Frequently Asked Questions
[ IT Home | Helpdesk | Search IT ]

Who do I contact to learn more about Streaming Media?

Multimedia Services will assist you in preparing media for streaming on the web. Contact David Gorski x2468 or 

What is Windows Media?

Windows Media is the Microsoft format for streaming audio and video files. If your computer was installed by the IT staff, you may already have the Windows Media Player installed. If you do not have it or wish to upgrade to a later version, visit the Microsoft Download Center. Or, to have the Help Desk install Windows Media Player for you, call ext. 4357.

I have QuickTime files.  Can these be converted to Windows Media? 

Yes, in most cases QuickTime files can be converted into Windows Media Files. If you are creating in QuickTime we ask that you send us the files unflattened and uncompressed.

Can I stream audio?

Audio files stream very well on campus and on the Web, audio may be the best choice for some projects, call us for details.

What is streaming media?

Streaming media is any media file with motion or audio, processed and compressed for delivery on the internet. Streaming media can be a full motion video clip with audio to a PowerPoint presentation with page builds and, or narration.

How does it work?

We use an encoder program to size, process and compress the file into several files, one of which will be chosen by your player depending on your connection speed. The file is then placed on the campus media server. When a user requests a file, the server automatically determines the best speed for delivery, breaks the file into packets of information, then sends the packets to the requesting desktop.

What are the standards?

The College of DuPage has standardized on the Windows Media Format. The free players for Windows and Apple operating systems are available here at the Microsoft Download Center.  

How do you make something in a particular streaming format?

Two tutorials for Windows Media Streaming are available on the Microsoft site.

Additionally, you are encouraged to contact Multimedia Services as you prepare your media for streaming. Contact David Gorski x2468 or 

How do you add it to your Web site?

When Multimedia Services processes your media for streaming we will place the file on the streaming server and send you a hyperlink to that file. If you maintain your own site you can embed the link in the proper page. If someone else maintains the site for you, we will send the link to them.

What content can be used for streaming?

Almost any quality video material can be compressed for streaming; however, it is important to remember a couple of issues.

  • The quality of the stream will be less than the quality of the original media.
  • Close-up, low motion video works best as a stream. For example, video of a tightly framed lecture, with a stationary speaker in front of plain background is a better choice for streaming than a basketball game shot from the sidelines, due to the motion and the distance from the subject.

If I want video produced, who can do that for me?  

Call Multimedia Services, we can help guide you through the process or even manage the process for you.

Can I use still images with a sound track?

Still images work very well as a streaming media file. One of the easiest way to incorporate still images and sound is to use Microsoft PowerPoint. You can create an auto run program that incorporates your photos, titles, comments and narration. For some ideas, see How to Create a Streaming PowerPoint Presentation on Dr. Allan Freedline's PowerPoint Streaming website.

What about copyrighted material?

You must own the copyright or obtain written permission for the electronic distribution rights to any media you wish to stream. The laws governing electronic distribution are different than the laws covering classroom use. These links can provide additional details.

The Copyright Website

An Introduction to Copyright, Fair Use and Intellectual Property

Multimedia Authoring (look for "Legal" under Categories)

Can I use video I shot with my camcorder?

Most video can be processed for streaming, but there are some considerations if you plan to shoot video for streaming.

  1. Watch the motion. Because of the way compression works in streaming, the less motion the better.
  2. Watch the framing. Simply, the closer, the better. Remember many of your users will view your media material on a tiny screen. Keep this in mind as you shoot your material.

What about quality?

Quality is even more important than it might be in a classroom setting. This is due to the compression of the image for streaming. The viewers may be viewing your material on their home computers with a 56k modem. At that connection speed,
the presentation could end up as a mere 2 inch by 1.5 inch display on the user's desktop

Where can I learn more about streaming?

Try these links.

 Send comments to: