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Ensemble is a video content management system that allows communicators to upload video files to the Web and easily share them with other campus units. Ensemble also makes it easy to archive and find videos posted by campus units and share them on iTunes U and social media networks.
The Office of the Provost provided funding for Ensemble for use as a campuswide resource in December 2009. This eventually will allow all campus units to use Ensemble to upload and share an unlimited number of videos online.
Ensemble is being implemented on campus by volunteers from the Education Media Group, made up of online multimedia experts from units across the campus. Chief communication officers will be trained to use Ensemble for marketing and communication purposes while network infrastructure and IT and user support structures are created for academic use. Once that infrastructure is created, CITES will begin providing training for faculty and staff to use Ensemble for academic purposes.
You'll need to do a bit of work first before you can begin uploading and sharing video content with Ensemble, but it's not hard to do. CCOs must first:
Using either Firefox or Internet Explorer (avoid Safari), go to http://ensemble.atlas.uiuc.edu and log on.
Select the "Administration" tab and select "Manage Users." Click the edit button next to your name, change your password, and click the "Update" button. It's a good idea to add other users (typically IT specialists or Web developers) at this time.
Select "Manage Video Sources" and click the "Add a New Video Source" button. Give the source a title, make sure the check box is enabled and choose the video source type as "upload directory." Upload to a "network share" and enter the UNC path to the server where your video files will be streamed or downloaded. Next, enter the Web path of where your videos will be placed on your live Web site. On the illinois.edu site, for instance, this is http://illinois.edu/assets/video/
Select "transcode" to "none" and provide the user name and password for your unit's server - NOT your Ensemble login and password. You'll also need to include the correct domain name for the upload path. Check the "Default Path" checkbox, and click the update button and the "test" button to test the connection.
Select the "Web Publishing" tab and click on the "Add a New Web Site" button and enter the name of the site. Leave the logo URL field blank and then click the "add" button.
Click the "install plugin" link. On the page that opens, in the gray box, is a link to download Ensemble's cascading style sheet. Right click to save it to your hard drive and place it in your Web site in the same location you keep your other CSS files.
On the same page under the "Advanced" heading, click the "Plug-In Examples" hyperlink. Under the "Showcase Mode" heading, select "Show Code" next to the text that says "With Horizontal Category List." Copy the code and open the HTML page you created in step 3 and paste the code into the body section. Delete the commenting, html, and body tags. The code will look like this when you're done <style type="text/css" media="all">@import url("http://ensemble.atlas.uiuc.edu/plugin/ensembleVideo.css");</style <div id="videoList">
Next, edit the code so that the link no longer points at the Ensemble CSS file on ATLAS' server but at the CSS file you downloaded before and placed on your Web site. To do this, change the path name of URL after the "@import url" section of the code to the location on your Web site where you saved the Ensemble.css file. EXAMPLE: On the illinois.edu site, the path is http://illinois.edu/assets/css/ensembleVideo.css
If you want to turn on the social media sharing icons such as facebook (recommended), add the statement "&displaySharing=true" after the section of the plug-in code that reads: displayCategoryList=true&displayShowcase=true"
Upload the file to your live server. You may need to tweak the Ensemble CSS files to get the plug-in to render correctly on your Web site.
You are now ready to begin uploading video via the Ensemble Web interface. Follow the instructions for adding content in the Ensemble Video Content Administrator User Guide or in the Editor/Contributor Training Video.
Once you've successfully uploaded a video, email Joel Steinfeldt and let him know so that he can turn on sharing for your organization. This allows you to submit files to illinois.edu to be viewed on Here & Now.
Now that you've set up one basic Web site, you're probably going to need to give other groups within your campus unit the ability to use Ensemble to create departments within Ensemble of their own.
View the Organization Administrator Guide to set up other departments and Websites within your Ensemble organization.
2. Under the Web Publishing Tab, select "Add a New Website" and create one for iTunes U.
3. Follow the instructions in this video from Ensemble to set up an RSS feed from Ensemble to iTunes U.
4. In the Sharing tab of the Ensemble upload Wizard, select the checkbox for the ITunes U Web site. IMPORTANT NOTE: Only share video to the iTunes U Web site via Ensemble that meets the requirements for iTunes U. If you share files that have a larger image size than 640 x 480, or try to include Flash video, or a Windows-specific wmv file, it will break the RSS feed. That video, along with any subsequent ones you upload, will not appear in your account in iTunes U.