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FAQ

We've collected the most frequently asked questions here, if you have a question that is not answered by this FAQ? Please contact us via our Contact page.

To help you find your answer faster, here are some groupings of FAQs about:

MIT TechTV - general site information

What is MIT TechTV?

MIT Tech TV is the video-sharing site for the MIT community started as a collaborative initiative of the MIT School of Engineering and MIT Libraries Academic Media Production Services and now resides fully in the MIT Libraries. It supports the community through the aggregation and distribution of science, engineering, and other MIT-related video on the web.

Where can people get my video?

When you register with MIT TechTV you get your own video collection. You can find your collection at http://techtv.mit.edu/collections/{your collection url you chose when setting up your account}. So, if your collection url is "quantum", your video collection will be http://techtv.mit.edu/collections/quantum . All videos you upload will go into your collection and can be found there.

Can I link to my video directly?

Absolutely! Link to it from your MIT TechTV collection, in an e-mail or wherever. Just click on the "Share This" link under your video and you'll get a pop-up window which will let you e-mail links to your video, get links directly to your media files and even get the information necessary to hand-craft your own RSS feeds.

How can I get help?

You can visit the Get Help page or email us at techtv [at] mit [dot] edu and we will get back to you as soon as we can. You can also usually catch us on AIM. Just look for AIM Username - MITTechTV during normal work hours.

Is this free?

Yes. MIT TechTV is free to view, post (restricted to the MIT community) and use for anyone in the world. Enjoy!

Do you have a copyright policy?

We take copyright law extremely seriously. We believe that the only way to build a responsible video sharing community is by respecting the rights of creative people everywhere. For this reason (and because MIT lawyers told us to do it) we've developed a copyright policy to ensure compliance with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

What are your terms of use?

Our terms of use are available for your review. By using the MIT TechTV Web site and services you agree to our terms of use. We'll tell you one thing right now: Our terms don't say that we take ownership of your video. Far from it. By uploading your video you're giving us a right to distribute it until you tell us to stop. That's it.

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Sign Up / Sign In procedures

Everyone is welcome on MIT TechTV with or without signing up. To take full advantage of our site, please sign up for an account. If you have an mit.edu email address, you'll be able to upload videos. If you don't have an mit.edu email address, you'll be able to do everything but upload videos (to upgrade a non-mit.edu account to be able to upload videos for collaboration with non-MIT entities, please contact us).

Sign Up

If you don't already have an MIT TechTV account, go to the MIT TechTV homepage and click on "Create Account" in the upper right-hand corner. A new window will pop up which will take you to the MIT Touchstone system where you can use your MIT Kerberos or Certificate (MIT Community only) or you can login using your Touchstone Collaboration Account or InCommons Federation Account. If you don't have one of the aforementioned, the system can take you through the process of creating an account for you (open to all). Once you have your Touchstone/InCommons account set up/logged in close the Touchstone window and return to the MIT TechTV home page. Click on "Sign In" in the upper right-hand corner and then click on the link to "Sign up for a TechTV Account", fill out the rest of the information on the next page and then you're all set to start using MIT TechTV.

Sign In

If you already have an MIT TechTV account, go to the MIT TechTV homepage and click on "Sign In" in the upper right-hand corner. The first time you do this, the site will take you to the MIT Touchstone system where you can use your MIT Kerberos or Certificate (MIT Community only) or you can login using your Touchstone Collaboration Account or InCommons Federation Account. If you don't have one of the aforementioned, the system can take you through the process of creating an account for you (open to all). Once you have your Touchstone/InCommons account set up/logged in close the Touchstone window and return to the MIT TechTV home page. Click on "Sign In" in the upper right-hand corner and then enter your MIT TechTV account login information. You'll need to do this the first time to link your MIT TechTV account with your Touchstone account. After doing this once, the system will skip this step (unless you "Unlink" your Touchstone account though the Account Settings page) to make your sign in process more streamlined in the future.

I'm trying to Sign Up/In using my MIT Certificates, but my browser is giving me an error...

If you haven't updated your MIT Certificates in a while, download CertAid (MIT Certificates required) from MIT IS&T and run the program. Choose the "update certificates" option and if that doesn't clear up the problem, run CertAid again and this time select "request new certificates". If the problem persists, please contact us.

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All about Multiple Collections

I have multiple MIT TechTV accounts/collections that I administer, how can I get into each of those?

To get each pre-existing MIT TechTV Collection that you administer to show up in your My Collections view, you will need to use the above "Sign In" procedure to login and link your Touchstone account with each MIT TechTV account. When you are logged into each MIT TechTV account, go to your main Collection and under the collection image you'll see "Collection Administrative User List: Click here!" Click on this link which will take you to the WebMoira interface and allow you to add MIT Kerberos or Moira list under the "Members" section as an administrator of this collection. After doing this, then go to your "My Account" in the top navigation bar or "Settings" under your Dashboard and click on the link to "Unlink Touchstone Account". Now go though the this same process for each of your pre-existing MIT TechTV accounts until you are an admin for each and then you can stay "linked" with the last collection and all of the collections you've been added as an admin to will show up on your "My Collection" page.

How do I create a new collection?

When you are logged into your MIT TechTV account, go to your My Collections page and click on the link at the top of the page to "Create a new collection" and follow the process.

How do I create a new sub-collection?

When you are logged into your MIT TechTV account, go to the collection or sub-collection that you want the new sub-collection to be a child of and under "Sub-Collections" on the lower right-hand side of the page, click on the "Add" link and follow the process through.

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MIT TechTV Features

Can I share the video on my blog?

Of course you can. There are three ways you can do this. You can do it with our "Embed" feature or with our "Share This!" feature or by simply posting a link. You can use our "Share This!" feature which lets you post video to your blog, facebook or other social network listed by clicking on a few selections. To use "Share This!" just click the "Share This" link on any individual video page. To use our "Embed" feature, just click on "Embed", found below the video, choose your options (size, autoplay, player type) and then copy and paste the code into your own web pages. If these options aren't available for a particular video, it just means that the owner of the video preferred not to allow one or more of these features at this time.

How does the Search feature work and how can I make my video more searchable?

The MIT TechTV Search feature searches all of the text form the Title, Description and Tag fields. Words and phrases entered into the Tags field will be broken up into individual words, but searching for phrases will still turn up multiple words found in videos.

Do you provide syndication feeds like RSS?

Many pages on MIT TechTV feature badges linking to syndication feeds. We also offer one-click subscriptions for users of iTunes. Our feeds are valid RSS 2.0 with enhancements including Creative Commons, MediaRSS, iTunes support and geocoding features. All playlists also have their own RSS feed so you can even create custom page feeds controlled and updated quickly and easily using your MIT TechTV playlist.

Do you have an API?

We do have a public API, but it isn't very well documented right now. If you'd like to use it anyway please feel free to e-mail techtv [at] mit [dot] edu and we'll help you do it. In the mean time, we offer semanticly correct feeds of just about every page on MIT TechTV in RSS, JSON, OPML and other formats. If we don't offer a format you need please let us know and we'll consider adding it to our list.

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Accessibility / Captions

How do I add Closed Captions?

MIT TechTV Closed Captions PlayerMIT TechTV has Closed Captioning [CC] support for its videos.  Using the basic .srt file type you can now enhance your videos and make them much more accessible to those of us who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or use English as a second language.

If a video has [CC] applied to it, it will increase the video player in height and the captions will play underneath the video so you don’t have to worry about any of the video being covered up.  To enable and disable captions for a currently playing video, simply click on the CC button (highlighted in red in the picture to the right).  By default, any video with captions applied will have captions turned on to start.

To apply a .srt file to a video you must be the owner of the video. First log in to your MIT TechTV account and go to the video’s page.  Then in the gray box to the right of the video you will see a selection for “CC File” as noted in the picture to the left.  Click on “Change” and you will be prompted to select your .srt file.  “Save” and you’re done. The page will refresh and your captions will be applied.

We have also enabled you to be able to embed your video with captions in external websites as well.  you’ll see a new option on the Embed window to allow you to select one of our players with or without captions.

You may be wondering how to make or get a .srt file for your video.  You can create one from scratch, use a program or website to help you make one (such as universalsubtitles.org - to use this, copy the download link from the video's page - the "(h.264).mp4" version - and add .mp4 to the end of the link when you paste it into universalsubtitles.org), or have someone do it for you (MIT TechTV can provide subtitle creation service for a fee – contact us at techtv@mit.edu for more info).

For some great additional resources and links to captioning tools, check out the MIT Adaptive Technology Information Center (ATIC) website.

Help us provide more accessible videos by adding captions to your videos.  If you don’t have your own videos on MIT TechTV but would like to volunteer to caption some of your favorite MIT TechTV videos, please contact us at techtv@mit.edu.

 

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Collection/Video Security and Permissions

How can I add someone else to be an administrator of a collection?

If you are a current administrator of a collection, log into your account and go to that collection's page and under the collection image you'll see "Collection Administrative User List: Click here!" Click on this link which will take you to the WebMoira interface and allow you to add MIT Kerberos or Moira list under the "Members" section as an administrator of this collection. Now, when this "new administrator" logs into MIT TechTV (if it's for the first time, they'll need to sign up for MIT TechTV) and when they go to "My Collections" they'll now see this collection in their list and they can upload and administer away.

Private Video - I have a video that I don't want to share with the world but I don't want to make people have to sign in to MIT TechTV to see it...

If you are the ower of a video and logged into your MIT TechTV account, go to the video's page and in the gray box to the right of the video, there is an option for "Privacy". The status to the right will tell you if that video is currently private or public. If you want to switch the status (make Public now Private or vice versa), click on the link to the right for "Change", confirm the selection and you are all set. If you make a video Private, a yellow box will show up at the top of the page with "Private Link". Share that link with anyone you want to view the video and they won't have to log in to MIT TechTV to view it. Be aware though that if the link gets out, anyone with the link can get to the video.

How to a make a Collection or Sub-Collection "Protected" so only certain people can see the videos contained therein?

If you are an administrator of a collection or sub-collection, log into your MIT TechTV account and go to that sub/collection's page. First, you have to make the collection "Protected" by checking the box on the right-hand side of the screen that says "Make this collection protected". Once you're done this, you'll see a new link show up under the collection image that says "Collection User Access List: Click here!". Click on that link and through MIT WebMoira, add individuals or lists to be able to view all of the videos in this sub/collection.

NOTE #1: These permissions are not inheritable so any sub-collections to this sub/collection that you have just changed the User List on will not propogate automatically to any child sub-collections.

NOTE #2: Any videos in a Protected Sub/Collection that has the Private Video feature (see above) enabled, the private link will allow people to bypass your sub/collection protection.

NOTE #3: When adding people through the WebMoira system, use the "Kerberos Principal" option only if the person is a known MIT community member (it should show a username in parentheses). If you are adding someone who is not in the MIT system (such as someone's email address they used to sign up for a Touchstone Collaboration account) it is best to use the "Email Address" option/listing.

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Uploading a video to MIT TechTV

How do I upload video?

If you already have a video ready to upload (maybe a Quicktime or Windows Media Video file) you can upload it to MIT TechTV right away. You can get to the upload form anytime by logging in to the site and clicking the "Upload" link at the top of every page (currently limited to MIT accounts only). If you don't have your video in an uploadable format yet, you can use a tool like iMovie (comes with the Macintosh) or Windows Movie Maker (which comes with Windows) to create a file you can share. Once you've done that, upload it! We do have a 1 Gb per file limitation though, so if your video is larger than 1 Gb, please compress it (you can usually use your video editing software to do this) so that it's under 1 Gb and then try uploading.

Can I upload video I don't own?

Generally speaking you can't upload any video you don't own. This means that if you didn't create the video (and everything else in it!) you can't upload it to MIT TechTV or any other site. There are exceptions to this rule, though. If you have clear permission from the original creator of the video you're more than welcome to upload the video to MIT TechTV. This kind of permission can be given through phone or e-mail or more formally with a Creative Commons license. If you're uploading content that's already licensed under a Creative Commons license please make sure to give the original author credit and to select the same Creative Commons license when you upload it.

Do you change my video after I upload it?

No, at least not now. We do create "derivative works" from your video — by creating multiple versions of your video for different network speeds and for obile devices, for example. At this time we make no modification at all to your original file, though, and we always make your original file available for people to downoad or watch if you choose. In the future we may introduce features (which can be turned off) that modify your video in some way after you upload it. We may do this to make sure that people can watch your video as it downloads, or to insert messages from members of the MIT Community.

Is there a limit on the size of the video I can upload?

There is a hard limit of 1 Gb on the size of videos you upload, but we do recommend that you keep uploaded videos to 100 MB or less for a number of reasons. We can't guarantee that videos over 100 MB will work well for everybody.

Can I add special formatting or links into the Description of a video?

The Description field is completely HTML formattable. You can use HTML code to format your text, etc. in the Description field. Please refrain from using <p> - paragraph tags as this can cause a Description field to lock up. If this does happen to you, just let us know (send us a link to the page) and we'll get it fixed for you.

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Video - formats, limits, etc.

How do you handle different video formats?

You're welcome to upload your video to us in just about any format you like. That said, we prefer compressed Quicktime and Windows Media videos. Please do not upload uncompressed DV, MPEG-2 video or VOB files (files copied straight from a DVD). Currently, we dont support the uploading of Shockwave Flash (.swf) files and MPEG muxed files don't usually work to well either.

How can I convert a DVD into a file to upload?

Well, to start, you can only do this with DVD videos you've created (we don't allow copyrighted works to be posted - see our Copyright Policy). But, if you do own the rights to the video on your DVD, it can be pretty easy. Some free programs you can download to do this for you are Handbrake or MPEG Streamclip.

Do you offer Flash video?

Yes and no. We currently convert videos to a .mp4 H.264 format as well as some mobile formats, but they are displayed in a Flash player (except on mobile devices that don't support flash, then we use an HTML5 video player) which allows us to bring additional functionality to the videos such as in-line comments, closed captioning and more.

Why does video playback skip?

If you notice that video playback on MIT TechTV is skipping you can check to see if you have lots of other things going on on your computer at the same time you're playing the video. We've found that skipping is worse if you're trying to play multiple videos at the same time or if you launch a large number of programs while watching the video and your system might not be able to handle so much happening at once. Try quiting out of other applications or stopping other videos from playing and you should see your video playback performance improve.

Why doesn't my MSWMM file upload or play?

An MSWMM is a project file from Windows Movie Maker that's used to keep track of your audio and video while you're editing it. It's not designed to be shared with other people. In order to upload your movie you have to ask Windows Movie Maker to export it for the Web. There are excellent tutorials on how to do this at Freevlog.

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Playback Issues: Video

Why can't I play MIT TechTV videos?

It usually never hurts to have the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player (free). When in doubt, download the latest version and update your system to take advantage of all of the featuers that we have built into MIT TechTV.

I don't see the MIT TechTV player, I just get a gray box that says "loading", what can I do?

This could be for a few different reasons.

First, try right mouse clicking (control click on a Mac) on the gray box and select "Global Settings". This will open a web page that handles your Flash Player settings. Click on the link for "Global Storage Settings panel". In the box that shows up, make sure the checkbox for "Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer." is checked.

Also, we've found that in Firefox, under Preferences > Advanced panel > Network tab, sometimes you need to set the "Offline Storage" setting to be 100 Mb or so.

We also had someone report that their language setting on their computer was set to Arabic and when they reset it to English, this took care of the same issue.

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Playback Issues: Audio

Why can't I hear the audio from MIT TechTV videos?

It usually never hurts to have the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player (free). When in doubt, download the latest version and update your system to take advantage of all of the featuers that we have built into MIT TechTV.

Also, many videos uploaded to MIT TechTV might have chanel specific audio (audio that only plays from the right or left speaker). Check to make sure that your speakers or headphones are working on both right and left chanels. Usually you can go into your computer systems audio or sound settings to change or check this.

Check your mute button to make sure it's not turned on. :)

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Statistics / Analytics

How many times has my video been played?

If you are the owner of a video on MIT TechTV, log in to your account, then click on "Dashboard". Once there, click on "Analytics" on the left and you'll be able to see the information about how many times your video has been played. To select the time range you wish to see the information for, choose from the pulldown menu at the top of the section for "week", "month", "year", "lifetime".

What's the difference between the views listed on a video's page and the views on the Analytics page?

Currently, the video views listed on a video's page (in the gray box) are the number of page views of that video on MIT TechTV only (Google Analytics). This doesn't necessarily mean that someone has watched your video. The views listed in the Analytics page are the actual video views of your video (starting mid-August 2010 - that's when we turned on this feature) on or off of MIT TechTV. If you want prior information on your video or access to pull reports on your videos from our Google Analytics account, please contact us.

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Comments

I got an email that I have a comment on a video of mine but when I went to the page, there were no new comments. What happened?

On MIT TechTV, we try our best to "de-spam" our site and keep it just to the relevant information. If you've received an email that you had a new comment and there was nothing there, that just means that we beat you to it and it was either a blank comment or a spam comment and we have already removed it.

There is a comment that I don't want on my video's page, how can I remove it?

If you are the owner/admin of a collection and there is a comment on either the video itself or in the comment section below that you don't want to have on there, you can log in to your account, go to the video's page and in the Comments section below the video you'll see the comments (for both in-line comments and page comments). Simply click on the "X" to the right of the comment and that will permanently delete the comment. Be sure you want to delete it before you hit the "X" because there are no undos.

I posted a comment to a video and it's no longer there, what happened?

If you posted a comment to a video and you notice later that it is gone, chances are that it was deleted by a site administrator or the owner of the video. The site administrators only delete comments that are: blank (contain no information), spam (any link not directly related to the video or subject we consider spam - don't go advertising yourself or anything or your comment will be deleted), or inappropriate (obscenities, etc.). Be aware that if you are a repetative spammer on the site, your account will be deactivated. If your comment didn't fall into one of those categories, then the owner of the video must have felt that it didn't belong with their video and removed it themselves.

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System Requirements

Do you have any system requirements?

Yes, we do. MIT TechTV is best experienced with a modern Web browser like Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer 8 or later. Chrome, Opera and OmniWeb should work, too, but we make no guarantees. You're best off with Mac OS X 10.6, or newer, and Windows XP, or better. Linux support is under investigation. We also recommend that you install some software to help you watch videos such as the most recent version of Adobe's Flash Player. If you aren't sure which version of flash you're using, you can check using Adobe's tester found here.

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How to post an MIT TechTV video on your own site/blog

Can I share the video on my blog?

Of course you can. There are three ways you can do this. You can do it with our "Embed" feature or with our "Share This!" feature. You can use our "Share This!" feature which lets you post video to your blog, facebook or other social network listed by clicking on a few selections. To use "Share This!" just click the "Share This" link on any individual video page. To use our "Embed" feature, just click on "Embed", found below the video, choose your options (size, autoplay, player type) and then copy and paste the code into your own web pages.

Why does Blogger rejects my post when I try to copy & paste an MIT TechTV video, or the video doesn't play properly?

If you run into problems copying and pasting into Blogger you'll want to change your Blogger editor into "Edit Html" mode (there are two tabs at the top of Blogger's text edit — Edit Html and Compose. Pick Edit Html). You'll then want to publish the post. If Blogger complains about forbidden HTML tags, check the "Ignore HTML errors" box and publish again. Everything should work fine. This is true for other sites such as WordPress and other blog based systems.

 

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