Copy: Uncontrolled




Streaming Media Pilot
              Project
      Project Review
             Version Final Draft

...
1.         Revision History:

 Version            Date                         Author                          Reason
    ...
Table of Contents




Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review   Page 2
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review




1                EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.1              Purpose of this do...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



1.4              Recommendations
        Recommendation 1: that DSSS rev...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



2                Project summary

2.1              Background to the Str...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review


2.2              Funding
        DSSS provided a grant of $30,000 to assi...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review

        Over Semester II the automation was progressively improved. All au...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



2.4              Project participants
2.4.1            LTDU
        LTDU...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review

2.4.4            Law (Audio and Video)
        Law have been very active i...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



3                OBJECTIVES AND OUTPUTS

3.1              Objectives
   ...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review


3.5              Archiving & Retention of previous years’ information on
...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



4                Issues in the future

4.1              Storage space re...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review

        Below are some estimates of disc space requirements (in GB) based ...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review


4.3              Funding for recorders
        It is worth noting as part...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



5                Hand held digital recorders

5.1              Review of...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



5.2              Distribution of existing hand held recorders
5.2.1     ...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review


7                Use and impact and problems encountered

7.1            ...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review

                    o These problems are described in the section ‘Backgro...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



        There is online support for students who are having problems, bu...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



8                APPENDICES

8.1              Results of review of recor...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



                    Conclusion:
                     As per DS2200 abov...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review

                        Price - $269
                        Compact Siz...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review

                        The controls/user interface is non-intuitive.
   ...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



8.2                      Recorded lectures, streams published and stream...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



8.3              Streaming server access log analysis

8.3.1            ...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review

8.3.1.3          Daily Summary

Each unit ( ) represents 80 requests or pa...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review

8.3.1.5          File Type Report

Listing extensions with at least 50 req...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review



8.4              Terminology
Codec
        The term is an acronym that s...
Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review

        in a continuous stream and is played as it arrives. The user needs...
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  1. 1. Copy: Uncontrolled Streaming Media Pilot Project Project Review Version Final Draft 2nd December 2004
  2. 2. 1. Revision History: Version Date Author Reason nd 0.1 2 December, 2004 Dale Arnott Final Draft Other contributors acknowledge in body of report Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 1
  3. 3. Table of Contents Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 2
  4. 4. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1.1 Purpose of this document The purpose of this document is twofold.  To report on the status the Streaming Media pilot project was made possible with a grant from DSSS.  To provide a snapshot of the issues and an overview of the work that was done on the project up to the end of 2004 in order to provide information that will assist future decision-making around the future use of this technology at the University of Adelaide. This report includes recommendations for future deployment and expanded usage of streaming media across the University 1.2 Overview The Streaming Media pilot project was made possible with a grant from DSSS following a successful proof of concept in 2003, which proved that it was technically possible to make a digital recording of a lecture and then place a link in the corresponding MyUni course to the recording on a streaming server. The main purpose of the pilot was to establish the systems, processes and infrastructure necessary to automate the process of recording digital audio and video. The technology has been enthusiastically adopted by the Academic Schools participating in the pilot and a survey of Student satisfaction undertaken by LTDU has shown that the students wish to continue having this resource available to them. Ongoing, this technology will be promoted across the University. Part of this project was a review of technology where a cost effective hand held digital recorder was selected as suitable for general use. The main future constraint is the availability of file server storage space for the digital recordings. Also, as this is a rapidly developing technology, the University will need to keep up-to-date with trends and technology in this area if the service is to retain its quality and effectivenes. The streaming media applications are now under production development and support, so This technology is considered by all involved to be useful and easy to use. Support structures are in place for staff and student use of the systems. Technical support will be provided by ITS. 1.3 Highlights and Innovations This pilot project created the infrastructure to support staff who wish to digitally record their lectures and make that information available as a stream from an ITS streaming server via their MyUni course. This constitutes a significant change to the traditional delivery of lectures and opens the University to the future of digital presentation. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 3
  5. 5. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 1.4 Recommendations Recommendation 1: that DSSS review funding options for hand held recorders. Recommendation 2: That an annual review of Streaming Media Technology, Streaming media recording hardware, and integration technologies be budgeted for and undertaken. Recommendation 3: That DSSS approve using and supporting the Olympus and the Maycom and hand held audio recorders for digital audio recording. 1.5 Actions Action 1, GM ITS: That ITS supports a small project in the Online Applications Group, linked in with Action item 2, to review the archiving of streaming media data. Action 2, GM ITS: That ITS supports a small project in the Online Applications Group, linked in with Action item 1, to review the retention policies for streaming media data linked within MyUni. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 4
  6. 6. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 2 Project summary 2.1 Background to the Streaming Media Project Over the last few years there has been interest from a variety of areas to provide recorded lectures online through MyUni. Early in 2003 ITS and the LTDU evaluated hand held digital recorders and purchased some Maycom hand held digital recorders to run a ‘proof of concept’ for the idea of digitally recording lectures and making them available from MyUni. Also, during the last semester of 2003 and through 2004, the AV equipment in one of the Law lecture theatres has been used to pilot the capture of digital video streams. By the end of 2003 it was shown that audio and video could be captured, and links to recordings on an ITS streaming server could be incorporated into MyUni courses. At this stage all parts of the process were manual and quite labour intensive. ITS staff managed the recordings, the encoding was manual and ITS staff manually uploaded the material into MyUni. To progress this from a proof of concept to a fully functional pilot DSSS provided a grant to contribute to the development of systems and processes to automate the upload of both audio and video. At the end of 2003 Disability Services purchased 12 Maycom hand held digital sound recorders. Disability Services invests heavily in paying note takers and they purchased these units to replace note taking in some Schools. They also see that wider uptake of digital audio recording of the lecturers will not only provide a service for all students, but will allow the number of note takers to be reduced and hence allow the service to refocus its funding. This technology has been trialled in English, Economics, Politics and Physiology. The School of English previously recorded lectures on tapes that were copied and loaned to students. They have replaced the tapes with the digital recordings. As with the proof of concept, there was considerable manual effort from ITS in the early part of this project. The Maycom units were distributed to and collected from the Academic Schools by the Online Education Helpdesk as part of their print rounds. This worked acceptably, but not perfectly as there were pickups and deliveries that did not occur or were not timely. Additionally, the manual work of encoding, copying to the streaming server and setting up links in MyUni was time consuming and caused delays. The funding from DSSS allowed a user interface, plus support documentation, to be created to automate the upload of the digital data to the streaming server and to assist the instructors to publish the information on MyUni. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 5
  7. 7. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 2.2 Funding DSSS provided a grant of $30,000 to assist -the pilot project in delivering a fully functional system. The project was assisted by the contribution of the 12 Maycom units from Disability Services. 2.3 Project stages In Semester I, 2004 the Maycom units were being delivered to and collected from schools by the Online Education Helpdesk staff on their print rounds. They were distributed according to a timetable and had to be returned to ITS as all the uploads were manual. This situation persisted for Semester I whilst the interface was being developed and was less than satisfactory. There were problems with the timely pickup and delivery of the Maycoms. For example: • There was no scope for variation in what was being recorded and when. • The lead-time between making the recording and the recordings being available in MyUni was up to 2 weeks. • At this stage ITS staff would listen to the beginning and end of the recording and trim the excess as necessary. This added to an already time consuming process. • The recordings were occasionally put up in the wrong course, as the documentation provided with each recording was usually incomplete. ITS staff would listen to the recording and, from experience, identify the voice. The course would be chosen on the basis of the lecturer and was inaccurate when the lecturer was guest lecturing in another course. All recordings are made unavailable to students initially so the instructors can take the opportunity to review the recording. The policy, as supported by the LTDU, is that Instructors should ‘publish’ their own material. Initially, however, there were issues with instructors who were not familiar with MyUni having trouble accessing the material and making it available. The dissatisfaction this caused was reflected back to ITS and LTDU. During Semester I an application was being developed to allow the recording to be extracted through the USB port on desktop computers and copied to an ITS server. The raw recording could then be picked up and encoded. The process concentrated on audio recordings only, as they are less complex to process compared to video recordings. At the beginning of Semester II the first version of the interface to upload from computer desktops was finished and made available to staff, who were trained in its use and reviewed the interface on the 19th July 2004. Following this review some minor changes were made and the application was distributed. This Desktop Management Services in ITS can now manage access to the application and distribution of patches to all users through their remote desktop management tools. It is expected that the video application, when it becomes available, will also be managed with this tool. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 6
  8. 8. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Over Semester II the automation was progressively improved. All audio recordings are available in the Windows Media Player (WMP) version 9 codec (see note 1 below). There are two WMP streams of different bit rates (54kb/sec and 24kb/sec) to cater for on and off campus playing. The difference in quality between the two is reported as being negligible. The funding from DSSS also allowed for the purchase of a number of hand held recorders for evaluation. This was undertaken during Semester II and the recommendations are discussed below. As previously stated, development of the audio upload application is ahead of the video recording/upload application. The audio version is the simplest to develop and modify and many of the interface problems can be solved in the audio interface before developing the video interface. To simplify the upload process, the video application is designed to have an interface very similar to the audio application. As at the date of this report the video interface is about to be released for beta testing. This will become more important in 2005 as there are four lecture theatres scheduled for an upgrade to include video recording hardware. (Note 1 This should play in any version of Windows Media Player from Version 6.4 onwards (requiring an automatic codec download), or from Version 9 on Mac OS X. The latest version of RealPlayer (Version 10), also supports playback of Windows Media. ) Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 7
  9. 9. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 2.4 Project participants 2.4.1 LTDU LTDU provided the learning and teaching expertise. LTDU assisted with building documentation. They created the help for instructors and students web pages and delivered the training on the upload application. Staff seeking help on how to incorporate digital media into their courses were directed to the LTDU. The surveys of staff and students were also managed and the results analysed by the LTDU. 2.4.2 Disability Services Disability Services are a strong supporter of recording lectures. A significant portion of their budget goes to pay note takers. The quality of the notes depends on the individual and the usefulness depends on the compatibility of the learning styles between the note taker and the note recipient. Most note taking occurs in Humanities and Social Sciences and the Professions, so support for these areas was reflected in the distribution of Maycoms in these areas. Meredith Norton from the Disability Services has participated in all aspects of the project and strongly supports the expansion of the digital recording of lectures. 2.4.3 Library The Library has been very keen to participate in this project, as they have an interest in digital objects. As described below, the expectation is that individual staff or Academic Schools will acquire a recorder of some kind. However, there are a number of scenarios in which it would be advantageous for recorders to be available for loan:  Staff want to try our the technology  The School device is being used and there is another recording to be made  Disability Services wishes to have a specific recording made (the Library Maycoms belong to Disability Services).  Other areas of the University would like to make a recording (for example, the open-day lecturers). Library staff are able to upload the recording if necessary, but many staff (or School Secretaries) will be able to upload without assistance. The recorders have a record in the Library's catalogue, which shows where they can be found in the library, which enables users to borrow them for a 3 day loan as that does not place undue pressure on Library staff to process the recordings. The Library will review either the loan period or the number of recorders it holds if it appears that demand is greater than expected. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 8
  10. 10. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 2.4.4 Law (Audio and Video) Law have been very active in this programme. In Semester I Law recorded 3 courses to Video and one in Semester II. Law have also made some audio recordings which the Academics have uploaded them themselves. As at the end of Semester II 2004, Law was still liaising with ITS to manually start and upload recordings. Version 1 of the video upload application will be ready for trial at the beginning of 2005. 2.4.5 English & Media Studies (Audio) In Semester I English recorded five courses and Media Studies recorded one. In Semester II, English recorded eight courses and Media Studies recorded two. This group provided significant feedback on the operation of the upload application and how it could be improved. In most cases in these schools the Academics who made the recording uploaded them to MyUni. 2.4.6 Politics (Audio) Recorded two courses in Semester I. One of these courses recorded video from the Law lecture theatre, but only the audio stream was published. 2.4.7 Physiology (Audio) Recorded one course in Semester I and four in Semester II. In this case, the Physiology Academic Programs office uploaded the recordings to MyUni on behalf of the Academics. 2.4.8 Commerce (Audio) Recorded one course in Semester I. 2.4.9 ITS  Provided the technical expertise and project management  Managed the servers and the transfer and backup of data  Archived data manually after Semester I  Performed the manual tasks of collecting an uploading the data in the early stages of the project  Trouble-shooting problems  Contracted a Visual Basic programmer to write an application for uploading audio recordings, and an application for recording video footage of lectures. Reviewed and updated specs.  Testing and implementation.  Training and documentation  Presentation.  Integration into MyUni  Review hand held hardware  Ordering and managing hardware. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 9
  11. 11. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 3 OBJECTIVES AND OUTPUTS 3.1 Objectives The objective of this project was to:  Provide University senior management with the information required to support the expansion of the use of streaming media.  Develop procedures and documentation to support the expanded implementation of Streaming Media around the University.  Ensure that Disability Services can improve their support for Disabled students.  Provide a means of providing more flexible content options to all students at the University.  Deliver a suitable system to deliver streaming media into MyUni.  Review technology. 3.2 System Deliverables (Outputs) • Simplified upload process for audio and video. • Review of hand held recorders currently available on the market. • Loans process for the Library. • ‘How to’ documentation of the software and procedures developed during the project. • Information packs to accompany the Maycom units. • Initial training to staff participating. 3.3 Audio Application By the end of the grant period (ie 31st December 2004) the following aspects of the project are outstanding. There have been modifications to the audio application following review by staff using the upload. All future changes will be handled through the ITS change control methodology for production systems. 3.4 Video rollout • Currently the development of the video upload application is in Beta • There are a number of change/feature requests currently being implemented. • The application will need to be acceptance tested by Vicki Waye • It will then need to be included on the lecture theatre PC image and an appropriate Zen push-out group developed • It is expected that acceptance testing and review of the application will begin whenever is convenient for staff in January, 2005 Moving the beta release through review into development will be handled by the Online Applications team in Business Systems Group, ITS. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 10
  12. 12. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 3.5 Archiving & Retention of previous years’ information on MyUni This topic is discussed above, but it will require significant resources and consultation to reach a satisfactory conclusion. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 11
  13. 13. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 4 Issues in the future 4.1 Storage space requirements and archiving Digital audio and recordings have large disk space requirements. An argument is presented below to show that even with an archiving policy and a policy on the retention of previous years’ material in MyUni, and with a conservative uptake of the technology, the existing storage will be exhausted before the end of 2006. Retention of previous years’ material in MyUni and the archiving and of the raw and encoded data on Babbage is a question in which the Academic needs to retain the data will need to be considered. This has proven to be a contentious issue when raised in project meetings. GB Streaming Semester I Lectures server # Streams Comment 9 of these were in Law 2 and Audio 152 3.8 295 are at 20k 28 audio streams & 84 video Video 28 1.9 112 streams Total 169 5.7 407 Semester II Lectures GB # Streams Comment 9 of these were in Law 2 and Audio 169 4.1 338 are at 20k 6 audio streams & 29 video Video 11 1 35 streams Total 179 5.2 373 Figure 1: Streaming server statistics for 2005 showing the Gigabyte (GB) storage on the streaming server. As can be seen from section 2 above there were more lectures recorded in Semester II but there were 4 video lectures recorded in Semester I. This reflects the relative sizes of the video and audio data. An hour of digital video requires 121 MB compared to an hour of audio, which requires 30 MB. Currently we have approximately 35GB of space on the streaming server. Also, data is initially processed on Babbage, which currently had 40GB allocated for Streaming Media usage. Babbage holds the raw recording plus copies of the encoded streams. At the end of semester this data can be archived to DVD and we currently have 26GB of archived material. In the normal course of processing there is twice as much space used on Babbage as on the streaming server, however most of this is only relevant for the current semester. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 12
  14. 14. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Below are some estimates of disc space requirements (in GB) based on the following assumptions:  That an archiving policy has been determined for Babbage and previous semester data is archived and removed in a timely manner.  That a retention policy has been developed for the streaming server such that the previous year’s recordings can be retained in a smaller format (for example, retain only the smallest encoding).  The uptake of the technology will approximately mirror the uptake of MyUni amongst academics. Usage of MyUni has doubled every year since the Project Plato pilot. These archiving and retention policies have yet to be specified and implemented. Year Courses Babbage Babbage Babbage Real Real Real being prev Total server Prev Total Recorded year Year 2004 8 audio, 10 0 10 6 6 2.5 Video 2005 16 Audio, 20 5 30 12 2 14 5 Video 2006 32 Audio 40 5 45 24 4 28 10 Video Figure 2: Estimated disk space usages As can be seen, even with an efficient archiving and retention policy in place, which is not the case, the server space available will be full at the end of 2006. This is considered a conservative estimate and the review of archiving and disk space is essential. Action 1, GM ITS: That ITS supports a small project in the Online Applications Group, linked in with Action item 1, to review the archiving of streaming media data. Action 2, GM ITS: That ITS supports a small project in the Online Applications Group, linked in with Action item 1, to review the retention policies for streaming media data linked within MyUni. 4.2 Uptake of this technology across the University Uptake across the University is difficult to predict. There are some Faculties and Schools that will be more enthusiastic in using the technology, which was also the case for the uptake of MyUni. In the disk space estimates above we have assumed that the rate of uptake will be similar to that of the uptake of MyUni. Usage of MyUni has doubled every year since the completion of the Plato Pilot project. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 13
  15. 15. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 4.3 Funding for recorders It is worth noting as part of this review that the ITS project team has been asked if purchase of hand held recorders will be centrally funded. In our opinion the technology would be better received if recorders were, at least partially, funded centrally. However the response made by the project team when that question was posed was that future funding was outside our terms of reference and the head of the school may be the better person to take up the question. Central funding may assist with central purchasing thereby maximising bulk discounts. Recommendation 1: that DSSS review funding options for hand held recorders. 4.4 Future support of the Audio and Video applications The application was developed on contract, however the expertise to provide technical support for the application and to provide future enhancements to the system exists in ITS in both in the Online Applications Team and also within the OS&S group. As at 1st January 2005 this will be a production application and any changes will be undertaken through the manager of the Business Systems Group and will adhere to the change management controls used by that group. 4.5 Ongoing review of available digital recording technologies Digital recording technology is a rapidly changing. In the two years since the Maycom units were purchased there have been many more products on the market, the quality of these products has increased and the cost reduced. In another two years we expect that the technology will have made an equally large leap.Also, the technology available in the lecture theatres will change over the next couple of years with the upgrades to theatres and expansion of the video conferencing technology. If the University wishes to encourage the digital recording of teaching then there will need to be an ongoing investment in technology review. This may involve reviewing hand held recorders and also determining the best way to provide a simple link into whatever technology is available in theatres (and possibly seminar rooms). Recommendation 2: That an annual review of Streaming Media Technology, Streaming media recording hardware, and integration technologies be budgeted for and undertaken. 4.6 Demands for more complex technologies One of the interesting outcomes of the pilot project is that many staff recording their lectures are now thinking of ways to improve what they do. We have been asked, for example, about how a lecturer can synchronise a voice recording with a PowerPoint presentation. These questions can be included in the scope of any review undertaken as above. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 14
  16. 16. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 5 Hand held digital recorders 5.1 Review of hand held digital recorders 5.1.1 Recommended units ITS reviewed a number of hand held recorders. The details of this review are available in Appendix number10.1. In summary the recommended units are:  Olympus DS2200  Olympus DM20  Maycom (First/Second Generation) Recommendation 3: That DSSS approve using and supporting the Olympus and the Maycom and hand held audio recorders for digital audio recording. 5.1.2 Support and bulk purchase Support for all recommended models will be available from the various MyUni and LTDU web sites. Also LTDU, Online Education and Online Applications staff will help staff with problems with the recommended units. The Online Applications group will attempt to purchase Olympus Units in bulk if there is sufficient interest. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 15
  17. 17. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 5.2 Distribution of existing hand held recorders 5.2.1 Maycom Both ITS and LTDU have one Maycom each, purchased by the respective areas. Disability Services purchased 10 units in order to support a pilot and most of those will be distributed to the schools that participated in the pilot. The 10 Disability Services Maycoms will be distributed as: • 2 Maycom units held by the Barr-Smith Library These will remain the property of Disability Services, managed by ITS. • 8 Maycom units for distribution to lecturers to support Disability Services requirements. o 4 - English/Media studies o 1 - Politics o 1 - Commerce o 2 - Physiology These units will become the property of the schools as from 1 January 2005. 5.2.2 Olympus ITS has one Olympus DS2200 and one Olympus DM20 which were purchased as one of a number of trial recorders from DSSS grant funds. 6 User Support The following support structures exist for supporting staff and students.  Detailed web information for staff on how to use the recorders and how to upload.  There is also information for staff on getting started with audio recording and the teaching aspects associated with it.  The LTDU is available to assist staff.  There is online ‘troubleshooting’ information for students on how to play the recordings.  The Online Education Help Desk will assist both staff and students by email or over the telephone.  Staff who are having trouble interpreting the online instructions to upload or to use the recorders will be referred to the LTDU.  The Online Education Help Desk will assist staff who are unsure as to how to make the recordings available to students in MyUni  Technical questions that the LTDU or the Online Education Held Desk are unable to answer will be escalated to the Online Applications group in ITS. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 16
  18. 18. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 7 Use and impact and problems encountered 7.1 Usage statistics (by Chris Doherty, ITS) A breakdown of the number of lectures recorded and how many streaming files were generated over the pilot project is included in the appendices. The entire 2004 pilot period, encompassing both Semester I and II has been considered in this analysis. Also included is a full analysis of the access log files for the streaming server. Refer to section 8.2 and 8.3 for the graphs relevant to these discussions. 7.1.1 Recorded lectures, streaming files published and disk usage There were 348 individual lectures recorded as either audio or video, producing 780 streaming files, which consumed 10.8 gigabytes of disk space on the streaming server. Of those 780 files, 667 were audio (using 7.9 gigabytes) and 113 were video (using 2.9 gigabytes). The ratio of published files to user accesses for the audio and video streams is almost 1 to 1. The audio content constituted 85.5% of the material published to the streaming server and accounted for 80% of the total access requests, while 14.5% of the published material was video and accounted for 17.6% of all access requests. This suggests that as a proportion of total streaming media usage, video was just as popular as audio. 7.1.2 Streaming server access Trends in the pattern of accesses over time showed and increase in usage, as expected and closely resemble the statistical trends observed during the growth and uptake for MyUni.  For the duration of the pilot period, over 18,000 requests for streaming media content were successfully delivered to users at an average of 74 files per day. Only 18 requests (0.1% of all requests) could not be handled at all (note that this does not include users who successfully accessed files but were not able to play them as outlined in section 8.3).  On an hourly basis, the majority (73%) of accesses were between the normal University business hours of 9am to 6pm. Almost all of the remaining accesses (23%) were between 6pm and midnight.  The percentage of daily accesses ranged between 15% and 20% on weekdays, decreasing to 7% on weekends. Accesses peaked on Tuesday and were lowest on Friday. There are a number of possible causes for this difference: when the recorded lectures were being delivered, student access habits of online material, assessment deadlines and so on. 7.1.3 Streaming server access – weekly access patterns Refer to weekly graph in Appendix section 8.3 below.  The low initial usage during the first half of Semester I (8/Mar to 5/Apr) can be at least partially explained by problems encountered regarding: o Recorder delivery o Content publishing o Lectures not being recorded correctly Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 17
  19. 19. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review o These problems are described in the section ‘Background to the Streaming Media Project’.  The second half of Semester I showed a significant increase in accesses as many of these early problems were resolved.  As expected, there are three clear troughs throughout the entire year that correspond very closely to each group of teaching holidays: o Mid-semester I: weeks beginning 12/Apr and 19/Apr o Mid-year: weeks beginning 5/Jul to 19/Jul o Mid-semester II: 20/Sep and 27/Sep  There is a large spike of accesses that occurred during weeks 2 and 3 (2/Aug and 9/Aug) of Semester II, which may be explained by students undertaking revision of the Semester I material.  There is also a large spike during SWOTVAC (1/Nov) and represents the busiest week of the pilot period. 7.2 Evaluation summary (by Judi Baron, LTDU) An evaluation was undertaken by Judi Baron in the LTDU. Full results of the survey are available at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/clpd/materia/reports/ 179 first and second year students undertook the Streaming Media survey as a result of the pilot undertaken during 2004. The results of this survey clearly indicated that a large majority of these students wish to continue to have access to this type of media resource. Approximately 48% of the students surveyed had accessed the media resources in MyUni during 2004. These students considered that the quality and value of the media resources was good. Students who accessed the media resources did so when they were unable to attend lectures, for revision purposes, and when they had trouble understanding something covered in the lectures. The main concern was that of access to the media resources in MyUni. There was correlation between those students indicating dissatisfaction with the ability to open and listen to the media resources and those students who accessed the media from home. However the technical problems associated with accessing the media from home have now been largely overcome and a follow up survey will be undertaken in 2005 to monitor satisfaction with ease of access when off campus. Those students who generally accessed the media from the University were more satisfied with the ease of access. There were student requests that more headphones be made available so that they are able to access the media resources in computer labs and the Library on campus. 7.3 Technical problems encountered (by Andrew Naismith, ITS) Streaming media is still an emerging technology and there are a number of rival protocols and no standard set as yet. A protocol called RTSP (Real-time Streaming protocol) is emerging and the standards will become more adopted over time. However, it will be some time before all desktops will play the streams without problems. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 18
  20. 20. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review There is online support for students who are having problems, but it may not be possible to guarantee trouble free access to streamed media for all operating systems and versions. Documentation on how best to access the Audio was provided online. Despite our best efforts, there were still a number of initial problems with the streams, which affected students being able to access the streams from both on and off the university campus. 7.3.1 Accessing from off campus We have no control over the desktops used off campus and even MP3 streams will not behave the same way with different players using different operating system versions. For Windows Media streams to work through a firewall, certain ports must be open, The University’s firewall had been set-up correctly for Real Media streams but not Windows Media streams. This issue affected people trying to access the material from outside the University firewall ie their own private Internet Service Provider. 7.3.2 Accessing from on campus and university dialup The first issue is to do with Windows Media Player versions and codecs. We encode our streams using the standard Windows Media Series 9 codecs, which are the most compatible. Machines with Windows NT, there are still a few dotted around the University campus are unable to support anything other than Another issue which prevented access, was the automatic proxy configuration, new workstations around the university network and machines using the dialup modem pool have been configured to use a autconfiguration file (proxy.pac) instead of manual proxies. This proxy.pac file incorrectly assumed that the streaming server was a local machine rather than on the dmz machine, so anyone using the auto proxy config file were denied access to the streams. The short-term fix was to use manual proxy settings. The autoconfig file has now been fixed and any PC that is reimaged should work “out of the box”. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 19
  21. 21. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 8 APPENDICES 8.1 Results of review of recorders (by Geraint Draheim, ITS) 8.1.1 Recommended recorders 8.1.1.1 Olympus DS2200  Pros:  Good sound quality.  Comes with a stereo microphone.  Comes with a lapel microphone.  Works as a USB mass storage device.  Simple user interface/controls (as with any of the purpose built digital note-takers).  Local distributor, who has to date been very helpful.  Metal casing (durability?).  Doesn't require proprietary drivers or software.  Good availability and documentation.  Cons:  Uses removable media (theft target?).  Only records to WMA or the proprietary Olympus DSS format  Conclusion: While the Olympus recorders are a bit more expensive (~$650) than some of the others, they were the only ones that met all of our requirements, they have good recording quality, record in a format that is compatible with our procedures (WMA), they don't require any propriety software/drivers, they are easy to use, they seem to be well built/durable, and they seem to have good support and documentation from manufacturers and suppliers. 8.1.1.2 Olympus DM20  Pros:  Good sound quality.  Comes with a lapel microphone.  Works as a USB mass storage device.  Simple user interface/controls (as with any of the purpose built digital note-takers).  Local distributor, who has to date been very helpful.  Metal casing (durability?).  Doesn't require proprietary drivers or software.  Good availability and documentation.  Cons:  Works as a portable music player (theft target?).  Only records to WMA or the proprietary Olympus DSS format Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 20
  22. 22. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review  Conclusion: As per DS2200 above. While the price is basically the same, The DM20, is not as ideal as the DS2200, because while it gains music playback capabilities, it does not come with the stereo microphone. However, both of these recorders are equally capable of recording lectures, so recommending the DM20 as well should improve the availability of recorders for purchasing (if one is not available, the other should be). 8.1.1.3 Maycom (First/Second Generation):  Pros:  Good built-in Microphone.  Good Automatic gain control.  Good sound quality.  Easy to use.  Works as a USB mass storage device.  Doesn't require proprietary drivers or software.  Cons:  Price - >$2500 per unit.  Durability - We have had a number of units break and require warranty repairs.  No local support - supplier is interstate, and manufacturer is in the Netherlands.  Compact Flash removable media (Theft target?)  Conclusion: This will stay an endorsed recorder. It is perhaps better suited to recording seminars/conferences, where the microphone and AGC system is better suited to capturing many people's voice from all over the room. However, due to the cost of the units, we would not be recommending that people buy these unless they really have the need to justify the cost. Existing Maycoms are available to be borrowed from the library for recording seminars/conferences, whilst newer/cheaper recorders could be used for recording lectures. The first generation Maycom is no longer being sold, however, the Second generation Maycom is basically the same, with comparable features, and price, so should the need arise, we could purchase more of these. 8.1.2 Recorders reviewed but not recommended 8.1.2.1 iRiver IFP700 (256MB Flash memory MP3 Player)  Pros: Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 21
  23. 23. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review  Price - $269  Compact Size.  Good availability and documentation.  Cons:  Requires proprietary drivers and software to upload recordings.  Records in a proprietary format, which must be converted using the provided proprietary software before we can process the audio stream (this prevents us automating the process).  Non intuitive user interface and controls.  Doesn't come with a lapel microphone.  Conclusion: The fact that this unit requires proprietary drivers and software to be installed, before it will interface with a computer is a show-stopper. Also, even if this were resolved, the user interface may be a support problem. 8.1.2.2 Sony ICD-P28 USB digital note taker:  Pros:  Good sound quality.  Simple user interface/controls (as with any of the purpose built digital note-takers).  Price - $220.  Compact size.  Good availability and documentation.  Cons:  Requires proprietary drivers and software to upload recordings.  Records in a proprietary format, which must be converted using the provided proprietary software before we can process the audio stream (this prevents us automating the process).  Doesn't come with a lapel microphone.  Conclusion: This is quite a good recorder; it is easy to use, with a good price, and good recording quality. However, the requirement for it to use proprietary drivers, and propriety software to convert the recordings to a usable format has meant that it is not suitable for use in the University. 8.1.2.3 Acer 256MB Flash Memory MP3 player.  Pros:  Price - $229  Compact size.  Has a USB plug built-in (no cables required).  Doesn't require proprietary drivers or software.  Cons:  This product is not very well documented. We haven't been able to find it on any of Acer's web-sites. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 22
  24. 24. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review  The controls/user interface is non-intuitive.  No microphone input.  Caused some PC's to crash, when connected to the USB ports.  Conclusion: The fact that we can't find a lot of information about this product, or support from the manufacturer, or information about how long this product is likely to be available has excluded this product. We can't recommend a recorder, if we can't give people exact details as to which recorder to buy (eg. model number), or if we can't be reasonably sure that the recorder will still be available to purchase in the immediate future. 8.1.2.4 Panasonic RR-US360: Recorder did not arrive after 6 weeks.  Pros: N/A  Cons: N/A  Conclusion: Unit did not arrive early enough to be tested, and if delivery times of 6+ weeks are at all common, this really would preclude the use of this recorder anyway. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 23
  25. 25. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 8.2 Recorded lectures, streams published and streaming server disk usage 2004 Recorded Lectures and Stream ing Files Published 800 700 600 373 500 344 400 300 179 169 200 407 323 100 29 152 169 11 84 28 0 Audio Lect ur es Audio St reams Video Lect ures Video St r eams Tot al Lect ures Tot al St r eams Semest er 1 Semest er 2 2004 Published Stream s Disk Usage 12.0 10.0 5.1 8.0 6.0 4.1 4.0 5.7 1.0 2.0 3.8 1.9 0.0 Audio Video Tot al S t r e a m Fo r m a t Semest er 1 Semest er 2 Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 24
  26. 26. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 8.3 Streaming server access log analysis 8.3.1 Web Server Statistics for Streaming Server (for MyUni) Program started at Wed-01-Dec-2004 16:48. Analysed requests from Wed-10-Mar-2004 12:32 to Wed-10-Nov-2004 11:08 (244.94 days). 8.3.1.1 General Summary Successful requests: 18,182 Average successful requests per day: 74 Failed requests: 18 Distinct files requested: 873 8.3.1.2 Hourly Summary Each unit ( ) represents 40 requests or part thereof. hour: reqs: %reqs: ----: ----: ------: 0: 176: 0.97%: 1: 75: 0.41%: 2: 56: 0.31%: 3: 47: 0.26%: 4: 18: 0.10%: 5: 27: 0.15%: 6: 51: 0.28%: 7: 118: 0.65%: 8: 377: 2.07%: 9: 1096: 6.03%: 10: 1329: 7.31%: 11: 1713: 9.42%: 12: 1769: 9.73%: 13: 1498: 8.24%: 14: 1470: 8.08%: 15: 1567: 8.62%: 16: 1639: 9.01%: 17: 1197: 6.58%: 18: 699: 3.84%: 19: 779: 4.28%: 20: 852: 4.69%: 21: 644: 3.54%: 22: 582: 3.20%: 23: 403: 2.22%: Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 25
  27. 27. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 8.3.1.3 Daily Summary Each unit ( ) represents 80 requests or part thereof. day: reqs: %reqs: ---: ----: ------: Mon: 3061: 16.84%: Tue: 3633: 19.98%: Wed: 3403: 18.72%: Thu: 2814: 15.48%: Fri: 2729: 15.01%: Sat: 1114: 6.13%: Sun: 1428: 7.85%: 8.3.1.4 Weekly Report Each unit ( ) represents 50 requests or part thereof. week beg.: reqs: %reqs: ---------: ----: ------: 8/Mar/04: 6: 0.03%: 15/Mar/04: 13: 0.07%: 22/Mar/04: 210: 1.15%: 29/Mar/04: 322: 1.77%: 5/Apr/04: 372: 2.05%: 12/Apr/04: 162: 0.89%: 19/Apr/04: 49: 0.27%: 26/Apr/04: 165: 0.91%: 3/May/04: 131: 0.72%: 10/May/04: 397: 2.18%: 17/May/04: 430: 2.36%: 24/May/04: 790: 4.34%: 31/May/04: 767: 4.22%: 7/Jun/04: 558: 3.07%: 14/Jun/04: 562: 3.09%: 21/Jun/04: 774: 4.26%: 28/Jun/04: 213: 1.17%: 5/Jul/04: 80: 0.44%: 12/Jul/04: 69: 0.38%: 19/Jul/04: 66: 0.36%: 26/Jul/04: 664: 3.65%: 2/Aug/04: 1648: 9.06%: 9/Aug/04: 1321: 7.27%: 16/Aug/04: 837: 4.60%: 23/Aug/04: 714: 3.93%: 30/Aug/04: 735: 4.04%: 6/Sep/04: 600: 3.30%: 13/Sep/04: 622: 3.42%: 20/Sep/04: 299: 1.64%: 27/Sep/04: 323: 1.78%: 4/Oct/04: 403: 2.22%: 11/Oct/04: 391: 2.15%: 18/Oct/04: 496: 2.73%: 25/Oct/04: 849: 4.67%: 1/Nov/04: 1659: 9.12%: 8/Nov/04: 485: 2.67%: Busiest week: week beginning 1/Nov/04 (1,659 requests). Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 26
  28. 28. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 8.3.1.5 File Type Report Listing extensions with at least 50 requests, sorted by the number of requests. no.: reqs: %reqs: extension ---: -----: ------: --------- 1: 14561: 80.08%: .wma [Windows Media Audio] 2: 3198: 17.59%: .wmv [Windows Media Video] 3: 211: 1.16%: .gif [GIF image] 4: 123: 0.68%: [no extension] : 89: 0.49%: [not listed: 8 extensions] Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 27
  29. 29. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review 8.4 Terminology Codec The term is an acronym that stands for “compression/decompression.” A codec is an algorithm or specialized computer program that encodes or decodes data, such that it reduces the size of that data, for storage or transmission purposes. In order to minimize the amount of storage space required for a complicated file, such as a video, the data is compressed. Compression works by eliminating redundancies in data, and also by removing data which is not likely to be noticed by the viewer/listener. Compression can reduce the size of a file by a factor of 100 or more in some cases. For example, a 15- megabyte video might be reduced to 150 kilobytes. The uncompressed file would be far too large to download from the Web in a reasonable length of time, but the compressed file could usually be downloaded in a few seconds. For viewing, a decompression algorithm, which “undoes” the compression, would have to be used. The codecs we are using to encode the audio and video lecture recordings are Windows Media Video 8, Windows Media Audio 9 Voice and and MP3. Media Player A piece of software which is capable of playing back various types multimedia content, including movies, music, MIDI music, spoken word recordings etc... Readily available players include: Windows Media Player, , Windows Media Player for Mac, RealNetworks Real Player, Apple Quicktime, WinAmp etc.. MP3 MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3) is a standard technology and format for compressing a sound recording into a very small file (about one-twelfth the size of the original file) while preserving a sound quality similar to that of the original when it is played. Most Windows (after Windows 98) and Mac systems should come with an mp3 player installed. MP3 is an audio encoding standard developed under the sponsorship of the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and formalized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) The Real Time Streaming Protocol is a client-server application-level protocol for controlling the delivery of data from a streaming server, to a client’s computer with real-time properties. It establishes and controls either a single or several time-synchronized streams of continuous media, such as audio and video. It uses transport protocols such as UDP, multicast UDP, TCP, and RTP to deliver the continuous streams. Both live broadcasts and pre-recorded audio/video clips can be streamed over RTSP. Streaming Media Streaming media is sound (audio) and pictures (video) that are transmitted on the Internet in a streaming or continuous fashion, using data packets. The most effective reception of streaming media requires some form of broadband technology such as cable modem or DSL (ADSL). Streaming Video Streaming video is a sequence of “moving images” that are sent in compressed form over the Internet and displayed by the viewer as they arrive. Streaming media is streaming video with sound. With streaming video or streaming media, a Web user does not have to wait to download a large file before seeing the video or hearing the sound. Instead, the media is sent Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 28
  30. 30. Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review in a continuous stream and is played as it arrives. The user needs a player, which is a special program that de-compresses and sends video data to the display and audio data to speakers. A player can be either an integral part of a browser or downloaded from the software maker’s Web site. Streaming video is usually sent from pre-recorded video files, but can be distributed as part of a live broadcast “feed.” In a live broadcast, the video signal is converted into a compressed digital signal and transmitted from a special Web server that is able to do multicast, sending the same file to multiple users at the same time. In this context we are streaming pre-recorded video files. Streaming Audio/Sound Streaming sound is sound that is played as it arrives. The alternative is a sound recording (such as a WAV file) that doesn’t start playing until the entire file has arrived. Support for streaming sound may require a plug-in player or come with the browser. Leading providers of streaming sound include Progressive Networks’ RealAudio, Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, Apple’s Quicktime and Macromedia’s Shockwave for Director (which includes an animation player as well. Streaming Server The streaming server is the device on which the digital audio files and digital video files are stored. This server then streams the multimedia data over the internet, back to the browser which made the original request for that media Streaming Media Pilot Project – Project Review Page 29

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