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Community Member

Is it possible to improve MP4 conversion quality?

Due to some issues on site, I needed to record a lecture from a different computer than normal. The computer I recorded from had a higher resolution setting than the usual one. However, it appears that Canvas chooses a file size when it converts to an MP4 based on length of the video alone. As a result, the MP4 conversion of the lecture contains mostly unreadable text (the recorded stream is fine, but I would like to service students who are watching at a later date off line).

Is there a way in the settings to adjust the MP4 quality/file size?

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12 Replies

Are you uploading the video in a Canvas page using the "Record / Upload Media" button? The maximum file size is limited to 500 MB. Or, are you using Arc?

You can also upload the file to Google Drive, if your institution has the tool linked.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi Kenneth - It's been a few months since you asked about .mp4 files in your course. Were you able to improve the quality of the files you provided for students? If so, what was your solution? If you have a few minutes, it would be great to hear (and learn) from you! Smiley Happy

Community Coach
Community Coach

Good evening, kblaney...

I am reviewing older questions here in the Canvas Community, and I stumbled upon your question.  I wanted to check in with you because I noticed that we have not heard back from you since you first posted your question on February 19, 2019.  It looks like you received some feedback and questions from  @gunther  a day later, and then  @klundstrum  checked in with you this past June.  Have you had an opportunity to review those postings?  Did either of their responses help to answer your question?  If so, please feel free to click the "Mark Correct" button next to one of their responses.  However, if you are still looking for some help from Community members, please come back to this posting to let us know how we might be able to help you out.  For the time being, I am going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered" because we've not heard back from you and also because there hasn't been any new activity in this topic since June 26, 2019.  However, that won't prevent you or others from posting additional questions and/or comments below that are related to this topic.  I hope that's okay with you, Kenneth.  Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.


New to me information this week: The Canvas video player has a control that looks like a starburst. It only shows during playback and it's one of the controls in the lower-right corner of the video player. Clicking on the starburst control during playback allows the viewer to switch playback to a higher quality version of the video. It seems the video player starts off with low quality by default. I can't find any documentation in the Student Guides of this feature of the video player. We found it by accident. I also can't find any documentation of what happens when a video is uploaded, but from this discovery, I have to assume that Canvas or AWS transcodes the video into a few formats and starts viewers off with the least bandwidth-intensive version. I hope this is useful to future people with this question.

I have amended the quality option on many previous videos but cannot see the same icon at present. It appears that this might be a processing issue? The video has been up on Canvas Studio for at least 5 minutes, is only short and not a huge size (10.57mb).

Why is this taking so long to show? I need to share it with colleagues but it is currently grainy and extremely poor quality


OK, so after writing that post, the video quality cog icon has appeared (probably 10 minutes after uploading)...but it only shows low quality!

I have created the video at 720p in Camtasia and do not understand what is causing this issue. Any help much appreciated.


Have you found a solution to improve the quality? Most of my videos do not have the video quality icon and I have no idea why some videos have the icon. It seems so random.

Hi there,

It’s still a mystery to me.

I still think it might be to do with video dimensions (i.e. should be standard dimensions like 1280 x 720 , 1920 x 1080 ) as I have had that elsewhere.

Frustrating all the same!


Hi Steve, I don't think video dimensions matter. What I have discovered is that the high quality video will be available two or three hours after you upload it. I usually upload videos before dawn and that's the waiting time I have for high quality videos. I think it might take longer waiting time if you upload videos during regular hours.Hope that helps.