Video in Captivate – Embed Vs Stream
Video and multimedia in general, is increasingly becoming a staple in on-line learning. YouTube has led everyone to believe accessing video is easy. Just a couple of clicks and it all works seamlessly. It can be, but quite often, it isn’t.
Progressive Download vs Streaming Download
Video files are often large. The longer the video, the larger they are. You have heard the term “30 frames a second or FPS” to denote film shooting speed. What that means is 30 full size pictures, a second, are created. Think about that!
If your video is 60 seconds long, then it has 1800 pictures, and that doesn’t even include the larger audio files that comes with them. To accommodate these bigger files Captivate offers two workflows.
A progressive download means you are importing the file directly into your project. When the video is clicked it loads and plays it from the already cached project file. Like all multimedia choices, there are pros and cons to this approach.
• You have much more control over how the video looks, and plays
• There are multiple player options for skins (playback buttons etc.)
• The quality of the video is often higher because of better compression at publishing.
• Once loaded, it plays smoothly and completely, every time.
• The video won’t play until the whole video file is loaded.
• It increases the overall size of your project, sometimes drastically, this will impact your overall loading times for the project when housed on a web server or LMS.
Almost every video you see on the web is streaming from a dedicated media server. The more notable ones are YouTube and Vimeo. What makes this such a popular choice is the end-user experience.
Streamed video starts the minute you click it, because it streams the video as its needed to play, as opposed to pre-loading the whole thing. This instant playback makes viewing videos on the web far more enjoyable. Captivate exploits this feature by “embedding” the video’s playback code into a Web Object. This allows your video to play in your project, but housed from an external video server. There are pros and cons to this approach as well.
- Instant playback
- Scalable within your Captivate page
- Streaming means its travelling over the Internet, if your WiFi connection is weak, or your bandwidth is low, then your video stops, as it buffers the next sections. Super annoying.
- You can’t control how the video controls appears, or what happens to it when it ends, from within Captivate. If you have a paid account you may be able to make some limited changes, but the choices are limited.
- Sites like YouTube, employ very aggressive algorithmic compression techniques to make the overall file size smaller. This can make your video look and sound far worse, than what you originally uploaded.
If you are not already using video in your training you will be shortly. So choose carefully!