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Multimedia Services

In addition to local multimedia hosting, CommonSpot supports integration of external video-sharing services, enabling Brightcove and YouTube customers to conveniently leverage the expertise and hosting capacity of these providers to improve quality, reliability, and efficiency when publishing video or multimedia through CommonSpot.

Instead of manually adding code to play external multimedia files, or using separate Elements for each multimedia file type, contributors have instant access to multimedia collections hosted by dedicated sharing services for entering and updating multimedia content through the Multimedia Element. From this single Element contributors simply point and click to choose the files they wish to publish. CommonSpot automatically sources associated service, channel, and player information for the selected file and presents compatible players.

The options shown above display to users with Site - Manage Multimedia permissions or administrative rights to any multimedia channel. See Multimedia Channel Security Permissions. Use these options to configure external services, channels, and default players or player settings for media types served from your site, as described below.

Setting Up External Multimedia for Your Site

Enabling integration with external video services is a multi-step process that requires:

  1. Establishing application-level communication between CommonSpot and each external service used. See Integrating Brightcove and Integrating YouTube.
  2. Creating one or more "channels" for each content category your organization uses. You can use channels to enforce security, by enabling/disabling access using channel rights as criteria, or to organize content in CommonSpot. For example, a university might maintain separate channels for internal training, distance learning, promotions, or alumni. A hospital or health care facility might create channels for each department. You have the option of:
  3. Giving CommonSpot permission to upload and serve multimedia for your channel(s). See Multimedia Channels and the description for granting access in Add/Edit Multimedia Channel.
  4. Uploading multimedia content through CommonSpot. See instructions for adding new multimedia to sites and subsites in the Contributor's Reference. You can also import existing multimedia assets into CommonSpot. See the notes on uploading and importing below.
  5. Enabling and optionally configuring players. See notes on selecting players below.

Adding Multimedia Content to Pages

Once setup is complete, assign specific Site and Subsite rights to manage multimedia and create new files and playlists.

Note: Because local multimedia service does not support playlists, they can be created through external sharing services only.

At the site level, users with Manage Multimedia privileges can:

Note: These rights do not automatically include admin or manage media privileges. You must explicitly grant these rights to individual users or groups through Multimedia Channel Security Permissions.

At the subsite level:

Note: Each of these rights also require ManageMedia privileges for the selected channel.

Contributors with upload multimedia and upload playlist privileges can view, upload, and manage the files they own through My Content - My Multimedia and My Playlists. Contributors add multimedia to pages by selecting and then defining a single Multimedia Element, which can be configured for single- or multi-file playback for all available file types.

Contributors then select from:

  1. Available files, which display for all configured sources (Local, YouTube, or Brightcove) in a familiar search interface, with preview options. Preview images and file details display for externally hosted files; only file information displays for locally hosted multimedia.
  2. Players appropriate for the selected file.

Choosing Files and File Types

CommonSpot displays all available files in a familiar search interface, which also enables users with permissions to upload new video or multimedia or to create new YouTube or Brightcove playlists. Contributors can choose from Quick Find, Advanced, or Saved Search options to specify search criteria for multimedia.

File type support for external services is determined by the individual video sharing services. Refer to Brightcove or YouTube policy documents. For local service, CommonSpot supports the multimedia standards listed for Multimedia Players - Local Service.

Selecting Players

Once a multimedia file or playlist is selected, CommonSpot returns only those players compatible with the selected service and file type.

For local media playback, CommonSpot ships with a set of standard players for Windows Media, QuickTime, Flash, and HTML5 formats.

Selecting a player displays a preview with basic height and width attributes. For details, see Player Settings in the Elements Reference and the CommonSpot Content Contributor's Reference.

Administrators have the option of making some, all, or none of the additional player settings user-editable at the page and Element level. CommonSpot provides a set of player templates for single and multi-file playback. Templates control attributes such as window size, button controls, and styling and are derived from the published player APIs. Brightcove use requires first configuring a player on the Brightcove site and then duplicating the Brightcove ID and key in the CommonSpot player template. See Configuring Brightcove Players.

Administrators and developers also have the option of assigning custom render handlers to players. All custom render modules must reside in {site_root}\cs_customization\multimedia\{servicename}\renderhandlers, which is generated when a channel is created. You can find a sample render handler in commonspot\samples\renderhandlers\multimedia\local\renderhandlers.

The ability to create new players is not enabled in this release of CommonSpot.

Files play back seamlessly to site visitors with no additional configuration required. External video sharing servers take care of all the details of handling multiple browsers and browser versions to deliver multimedia content.

Notes on Uploading, Importing, Updating, and Deleting Multimedia Files

Once CommonSpot is configured to handle externally hosted multimedia, adding new files is a simple process of selecting the hosting target and uploading. CommonSpot uploads files directly to the sharing service.

During upload of a multimedia file to the external service, if you have custom metadata associated with the multimedia file, that dialog needs to be saved before the CommonSpot portion of the upload is complete. The dialog handling the upload of the multimedia file to the external service must remain open until it completes. Depending on the size of the file, it could take quite a while. Larger files are not available for viewing at the external source or on your website until fully processed. This may also take additional time to complete.

Note for IE users: Due to limitations in this browser, using it requires CommonSpot to first upload files to the CommonSpot Server and then transfer them to the external multimedia server.

For existing multimedia assets, CommonSpot includes a utility for importing. This tool locates external multimedia files associated with the account used for your CommonSpot channel and inherits available name, title, and other basic information as standard metadata. Files are maintained in a "pending" state until each file is reviewed for any required custom properties. You can import one file at a time, or batch import. See My Pending Multimedia in the Contributor's Reference for details.

Important Note: For other files uploaded in CommonSpot, the delete action changes the file state to private, without removing the file from the server. This makes the "deleted" file invisible to end users but maintains file data for version history and reverting to earlier versions, if required. For this reason, CommonSpot does not typically overwrite files when uploading a new version. See Uploaded Document Version History in the Contributor's Reference.

Due to limited control over how external services handle files, CommonSpot treats deleted multimedia files differently from other files that are maintained for version history when deleted. Deleting a multimedia file managed through CommonSpot permanently removes it and all history versions from the hosting server, whether it is local or maintained by an external sharing service. Note, however, that this action does not delete versions of the file that were uploaded outside of CommonSpot and then added to the system through the import utility. CommonSpot flags the files it manages, to differentiate them from files on the same server that are maintained outside of CommonSpot.

Also Note: YouTube maintains file "memory" and does not allow re-upload of the same file with a different name. Files must be unique in YouTube. You can re-upload renamed files to Brightcove or to local video servers.

Managing Multimedia in CommonSpot

Administrators and contributors can view a report of multimedia files and playlists in use, as well as a report on referring pages or, where applicable, referring Trees. See the Contributor's Reference for details.

Use the features available through Multimedia Services to set up and manage communication with local or external multimedia services, to create and manage video channels, to create playlists, and to configure multimedia players.


Related Links

Integrating YouTube and CommonSpot

Integrating Brightcove and CommonSpot

External Multimedia Services

Local Multimedia Services

Multimedia Channels

Multimedia Players

You can download PDF versions of the Content Contributor's, Administrator's, and Elements Reference documents from the support section of (requires login).

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