Centralized video storage and management solution

learningquality
campusil
coursedevelopment

#1

one of the purposes of the Campus platform and team is to become an enabler for online education in Israel. we got requests from some of our course developers (that do not wish to use youtube) that Campus will also be an easy to use and accessible platform for uploading, managing, and storing content (Video, audio)


#2

a good starting point would be this lightning talk from FUN: https://youtu.be/J3Jz1c1w6Z8?t=1118


#3

Also worth keeping in mind - edx.org has a video pipeline component, which allows to upload videos from Studio, then get them processed/transcoded, and uploaded to YouTube and static file services like S3 (used on edx.org as a backup for places which filter YouTube, but could likely easily become the main option). Currently it has a part which isn’t open source, the transcoding part, but I believe the plan is to eventually replace that part to make the whole pipeline open source.


#4

Hi all,
As the main developer behind Videofront, I figured I could add my grain of salt to the conversation.

First, some links:

Basically, we developed Videofront last year at FUN (https://fun-mooc.fr) because we were dissatisfied with the other video hosting providers. To be fully transparent we tried FOUR of them before we decided to develop our own solution.

We talked quite a lot with edX regarding their video pipeline. Unfortunately, that conversation has not been productive. My feeling is that the edX video pipeline is not going to be open sourced any time soon.

So we set out to develop Videofront. One of the main goals, from the onset, was to create a platform that could support multiple backends. For instance, at FUN the videos are transcoded with Amazon Elastic Transcoder, stored on S3 and streamed with Cloudfront. But a local backend was also developed to transcode with ffmpeg, store on a local disk and stream with NGinx. I was also contacted by a sales representative at Microsoft to develop a backend for Azure, which also has video transcoding capabilities. From a software development point of view, all you need to do to create a new backend is to extend the BaseBackend class.

Videofront has now been in production for about a year. I dare not say that there has not been a single bug since, but I have not been informed of any.

While at FUN, I also developed a video management UI directly integrated inside the Studio: https://github.com/openfun/fun-apps/tree/dev/fun/cms
This UI is not yet installable separately from FUN, but it would be easy enough to take it out and install it as a separate component for just any Open edX instance.

One of the most demanded features for Videofront is the integration of analytics. Currently, for instance, there is no obvious view count integrated in the platform. Note however that the videofront XBlock emits tracking logs that should be compatible with edx-analytics, although this is untested for now. So this is probably what I am going to be working on next.

What are your thoughts? Which features would you like to see in an integrated video solution?


#5

thanks for the elaborated info @regis!
I’m not an expert on video storage and transcoding, and the feature I listed above is still in it’s wish-list phase. our current clients raised the following problems when it comes to video management on open-edx:

  1. Authors will be able to upload content directly to the Campus Studio (Campus will also be the portal where they upload video content, and not youtube).
  2. Authors will be able to manage their video assets directly in Studio.
  3. The course authors will not have to worry themselves with transcoding. everything will be done automatically to all needed formats. (Is this a tall order nowadays? :slight_smile: )

Cheers,
Yoav


#6

Yoav,

Point 3 is handled natively by Videofront, of course, while points 1 and 2 are features of the studio video dashboard developed separately for FUN. So for you the priority would be to bundle this dashboard into a separate django app which could be plugged easily to the studio.

How can we move forward on this? Would you like to do the development yourself or let me do it? I’ll be available for working on this in September or October. Feel free to start an email conversation to talk about budget and deadlines. I believe you have my address?


#7

Thanks @regis! but the Campus-IL project is not there yet on the roadmap. This is something we plan to tackle 'bout 2 years from now (We have some mileage to cross until we’re FUN :slight_smile: )

I’d be happy to keep in touch and help align the coordination on this topic, and I’d love to hear the community’s take on this feature here on edXchange. do you know of any other open-edX instances’ who are interested in this feature? Maybe we can on board them here to get the conversation going?


#8

Yoav,

I’m with a small training company in the Netherlands running a kind of guerilla Open edX instance ourselves. We aim at corporate clients and are using our platform right now for training people at insurance companies.

Video hasn’t been our top priority so far, but I’d love to see Videofront with an integrated UI and analytics in the future. Keep me posted on developments!

Mattijs


#9

Thanks @Mattijs_Joosten, and welcome to edXchange!
One of the main purposes of edXchange is for people to keep track and updated on features.
Make sure that you are specifically “watching” this thread, and you will get mail alerts once somebody adds new info to this thread.

@antoviaque am I right?


#10

@yoavca @Mattijs_Joosten Yes, exactly. To select how often and when you get notified by email within a thread, click on the icon on the top right of a thread page:

Selecting “Watching” ensure you get a notification for all new replies to the thread.

Note that you also have the same thing at the forum level: