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How to Enable Students to Download Your Video

Allowing students to download your videos can serve a variety of purposes. Read below to find out how.

By default, students aren't able to download any of your course videos from your course in Canvas. Note that this feature must currently be enabled on a video-by-video basis.

Do note that you can allow students to download your video within the Media Gallery OR within an embedded video. We'll provide instructions for both methods below, as well as instructions you can pass on to your students on how to actually download it.

Whys, Requirements, Caveats

Why You Might Want to Enable Downloads

  • You don't mind students being able to download your video
  • Students in bandwidth-constrained areas may prefer to download and watch your video if their streaming experience is poor

Prerequisites

  • A video in "My Media" for which you are the owner or co-editor

Caveats

  • Viewers are able to post your video elsewhere, should they feel so inclined
  • Be aware of any copyright violations in your video, since your content may be seen outside of UCSD
  • Downloads have to be enabled on a video-by-video basis
  • It's prudent to instruct students how to download your video
  • For videos published to the Media Gallery, Kaltura displays all quality levels when selecting what to offer viewers for download, but not all video quality options may actually exist, depending on the quality of the original file. (The point being: select all quality options when allowing a video to be downloaded.)
  • Enabling downloads for embedded videos only allows for the download of the original quality or "source" file

How to Enable Downloads for Published Videos


Note that in order to pursue this path of making your videos downloadable, your video must be published to the course (i.e. be visible in its Media Gallery). If you need a refresher, check out our documentation on the difference between embedding and publishing.

  1. Ensure that your video is published to the course in which you want students to be able to download it.
  2. Within Canvas, click "My Media" in the left navigation.
  3. Locate the video that you want students to be able to download, and click the pencil icon on the right side of its row.
  4. Click the "Downloads" tab beneath the video preview. The information below the tab will repopulate. You should see several options (which Kaltura refers to as "flavors") for downloads that you can enable.

Download Quality Options

  • Source is the highest-quality version that you can download. It's the original file you uploaded, or that Kaltura Capture or Zoom created.
  • Higher quality enables a video download that's 1,920 pixels wide and 1,080 pixels tall (commonly referred to as "1080p") and has a target bitrate of 6,000 kilobits per second.
  • High quality enables a video download that's 1,920 pixels wide and 1,080 pixels tall (commonly referred to as "1080p") and has a target bitrate of 4,000 kilobits per second.
  • Medium quality enables a video download that's 1280 pixels wide and 720 pixels tall (commonly referred to as "720p") and has a target bitrate of 2,500 kilobits per second.
  • Low quality enables a video download that's 640 pixels wide and 360 pixels tall and has a target bitrate of 900 kilobits per second.
  • Audio only enables a video download that, while technically within an .mp4 container, contains only the audio from the original video at 128 kilobits per second.

Don't worry if you're not familiar with the specifications above. We recommend just checking all the options. Particularly for students in bandwidth-constrained areas, it's useful to have a variety of quality choices from which to choose.

Check All the Boxes

Note that all quality options will present as options when enabling downloads even if the quality level doesn't actually exist. So if you only check, say, "Medium Quality," and that quality level doesn't exist on the back end, students will say that they still don't have any option to download the video. This is why we recommend that you check all the option qualities.

Why does this happen? Well, while we have the ability to choose our transcoding settings (i.e. the rules for what flavors get generated), Zoom videos that come into Kaltura as the result of our integration use a transcoding profile that we aren't able to change. Given that a) different flavors get generated for Zoom integration entries and b) the majority of our Kaltura content is coming from Zoom, we strongly recommend that you play it safe and check all the boxes for download flavors.


  1. Once you've selected your desired quality levels for the video download, be sure to click "Save" at the bottom of the screen.

A screenshot of the download quality options.

If you want to send students the instructions on how to download the embedded video from the Media Gallery, point them to the instructions in the appropriate drawer below.

How to Enable Downloads for Embedded Videos

The way to enable students to download your video if it's embedded in a piece of Canvas instructional material is to select a different embed player - specifically one that has a download button in the upper-right corner of the player window. If you’re interested in learning more about alternative embed players, check out our documentation on custom embed players.

For the sake of the instructions below, we'll assume you've already created the course element in Canvas.

  1. Within Canvas, enter the course in question.
  2. Locate the course element in which you want to embed a downloadable video and click on it.
  3. A screenshot of the "edit" button within a Canvas course element.Click "Edit" in the upper-right corner of the page.
  4. Within the rich content editor, click the Kaltura icon (“Embed Kaltura Media”), which looks almost like a rainbow flower.
A screenshot of the rich content editor with the "Embed Kaltura Media" button circled.
  1. In the window that opens, locate the video within your "My Media" that you want to embed and click the gear icon in its row.
A screenshot of the embed menu, with a "gear" icon circled.
  1. A screenshot of an embed configuration menu, with the "choose player" menu expanded and the "Downloadable" menu item circled.In the "Choose Player" pull-down menu, select the "Downloadable" player.
  2. Set any other additional settings you prefer for your embed, such as the embed size. If you want to learn more about these settings, check out our documentation on custom embed players.

Uncheck "Set as my Default settings"

Most of the time when you embed a video, you're not configuring the embed settings by clicking the gear - you're just pressing the "Embed" button in the list of media you're shown. So unless you want the default embed player to allow students to download your videos, make sure you uncheck the box for "Set as my default settings for media type: Video."

  1. Once you're done configuring your embed settings, click the "</> Embed" button at the top right of the window.
Now when a user views your video within the course element, they’ll see a small download icon in the upper right corner of the player. If you want to send students the instructions on how to download the embedded video, point them to the instructions in the appropriate drawer below.

[For Students] How to Download a Video from the Media Gallery

If your instructor has enabled downloads for a video published to the Media Gallery, it may not be immediately clear how to download it. Note that videos by default are NOT downloadable - your instructor must have enabled it for that particular video.

  1. Enter your course in Canvas and click on "Media Gallery."
  2. Locate the video in the list of published videos and click on it.
  3. On the video's page, click the "Download" tab below the video preview. You should see one or more rows of various video quality options.
  4. Click the downward arrow icon on any of the rows to download the video at that quality level.

A screenshot of the player page, withe the "download" tab circled as well as the download icons for each quality level.

[For Students] How to Download Embedded Videos

By default, the videos that your instructor embeds into course elements in Canvas aren't downloadable. However, it is possible for them to use a customized embed player that allows you to download the video's source file. Here's how.

  1. Within your course in Canvas, locate the course element that has the video embedded in it and click on the course element.
  2. Within the video player, you should see a small icon in the upper right corner of the player that has a downward arrow. Click on that and you'll start downloading the video to your computer.

A screenshot of the downloadable embed media player with the download button in the upper-right corner circled.

Have additional questions about video? Contact Multimedia Services at kaltura@ucsd.edu.