Mediasite Administrators Update, October 2014

As part of an ongoing effort to keep Mediasite administrators on campus informed, we created this DELTAwire article specifically for you!  For help with any Mediasite questions, please contact us at mediasite-help@ncsu.edu.

This article includes information on the following topics:

Carolina Chapter Mediasite Meeting

As part of a grass roots initiative, the Mediasite Community is starting to form regional chapters where there is interest and customer concentration. You may have seen in the online community that the Twin Cities, Minnesota region formed a chapter earlier this month and held its first meetup. Their face-to-face meeting was a success, and their online group is just getting off the ground.

Enough interest has been expressed that a Carolinas chapter is starting! The first Mediasite Community Carolinas Chapter meeting will be on Wednesday, November 12 hosted at East Carolina University from 10am – 2pm. Lunch will be provided.

Detailed information will be distributed via the many Mediasite channels later this month including an online community on the Mediasite User Group Community website.  Join Mediasite users from North and South Carolina to share ideas and collaborate in this group. Or, better yet, we look forward to seeing you at one of meetups to get to know one another in-person.

Mediasite Server and Recorder Maintenance

Mediasite Server Upgrade
The monthly Windows Updates for the Mediasite servers will be installed on Thursday, October 9th during the maintenance window from 9am – 10am. We will also be updating Mediasite from version 7.0.13 to version 7.0.15. This will result in about 15 minutes downtime at some point during the maintenance window.
Mediasite Recorder Upgrade
There has been a new recorder version 7.0.15 released which resolves several known issues and we recommend you upgrade your recorders to the latest version of 7.0.15. This can be done with the Recorder software installer or centralized Recorder Software updates from the Management Portal to update the Recorder software if the Recorder was reimaged with version 6.1.13 or later of the ISO Restore image.

If you have any questions regarding the maintenance listed above or experience any Mediasite issues, please contact mediasite-help@ncsu.edu for further assistance.

For all regular scheduled server maintenance windows, please see the Updates & Maintenance schedule.

NC State Mediasite User Group Meeting

If you were unable to attend our NC State’s Mediasite User Group meeting on September 25, you can view the on-demand recording.

Captioning and Transcripts
During the meeting, Greg Kraus shared information with the group on captioning and transcripts. The following are links referred to during his presentation.
Captioning Grant
Captioning Convenience Contract
Transcript Synchronization Service

New Features
Matt McCurdy, Sonic Foundry’s Vice President of Education discussed new features available in Mediasite/My Mediasite version 7 which included:

  • screencast plus video capture with the Mediasite Desktop Recorder
  • additional flexibility for My Mediasite users to enable closed captioning and create their own “Publish-to-Go” download files and audio podcasts
  • VodCast, a single file download that can be published directly from My Mediasite to a YouTube channel or iTunes U
  • new catalog channels

Best Practices
Emily Ligon, DELTA’s Lead Instructional Designer shared best practices when recording with Mediasite or My Mediasite.  Be sure to join the My Mediasite Users Community, a Moodle Project Space that features training resources, guidelines for best practices and discussion forums.

Mediasite Enterprise Recorder Pricing

Sonic Foundry recently announced their release of two new recorder series, RL 100 and RL Multiview. We have updated the NC State enterprise pricing list with these two new recorders, including Premium Mediasite Customer Assurance (PMCA) and Mediasite Customer Support (MCA) costs.  You can find the updated list on the Mediasite Administrative Moodle site.

Playback Results Requested

This semester some students have reported an issue with “choppy playback” or continual buffering when playing back Mediasite presentations.  All of our testing and investigating points to the cause being bandwidth restriction. While we continue to investigate if there are other potential causes, below are a few suggestions we might recommend to mitigate the problem:

  1. Download presentations if allowed by the college and instructor. Downloads are found on the catalog page which your instructor should share with you.  If you do not see downloads on the catalog page, contact your instructor.  Due to the fact some files can be large and the download time depends on your personal internet speed, set up downloads to occur overnight and then they will be ready for viewing the following day.

  2. Don’t stream at speeds faster than normal (1x).  Playing a presentation at 2x or faster uses twice the bandwidth and will make the problem worse, or create the problem when it did not previously exist.

  3. Bandwidth between your ISP and your home is impacted by how much other people are using the network. That means if the problem is occurring, it will get worse during times of heaviest Internet use, such as weekday evenings. Home internet use starts building in the late afternoon and peaks from 9:00 – 11:00 PM, before dropping off.

  4. On that point, students & faculty should be aware that all home bandwidth rates are for “up to” a Mbps level. Paying for a 15 Mbps Internet connection does not guarantee that bandwidth. When heavy Internet use taxes the network, home bandwidth drops accordingly.

  5. Be aware of bandwidth use within your home. Any other use of the home network takes bandwidth away from the presentation. This includes your computer. Do not have other online services open when trying to view the presentation.

  6. Optimize your computer by re-booting, closing other programs and devoting as much of the computers resources to the presentation as possible.

  7. Try different browsers. Even though there are a few main browsers like Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari, etc., and Mediasite works with all of them, it is impossible to predict exactly how a particular version of a browser may perform with your computer and any unique elements it may have. One browser may work better than another on your computer.

  8. Optimize your browsers: Clear the cache of your browser. Turn off browser extensions and plug-ins. Do an online search to find out how to do this for the version of your browser on your specific operating system.

  9. Note that not all browsers indicate buffering. If it looks like nothing is happening, the browser may be buffering the file.

  10. If you experience a problem you would like for us to investigate, please run a speed test using this URL to check your connection speed between your computer and the Mediasite server: https://apps.delta.ncsu.edu/speedtest/. Then report the results along with the url of the presentation, time and date to mediasite-help@ncsu.edu.

Desktop Recording and Media Management with My Mediasite

Interested in learning about My Mediasite?
To learn more about desktop recording with My Mediasite, be sure to attend DELTA’s upcoming workshop, “My Mediasite Basics: Desktop Recording and Media Management.” The workshop will cover basic features and tools for recording, uploading and managing presentations, and will offer tips and best practices for using My Mediasite to produce effective instructional content for both blended and online courses.

  • November 12: 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., in D.H. Hill Library, Multimedia Seminar Center

Register now to attend the workshop!

Interested in participating in My Mediasite?
Sign up now! Also be sure to join the My Mediasite Users Community, a Moodle Project Space that features training resources, guidelines for best practices, discussion forums and step-by-step installation instructions. Visit the DELTA Knowledge Base for further helpful information.

More Information

To learn more about Mediasite at NC State, or to see other topics covered in our next update, please contact Laura Stephenson at laura_stephenson@ncsu.edu. Your suggestions are always welcome.

Please send Mediasite help requests to mediasite-help@ncsu.edu.

Subscribe to Mediasite updates by sending the message “subscribe mediasite” to mj2@lists.ncsu.edu.