Monday, January 14, 2008

Various solutions for recording lectures

As I have noticed there are a lot of people out there wanting to start recording lectures, but not quite sure where to start a few suggestions for tools for creating rich media presentations, Please note: these are presentations combining streaming video with html so the student can navigate through the presentation by choosing slides in the presentation.
Please note: this is a very personal view of a number of products. I cannot claim to be complete or completely informed. If anybody has any suggestions or corrections please do send a comment. This is based on the Dutch market for ICT in higher ed, in other countries there might well be other optoins.
A good place to start is Microsoft Producer: the software is free, most institutions will have a laptop and a digital video camera lying about. It is a very time consuming process but a great to get teachers and students to warm to the idea. You can even use the Surfnet Videotheek to stream the .wmv video produced.
If you intend to take the recording and broadcasting more seriously there are plenty of companies out on the market offering solutions. Expensive but very comprehensive is the Mediasite solution. Other solutions on offer are Apreso/Echo360, Accordent (no experience with it yet, should see a trial on Wednesday) Tegrity (no experience with that either) and Presentations2Go. Presentations2go is a Dutch product developed by Wageningen University, but now for sale. An interesting aspect of the presentations2go solution is the pricing model, the server software is expensive whereas the software for the recording sets is cheap. This encourages the use of more recording sets.
Googling about I ran into an Open Source solution for recording lectures. I have no idea how it works, but the pricing certainly is very competitive. It is called ePresence. If anybody has any experience using it I am certainly intrigued.


Wilfred Rubens said...

Great post, Keith. Nice overview. I social bookmarked it.

Unknown said...

Hi Keith,

I'm currently developing a software product for creating web presentations. I specifically designed the tool to be an affordable, easy-to-use replacement for MS Producer. The product is called iPresent Presio. It allows you to record audio or video narration and synch it with PowerPoint slides or images. You can also import existing audio or video clips. The resulting presentation can be published to Windows Media, Quicktime, Flash, or Video Podcast (MP4) formats. The tool is really conducive to recording lectures.

Anyhow, the product is still in beta. You can download a fully functional version here:
This version allows you to publish up to 5 presentations.

To get a feel for what can be created with the tool - here are some examples of what a published Presio presentation looks like:

Also, I've created a couple of video tutorials that show the user interface of Presio as well as some new features like importing MP3 files and Video Podcast support:

Feel free to take a look if you get a chance. If you have any questions or feedback feel free to reach out.



Unknown said...

Hi Keith,

I am the Consortium manager for ePresence Interactive Media. Thank you for mentioning our webcasting software on your blog.

Of course I'm going to tell you how great our system is :), or I can invite you to attend a live webcast and let you find out for yourself.

We're hosting a live webcast from Ottawa on Feb 20th, beginning at 9am EST. Details available at:

We hope you can attend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Keith,

Recording lectures can take many different forms. I personally do not like the immediate 'need' to include video capture (assuming that that includes the lecturer). Voice however is important and perhaps a digital/electronic whiteboard. I have experimented to capture my lessons (PPS) with camtasia studio in combination with e-pointer. With a few clicks of a button I derive 50MB Flash captures of a 1 hr lecture. This is without any editing whatsoever. Students liked it, even though it does not include an interface to quickly jump to a specific slide.