August 22, 2017
Video in Captivate – Embed Vs Stream
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August 22, 2017
Video in Captivate – Embed Vs Stream
I am an Instruction Designer specializing in multimedia creation and delivery. I live and work in stunning Vancouver BC.   
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BoardwalkcityLittle_2

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.

Progressive Downloads

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.

Pros

• 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.

Cons

• 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.

Streaming Downloads

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.

Pros

  • Instant playback
  • Scalable within your Captivate page

Cons

  • 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!

 

 

6 Comments
2020-08-03 19:35:38
2020-08-03 19:35:38

Thank you for sharing this information.  Appreciate it.

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2019-04-15 17:49:34
2019-04-15 17:49:34

Thanks for sharing the pros and cons of the 2 ways of accessing the video files. I am just starting to work with videos in captivate and this information will be really helpful.

 

 

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2017-10-13 14:33:54
2017-10-13 14:33:54

Muy interesante el articulo, se puede agregar que dependería del tamaño final del archivo ya que videos pequeños pueden ser incrustados en el curso localmente sin ver afectado el rendimiento y archivos de video de gran tamaño se deberian implementar en streaming para una mejor experiencia de usuario y evitar tamaños de publicacion excesivos. Saludos.

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adobetempo
's comment
2017-10-14 20:26:10
2017-10-14 20:26:10
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adobetempo
's comment

Agreed !

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2017-08-30 14:30:30
2017-08-30 14:30:30

Stephen,

Great article. I’ve used both methods in my courses, usually to incorporate something I created in Camtasia Studio. One tip I’d like to add (based on my own experience) is to avoid placing video on the first couple of slides. It seems it takes a moment for video to load the closer it is to the front of the course. I always have a few slides up front with things like a Welcome message, course objectives, etc. Again, that’s based on my own personal experience.

CHUCK

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chuck_jones_1
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2017-08-30 17:54:40
2017-08-30 17:54:40
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chuck_jones_1
's comment

Hey Chuck,

Thanks and good advice, particularly if you are placing the video into the module, as opposed to streaming it.

Captivate often begins to play while only a portion of the project is loaded. It does this assuming that the learner will keep blissfully busy reviewing the first couple of slides, while it loads the rest of the project in the background. So if you have video file upfront, it probably isn’t completely linked or loaded until the full project is.

Thanks for sharing that tip!

Cheers,
Steve

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