UMConnect Recording Archive Strategies

UMConnect Recording Archive Strategies

This document examines ways of copying UMConnect presentation recordings off the umconnect server and how to use the media in different ways. A UMConnect recording is many small content files that make up the whole package. As a result, there is not a streamlined approach. To translate the files, two basic strategies are recommended:

The technique for downloading the package of files that make a Adobe Connect recording is referenced further in the Deep Dive documents below.  

Server Retirement Plans

The UMconnect server is not going away but the ability to make new meetings and recordings is.  You will still have access to the old recordings.  These are being migrated to an updated Adobe Connect (9.3.x) platform September 25th.  The URLs to these recordings will not change. This server will also be available to upload new Adobe Presenter 10 files.

Option 1: Make a screen recording

Use a screen recording program to capture the recording as it plays on your computer.  You will need to leave this computer alone as it records. You will want to disable screensavers and sleep functionality Techsmith Relay is a screen capture application available to you. More information can be found here:

https://it.umn.edu/technology/techsmith-relay

There is also an feature of UMConnect that allows you to make an flash (FLV) file when you click "Make Offline"  However, testing has shown these recordings tend to be less successful than using other screen recorders.

Option 2: Convert & Edit media files in an editing program

For some presentations you will be able to access the recorded video, audio and slides as individual assets. You will be able to import the files into an editing program and merge the files again or upload the assets individually to a content management system.  

Before you can access these media files, you will need to download a copy of your presentation.  NOTE: To download the recording, you must be the owner.

How to download a UMConnect presentation

  1. Find your presentation URL (example https://umconnect.umn.edu/p29114396/)

  2. Add output/recording.zip?download=zip at the end of the recording URL.

  3. Add this new URL into your browser and click return.

  4. It usually takes at least 10 seconds before it starts downloading.   It will download a file called "recording.zip"

Once you have the unzipped folder you will have a collection of .flv and .xml files.  We will be focusing on the .flv that include an underscore in the name.  The underscore in .flv files signifies there is playable content in the file.   

  • ftstage: This is the live video with audio
  • ftcontent: This is screenshare of the presentation. It has no audio.
  • ftvoice: This file has audio only.

You will need to use MediaHub to convert these files to a format that will work in your video editor.

Not all presentations are alike.  Some might have only ftstage files and others only ftvoice files.  It all depends how the presentation was executed in UMConnect.    To get an idea of the variations look at the video in the resources below "Screencast explaining the package of files" or for other issues reference the troubleshooting section below. 

Reference Materials

http://www.connectusers.com/tutorials/2009/08/recordings_deep_dive_part1/

http://www.connectusers.com/tutorials/2009/09/recordings_deep_dive_part2/index.php

Screencast explains the package of files that make up a adobe connect recording.

http://mediamill.cla.umn.edu/mediamill/embedqt/194051

Converting FLASH files to .mp4

http://mediahub.umn.edu   Convert to HTML5.   Files retained for 2 weeks

Troubleshooting Variations on recordings that can cause issues.

  • If the videopod was ever adjusted during a recording, you will only be able to use the audio, the video can not be used. You will need to do a screencapture to save these files.
  • If you uploaded content to the server and advanced inside connect, the resulting files will not have a movie file for your content.
  • If you stopped and started recording you will have separate video files.
  • The videopod only has a resolution of like 198x168.
  • If you edited the recording in umconnect, this does not actually change the mediafiles. A new file is created that says when to stop and start. This is why those files jump around in the recording. Just don't forget to edit the media in your video editor.
  • If you used a teleconference the audio is a .mp3