Downloading Your Uploaded Media

Community Coach
Community Coach
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I wasn't really sure how to title this rather than trying to hash out a fancy title, let's just get to the meat of this posting...

I recently helped one of our full time faculty who had used the "Record/Upload Media" tool (How do I upload an audio file using the Rich Content Editor as an instructor?) in the RCE to upload an audio recording of a class lecture that she recorded on a digital audio recording device.  After uploading the recording to her class, the instructor had then deleted the file from the device but then realized she needed to upload the audio file into a different course.  She was trying to figure out how she could download the audio file from the first course to re-upload into her other course.  The audio file wasn't in her "Files" area of the course, so that wasn't a possibility to retrieve it there.  I called the folks at the Canvas Help Desk for assistance.  While speaking with a technician, I discovered how to do I thought I'd share with the Community...

These steps are current as of Google Chrome v.69.  These directions also assume you have inserted an audio recording into your course via the "Record/Upload Media" tool in the RCE (Rich Content Editor).

  1. View the content page as a student would, and click the blue "Play" button.
    Audio Recording
  2. The audio player controls change into the interface shown below.  Click the "CC" button.
    Audio Recording 2
  3. Select the "Upload subtitles" option that appears.  You'll see the following screen:
    Audio Recording 3
  4. In Step 1: Copy this video url, there will be a super long URL with a bunch of random characters that will, more than likely, run off the side of the window (you should have a horizontal scroll bar to help you see the entire URL).  Even though you can't see all of it, you can still select the entire link.  (It may have a file extension of *.mp4 on it.)  Highlight the entire URL at this time, and then Ctrl+C (Cmd+C for Mac users) to copy the link to your clipboard.
  5. Open up a new browsing tab in Google Chrome, and paste the URL into the address bar using Ctrl+V (Cmd+V for Mac users).
  6. You'll see a new audio player interface as shown below.  Click on the kabob icon (three dots) on the right side of the player controls.
    Audio Recording 4
  7. Select the option to "Download".  This will download an audio file to your computer.  The file will contain many random characters and possibly a different file extension.  (In my case, it downloaded as a *.m4a audio file.)

You can then play this file on your computer or upload it to another course using the "Record/Upload Media" tool in the RCE.

If you don't want to download a copy of the audio file to insert into another course, there's another option for you as well.  Once you are in the new course, take the long link you harvested from Step #4 above and then use the "Insert/edit media" button in the RCE to paste that long link into the "Source" box of the "General" tab.  (The "Dimensions" will fill in automatically.)

Insert_edit media

If you do it this way, then students will see player controls similar to the screen shot I provided in Step #6.

Hoping that these instructions will be helpful to people.  🙂

Community Coach
Community Coach

Excellent detective work!

Thanks for the detailed share. 

Community Member

I would like access to ALL my video files I have uploaded as comments to students and also I'd like access to all my comments provided to students.  I can't possibly fiddle thorough ALL my courses and ALL my feedbacks to download each one through this extensively tedious process.  Surely, the designer of  Canvas - as teachers, knew that faculty want their teaching data.  Surely there is a way to extract my data out of Canvas.  How do I access those files?

Explorer III


Thanks for the post! This led me to figure out how to similarly download video content uploaded using the Record/Upload Media button. We found that if a video is playing, you can right-click and click Save Video As... to download the video. 

I thought I should leave this here in case someone else is looking for the process for video instead of audio :smileygrin:

Thanks again!

About the Author
I've worked at MPTC since January 2001 as Web Specialist in the Instructional Technology department. Basically, I work with our Curriculum department to put courses into Canvas for our faculty. I enjoy playing disc golf, watching movies, playing video games, playing board/card games (Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, Ticket to Ride, 7 Wonders, Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Splendor, Above and Below, Munchkin, and Exploding Kittens), reading, and being with family and friends. I help volunteer with our Sr. High Youth program at my church and also help with the soundboard and running slides for our Sunday services. I am currently on my fourth Toyota Prius. The first (a silver 2004 2nd Gen) was victim to a flood that came through our area, and water got inside which ruined many of the electronics in it. My second (a magnetic gray metallic 2009 2nd Gen) was totaled in a rear-end collision. I totaled my 3rd Prius (a silver 2011) when I rear-ended someone by accident in town. I now have a 2019 Toyota Prius Limited...and it's awesome!