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If you have a site with the Publishing feature enabled, you have the built-in ability to play video and audio on your site, using a new Web Part. Now, you don't have to be using a Publishing Portal. Any site can have the Publishing feature enabled, as long as you've got SharePoint Server. We'd really need to have two things going on here: where do I want to store the video or the audio that I'm playing, and where do I want to play it. Now, if I look at my Site Actions > View All Site Content here, I've got a bunch of libraries here including images and pages, but maybe I'll have another library to store some video, for example.
Let's create a new library. There's actually one called an asset library here. I'm going to do this and call it Video. You'll actually see asset libraries used in quite a lot of sites. In fact, it's quite common to hear them referred to as site assets. Click Create. It's really just a document library with extra few settings to give you thumbnails, for example, if you upload an image. Now, I'm just going to leave this empty at the moment. I just wanted a place to put my video. I'm going back to my homepage of the site.
I'm going to think, well, where do I want to show it? I could be showing it on this, which is the homepage or I could make a new page for it. Tell me this page will be created in the Pages library, as I'd expect. Call it Video. It'll create it and shift into Edit Mode. It'll be a very simple page. We've got the same old navigation structure on the top and on the left, simply because we're using an existing master page. So, in my page content, this is where I want to play some video. I'm going to go to the Insert section of my Ribbon, and I have on the Media section a Video and Audio option.
That inserts what's called a Media Web Part. Now, right now it has no idea what to play, so I'm going to click it to configure it. When I do select it, the Media section of the Ribbon pops up and it asks what media am I meant to actually work with, what media am I meant to play. The options are to select something from your local computer, from SharePoint, from a particular address. Maybe you store a lot of digital assets on a third-party hosting provider. Well, I haven't uploaded any video, so I better go and select the stuff from my computer.
Of course, I can just play it from my computer, so it is going to allow me to select the file and tell it where to upload it to. So, I'm going to browse. I have a simple WMV file here, though you can also use AVI and MPEGs. Audio files like MP3 and WMA will work as well. I'm going to upload this to that new library I created called Video. Click OK. So, it's uploaded my video. It's asking me to give it a title, which I'm going to here, Ojai Olive Oil.
I could add some keywords if I wanted this to be searchable. Right now, I'm just going to take the simple way out and save that. It doesn't look particularly stunning right now, because the default view of the Media Web Part is to show this blank screen. The video is not playing, obviously. Couple of things I want to change. Now, I had done my own compression and editing of that file, so I know that it's not 320x240, which was the default width and height of this Media Web Part. I'm going to change this to 512. Now, it's actually trying to lock the aspect ratio, which I don't want because this video was in a widescreen aspect, so about 288. That's better.
Now, after changing it, I still have a couple of issues. One, it doesn't know what it should be playing. You can't just pick the first frame of this movie, because that might be completely black if we've got a fade-in, for example. So, another option that you have is the ability to select an image to be shown as kind of a placeholder until that's playing. Now, I happen to have an image on my desktop that's just one of the frames from this video itself. So, I'm going to select this and say yes, it's currently on my computer. I'll need to go and select it. That's a little thumbnail image there. Click Open.
I have to choose where to upload this. I could upload it to Video, though I do also have an Images library that was already there. It really doesn't matter. They don't have to be in the same place. It's telling me that this document is uploaded successfully and is checked out to you. Again, we're in a publishing site where a lot of the assets are regarded as being checked out until I check them back in. But at the moment, I'm okay with that. I'm going to click Save. We have that still photo there. There are couple of other options on this Media Web Part, such as whether I want to start it automatically, which is typically a no-no, and Loop until stopped.
I'm not going to have that either. So, I'm going to leave all that, and just hit the Save button to close this. Of course, because this site has Publishing enabled, we're working on a Publishing Portal here. This page is still considered checked out and editable, so I'd need to check it in to make sure other people could see it. But I can certainly test this myself right now. So, we come down.This does require Silverlight to be installed. It loads and starts playing. We do have the ability to go full- screen if we want to, and just hit Escape to get back out of that. The usual suspects, a little volume control, Stop and Pause buttons.
Choosing a bit of an ugly generic title here of Media Web Parts. I'm going to shift back into my Edit Page mode. Select that and give it the title, Ojai Olive Oil. Save it again, looks good. Again, depending on the site that you're putting it on, you may need to take particular attention, because right now we have a image here, the image thumbnail needs to be checked in before it's accessible. So, not only does the page itself has to be checked in and published, but any asset that might be under the same kind of control needs to be made available to the general public before this is going to work. But a very simple, very straightforward way of getting video assets onto your page and the same control will work just fine with WMA and MP3 audio files as well.
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