Our Mandate: Consolidate and improve the audio-video (A-V) experience in Brightspace Core
We know that our clients have come to expect high-quality A-V content as an essential part of the modern learning experience in Brightspace.
During the last few years, we saw a major increase in the number of users accessing and storing Video Notes. We also know that we could be doing more to help our clients have a better audio/video experiences, both within Video Note, and beyond.
That is why we are continuing to consolidate and improve audiovisual experiences within Brightspace Core.
The Brightspace A-V Suite has come a long way over the last 12 months and those advances are due to a lot of hours behind the scenes refining our tools and infrastructure. Those advances included removing some of the compartmentalized components and replacing them with pieces that work together. The Media Library is an example of what is now possible.
We still have room to improve and would appreciate your input.
Follow this page for updates as we continue to make improvements and please read the full release notes to understand where and how to access these new and exciting workflows as we make improvements.
The following sections detail the exciting new improvements we have implemented to make your A-V experience better.
Changes to Audio and Video Note Options
The November 2022 / 20.22.11 release established Media Library as the centralized hub for all Audio and Video content. As a result, outdated and redundant Audio and Video Note options in Media Library will be deprecated in a future release.
Redundant Audio and Video Note search options and some legacy permissions will be removed from the LMS in the coming months. Only the options that can be replaced by the existing Media Library search features and permissions will be deprecated.
Notice of these changes will be included in the 90-Day preview documentation. Additionally, a full list of changes will be included in a future edition of this blog.
November 20.22.11 Release
The November 20.22.11 release introduces several updates to our Audio-Video Suite of tools and features. Most notably, the Media Library is now included as part of Brightspace’s Core offering and is the central hub for all A-V content in D2L’s optimized streaming environment. Brightspace users now have Media Library options across Brightspace. This early iteration of Media Library provides users with numerous options for managing their A-V files.
The intention is to make A-V content easier to find and give users a one-stop-shop for finding, editing, and managing their files. Therefore, Media Library now has search and filter functions intended to make content searches quicker.
The Brightspace Media Player Transcript View enables users to make captions more prominent and allows users to download caption tracks.
To learn more about how to use Media Library, refer to the Media Library page in Community.
In response to numerous requests for a centralized space to find and update A-V content, Brightspace’s Media Library lets Creators easily manage their content with a variety of tools and options:
Figure: The new Media Library as part of Brightspace Core.
- The Add dropdown allows Creators to upload files or quickly create A-V files.
- The Filter and search assists with locating all content saved in Media Library.
Note: Filters are also available when using the Brightspace Editor Insert Stuff option to upload content from Media Library.
- Edit options enable Creators to edit the title and description.
- The Edit suite helps Creators make cuts on a timeline as well as generate, upload or manually edit captions. The Edit suite also includes an Optimize for Streaming option that will resolve most playback issues by ensuring the file is in the best format for Brightspace.
Note: Timeline editing is only available for video content. Audio editing is pending further development. We’re working on it!
- The Delete and Recycle bin options allows Creators to not only delete content but restore content up to 90-Days.
This is an early iteration of Media Library, and it will have some limitations, most notably:
- A piece of content can only have one owner.
- A piece of content that is updated changes everywhere the content appears in Brightspace. For example, changed captions or timeline edits.
- The new filter options are not available for Quicklinks.
Q&A: Media Library
What file types are supported by Media Library?
The following file types are supported in Brightspace:
Uploaded Video Files:
.mp4, .avi, .f4v, .flv, .m4v, .mov, .webm, .wmv, and the ability to optimize for streaming (2GB max and up to 720p output)
Uploaded Audio Files:
.mp3, .m4a, .ogg, .wav, .wma (1GB max)
- Brightspace supports these file types but prefers .mp4 and .mp3.
- If problems are discovered while playing a video after upload, try using the <Optimize for Streaming> option in the Media Library’s edit suite. This option optimizes the file for Brightspace and resolves most playback issues.
Does all audio and video content end up in into Media Library?
Most, but not all.
What content goes into Media Library?
The following A-V content paths lead to Media Library:
- Content added in Lessons
- Content added using the Content tool
- Record / Upload Audio or Video Notes in ISF
- Audio-Video Attachments using Record Audio or Record Video (excluding files uploaded directly to Assignments, those files go to LMS file system)
- Upload option in Media Library
- Creator + only: Capture App videos using Create Presentation.
The following A-V content is not included in Media Library:
- Portfolio Evidence of Learning files and links.
- Files uploaded directly to an Assignment using the attach file feature. These files will be saved in the LMS File System.
- Content uploaded by clients who have asked to have Media Library turned off.
Q&A: Editor Options
Who will have access to the edit options in the content upload workflow?
The content uploader and Admin level users will have access.
Do these features only apply to A-V content uploaded to Media Library?
Yes, these features are not available for A-V content uploaded to the LMS File System.
There are still options for Audio and Video Note, are they different?
The additional menu options for Audio-Video Note (example Audio/Video Note Editor or Video Note Search) are now redundant, they will continue to function, but will be removed in a future release. Media Library will become the main option for adding, editing and searching A-V content.
Do audio files also use the Editor?
Audio files support captioning and chapters, but do not support timeline editing currently. Audio editing support will be added in a future release.
Can editing be done on mobile devices?
We recommend desktop editing. Editing can be done in mobile browsers, but the Editor is optimized for a mouse at this time.
Editing a video will change it in all the places it exists in Brightspace, is there a way to determine where it is used?
Not currently, but we are investigating the best way to solve this. Please take extra care when making updates.
Can an uploader grant another person the ability to edit their video?
Not currently, we are investigating this.
Why doesn't a video uploaded through an assignment submission have access to the new features?
Assignments require uploaded content to be locked after submission.
Why doesn’t a video uploaded through the File Management system offer these features?
File Management is a separate workflow and does not support the new features.
Do the Chapters added appear as text and cause a break during playback?
No, the chapters only appear as points on the timeline.
Is it possible to upload a caption track instead of automatically generating one?
Yes, a .vtt file can be uploaded.
Q&A: Player Improvements
Is a caption track required for the Transcript View and the search function?
Yes, a caption track is needed.
January 20.22.01 Release
The January 20.22.01 release introduces a new Advanced Edit Experience for Content Owners when they upload a video in the Classic Content or New Content Experience workflows.
Consolidated media storage for new audio-video topics
As of January 20.22.01 release, new media files uploaded as topics in either Classic Content (through the Upload/Create > Video or Audio workflow) or New Content Experience are saved in the same scalable, streaming storage as Video Notes and SCORM files.
New Advanced Editing
Content owners (those that uploaded the video file) using the Content tool can access Advanced Editing:
Note: As of the November 20.22.11 release, you can also access Advanced Editing from the Media Library as part of Brightspace Core.
Figure: The Advanced Editing option.
Figure: The Advanced Editing page with associated options.
Advanced Editing provides the following new options:
- Timeline Editor: Trim out the slow parts of your video using the Seek (arrow), Mark (line) and Cut (scissor) tools. We've also improved on our Capture Editor design by giving you the option to enlarge the timeline for accessibility by clicking and dragging on the tab below the timeline.
- Chapters: Create meaningful segments in larger videos with chapters. Chapters appear above the timecode when a user hovers over the timeline.
- Closed Captions: Toggle to our new Closed Caption Editor. Select the Language of your file and choose Auto Generate or upload/edit your own Closed Captions.
- Versions and Drafts: Roll back to earlier versions and revisit previous edits. The latest Saved version appears wherever the file is used within Brightspace.
- Note: A-V files that were uploaded prior to January 20.22.01 release and saved in Manage Files, do not have access to the Advanced Editing workflow. Users must manually migrate videos by downloading and re-uploading media files. When copying courses, video references will copy - pointing to the same, original video file (reducing duplication and overall storage footprint for your institution). Courses imported from standard packages such as IMS CC will have their media topics sent to the new Media Storage and URLS replaced with the appropriate references. Brightspace Course packages currently does not send media topics to the new Media Storage.
Add a new Media Topic: New Content Experience
As of the January 20.22.01 release, you can add a new media topic using the new content and edit experience as well as use the advanced editing options to edit your video.
Note: As of the November 20.22.11 release, you can also access Advanced Editing from the Media Library.
To add a new media topic
- From your course homepage, click Content.
- Click New Unit. Follow the process to create and add a new unit.
- Once a unit is created, click Add Existing then drag and drop your video. You can also click browse locate for your media file.
- Click Open. The Upload process begins.
- Note: The transcoding process starts at 70% and may result in a pause, please wait for it to finish.
- Click Options (…) and select Edit.
Figure: The Edit option for a video uploaded to a Unit.
In the New Edit Experience for Content, you will see the Advanced Editing option at the top right on the video. From the Advanced Editor you can set the language of the video, generate a caption track from the Closed Captions tab and access the Editing and Chapter features.
Find an Existing Media File: New Content Experience
As of the January 20.22.01 release, you can locate and add existing content through the Media Library using the New Content Experience.
To find and add existing media file
- From your course homepage, click Content.
- Click to select a Unit.
- Click Add Existing > More.
- Select Media Library.
Note: This pared down user interface provides access to media files, including video notes, owned by your user. Camera icons indicate video files, and headphones indicate audio files. Select a file to create a topic.
Figure: The Media Library option, available for adding existing content to a Unit.
Note: Further development on this area is expected in upcoming releases. Media Library is only available through this specific workflow in January.
Add a Media Topic: Classic Content Experience
As of the January 20.22.01 release, you can locate and add existing content through the Media Library using the Classic Content Experience.
To find and add existing media file
- From your course homepage, click Content.
- Click Upload / Create and select the Video or Audio option.
- In the Add Video or Audio window, click the Upload tab.
- You can click Browse or drag your video file into the upload space.
- When uploaded, enter a Title and then scroll down to select Advanced Editing. The Advanced Editing window opens.
- From the Advanced Editor you can set the language of the video, generate a caption track from the Closed Captions tab and access the Timeline Editing and Chapter features.
Important: The upload process starts at 70% and may result in a pause, please wait for it to finish. Videos that are drag and dropped into the Classic Content interface will go to Manage Files, and not the new Media Library.
Edit with the Timeline Editor
As of the January 20.22.11 release, you can use the Timeline Editor to cut sections of your videos.
To cut out sections with the timeline editor
- In the Advanced Editor click the Mark tool icon (|) to mark places on the timeline at the starting point and ending point of the part you wish to remove.
- Click the Scissors tool icon and click between the two marks to cut it out. The selected section turns red and is not shown playback.
Note: Hovering your mouse over the timeline displays a small tab at the bottom of the timeline that can be grabbed and dragged up and down to enlarge the timeline for accessibility.
Figure: The Mark tool and Scissors tool of the Timeline Editor.
- To restore the cut section click a second time between the two marks.
- To remove a mark on the timeline, click it again with the Mark tool.
When you are done editing, you can:
- Save Draft - keeps the changes, but doesn’t update the published file(s)
- Finish - saves the changes and publishes a new version of the file
- Use the version timeline dropdown to return to a previous version of the file.
Edit Chapters with the Advanced Editor
As of the January 20.22.01 release, you can edit chapters in a video.
To edit chapters
- From the Advanced Editor, select the Table of Contents tab on the top right side of the video.
- Use the Seek tool to select a space on the timeline where you want your chapter to start.
- Enter your chapter title and click the Plus (+) icon.
- For the next chapter, select the next position on the timeline, enter the chapter title and click +.
Figure: A list of chapters added to a Table of Contents using the Advanced Editor.
Note: If you add an incorrect time, you can update it by selecting a spot on the timeline and clicking the clock beside that chapter in Table of Contents. Click X to remove the entry.
Use the Advanced Editor with Video Note
As of the January 20.22.01 release, the Advanced Editor is available for Video Notes. However, it is only available through the Org level tool Audio/Video Note Editor (found in the admin cog/gear). Selecting any Audio or Video Note will open the Advanced Editor directly. Accessing this interface requires the permission Media Platform > Can Administer VideoNotes. Instructors can be given access to this tool and will only see their own video/audio notes as long as the 'Can Insert All Available Video Notes' permission is NOT given (admin only!). It is not recommended to give this permission to learners-type roles.
Figure: The Audio/Video Note Editor option available from the Admin Tool.
Visit the Video Note Permission Change for Student Role topic for additional information.
We do want to expand the ease of access and streamline the workflows for editing video notes at the time of capturing - this may be in a future release. While some additional users may see the Audio / Video Note Editor option, they are unable to use the features. This will be addressed in a future release.
Media Player improvements
As of the January 20.22.01 release, we have also greatly improved the media player that users will see when viewing a media topic.
When viewing a high-definition file uploaded after the January release, users can switch the video to standard-definition in the Media Player settings menu (gear icon) if there is an SD option. This assists with playback in situations with a slow or unstable network.
Figure: The Settings menu of the Media Player.
Users can search for a keyword in the video caption track and see those spots reflected on the timeline. A caption track must be present for the video and the user must have captions turned on to use the Search option. Improving the visibility of search results will be addressed in a future design.
Figure: The Media Player timeline with keywords highlighted by dots.
The new features added in the January 20.22.01 release also have the following areas to consider:
Ownership of media
Ownership of Media files, video note creation, and SCORM file management are more user driven. Non-owners can still rename, move, or delete media topics from their content, but editing abilities are only available to the owner of the media object.
If you want to edit the media item, but do not own it, you must download it and reupload it to your course to make your edits at this time. If you want your videos to still be located within the Course Manage Files, you can upload directly to the Manage Files UI and link your topic to the file. These videos will not have edit or new video players.
Media file size
As of the January 20.22.01 release, we recommend new audio-video files be 1GB or less with a max of 2GB. The larger the file, the longer the time to upload and transcode. Uploads may experience a delay at the 70% mark while transcoding takes place before process completion. There is currently no backend API or bulk upload method to upload larger videos directly to the new Media Library.