way of recording video and importing it to Saba Content the correct and most effective way.

Many thanks.
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