Captioning, identifying dodgy PCs and a chat (Panopto)


Today we looked at captioning in Panopto. I had previously got permission from one of our Theology lecturers to use one of his short talks to his students as the test bed for captioning. His recording is ideal as there are very few slides with words on them, it is mainly video and he uses a fairly specialist vocabulary.  We gave access to the Panopto recording to Ai-Media who provide a captioning service (they can also do live captioning) and they sent back an .srt file. It was simplicity itself to upload this to the Panopto session (Settings>Captions>Upload Captions) and the captions became available immediately. If you want to see them, see Searching the captions does not work (yet) – I have clicked the reprocess link next to Text under the Search tab and I guess this will process sometime over the weekend.

We now need to work out the demand for captioning and how we finance it, if and when we want it.  It also strikes me that when we record speakers reading speeches or lectures (and not ad libbing like in this recording) it might be easy for us to convert their script into a caption file ourselves. Something to investigate.

Identifying PCs with upload issues.

I mentioned that we have problems sometimes with recordings that don’t get uploaded properly. Mike, who has just joined our team, observed that the small number of people using Panopto at present meant that we knew where the recordings were taking place, but in the future when there were might be many more recordings being made, we would have difficulty knowing where a stalled recording was.  He looked at the Panopto log and pointed out that the string ‘ClientName’ shows the unique ID of the machine uploading the file. We now simply need IT Services to provide us with the means of matching these ID numbers to rooms. Let’s hope they know.

Online users Group

A few of us met online this morning using BigBlueButton. Here are my brief scribbled notes.

What works well.

  • Panopto Dropbox
  • recording from desk
  • recording lecturers where there’s a pedestal so you don’t need to bother with a tripod
  • sharing recordings by url
  • getting students panopto accounts via Moodle integration (although issue of lack of names)
  • good for providing catch up opportunities for students who missed uni in half term due to child minding commitments
  • good for providing extra info about assignments
  • better/easier than using camtasia to narrate powerpoints
  • students like it
  • students who once used dictaphones don’t now because Panopto recorder is better and allows them to navigate through better.
  • using it to provide info once instead of many times when you can;t get everyone together at the same time.


  • getting academics to watch the end product and understand the possibilities the Viewer offers
  • Uploads sometimes get stuck
  • Some rooms juts not suitable (shape lack of space to put camera)
  • uploads sometimes take a long time (but are quick off campus)
  • searching for users when Panopto only has their uni username not real name (someone provided a solution to this on this blog or to the JISCMail list, I can’t remember which now and haven’t had a chance to implement it)
  • editing is a headache because of the stream failing to load (but we expect this to be fixed shortly in the new version)
  • Trailing Wires/cables
  • cables too short – e’g’ when usb port is far from camera position (need for extensions) – this sometimes stops the lecturer moving as they wish because they are hemmed in by a cable
  • setup time – lecturers getting frustrated when technician is setting up camera, tripod etc.  (need for permanent installations)
  • Academics not wanting their colleagues to see their lectures (when they share a module)
  • tutors worried about management spying on them
  • getting feedback from students when tutors are sensitive about their lectures being criticised


  • We need to look into wireless mics and cameras.
  • webcam drivers haven’t been loaded onto all PCs – need to get that done
  • need to make the Panopto recorder prog easier to start on campus PCs

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