There are many types of
media files. But choosing the right one can make a difference to
your students in terms of making the files easily accessible,
increasing the ease of use and decreasing the time to download.
At URI, we recommend you
use QuickTime for your video files.
QuickTime is truly cross-platform and has no restrictions on the
number of clients that can connect to the server at any time (for no
cost). Real Media restricts the server to 60 clients accessing the
server for .rm/.ram files at any one time. That is 60
clients on the server for .rm/.ram files in aggregate--not just your
one file. So if ten professors post .rm/.ram files, there
could be significant congestion to get to their files.
But there are no-cost
alternatives: Windows Media and QuickTime. In recent years,
Microsoft has made great strides in developing the Mac version of
the Windows Media Player. The current version is
near-perfect. Thus if you wish to post simple audio or video
files, they can easily be either QuickTime or Windows Media files.
Why do we push
QuickTime? QuickTime is much more versatile than Windows Media
and can support more different types of media files (animation,
interactivity, multiple audio and video tracks, PowerPoint movies,
text movies, subtitles, etc...) The Office of Information
Services offers short courses in the development of QuickTime media
and we have QuickTime
documentation posted to the web.
All students may not be
able to play MPEG2 or MPEG 4 video content. Some of these
files can only be played in proprietary software (for fee) and some
files are not compatible with older browsers and media
There are many more
choices available for posting audio only files. These include:
QuickTime and Windows
Media Players can play most of these files. Most students have their
computers configured to play .mp3 files, so using this format will
accommodate most students. The .mp3 format is also very good
for voices that are slurred or musical in intonation.
files are restricted to QuickTime, .wmp are restricted to Windows
Media Player and .aac are restricted to iTunes (which is also cross
platform. Both .au and .aif files tend to be too large for web
download unless the files are very short. The .wav file format is
not always cross-platform.
we recommend either .mp3, .mov or .wmp for your audio files.