About Echo Recordings


Please make sure to read the College of Medicine Lecture Recording Policies, found on the UGME Policy pages.

You do not need an iPod to view these. The technology is platform/browser independent. Go ahead, use Linux, have a blast. One exception we know of - the Echo people said not to use Chrome (not sure why, but it hasn't worked right for anyone at all). DO NOT USE CHROME.

Please don't upload these anywhere else, don't forward them to your friends, etc. Seriously. Even if it is the BEST LECTURE you have ever seen (and you will attend some great talks here). Ask the faculty member if you want to do anything with this content other than use it for your own personal viewing and review. They are not DRM-protected, but that doesn't mean they are free to share indiscriminately.

In general, it takes 4 hours per hour of lecture to process the recordings, and the 4 hours starts once the lecture has ended and the recording has moved to the server for processing. A lecture that is recorded for 1.5 hours and ends at 2pm should not be expected to be available before 6pm.

If you were at UIC last year you may notice that how recordings are posted is now a little different.

All of the recordings can be accessed in multiple ways - Via EchoCenter - the bottom-most tab on the left menu in Blackboard - they are also posted in the Class Recordings section of your Blackboard course site, as well as by subscription to a Podcast RSS feed.

The way things look in EchoCenter vs Class Recordings are different, but they contain the same information.

In Class Recordings you will see something like:

2012-08-22 10:30:00 - PATHOLOGY
Capture Date/Time: 2012-08-22 10:30:00
PATHOLOGY
Download Lecture Audio
Download Lecture Video

The first line under Capture Date/Time, in this case "PATHOLOGY", would be a link to the Full, Rich Media version. Not all lecturers are creating these. This must be played when connected to a network, is streaming, and cannot be downloaded. There is no speed control, but you can page through it using the Scenes tab. It has video of the room showing wherever the lecturer chose to point the room camera, plus audio, plus whatever was on the projection screen.

The second line, "Lecture Audio" will be a downloadable MP3 file.

Lecture Video will be a downloadable M4V file. This has audio plus it treats the content shown in class as a video. It will capture the motion on the screen, so while animations, mouse pointers and videos may be a bit choppy, you will see the movement.

Neither of these downloadable formats carry video of the room, or show the faculty member who is teaching. They can, however, be played faster or slower.

EchoCenter has the same links, just displayed a little differently. EchoCenter also shows upcoming scheduled recordings, and how long those recordings are going to be. It only goes so far ahead, so don't worry if you don't see the entire term's schedule yet.

If you are going to download the files individually, click that link, then you'll need to click on the "download media file" link. Warning - these files are all named "Media". Make sure to rename them something useful so you don't overwrite an older file with the newer one named the same thing.

iTunes seems to be able to export movies in these formats to the iPhone/iPad without conversion. If you are going this route, it's probably easiest to subscribe to the RSS Feed.

Links for subscribing to the RSS feed (just the computer content and/or the audio, not the Echo Media with the professor video) are at the bottom of EchoCenter as well as in the "Class Recordings" menu. The new version of Echo produces Podcast (mp3) and Vodcast (m4v) versions but not Enhanced Podcast (m4b) versions any more.

What you see, and how you see it, depends on your browser and your media player. There are links at the end of this for some of the most common media players. If it doesn't work right for you in one browser, try another to get the subscription set up. I couldn't get Safari to work, but Firefox was fine. Just don't use Chrome.

When you click the Vodcast feed links you should get a page listing all the items in the feed so far, and at the top you can choose to subscribe, and select which application you want to subscribe with. I use iTunes, but you can use Firefox, Feedly, or whichever application you prefer. For most people, there is already an MP3 player specified, so it's likely that if you choose that option, it will automatically subscribe using that.

I had to copy the link address and paste it into iTunes (in iTunes look under Advanced, Subscribe to Podcast), just clicking the link to Subscribe wasn't working for me.

If you get the free Apple "Podcasts" app on your iPad, I know you can change the settings to subscribe, update, auto download etc. through that on the go. Otherwise you will have to update via computer synch to your iTunes each time. (I did have to sync it the first time to my laptop to get the course Podcasts I wanted on there, I'm not sure if I would have to do that if I just had the URL for subscription and typed that in).

Files of type M4V won't work by default in Windows Media Player, but you could install a codec that might let you do so. NOTE - I have not tried this, and it is definitely an "at your own risk" sort of thing. If you do download a codec to install, make sure to do it from a more reliable source such as download.cnet.com. Renaming the file extension to .MP4 instead of .M4V may also work.

You should be able to play the downloaded files with Quicktime or with a standalone media player such as VLC. If you have one of those players installed right-click on the file - you should be able to tell it to open with whatever application you choose, and tell it to open all files like this with this application in the future.

Those of you using Android phones, or just not into iTunes, might want to subscribe to the podcast using Feedly.  It is quick, easy, and free.  You can stream the videos and audio to your phone or tablet directly from their app instead of clicking on the link to the echo player.

Each of these links below should give you the most current version, tailored to your computer OS, with an option to find earlier versions. All are available for Windows and Mac, and some for Linux as well.

http://videolan.org/ - Standalone media player VLC - one person said she had trouble with the very newest version, but was able to successfully use an earlier one - each OS is different, so you may need to try it and see. I have used VLC on Windows 7, Mac OS 10.6 and 10.7 but I'm not 100% sure if I have the latest version on all of those.
 
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/ - Quicktime

You may also have to update or re-install iTunes -
http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/

http://www.feedly.com - Feedly (RSS feed reader for iOs, Android, Web - replacement for Google Reader)

This document is not necessarily the final word - if you find something wrong, or something that needs updating, please let us know!

 (last updated Fri July 26, 2013)