Tag Archives: middmedia

Weekly Web Development Round-up October 10-21, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.
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Enhancements to MiddMedia Video Hosting Application

For those who may not know MiddMedia is an audio/video storage and streaming service hosted by the college for Middlebury College users. To share a video with others you must embed it in a website visible to your intended audience. Documentation is available here.

The Web Application Development Team has been hard at work making enhancements to the MiddMedia application in order to better support mobile platforms, the current HTML5 standards, and our users. Below are some of the enhancements that have been made in the past month.

  • As part of the recent HTML5 standard, modern browsers support the native playback of video files using an HTML5 video tag. All videos uploaded to MiddMedia are now encoded in both H.264 and WebM formats so that they can be played natively in browsers that support H.264 (IE 9, Safari, iOS) and WebM (Firefox 4, Chrome, Opera, Android), and allow better support for mobile browsers.
  • When uploading a video, you can now select the quality that will be used when the video is transcoded (original, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p). Previously a single standard of around 480p was used unless the videos were encoded in Mp4 or Flv to start with. Now you may choose additional high-def qualities (NOTE: Does not upscale video), or original to preserve quality as closely as possible during encoding to multiple formats.
  • Embed code references the Mp4 and WebM versions of the videos for HTML5 compliant browsers. All others will fall back to a Flash player (the recently updated Strobe Player). Videos embedded in the Drupal site with the video short code also display in this manner. Instructions on embeding videos from MiddMedia in Drupal are available here.
  • Added basic support for M4a files. Users can now upload M4a audio files to MiddMedia. Quicktime may be required to preview them in the MiddMedia application. The WordPress MiddMedia plug-in allows you to embed m4a files in WordPress blogs/pages. You can add these to your posts as you normally would for other audio/video files. When the post is displayed, you will see the m4a with images in a video player if you are using Safari, or a link to the m4a file that users with other browsers can download and play in an application like iTunes or QuickTime. NOTE: To ensure your audio files will be accessible to the broadest range of listeners and devices, we recommend using the .mp3 format unless you have a special use case that requires m4a.
  • A new show/hide feature will allow users to toggle show/hide behavior for folders in MiddMedia. For users who only have access to a single personal folder this feature will not be of much use, but for users with access to several shared directories this will help with navigation of multiple folders with many videos.

We hope you enjoy the new enhancements!

Weekly Web Development Round-up May 30-June 3, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.

Continue reading

State of the Site


What follows is a report on the state of notable web applications and sites in use at Middlebury including the College website, the Middlebury instance of WordPress (i.e. sites.middlebury.edu) and a variety of key web applications that provide services widely used by faculty, students and staff. Continue reading

Video tutorial quick start

Joy and I created some short video tutorials on finding music CDs in MIDCAT, and since we posted them here we’ve been asked by various people within LIS to share what tools we used to create them. We were looking for a quick way to create screen capture videos with audio (aka screencasts). Here’s what we used: Continue reading

Faculty Innovators Tell Us What They Need

Our first priority with the Segue from Segue project is to make sure there are technology solutions available to meet the needs of as many faculty, students and staff as possible. That said, we would like to also be able to support innovative uses of technology, particularly those innovations that may eventually be useful to the broader community.

To this end, the Curricular Technology team invited a number of faculty who are innovators to show us how they have been using technology and tell us what they need.  Faculty who participated included Jeff Byers (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Hector Vila (CTLR), Enrique Garcia (Spanish), Hope Tucker (Film and Media Culture) and Roberto Veguez (Spanish).  A number of academic liaisons also participated in this session.  To learn more about what these faculty have been doing, see:

Segue from Segue » Presentations by Faculty Innovators

MiddMedia now supports more video formats

I’ve just completed an update to our video hosting system, MiddMedia, to enable it to support the upload of additional video formats.

The Adobe Flash Media Server (FMS) — the software on MiddMedia that handles streaming the video data to clients — only supports the MP3 Audio (.mp3), Flash Video (.flv), and MPEG-4 video with H.264 encoding (.mp4) formats. Up until this point, users were required to convert their videos into one of the two supported video formats before uploading them to MiddMedia. Depending on the user’s operating system and the software they have installed, this could be a challenging proposition. With this update, videos in a variety of formats can be uploaded directly to the MiddMedia server where they will be automatically converted.
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Video on Drupal

I’ve added the Video Filter module to all of our Drupal pre-production instances to help those of you who are testing Drupal or doing preliminary content development on those servers. You can use this module to include video from one of the 15 sources that it accepts out of the box, like YouTube, Google Video, and Vimeo.

This uses the format [video:URL width:X height:Y align:left/right autoplay:1/0]. For example:

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8pPiS7aUGY width:300 height:350]

I also extended this by creating the MiddMedia Video Filter module which uses the same syntax as the Video Filter module, but allows you to add videos from our local streaming media server, which supports flv and mp4 video as well as mp3 audio. All the optional parameters work for the videos, but you can’t set them for the audio player. For example:

[video:http://middmedia.middlebury.edu/media/imcbride/walkingTour.flv width:400 height:300] [video:http://middmedia.middlebury.edu/media/imcbride/Google_Reader2008-12-04.mp4] [video:http://middmedia.middlebury.edu/media/imcbride/WS_30019.mp3]