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Can the recorded media object be manipulated?

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For context, here is the thing I'm talking about:

Screenshot - 08122015 - 12_05_54 AM.png Screenshot - 08122015 - 12_15_15 AM.png

So the question from the faculty member was "How do I work with this thing? I can't center it, I don't like the preview image, and even though I gave the file a name it doesn't show up anywhere."

Now I will concede that through some clever use of divs I was able to get the thing centered, though the rest of the page would have needed to be updated to display properly, and we were able to just add some text above or below the box to duplicate where she expected to see the title, I will also concede that if we move out of Canvas for recording the audio that we just end up with a file that is much easier to work with. Yet through all of this it did seem to me that she had a very valid point, this little thing is a pain to work with. I also prefer to recommend the native tools for accomplishing tasks rather than defer to third-party solutions that vary from OS to OS.

Were we missing any clever tricks to make it easier to customize the appearance of the preview for a media object recorded through the Rich Content Editor?

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awilliams​,

There was a related question back in April: Can I change the size of the video player embedded in a page?

At that time, rogrant@nmsu.edu​ said (paraphrased) that you're stuck with what Canvas wants to give you. ctmaya brought this up last week when someone wanted to customize the player icon: Video dimensions are smaller in Pages than in Files

The work-around there was to basically use another player, most likely by embedding it in an iframe. I think YouTube is what the poster there was going to end up using.

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awilliams​,

There was a related question back in April: Can I change the size of the video player embedded in a page?

At that time, rogrant@nmsu.edu​ said (paraphrased) that you're stuck with what Canvas wants to give you. ctmaya brought this up last week when someone wanted to customize the player icon: Video dimensions are smaller in Pages than in Files

The work-around there was to basically use another player, most likely by embedding it in an iframe. I think YouTube is what the poster there was going to end up using.

View solution in original post

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Thanks james@richland.edu​. I was afraid of that.

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Community Member

I second what James​ posted.

We tried using all sorts of tricks to get the Canvas feature Video Upload displaying as we wanted but at the end it was not working for us. We could not embed it in a size we would have liked. We could not set a thumbnail image. And as it turned out later, there is a bug with the subtitles for the player in full screen. So we just decided to switch to YouTube.

I want to mention that for a while before that we also used our own player and hosted the videos at the institution servers. This strategy works fine if you don't have many courses with videos. But as we are scaling up blended learning at the university, it became an issue of server load and player capability.

Like you Adam, we tried to stay away from third party tools, because that usually just over-complicates things. Plus, some of our instructors express worries about putting things on YouTube. But I'm happy to say that using YouTube have been a good experience so far. The look, feel and flexibility we have over YouTube videos in a Canvas page is so much better that we are now planning to use it for all courses. If you decide to try using YouTube, please read the answer by James​ in the discussion Video dimensions are smaller in Pages than in Files because it gives you all the best tips about that.

Good luck!

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And I'll third what James posted...

I really wish Canvas would allow some formatting and player options with the Media Uploader because the thumbnail for audio files (and all files) looks like a film strip. It looks unprofessional and clunky - and looks even less appealing left justified when other things are centered.

Support had no suggestions for workarounds, and just like you mentioned above, YouTube is the only other "reasonable" workaround, but we'd like to stay away from posting everything on YouTube (even if it's unlisted).

It seems like such a basic set of options to include for what is an otherwise cool feature in Canvas. I like to refer to this problem as the "Blackboard Feature" in Canvas.

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Maybe we should try and put this up as a feature idea for voting. It seems that there are at least a few of us that need it. Take a look at my description of the feature idea and see if that matches your needs too. Please feel free to add or modify.

Title: Allow display modification for media objects recorded through Rich Content Editor tool

Our instructors are increasingly using videos to deliver content and they upload the video through the Rich Content Editor (Media Upload). It works well until you try to modify the display options of the video object. Uploading the video to YouTube is an option but not all instructors are comfortable with putting all of their content online even if unlisted. Plus, YouTube does not work in some parts of the world where our students come from.

Here are the features that we would love to have:

- Allow for size change of the player within the page, or at least provide 3 possible options: small, medium and full page width.

- Allow for the video to be aligned to right, center, left of the page

- Allow for the instructor to select a thumbnail

- Allow for video a video title to be displayed above the video

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Agreed. I spoke with our CSM yesterday and he said he was going to escalate this to engineering (and was surprised more people hadn't requested this yet), but maybe submitting it again with your requests above would be helpful as well. I have some overlapping requests, but you added some really great options as well.

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Sounds like a good idea.

I just looked through the idea list on Canvas to see if somebody may have already suggested this before. I found that in October 2015 Aaron Bannasch had put the idea for thumbnail up for voting but unfortunately it did not gather much support (I must have missed it too).

But I think it is still worth the try.

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I have now created a feature idea related to this thread, I had to focus the feature on the most important modification and then mentioned the others as add on features in order to comply with the "one feature per idea" rule.

Here is the link to it, I hope that we can get enough people interested an voting:  

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Great - thank you for doing that Maya! I hope we can get it voted up as well!