Upload videos to the RWTH streaming server (Opencast)
The block "Videostreaming (Opencast)" on the right side of a course room shows all videos that are on the RWTH streaming server and that can be used in this course room. Managers can use this block to upload videos to the streaming server that should be available in the current course room.
Videos from the RWTH streaming server are made available to the participants of an event in two steps:
- Upload the videos to the streaming server via the block "Videostreaming (Opencast)
- Embed the videos via a Page (recommended), a Label or other places such as forum posts or book chapters where the editor is available. There they are then visible and playable for the participants.
This documentation covers the video upload. Embedding videos from the RWTH streaming server in a course room is described in the documentation Embedding videos from the RWTH streaming server (Opencast).
The block "Videostreaming (Opencast)" on the right side of a course room shows all videos that are on the RWTH streaming server and that can be used in this course room. Managers can use this block to upload videos to the streaming server that should be available in the current course room. The videos can also be deleted here. Students do not see the block.
They can add various metadata to the video and also attach WebVTT files that contain subtitles or chapter marks.
To reuse the same video in another course room, it must be uploaded there again.
Students cannot download the streaming videos through a download button or by right-clicking into the video and choosing "Save link as". However, it is not possible to prevent technically experienced students from downloading the video anyway.
The block "Videostreaming (Opencast)" lists the videos that are available for a course room on the RWTH streaming server. It also shows their processing status.
New videos are uploaded to Opencast by clicking the "Add Video" button in the block.
The block and its contents are only visible to managers.
Since the block shows only a part of the available videos due to space restrictions, the link "Go to overview" leads to the complete list of videos. In addition to the list of videos that have already been processed or are being processed, a separate list shows the videos that are still in the queue where they are waiting for the Opencast system to start processing them. In the course of processing the videos are converted into several quality levels.
To upload a video to the RWTH streaming server, click "Add Video" in the “Videostreaming (Opencast)" block.
A new page opens where you can enter various metadata, upload the video file and attach a WebVTT file with subtitles or chapter skip marks.
2.1 Entering Metadata
- Enter the title of the video under "Metadata".
- When clicking on "Show more…" you can optionally enter additional data, which can be viewed as "Description" when the video is playing:
- Subjects - Keywords describing the video
- Description - Written description
- Language - Language used in the video
- Rights - This information remains hidden in the learning room.
- License - This information remains hidden in the learning room.
- Presenters / Contributors - Speakers or contributors of the video
- Start Date - The date is shown as the upload date in Opencast and in the video's description, but otherwise has no effect on the upload.
2.2 Choose a file
Drag and drop your video file by under "Choose a file" into one of the two upload fields for "Presenter" or "Presentation". The difference between the two fields is explained below.
The maximum size of the video file is currently 10 GB. The possible file formats are listed below the upload field.
If you have two separate, synchronized video streams for the presenter and the presentation slides during a lecture recording, you can also upload them simultaneously as presenter and presentation video. During playback, the users can then arrange the videos as they wish and, for example, view both videos in parallel or bring only one of them to the foreground.
If you upload two video streams, the audio track must be part of the presenter video. Otherwise, the playable video will be muted.
Use the Presenter Video if you have a video file with a recording of a presenter or a movie. Opencast automatically creates a preview image for the presenter video.
Use the Presentation video if you have a video file with a recording of a slide presentation or a screencast. It is important that the focus of the video is more on the presentation and less on the person giving the presentation, who may also be in the video.
Videos uploaded as "Presentation" have a slide navigation in the timeline automatically generated by Opencast from the video, which allows you to switch between frames in the video. In addition, the video has a description and a transcription area. This is currently not editable. Unlike with presenter videos, Opencast does not generate a preview image for presentation videos.
2.3 Add subtitles or chapter marks (WebVTT)
Optionally, you can attach one or more WebVTT files. This allows German and English subtitles or chapter skip marks to be added to the video. The advantage of chapter markers from the WebVTT file compared to the slide navigation automatically generated by Opencast is that the users do not just see unlabeled markers on the timeline, but can call and navigate to the chapter titles.
Upload your WebVTT file with the necessary information under "Attachment Upload" via the appropriate file section.
- Use "Captions(en)" to add a file with English subtitles,
- via "Captions(de)" a file with German subtitles,
- via "Chapters" a file with chapter marks.
When you have entered all the data and uploaded video file(s) and attachments, click "Save changes" to complete the process. The video will then be processed by Opencast.
After the upload Opencast starts processing after a few minutes. The video is converted into three quality levels for different end devices: 360p, 720p and 1080p. Currently Opencast needs about 60 minutes processing time for a video of 90 minutes length.
You can see the processing status of the video in the block "Videostreaming (Opencast)" or in the overview under "Videos available in this course".
Videos can have different statuses in this list
- The orange clock symbol indicates videos that are being processed.
- The scissors symbol indicates videos that have been fully coded but not yet published. If this symbol appears on one of your videos, please contact the RWTHmoodle support. In this case the publishing has to be initiated again separately.
- The warning symbol indicates videos that have been processed with an error. In this case please contact the RWTHmoodle support. If possible, tell us where the video came from and how and with which tool it was (re)edited.
- Finished processed and published videos are marked with a green tick. "Published" in this case means that the video can be embedded at a suitable place in the course room, where the students of this learning room can watch it. For embedding the videos we recommend embedding them in text pages
Videos are currently only available in the course room in which they were uploaded to the RWTH streaming server. In order to use the same videos in another course room, they have to be uploaded there again or imported via the Course import function.
The course import function only copies the videos from one course room to another. The embedding of videos in text pages or similar must be renewed separately after import.
To edit the metadata for a video or to delete the video, click "To Overview" in the "Streaming Video (Opencast)" block. You will then see a tabular overview of all videos available in this learning room and their status.
5.1 Edit Metadata
- To edit the metadata for the video, click on the gear wheel behind the desired video.
- Edit the data. The start date cannot be changed or added afterwards. However, it has no relevance for the visibility of the video.
- Save the adjustments with "Save changes".
5.2 Subtitles or chapter marks can be added afterwards (WebVTT)
- To subsequently add subtitles or skip marks to a video, click on the plus symbol behind the desired video.
- Upload your Create WebVTT files for captions and chapters with the necessary information about the appropriate file space. Uploading attachments allows you to overwrite existing attachments. If a file has already been uploaded for a specific field, a new file in the same field will overwrite the previous file.
- Save the adjustments by clicking on "Save changes".
5.3 Delete Video
- If you want to delete videos from the Opencast server again, click on the trashcan icon behind the desired video. The following note will appear: "You are about to delete this video permanently and irreversibly from opencast. All embedded links to it will become invalid. Please do not continue unless you are absolutely sure."
- Confirm with "Delete video permanently".
Videos for which uploading failed (indicated by the warning symbol) can also be deleted by the managers using the trashcan symbol.
Videos that are still being converted (indicated by the orange clock icon) cannot be deleted by managers. Please wait here until the video has finished converting.
For more information:
- General info on the RWTH streaming server
- Embedding videos from the RWTH streaming server
- Tutorial: How to create a WebVTT file
- Tutorial on how to write a WebVTT file
- Create WebVTT files for captions or chapters