Echo360 Personal Capture

Introduction

This guide is for users of Echo360 Personal Capture software. If you plan to use Echo360 in a classroom, please see our Lecture Capture Guide.


Installing Echo360 Personal Capture

Downloading and Installing

Echo360 Personal Capture can be downloaded from the UK download server. Log in using your link blue ID and password, search for "Echo360", and select and download the appropriate version for your operating system.

Before installing, please check your computer's specifications to be certain they meet the minimum system requirements. Follow the prompts to complete the install.

Creating Content

Recording

For those who are unfamiliar with Echo PCAP, presenter guides are available for Mac and Windows. Clicking Help after opening the program will lead to additional links. For troubleshooting or to schedule a personal training session, please contact the UKIT Service Desk.

Note: Echo PCAP is a simple recording program. While it does have limited editing capabilities, it does offer one-click upload to the streaming servers once a publishing account has been created (contact the UKIT Service Desk for details). The user who desires advanced editing capabilities may use other programs such as iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, or Final Cut Pro. Such programs are also able to save projects in file formats more compatible with YouTube and other online video sharing sites.

Recommended tools:

  • Microphone: All users will require a microphone in order to record. Echo360 recommends Logitech USB products, which have worked with few to no tech issues and are quite affordable. While a computer's built-in microphone is convenient, the sound quality may be less than that of a headset, particularly when ambient noise is present, such as the sound of your keyboard or mouse, ringing phones, air conditioners, or ticking clocks.
  • A Script: Writing a script before beginning recording can help avoid the need for heavy editing. Please note that the pause feature for Echo PCAP is not yet universally available. If your version does not have the pause feature, recordings cannot be stopped and started again at a later time, nor can they be edited together without the use of other programs. In this situation, if a mistake is made, it is best to be silent for a moment and then restart the sentence. The error and subsequent pause can be edited out when the recording is finished.

Echo PCAP is able to record from the screen, a webcam, or both simultaneously. However, use of both video inputs simultaneously should only be done when absolutely necessary due to the following drawbacks:

  • The additional visual input can lead to an overly large file size, which is more likely to introduce playback problems, especially for students on slower connections.
  • Viewers will only be able to see both video sources if they watch streaming video using the Echo browser-based flash player. Vodcasts made available for download from Echo or iTunes U are limited to one video source only.

Editing

After recording has been finished, instructors may then choose to adjust the beginning and edit points of the recording and edit out stumbles, sneezes, or snafus.

Please note that Echo360's Personal Capture software does not offer advanced editing capabilities and users are not able to reorganize recordings or add content from other sources.

If more complex editing tools are needed, Camtasia, Adobe Captivate (site-licensed by UK), iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Final Cut Pro, or other video editing applications may be used to edit recordings made with the PCAP program. Some of these applications are available in various computer labs on campus; please see the SCS Software page for more information. All Echo360 files, when initially recorded and edited, are saved on the machine used for recording and capturing in Echo PCAP. Open the Echo360 software and view Preferences to learn where these files are saved.

For more information about obtaining alternative video editing programs, please contact the UKIT Service Desk.

Publishing to the Streaming Server

Course Feeds

Echo works in a manner similar to Blackboard: content published using Echo PCAP goes into a specific course feed, which can then be shared publicly or with a limited group of viewers, such as students in a particular class. Course feeds in Echo are created on demand. Once the course feed is set up, you will be able to use your link blue account to publish directly from the Echo PCAP program and access your published content on the Echo Server. Echo content can also be automatically fed into a Blackboard course shell or iTunes U podcast.

To request a course feed, contact your college or department IT staff or the UKIT Service Desk.

Echo360 Publishing Options

When setting up a course feed, presenters will work with their college or department IT staff to set several publishing options based on their preferences for each course, including whether each recording will be published immediately after processing or be held for the presenter's review.

Access to recordings can be open or restricted in the following ways:

  • Blackboard Stream Only - A link will be published through a Blackboard course and only those members enrolled in the Blackboard course will be able to view the video.
  • AD/MC - Members will be prompted to use a Link Blue ID to view the stream or download, thus any member of the UK community can view the Echo.
  • Allow All - Any person in the world who is given the link may view the Echo; no course or password restrictions are enforced on the Echo stream/download.

Echoes can also be made available as podcast or vodcast files that can be downloaded from the Echo server or through iTunes U, or as streaming videos that can be viewed online through the Echo360 browser-based video player. Links to content can be automatically published in a Blackboard course, or shared directly with viewers. The following file types can be created by the Echo server:

  • Podcast - Audio only, downloadable
  • Vodcast - Audio + CHOOSE: Video recording -OR- Screen Capture from the lecture, downloadable
  • Echo Presentation - Audio + Video + Screen capture, streaming video

Integrating Content with Other Services

Content published to the Echo server can be easily integrated with Blackboard or iTunes U. This integration can be done by the presenter, or by the presenter's college or department IT staff.

End of Semester File Purge

Because space on the Echo server is limited, all files published to the Echo360 server will be purged two weeks after the final day of each semester. All files created with Echo360 Personal Capture are saved on the machine used to make the recording. Open the Echo360 software and view Preferences to learn where these files are saved.

It is the responsibility of the presenter to download and/or retain all files that are needed for future semesters before they are deleted from the server. Please ensure that these files have been saved to an alternative digital storage space prior to the end of the semester.

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