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Alternatives to Kaltura

Sometimes it can be handy to have a backup or alternatives for producing, storing, and delivering your videos for a variety of reasons. Here are some ideas on other ways to store and/or deliver your videos.

Problem: You want to know some alternatives to using Kaltura to capture and/or store your videos. While Kaltura is free to use and provides unlimited media storage for all UCSD community users, there's no requirement to use it. In this troubleshooting article we'll provide some suggestions for alternatives, based on whether you need different ways to record, present, or store media.


Check out the table below for a summary of advantages and disadvantages for recording, presenting, and storing media when not using Kaltura. Open the drawers to learn more.

Advantages and Disadvantages to Kaltura Alternatives
Option Advantages Disadvantages
Record via Smartphone/Tablet
  • Convenient
  • Have to use KMS GO to upload to Kalturaor manually transfer to computer to upload
  • Tricky to do screen capture as well without paid software
  • Have to hold device or mount it
Record via Zoom
  • Easy to use
  • Cloud recordings end up in "My Media" automatically
  • More capture options than Kaltura Capture
  • Cloud recordings are lower quality than local recordings
  • Ideal recording settings take some time to tweak
Record via PowerPoint
  • Great for voiceover PowerPoint instruction
  • No camera capture
Record via Mac screen capture
  • Easy to use
  • No camera capture
  • No quality settings
  • Mac only
  • Free, unlimited uploads (for registered accounts)
  • Can be easily embedded into Canvas
  • Clips you own can be edited within YouTube Studio
  • YouTube clips can also be added to "My Media" (Kaltura)
  • Limited privacy options
  • Can only download one video at a time once uploaded
Google Drive
  • Unlimited storage
  • Easily shared
  • Google Drive app allows for local access
  • Not intended for video viewing - only storage
  • Not available to all UCSD community members
Embed using "Record/Upload Media"
  • Unlimited storage
  • Option is available in the rich content editor
  • Files embedded this way can’t be downloaded
  • Requires the creation of a page in Canvas

How to Download Your Videos

A screenshot of the Kaltura "edit player," with the download button in the upper left corner of the player circled.If you're the owner of a video (that is, you created or added it to "My Media") you're able to download it from Kaltura. Here’s how.

  1. Within Canvas, click "My Media" in the left navigation.
  2. Find the video you want to download and click the pencil icon on its row.
  3. At the top right corner of the video player, you should see a small icon with a downward arrow. Click it and the video will download to your computer.

The In-Player Download Button

  • This button is only available to media owners and co-editors. You can only download videos that you’ve added yourself or for which you're a "co-editor."
  • The button is only available on the page where you can edit your video. When you click on the pencil link for a video in "My Media," that page is the one that allows you to edit all the details of your video - its title, description, collaborators, etc. This is the only place where you can download your video using an in-player download button.
  • The video that downloads will be the highest quality version available - the original or "source" video. For longer videos, that means that the file sizes might be quite large.
  • YouTube videos can’t be downloaded.

Recording Alternatives

Given a laptop or a smartphone, there are a variety of ways to record yourself for free. When it comes to capturing your screen along with your video, though, there are fewer free options, and many depend on what sort of equipment and software licenses that are available to you. So note that not all of these options may be available to you.


Many of us carry a powerful camera in our pocket every day or have access to tablet computers with built-in cameras. If you just intend to capture video, a smartphone or tablet selfie recording can work in a pinch, and you can increase the quality by getting a simple mount or stand so you don’t have to hold it.

In addition, Kaltura offers an app called "KMS GO" that allows you to record videos and upload them easily to "My Media." Check out the KMS GO online documentation that they’ve provided. (Note that when prompted, the URL you'll want to use for our instance of Kaltura is You can record videos using the app, or just upload videos that are already on your phone.

Note as well that many of these kinds of devices have the ability to record their screens now, though they often don’t support recording audio at the same time (or your own camera).

Mac/PC: Zoom

It may be obvious, but it's worth at least mentioning that Zoom provides the ability to record sessions. If UCSD users elect to record to the cloud, recordings will automatically end up both in Zoom's cloud storage (where they'll be stored for 30 days) as well as in Kaltura (where they'll remain indefinitely in the user's "My Media" section in Canvas or MediaSpace).

Users can also record Zoom sessions onto their computers, which allows for slightly higher quality than cloud recordings, if configured properly. Zoom also allows users to capture peripheral devices, such as an iPad.

Mac/PC: PowerPoint

If you don't need to capture your camera, PowerPoint has a built-in feature to record narrated presentations and export them as a movie.

Mac: Built-in Video Screen Capture Function

If you're a longtime Mac user, you're probably aware of the screenshot shortcuts: Command-Shift-3 to capture the entirety of your screen(s) and Command-Shift-4 to select a screen area. But did you also know that you also have a way to do a narrated screen capture video?

If you hold down Command-Shift-5 on your keyboard, a menu will appear at the bottom of your screen that provides options for a screen recording, including microphone options. Handy! Do note that you can't capture your computer audio, however.

Storage/Delivery/Editing: YouTube

YouTube is a tried-and-true video delivery service owned by Google.

Notes on Uploading Course Videos to YouTube

  • In order to upload videos that are longer than 15 minutes, you'll have to verify the email address associated with your account. A link to instructions is included below.
  • YouTube has three main privacy levels: public, unlisted, and private. "Unlisted" is probably the option you want to use. It means that users can't go to YouTube and search/find your video, nor will they be able to see it in your channel. Anyone who is sent a link to it, however, can view it.
  • If necessary, create a YouTube account affiliated with your UCSD email address by following these instructions:
  • If you're uploading videos that will be longer than 15 minutes, you'll need to verify your account:
  • Now you can begin uploading videos:
  • If you'd like to use the YouTube's editor to trim the video, follow these steps: Note that you must be the owner of the video in order to edit it.

Storage: Google Drive

You can store your video files on Google Drive, but it shouldn't be used for video playback. 

Notes on Storing Videos on Google Drive

  • Google generally doesn’t like it when users use Google Drive for watching videos online, so this should only be used for storing videos and offering them up for download. If students start streaming the videos from your Drive folder, you may get notified by Google that your shared folder has been un-shared.
  • Regulations prevent UCSD community members from Health Sciences from using Google Drive.

Read documentation on Google Drive for UCSD community members.

Delivery: Embed Your Videos Using "Record/Upload Media"

If you have video files on your computer, you can "get around" Kaltura by using a button in the rich content editor labeled "Record/Upload Media." You will need to have a "page" created in one of your modules in Canvas in order to do this.

  1. Within Canvas, enter the course in which you need to embed the video.
  2. Find the module in which you want to embed it and create a "page" course element if necessary.
  3. Click on the page's title.
  4. Click the "Edit" button.
  5. In the rich content editor, click on the "Record/Upload Media" button. (It looks like a play button and a musical note.)

A screenshot of the rich content editor with the "Record/Upload Media" button circled.

  1. In the window that opens, click on the "Upload Media" tab.
  2. Click "Select Video File." 
  3. Locate your video file and click open or save. The video will upload for a little bit - wait for it to complete before doing anything.
  4. Be sure to click "Save" when you're done.

A screenshot of what a video uploaded to Canvas looks like when embedded.Once the video is done uploading, it'll appear in the editor and will be playable.

Have additional questions about video? Contact Multimedia Services at