August 31, 2010

Video Delivery Types in Captivate

One of the most important factors to think about while using Videos in learning courses is how the video will be delivered to the learner. There are multiple delivery modes. I will try to elaborate how to decide which delivery mode to use and the configuration for those.

Captivate supports the following types of Video Delivery : Progressive download, RTMP Streaming, Flash Video Streaming Service (FVSS).

This below table shows some key differences between these delivery types. More details are available here for a long read. This info should help you decide which delivery mode to use.

Progressive Download

RTMP Streaming


FVSS

Video Hosting

(has an impact on cost)

Can be hosted on any Web Server or Flash Media Server (FMS)

Hosting only on FMS

Hosting provided by Adobe partners

Protocols used

(can have impact on firewalls)

HTTP

RTMP

HTTP and RTMP

Now we come to enabling these in Captivate. As you know, Captivate has two different video features : Slide Video and FLV Object (details here). In both these video features, you can configure any of the above delivery modes.

Default delivery mode :

By default, both video features are configured to use Progressive download. All you need do is upload the publish folder to the web server of your choice and it should just work. This makes it the easiest and most economical (as you can use your existing web server) delivery mode.

Custom Configurations :

More configurations (URL / Delivery type change etc)  can be done after the initial import :

  1. For Slide Video, the settings can be changed from Menu: Video > Video Management…
  2. For FLV Object, this is available in the property inspector, once you select the object.

Alternate Web server for Video :

Sometimes you need to host video on an alternate web server (other than the one which is hosting your SWF). This is mainly for load sharing. You can do it this way:

  1. Upload the flv / f4v  files to your alternate web server. Note the URL for accessing the video, say http://<server>/<dir>/<videoname.flv
  2. Use this URL in the settings (as detailed above)
  3. Re publish the project and view the SWF either locally or from your server. Now the video is delivered from your alternate server.

NOTE: Once you do this, you no more need to keep the video in the publish folder (in case you need to save some space)

Streaming & FVSS:

If you want your videos to start fast, be more smoother etc, then you need to go for Streaming or FVSS, both of which requires the video to be hosted on FMS. You can do it this way:

  1. Upload the flv / f4v  files to FMS / FVSS-provider. Note the URL for accessing the video, say rtmp://<server>/vod/<video>
  2. Use this URL in the settings (as detailed above). Change the delivery type accordingly.
  3. Re publish the project and view the SWF either locally or from your server. Now the video is delivered from FMS.
Posted by Sony Kadavan5:03 PM
  • Sam

    Seems like Captivate 5 can not stream FLV/F4V from Flash Media Streaming Server. Really? C’mon guys. This should be a snap. Others are having this issue as well:

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/680261

    • http://blogs.adobe.com/captivate/ Allen Partridge

      Sam, you shouldn’t have any trouble with streaming video. Can you let us know how far you’re getting in the workflow? If it’s looking like a bug you can also always send to wish-captivate@macromedia.com. So far I’m unaware of any issues – so pls follow up so we can see what’s causing you issues. – Allen

  • Dan

    I am having the same problem. I’m folloing the “Alternate Web server for Video” intsructions.
    An flv lives, lets say on http://swftest.com/video/test.flv.
    In my captivate slide I use Insert / FLV or F4V.
    Select “already deployed to a webserver” and enter http://swftest.com/video/test.flv, and ok
    Publish.
    The flv is not in the publish folder, and I don’t want it there anyways. I want it to to sream from http://swftest.com/video/test.flv,
    but it does not.

  • Steve

    I’m having problems using streaming .flv videos in my Captivate 5 SCORM published files.

    I am using Netromedia to host the streaming .flv videos. I have 7 dotted through my e-learning module. I have got 4 of them to work and 3 of them don’t work. I can’t understand why this is the case when the settings for the different videos in Captivate are exactly the same.

    The other bizarre thing is that when I re-upload the SCORM package to the LMS and give the module a different name, I again find that some videos work and some don’t, BUT they aren’t the same as in the other module. I don’t understand why this would happen when the modules are exactly the same.

    Any ideas for where I could start to try and iron out this problem?

    Cheers,

    Steve

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