Question on best video formats to use

We just received this question from a blog reader. The reader's asking about video formats and best practices for managing video-rich courses. I thought it would be good to get multiple perspectives on this one.

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I need to include about a hundred short videos (2-5 minutes each) into my courses.  As new users of Articulate, I'd like  a development  strategy for them that provides the best quality video and accommodates a large scale production process involving these videos.


I’m recommending they use an MP4 format for their videos.  Not knowing where future versions of Articulate Presenter are going, do you think this is the best strategy for them?  I’d hate for them redo all their videos in the future if the software changes. 

Ideally I’d like to recommend that they call the video files from a server via RTMP or some other streaming protocol rather than embedding each video into the PowerPoint slides, thus creating huge project files.  However, this is not possible in the current version of Articulate Presenter.


Any recommendations or suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated so I can help out these new users.

5 Replies
Todd McQuage

Your question is timely; as some of us are scrambling with the announcement that Adobe has ended development of Flash on mobile devices (HTML5). 

We stream all our videos from a media server; we call the playback from an html page that already loads the video (we use multiple formats).  In Articulate, you can just target the html page as a web object, works fine for us, and lets us update video on the backend without having to mess with republishing.

Like you, I wonder what the HTML5 feature set will bring forward, and would like to see what other organizations are doing … or planning to do. 

David Anderson

Bartlomiej and Todd - Thank you for your replies! Looks you're both using web objects to manage the external videos; that makes a lot of sense.

The private YouTube account is another great idea. YouTube has the bandwidth so that's one less thing for IT to worry about.

I'm curious how you manage the videos and html pages. Do you keep everything in a single folder or do you just add the html file as you build your course?

Todd McQuage

David,

We recognize two options for video with Articulate, from the Articulate Ribbon to insert a “Flash Movie” or insert a “Web Object.”

With our FLV and MP4, we use the option for “Flash Movie.”  Articulate does a nice job of packaging everything when published.  However, we don’t use it often because our video delivery is from an internal media server.

Most of our videos stream from a Media Server; we host them for a variety of uses (to repurpose).  Here’s the Web Object approach: I create an HTML page that loads the Windows Media Player, it sits on a web server, when the Windows Media Player loads, it calls a WMV file that sits on our Media Server. 

Both work great, but we are always pushing the envelope and looking for ways to improve; for video that is classified for external use, we might try the YouTube approach eventually too.

Todd