VLC Media Player – Tool to play and convert different video formats.

The VLC Media player tool is a free for use application that is available for Windows & Mac computers (as well as IOS and Android Devices) that plays a wide range of video formats, including .mov, avi, mpeg, mp4, h.264, vob, realtime and avchd. Additionally you can use features on the player to convert video files between a wide range of these supported formats. 

This is a tool that I would reccomend to staff and students. Staff so they can access a wide verity of video files (especially if students submit a none standard one for assessment) and students for the same reason but additionally and more importantly to allow them to convert and prepare their viedo file to upload to Kaltura, allowing them to change format and quality of video file to facilitate more effect uploading to assignments. 

This tool is especially useful during the period of online learning. Allowing students to convert video files recorded on their mobile devices to optimal format for upload.

Advice about upload sizes

The Kaltura Mashups tool supports video uploads up to 4.7GB in size. This is huge and an unnessisary file size for most if not all assessed video content. As a rule of thumb, the following shows the average size of HD Video content saved in the reccomended h.264 format:

H.264 ‘Medium Bitrate’

5 minute Video – Approx 100mb

10 minute Video – Approx 200mb

15 minute Video – Approx 395mb

30 minute Video – Approx 790mb

 

Using the VLC Profile ‘YouTube HD 1080p’

5 minute Video –  Approx 65mb

10 minute Video – Approx 125mb

15 minute Video – Approx 350mb

30 minute Video – Approx 700mb

Where to download VLC Media Player?

The VLC Media player tool can be downloaded from their website, here: https://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.en-GB.html

How to convert files with the VLC Media Player?

  1. From VLC menu bar click on Media > Convert/ Save [Shortcut: CTRL + R]

    convert-save-menu-vlc

  2. Open Media dialog box is opened. Click on the Add button to browse for the files that you want to add. Then click Open.

    browse-file-conversion

  3. Leave the rest as it is and then click on arrow to the right of the the Convert/Save button and select ‘Convert’.

    convert-save-button.

  4. In the next dialog box, conversion options are displayed, to convert the format of file you shiould only be concerned with the following settings and not have to change anything else:
    • Convert: Make sure this radio button is selected as you want to convert your file
    • Display the output: Play/show the output in the player as the conversion happens (not required)
    • Profile: Select your desired target file type. Since we are converting a video, select a video format like H.264 with MP3 audio and MP4 container. Or for simplicity select ‘YouTube HD 1080p’ format. 
  5. conversion-dialog-box
  6. Select a destination filename, the one that is converted and saved. Hit Browse, select a location, give a name like final and click on Save.

    conversion-file-name

  7. Then press on the Start button to begin the conversion.

    start-conversion

  8. The file position timer of VLC will start to increase/move like a progress indicator. Once it reaches the end, you will know that the conversion has completed.

    file-conversion-pointer

  9. Your newly converted media file will be saved, you can ‘right click’ on the new file and inspect to properties to check its new size before uploading. Dont forget to play the file through as well to check the conversion executed correctly.
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