Box of Broadcasts

If you subscribe to the Library News blog you will have seen a recent post Presenting BoB – our new resource for TV & radio:

Our newest e-resource is Box of Broadcasts (BoB) – BoB is a resource that allows you to record and view TV and radio programmes from over 65 free-to-air channels.
BoB
Also available is an archive of over 2 million programmes from the 1990s to the present day – ready to watch. Includes content from; BBC TV and radio, ITV, Channel 4, Film4, some foreign language channels, the BBC Shakespeare Archive and lots more! Check the full list of available channels.



We’ve produced a user guide showing you how to link to a Box of Broadcast recording (or playlist, or clip) from your Blackboard course: Linking from Blackboard to Box of Broadcast (BoB) recordings

We understand that BoB will shortly be introducing an embed function, and when that is live we’ll update our guide accordingly.

 

Meanwhile, as the Library blog post says

For more information on how you may use the content available, please check the access page or have a look at Box of Broadcast’s FAQs

If you plan to use BoB to enhance your teaching we’d love to hear about it! Contact Natalie Guest with your ideas.

Uploading and embedding audio and video files into your Blackboard course

The TEL team generally recommend Google Chrome as the browser which provides the most satisfactory performance with Blackboard. During the last year, however, Google introduced changes which made it impossible to play certain types of media file in Chrome. In addition, there is a Known Issue in Blackboard which causes MP3 audio files to start playing automatically in Google Chrome, even when the auto-start option has been deselected.

The latest Blackboard release, now installed on our system, gets round these issues by enabling audio and video files to be embedded as HTML5 elements.

This change means that

  • MP3 audio files uploaded to Blackboard can be played in any Internet Browser.
  • MP4 video files uploaded to Blackboard can be played in any Internet Browser.

Our guide Uploading and embedding audio and video files into your Blackboard course provides details on how to use the new HTML5 Audio and HTML5 Video options to upload and embed media files, so that they can be played in any browser, on any device.

embedded audio file

embedded video file

 

Please note

  • The new functionality is available only for newly-created audio and video links in Blackboard. The guide suggests how you can deal with previously-uploaded media content to take advantage of the new functionality.
  • Other file types (Ogg, WAV and WebM) are also supported by the HTML5 tools, but MP3 and MP4 are the only types playable in all of the main Internet Browsers.
  • Windows Media files (wma and wmv) are not supported, and should be avoided when uploading media content to Blackboard.
  • We also have guides to help you embed video content from sites such as YouTube into your Blackboard course:

Record from Webcam feature no longer available

If you look very closely at the editing toolbar inside Blackboard, you may notice that one of the icons on the bottom row has disappeared.

Record from webcam icon

This was the Record from Webcam icon, and we have removed it for the simple reason that – for reasons outside of our or Blackboard’s control – it no longer works.

Blackboard posted the following on their support site just before Christmas:

YouTube Ending Support for Record from Webcam

Issue Description: Google is discontinuing support for the ability to use your webcam to record video after January 16, 2016. This affects our Video Everywhere feature, which is built into Learn and will cease to function when Google disables it.

Please note that this change affects only the Record from Webcam tool in the Content Editor, which was probably not very widely used in any case.

The YouTube Mashup tool is not affected, and you can of course continue to use the embed code to bring YouTube content into your Blackboard course – see our guides in the support section of this blog.

For advice on recording screencasts and other video content, please check out the GRASS project blog.