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Guide for Integrating Multimedia into probono.net

What does this Guide cover?

This guide was created to help admins integrate multimedia into their probono.net site. It will cover the start-to-finish process of integrating various types of multimedia (audio, video, photos, etc). Specifically, it will include information and recommendations on:

  • Equipment
  • Software (recording and editing)
  • Hosting Services
  • Creating multimedia resources on probono.net

This guide will also provide information on the basics of multimedia integration, troubleshooting tips, best practices and additional resources. For any questions about this guide or anything not covered in this guide, please ask your PBN contact or send an email to support@probono.net.

The Basics of Multimedia Integration

What equipment and software do I need to create multimedia content?

If you are new to multimedia integration online, it is useful to have a basic understanding of the process of integrating multimedia. The first aspect of multimedia integration is equipment. Different types of equipment are needed depending on the type of multimedia you wish to integrate. Software is the second important piece, for both recording and editing your multimedia. Equipment and software needs are discussed in more detail below.

Can Pro Bono Net host my video/audio files for me?

Pro Bono Net generally cannot host video or audio files that are created independently. These need to be uploaded to a free or low cost third-party hosting service first such as Screencast.com, Vimeo.com or YouTube.com. Third-party hosted files can be easily placed on probono.net sites by embedding the item into any CKEditor or resource on probono.net. We can host videos created using the probono.net webcasting tool. For an overview of the different use cases for independent videos and the probono.net webcast tool, tools needed to work with search, see the table below.

Integrating Independent Videos and Videos Created Using the probono.net Webcasting Tool

What are some of the common uses of each approach?
Pro Bono Net Webcasting Tool Videos you create independently
Live streaming in-person trainings and panels for users to watch in real-time from any location X
Live streaming a training by an advocate from their desk for users to watch in real-time from any location X
Recording live trainings to make available to users later X X
Recording webinars such as GoToWebinars X X
Promotional videos X
Educational videos X

What tools are needed for each approach?
Pro Bono Net Webcasting Tool Independent video files
Equipment Video camera with USB connectivity or a web cam

Video camera or web cam

Recording Recording tools included in the webcasting tool

Recording software

Editing Editing tools included in the webcasting software Editing software
Hosting Content hosted by probono.net

Content needs to be uploaded to a third-party host and embedded on probono.net. Possible free or low cost hosting options include:

  • Screencast.com
  • YouTube.com
  • Vimeo.com
Usage reporting Included in probono.net site usage reports Varies (e.g. analytics from Youtube)

Where can I add multimedia to my probono.net site?

Independent video and audio files can be embedded from a third-party hosting service into the HTML (aka "Source") view of the CKeditor on the following places on your advocate site:

CKE Editor Source Button Example Image

  • Any CKEditor on the homepage
  • News resource
  • Calendar Event
  • Library Resource
  • Flex-content pages

Webcasts created using the probono.net webcast tool can be added to the following places:

  • Embedded in any CKEditor
  • Calendar (you can live stream through the calendar!)
  • Library
  • Webcast Archive tool

Images can be uploaded to any CKEditor using the "Insert image" option in CKEdit.

For detailed information on embedding multimedia content into your probono.net site, see the the admin manual. For details on adding images to probono.net, please see the section on uploading content to the CKEditors and Image Widgets.

What else should I know before getting started?

Often there can be compatibility issues between each component of multimedia integration. For example, the recording produced by recording software may not be compatible (and thus will not work) with editing software that you have; you may have to convert the recorded file into another format to edit it. By carefully researching which services are most appropriate and being aware of software updates and troubleshooting tips, you can eliminate some of the frustration of dealing with these issues. File conversion software can also help by converting files to formatting compatible with various programs and sites. When evaluating which third-party hosting service to use, you should also consider access permission options, third-party host user agreements, and usage reporting.

Webcasts, Videos and Webinars

The information blow contains suggestions for two approaches to video integration:

  • Using the probono.net webcasting tools
  • Integrating independent video files

Probono.net offers a webcasting tool which can be used to record and host videos on the site. There is also the option to use third-party tools to record and host, and are noted below. There are several options available and it is highly recommended that you research the best fit. Please also note that some tools (and updates) may be affected by compatibility issues.

Required Equipment:

  • Video/Audio recorder with USB connectivity
    • Digital Camcorder
      • You can also record video to a Camcorder's storage device (video tape, memory card, etc.) and stream into PBN webcasting module at a later date. You can also record it and upload it as a file at a later date.
    • Or, a Webcam
      • Record video on a computer, either directly into PBN webcasting module or through a video capture application (such as Camtasia)
      • As of Summer 2012 decent webcams tpically priced bed between $60-$100. Some probono.net partners have used the Microsoft LifeCam.
  • Optional Items:
    • Auxiliary microphone
    • LAN Internet Access

Video Recording Software:

  • Additional recording software is not needed if streaming into Pro Bono Net webcasting module.
  • If using a third-party service, please see some options below:
    • Go-to-Webinar - paid screen-sharing service with recording built-in. Many great features.
    • Camtasia - paid recording and editing tool.

Video Editing Software:

  • Additional editing software not needed if streaming into Pro Bono Net webcasting module.
  • If using a third-party service, you may want to try:
    • Camtasia - can also be used to record video.

Video Hosting Services:

Creating a Video Resource on probono.net:

Best Practices:

Troubleshooting and Tips

HTML Source and Embed Code Example Image

  • If you find you are unable to view the HTML code on your site, please get in touch with your PBN contact, as you may have an issue related to iframes.
  • Considerations for using the Webcasting tool vs. Video capture as an independent file:
    • Streaming into Pro Bono Net webcasting module:
      • No additional recording/editing software or hosting/storage solutions necessary
      • Items can be included in PBN usage reports
      • Please see the Guide to Webcasting for more detail - available in the SWEB library.
      • Common uses: Recording trainings, panels, info sessions
    • Captured as an independent file:
      • Portable
      • Must be uploaded to a third-party hosting application in order to be available for streaming on advocate/LawHelp sites
      • Limited reporting capabilities with PBN
      • Common use: webinars/web trainings
  • Other Resources

Audio/podcast:

The information below contains suggestions for audio integration tools. There are several options available and it is highly recommended that you research the best fit. Please also note that some tools (and updates) may be affected by compatibility issues.

Audio Recording Device:

  • In-Person Recording:
    • Digital Voice Recorder
    • USB Microphone
      • Although this resource is from last year, it contains nice suggestions for good USB microphones.
    • Windscreen (optional)
  • Over the Phone:
    • Phone with pass-through device
    • Any service that records calls, such as Skype, GoToMeeting, etc.

Audio Recording and Editing Software:

  • Audacity - a free, easy-to-use multilingual audio editor and recorder for both Windows and Mac.

Audio Hosting Software:

  • GCast - free site that lets you create and store podcasts. Phone recordings only.
  • You may find detailed information on embedding into your probono.net site in the admin manual.

Best Practices:

  • You may want to have any presenter sign an agreement when asking them to commit to a webinar.
  • See more podcasting best practices here.

Troubleshooting and Tips:

Other Resources:

  • Please be sure to take a look at the General Resources section below.
  • Also, be sure to check out the Audio section on ShareLawVideo.org

Photos

The information below contains suggestions for photo integration tools. There are several options available and it is highly recommended that you research the best fit for your program. Please also note that some tools (and updates may affect compatibility.

Equipment:

  • For taking your own photographs:
    • Camera
  • Photos from others:

Image Capture and Editing Tools:

  • Skitch - free, for Mac OS and Windows.
  • Snipping Tool - free, for Windows
  • SnagIt - paid service, compatible with Mac and Windows

Hosting:

  • No hosting tools are necessary. Photos may be hosted on the probono.net server.

Best Practices:

  • When uploading an image to probono.net, be sure to enter in Alternate Text for accessibility purposes.

Alternative Text Example

  • Make sure to attribute Creative Commons licensed images.

Troubleshooting and Tips:

Other Resources:

Text (integrated with multimedia)

Text can be integrated along with videos, audio, and images on probono.net.

Equipment:

  • Word, PowerPoint, or PDF file formats if you plan to upload a file to the site.

Creating text resource on probono.net:

Best Practices:

  • In some cases, PDFs may be the better file option to upload than Word, as Microsoft Office is proprietary softeware and some users may into have access to MSO.

Troubleshooting and Tips:

  • Please see the General Troubleshooting and Tips section below.
  • If adding HTML directly into the CKEditor, make sure to hit the "Source" Button before adding the text. Click the "Source" button again to return to a view of the text without the HTML tags.
  • Do not copy and paste from Word into the CKEditor. You should first "strip out" any HTML tags left by MS word by pasting the text into a simple text softeware program such as Notepad or by writing text directly into the CKEditor.

Other Resources:

General Troubleshooting and Tips

  • Please note that there are many multimedia troubleshooting resources available, especially in the support documentation of the specific tools you use. Take into consideration access permission, third-party host uer agreements, usage reporting, etc. when making your decision.
    • Some of the sites listed in the Other Resources section provide information on these items and comparison write-ups.
    • Don't forget that sometimes a simple Google search of the issue can also help!
  • If you are encountering difficulties, you may want to explore the possibility that there is a compatibility issue with your file. There are text file converters available. CNET.com is a good resrouce to find such tools.
  • If adding HTML directly into the CKEditor, make sure to hit the "Source" button before adding the content. Click the "Source" button again to return to a view of the content without the HTML tags.
  • A note on copyright and accessibility
    • Copyright: Be sure to pay attention to copyright material. Note that even if the multimedia is free, the content still needs to be cited or attributed to guidelines set by the owner of the images. This is a nice guide on creating attributions.
    • Accessibility: As a best practice, you should configure your multimedia for those with hearing and visual impairments. For example, you should strive to make transcripts/captions available for audio and video resources, and be sure to utilize the Alternative Text box on your probono.net site when uploading photos.

General Resources

The resources compiled below are comprehensive multimedia resources - ranging from listserves, libarires, reviews, daily updates, and more.

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