Kaltura is a web-hosted streaming media server for NAU. A streaming media server is an important component of a university’s information infrastructure. Media files are large, and they need to be delivered at different quality levels, file sizes, and file types, depending on the device that will consume them. A dedicated streaming media server has a variety of benefits:
- Centralization: A single centralized location for media asset management and distribution. Cline Library, Disability Resources (the Usable Materials Center), e-Learning, Marketing, Extended Campuses and other interested groups can all use the same centrally managed and supported system.
- Optimization: A streaming media server automatically detects the device type so that the content can be delivered in the appropriate file format and file size for a wide range of devices. This is far superior to manually creating multiple versions of the files and hoping that the user picks correctly.
- Streaming: A streaming server delivers the content in a data stream so that the end user can begin viewing before the entire file is delivered. This is far superior to systems like Blackboard, where the entire file must be downloaded before viewing.
- Copyright Protection: Because files are streamed, they are not saved on the end user’s device, taking up storage space and possibly leading to illegal distribution of content. Media assets are catalogued so that sets of users can have different access privileges.
- Reducing load on other systems: Blackboard and other servers will require less storage and run more efficiently when relieved of the need to deliver large media files.
- Captioning: Media can be captioned for accessibility, helping us to meet our ADA Section 508 legal obligations.
- Reduced Duplication: In Blackboard, media files are duplicated each time a course is copied forward to a new semester. The streaming media server will contain only a single copy of each file, reducing storage needs.
- Metadata: Advanced tagging and asset description makes searching for media easy.
- LMS (Blackboard) Integration: The streaming media server is available direct from the Learning Management System.
- Hosted Solution: Higher reliability and better support than locally managed options.
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