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Important Notice

On October 1st, 2016 Web Services plans to turn off the ability for uploading new videos to the Helix Media Library ( Migration plans for transferring to Kaltura will be sent to individuals using HML fall 2016 with a projected decommission timeframe of summer 2017.

Helix Media Library

The Helix Media Library allows you to upload and stream media files to mobile phones, tablets, white boards, web pages and iTunes University.  

To get started, click here to log in.

After logging in, the home screen displays a toolbar, the latest uploads, random viewable content, and list of content categories.

The left sidebar displays categories containing viewable media. 


How to upload media

You can upload the following file types:

  • AVI (Indeo, Cinepak, Motion JPEG, MPEG1/2/4, DiVX, XViD)
  • MPEG4 (DiVX, XViD, 3iVX)
  • MOV (Sorenson, H263, H264, animation – Apple LossLess not supported)
  • MPEG1 / MPEG2
  • WMV (all versions - DRM not supported)
  • DV / DVCPro
  • MP3, Windows Media Audio, WAV

 File size is limited to 2 GB.

  1. Click the Upload tab.

  2. Provide a title, category, description, and your name as the contributor.  Your choice of category determines who will be able to view your video.  For example, if you choose VCU, only people logging in with a VCU eID and password will be able to view your media.

    If uploading media for a specific course, please request your course to be listed as a category by submitting Service Desk request.  Your request should include your name, email, phone, term (i.e., Fall 2015), unit (i.e. School of Art), and course number (i.e., ANAT 301). 

  3. If you provide your email address, Helix will issue you an email with a link to your video for streaming delivery.

  4. Click the Next button.

  5. Tag your media if you want to make it easier for people to search and find your media.

  6. Click the Next button and choose a file to upload from your computer.  Upon upload, a progression bar will show the percentage of the file uploaded. Once the whole file has been uploaded, the system will begin to extract thumbnails from the video. Please wait for the thumbnails to appear on the page - a "Loading Thumbnails" icon will appear in the interim.  If thumbnails do not load, it's may indicate that the HML cannot upload your media.  If thumbnail extraction is successful, eight random thumbnails will appear on the page. 
    If you want to upload your own thumbnails, they must be 320w X 204h and the format must be .jpg

  7. Click Next.

  8. Add a captions file or Associated Files, for example a Word doc (10 MB max. size).

  9. Click Next to confirm your upload.
  10. Click Finish

    * Please be patient as the system may have a queue of files being encoded. In the media listing area, your video will say false until your video has been encoded. If encoding fails, you will receive an email letting you know.



How to Prepare and Upload Camtasia Videos to the Helix Media Library

Within Camtasia:

When you’re ready to export your Camtasia video, choose Editing Dimensions, (i.e., what size you want your video to be when you produce and share your video). 
Select 800 x 600 (web 4:3) or 1280 x 720 (16:9).

Click the Produce and share drop-down menu and select Produce and share…

A new screen will pop-up.  Select Custom production settings from the drop down menu:

Click Next and select Recommended MP4 - Flash/HTML5 Player.

Click Next.

Under Controller tab:

  • De-select Produce with controller (this will deselect all checkboxes)
  • Leave remaining tab settings unchanged (Size, Video settings, Audio settings, Options).

Click Next.  If you want to add author and copyright info to your video, click the Options… button in the Video info area.

Click Next.

Within the Output file area, enter Production name and leave Folder destination the same (or change it).  Leave the remaining the boxes checked.

Click Finish.  A pop-up will show your video file being converted to the MP4 file format.  When finished, a media player will launch and begin playing back your video.

Exit Camtasia and log in to the Helix Media Library.


Log in to the Helix Media Library here using your eID and password.

Click Upload from the Main Menu and enter your video's title, category, description, and your name as contributor.  

Your category choice determines who will be able to view your video.  For example, if you choose VCU, only people logging in to the HML with a VCU eID and password will be able to view your video.

Uploading media for a specific course?  Please request the course be created as a Helix Media Library Category by submitting a Service Desk request.

Your request should include the following:

  • Instructor’s name, email, phone
  • Term (i.e., Fall 2015)
  • VCU Unit (i.e., School of Art)
  • Course Number (i.e., ANAT 301)

Click the Next button and tag your media to make it easier for people to search and find your media.

Click the Next button and locate your Camtasia video file to upload.

Click Next and choose a thumbnail or upload your own thumbnail.

Click Next and add a captions file or Associated Files, for example, a Word doc (10 MB max. size).

Click Next to review and confirm your upload.
Click Finish and allow a few minutes for the HML server to encode your media.  You will be notified via email when your media is ready to view and share.

How to play back media

At the home screen, click on a thumbnail (or double-click the Latest Media carousel) to go to the media playback page.  Similarly, selecting a category will bring up the media list for that section. Clicking the thumbnail or title brings up the viewing page.  

Choose from the following:

  • Video playback: RealPlayer or Flash Player

  • Copy URL (to this page): to display a link to the media player page itself, highlight the URL and press CTRL + C or right-click and select Copy to place on clipboard.  The URL can be pasted into Facebook, for example, to automatically embed the media item as long as it's available to the public in the Helix Media Library.

  • Copy Code (to display in page): copy this code to embed your video (and/or audio)  into an external web page.  

    Three types of embed code are available:
    • Legacy Flash - this supports Flash only playback
    • iframe - this supports playback across all devices
    • Javascript 'Modes' - sometimes applications won't accept iframe embed code within the clipboard so this embed code can be used instead.
  • Player size adjustment: below the embed code, select from three different sizes which will alter the embed code accordingly.

  • Quality: select high or low quality for both audio and video playback.

  • Download: click Download and then right-click to 'Save As'.

  • Rate this media: click on the number of star (1-5) to rate the media.

  • Related Clips displays links to videos within the same category or related metadata.

  • Resources displays any associated files uploaded with the clip.

  • Tags: lists metadata tags used by the current media clip.

  • Comments: read and enter comments about the current media clip. Offensive content can be reported, and will be hidden from view until approved or deleted by an administrator.

  • Chapters: this section contains any chapter points that have been created, and allows you to create new ones.

  • Share the clip (if publically available) on Facebook, Twitter, or via email.

  • Playlist: allows you to create a playlist and add a clip or chapter point to it, or an existing playlist. 

How to add chapter points

To create a chapter point, click the Chapters button underneath the clip. 

  • Click Add Chapter and play the clip.  When you reach the part where a chapter point should start, click Add Start Time. Let the clip continue to play (or move to the point where it should finish) and click Add End Time.

  • When the start and end time are set, give the chapter point a title and description.

  • Click Add Chapter.

  • Points of interest can be set on a clip in the comments section. If you like a specific segment of the clip, enter a comment along with the time of the part you like and write it as follows: @00:00:35. This creates a hyperlink which, if clicked, will take you to 35 seconds into the clip and plays on from that point.

  • When comments are enabled, users can leave messages about the content.  Any comments deemed inappropriate or offensive can be reported to the administrator. Reported comments will be hidden immediately.  If an administrator or moderator confirms the reported comment as appropriate to the content, the comment cannot be reported again.

How to allow users to subscribe to RSS Feed 

  • Clicking the RSS button within a category will display the Really Simple Syndication [RSS] feed. This allows a user to subscribe to your feed and it updates automatically whenever you add new video or audio.

  • When a feed is chosen, you will see a preview of the content to be delivered.  The RSS feed link can be added to any compatible viewer such as the RSS Feed Reader built into Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Navigating the Helix Media Library using an Android, Blackberry, iPhone or iPad 

  • When navigating the Helix Media Library from an iPhone, iPod Touch, Android or BlackBerry, the site will render specifically for that device. When public access to the Media Library is enabled, your first visit to the site will show a list of videos available to unauthenticated users.  Selecting the play icon that appears over the video thumbnail will play the media immediately.

  • The home screen offers Most Played, Latest Added and Random video selections.  If guest access is not enabled, you will be asked to log in.

  • Selecting the Title of a clip will bring up the information for that media.

  • Selecting Search at any point will bring up the search page. From here you are able to search on the default tags, such as Latest Added, or Most Played.

How to manage your account

On the home screen, click on the My Account menu. From this section, you can change your profile picture, look at your uploaded media, delete clips, manage your playlists, check your stats and change your preferences.


How do I request Helix Media Library server space for my course videos? 
Submit a Service Desk request and specify name, course title, number, section, semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) and year in your request.

What will students see when they log in and access my course?
When students log in, they will see Featured Media, Most Played media, and Random Videos (selected from what they have access to).  On the left, students will see Categories (Public, VCU and courses they have been given permission to access.
Will students be able to download and/or share video clips listed within a specific course?
If Category settings permit downloading, students will be able to download media.

How do I give students permission to upload video clips to a specific course?
Please request which students should be granted permission to upload to your course (category) by submitting a Service Desk request
Note:  all HML users with ability to upload videos to a specific course can view all media listed within that course (category).

As a faculty member, how do I restrict downloading/viewing permissions?
When you submit a request to the System Administrator for establishing your course, specify downloading permissions.

How do I migrate videos stored on VCU's former video server to the Helix Media Library?
You can download your videos from the old video server and encode them on the Helix Media Library Server.

Is there space limitation on the HML server per course?
No, not at this time.