Uploading Videos:

  1. Once you are logged in, click the "Upload" button on the menu bar.
  2. Click Browse to select media to upload.
    Medial will let you upload videos in the following format: .mov, .avi, .wmv, .flv, .mpg, .mp4,.mp3, .wav, .wma
    If you cannot find the media that you wish to upload, ensure that it is in one of the formats above.
  3. You will see a progress bar indicating the status of the file upload. Once the file has been completely uploaded to the Medial server, it is ready to be encoded so that it can be viewed on the Medial website. Click Next to provide more information.
  4. Add the video's metadata, including Title, Category, Description, Contributor Name, and Email Address.
    The category you choose will determine who can access the uploaded content. See definitions below:
    • PersonalA video that is uploaded and marked as "Personal" is only viewable by the owner. If the video is uploaded from a Blackboard course it will also be viewable by students.
    • PublicVideos in the "Public" category are viewable and searchable by anyone (including guests).
    • ProtectedVideos in the "Protected" category are viewable and searchable by all authenticated users; that is, all NIU students, faculty and staff.
  5. Click Next
  6. Once your media is encoded and viewable on the Medial site, it will be represented by an image. You should be presented with eight still shots from the media that you uploaded. Choose one of these images to represent your video, or upload an image of your own by clicking Browse.
    Images uploaded for thumbnails must be 320W X 204H and the format must be .jpg
  7. Click Next
  8. You will be asked if you would like to upload any associated files.
    • Captions files: 2MB limit. Allowable file types: *.srt;*.vtt;*.dfxp.
    • Associated files: A maximum of 3 associated files may be added-- each file has a 10MB limit. Allowable file types: *.doc;*.docx;*.ppt;*.pptx;*.xls;*.xlsx;*.pdf;*.swf;*.jpg;*.gif;*.htm;*.txt;*.zip;*.mp3

Your media will now be encoded so that it can be viewed on the Medial site. Please be patient during this process as there may be other videos waiting to be encoded.

You will receive an e-mail when your media is viewable on the Medial site.

Upload from Webcam

New to this version of Medial, you now have the option to upload videos directly from your webcam. After logging into Medial, click Upload, and choose the Record Webcam option.

Course Uploads with Blackboard

Medial content can be added to Blackboard content via the Medial Mashup tool on the Visual Text Box Editor. This means that video/audio content can be uploaded anywhere there is access to the text box editor, by both faculty and students. For faculty, this could include adding items to a content area, creating announcements and assignments, or posting a Discussion Board topic. Students could upload their own media for an assignment or when collaborating on the discussion board, blogs, wikis, or journals.

If it is your first time using the Medial mashup, you will be prompted to login with your NIU account ID and password. (Once you log in once, you will not have to log in again to use the Medial mashup.)

Once you are logged in, you may upload a new media item, record from your webcam, or choose an existing media item. Whichever option you choose, your media will be embedded into your Blackboard content. (If you have uploaded a new media item, the media must first be completely encoded before it is viewable.)

Please note that anyone with access to your Blackboard content will also be able to play your media regardless of which category you have uploaded it to. Uploading videos to your Personal account will restrict access to the video from the Medial site, but your media will still be accessible from within the Blackboard content.

Content Browsing:

You can view any media that have been uploaded to the Public category without having to log in. Just click the "Public" category from the left hand side of the Medial site. Open media items by clicking the media item's title or thumbnail, and browse more media by using the navigation controls toward the bottom of the page.

To view media items that have been restricted to NIU, click "Login" from the upper right hand corner of the Medial site. After logging in with your NIU username and password, you will gain access the "Restricted" category. You can click this category from the left hand menu under the "Public" category.

In addition to browsing by category, you can use the search facility to allow you to search the title or tag text of any video. If you just click on the search button without typing anything in the box, you can refine your search by searching just one category, or videos from a certain contributor.

Once you have selected a media item, it will start playing in the player. To the right of the video are additional fields.

  • Copy Link: This field contains a direct URL to the video. If the video is from the "Restricted" category, then anyone who uses the link must first log in to access the media.
  • Copy Code (to display in page): This field contains HTML code to embed the media item within a webpage. The physical dimensions of the video player can be chosen just below this field, and the HTML code will be updated to reflect the new dimensions. Embedding media items into an external webpage allows viewing of the media by anyone, regardless of the media's category.

Unsuccessful Uploads:

On rare occasions some files will not be encoded by the system and you will be returned with an e-mail to notify you of this.

This can be for a variety of reasons mainly to do with the audio and video codec’s contained in your video file not being recognized by the system's encoder.

The event that this happens please alert your Systems Administrator who will advise accordingly.


Playlists allow you to create a list of your favorite clips and have them display at the bottom of your screen. You can have as many clips in a playlist as you want, scrolling left and right when playlist gets full to view all the items. You can also create several playlists to host different types of media according to your needs. Enable the playlist in the My Account area of Medial, and add content to the playlists on the playback page when you view clips.

Chapter Points:

Chapter points can be created for clips that are long and will benefit from segmentation to draw attention to particular points of interest. They can be added and modified by the contributor of the clip and by a Medial administrator. Chapter points cannot be added to audio clips. When chapter points are added to a clip, the original is not modified at all. Chapter points can be added and deleted leaving the uploaded clip in its original state.

Media Fails to load:

If when clicking on a clip you only see the URL, Code, and video information but just a white space where the video is meant to be, it might mean that you do not have Adobe Flash Player installed or there is an issue with it. Please make sure that you have the latest version downloaded. If issues persist, contact the NIU Service Desk.

Editing Media:

If you wish to make changes to media that you have already uploaded, it can be done by clicking on Upload and then on My Media. This will list all the media that you have uploaded, and you will be able to make changes such as change the title or modify the description, add tags or even skip past the first page and change the thumbnail that the video uses. If you would prefer to use a thumbnail other than the ones shown, you can select Custom and then chose a different thumbnail if you have created one that you want to use.

Mobile Access

When you visit the mobile site, you will be presented with the clips that can be viewed by unauthenticated users. If guest access has been disabled, you will need to log in using the same credentials as you would normally when accessing Medial from a desktop computer.

You will see the same layout as you would on a PC when accessing the site from a tablet. The only difference is that you won’t be able to see the coverflow, upload clips or create or view playlists as Flash is unsupported on the iPad.