9.1. Video Processing Overview

Videos are one of the most important assets of an online course. Making course videos available to learners who are located all over the world, and who are accessing course content with different devices and Internet connectivity constraints, can be a complex undertaking.

  • Videos need to be available from more than one host site to play in locations around the world.
  • Videos need to be available in several different formats to play on both desktop computers and smartphones.
  • Videos need to be available for both download and streaming to be watchable by learners with slow or intermittent Internet connections.

To help course teams at partner institutions meet the challenge of delivering high quality video experiences to as many learners as possible for edx.org courses, edX offers media encoding and hosting services to partners to address multiple playback and download needs.

Note

The information and procedures in this section apply only to courses that run on the edx.org site. For information about adding video files to courses that run on Edge, see Working with Video Components.

9.1.1. Course Team Video Upload Overview

The edX partner support team establishes accounts for your institution at YouTube™ and Amazon Web Services™ (AWS). For more information about the preliminary setup that your institution works with edX to complete, see Getting Started with Video.

After these services are set up, course teams use Studio to upload one file to the edX servers for each of the videos that they want to include in their course. For more information, see Uploading Videos in Studio.

9.1.2. Video Encoding and Hosting Overview

After a member of a course team uploads a video file to the edX servers successfully, the automated encoding and hosting process starts. This process creates additional file formats and transfers the files to YouTube and AWS accounts to ensure optimal playback quality for course videos.

Flowchart of course team uploading a video, followed by edX assigning a video ID and then transcoding it into four formats and transferring the results to two host sites

Important

The automated encoding and hosting process takes up to 24 hours to complete.

If a step fails to complete successfully the process includes multiple automated retries.

Course teams can track the status of each video file on the Studio Video Uploads page as the videos go through automated processing.

Note

The edX automation process does not include captioning services. Your course teams use your institution’s current workflow to generate transcripts for your video files, and then add them to the video in Studio. For more information, see Add a Transcript.

9.1.3. Course Team Add Video Overview

In Studio, course teams can monitor the progress of each video that they upload and obtain its unique video ID. After the file uploads to the edX servers successfully, it is given a status of Ready and the course team can add its video ID to a video component in the course outline. For more information, see Adding Videos to a Course.

Flowchart of course team uploading a video, followed by edX assigning a video ID and then transcoding it into four formats and transferring the results to two host sites

When a learner uses the edX video player or the edX mobile app to access a course video, the video ID is what provides the connection to the URLs that host each differently-encoded version of the original video file. For information about ensuring that your videos are available to learners who use the edX mobile apps, see Configuring Video Modules for Mobile.

The course team can add a video to their course as soon as its unique video ID is assigned, and the video plays in the LMS as soon as its status is Ready. However, processing takes 24 hours to complete for all encodings and all video hosting sites.