PoodLL can convert various input audio and video formats to MP3 and MP4. It does this in several ways.
i) In the cloud (Amazon Elastic Transcoder)
ii) In the browser (Flash MP3 recorder)
iii) Using FFMPEG
iii) On the Red5 Server
In the Cloud
The cloud here refers to Amazon Elastic Transcoding service (AES). In PoodLL3 by default all audio/video recordings are submitted to Amazon Elastic Transcoding. The recorded files wait their turn to be converted. When Poodll cloud notifications are on, or when the cron job runs, the converted files are copied back to Moodle.
The benefit is that recordings are fast, reliable and require no server admin. The downside is that recorded files spend some time (up to 24hrs) on a third party server (Amazon S3).
If “use cloud recording” is checked in the PoodLL filter general settings page then the audio/video recorders will use it. The exception to this is the MP3 recorder. The MP3 recorder by default uses cloud recording, but can opt out with its own “no cloud” setting, also on the PoodLL filter general settings page.
In the Browser
The MP3 recorder can record directly to MP3 and upload directly to Moodle. The benefit of this is that recording to MP3 is immediate and there is no need for a 3rd party server at all. The downside is that there can be issues with the uploaded file size, permissions and timeouts. This is because the conversion and upload process for a longer/bigger file can be more, or take longer, than the browser/server can handle.
FFMPEG is a command line utility that converts audio and video between different formats. PoodLL doesn’t come with FFMPEG. You will need some skill with installing packages on your server to set it up. But once it is set up, it will process all incoming audio/video files recorded with PoodlLL. More info is here: FFMPEG
The benefit of this is that the recorded files spend almost no time on a remote server and its fast and reliable once set up. The downside is that you will need a bit of server knowledge to get it set up. And if you run the conversion in the background, you will have to wait until cron runs for your recorded file to be available.
On the Red5 Server
If you are using Red5(tokyo.poodll.com) and the (Flash) PoodLL Video Recorder or (Flash) PoodLL Audio Recorder, then conversions to MP3 or MP4 can be done via tokyo.poodll.com. We use a Java library that itself wraps FFMPEG to do this called Xuggler.
The benefit of this is that you do not need to setup conversion software to run locally. The downside is that it is a bit unreliable, slow and long recordings may fail. In the past this was the only way to convert Red5 video and audio. This made longer videos basically impossible. But it is now possible to use cloud recording even when recording with Red5. Just make sure “cloud recording” is checked at the top of the PoodLL filter general settings page, and that is all you need to do. (NB You will get the “PoodLL is converting..” placeholder audio/video until cron runs.)