Video files can be too large to upload, when this happens one possible solution is to create a new smaller version, which requires 'transcoding' the video from one 'encoding profile' to another (see the novice guide for how to do that).

Video File Size Problems

If your video file is too big then you may experience issues with slow upload, exceeding allowable upload size, or stuttering during playback.

Often video comes out of the recording device or editing software in a large file size, and it is compressed to meet the delivery requirements for playback.

Moodle does not have rigid delivery requirements, however you are restricted by your internet connection, and the viewers computer system.

In this situation it is wise to use a format that is widely compatible e.g. MP4 rather than something restricted e.g. WMV or MOV, and to deliver a moderate file size.

There are many software tools for this including Adobe Media Encoder, Apple Compressor, and FFMPEG, but this guide will use Handbrake as an example because it is free, straightforward, actively developed, and available on both OSX and Windows.

Video File Compression is for final delivery only, do not do this for your source media.

If you experience stuttering video during editing seek alternative solutions, such as changing video playback quality, video proxy settings, using a separate scratch disk, or a faster computer.

For specific video advice and support contact

Video File Size Factors

Video file sizes are a function of duration x data rate.

Assuming the duration is fixed you need to reduce the data rate. This is achieved by transcoding the original video file to create a new one.

Data rate is often expressed in megabits aka Mb (lowercase b) and file size is often expressed in megabytes aka MB (uppercase b), which is often a source of confusion. There are 8 bits to 1 byte.

A typical camera data rate could be 15 Mbps, which would be:

30 seconds x 15 Mbps = 450 Mb = ~56 MB

The data rate from motion graphics software or a different camera could be much higher such as 200 Mbps, which would be:

30 seconds x 200 Mbps = 6000 Mb = 750 MB

You may wish to compress either of these to a data rate of 4 Mbps, which would be:

30 seconds x 4 Mbps = 120 Mb = 15 MB

Needless to say, there are significant differences between 15, 56, and 750.

Encoding Profile Settings

You will notice the transcoding software has numerous parameters, if you are interested to learn what they do then start with the Wikipedia page for video, move on to video codecs, and then read the Handbrake documentation.

Understanding these parameters and determining the optimum setting for your application will require trial and error.

Within the above guide, the key variable for changing the data rate is "RF" which you can increase to generate a smaller file size (or vice versa to potentially improve image quality).

Trouble Shooting

If your video is taking forever to upload then be patient and be prepared to give it many hours (unless you know you should be getting better speeds).

If the recipient cannot play your video back, check they have received a working h264 file. You (or the recipient) can download VLC to establish whether a file is readily playable or not.

If you are having problems with stuttery video whilst editing or playing back, then you can try: faster computer, lowering playback quality in software, or transcoding media into a 'friendlier' format such as mpeg2 or mpeg4 depending on the situation - try both!

To query your source files as an issue: download some test footage, transcode test footage using the fore mentioned Handbreak guide, and check playback in software. If the test footage works ok then your source material needs investigating.

To eliminate the internet connection as an issue then try: changing the network, using a wired connection, or another computer. If non of this works then we can presume the network connection is ok and the problem is something else.

If playback is an issue, try playing the video on other devices to determine if it's an issue limited to one device. If issues occur across multiple devices then we can assume there is something fundamentally wrong that needs investigating deeper.

To eliminate this guide as the issue, try using something else to compare.

If issues persists, make a note of your fault finding attempts (the above eliminations) and seek technical support, such as through the Digital Media Support Group.