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Lecture Capture

Sonic Foundry Launches Podium PC-Based Video Capture

Lecture capture company Sonic Foundry has formally released a new application intended to help faculty members and others record straightforward screencasts or audio and slide presentations from a podium PC without the intervention of a production person. Mediasite Catch is specifically intended for classrooms not equipped with extensive audio or video capabilities. The announcement came during this week's annual Educause conference taking place in Anaheim.

Catch supports several kinds of workflows. "Connected mode" allows the recording to be timed to start automatically using the scheduling features of Mediasite. The recording settings are set by template. Once the recording is finished, it can be published through auto-upload. The instructor being recorded doesn't have to see any of the recording interface. Ad hoc recordings can also be made by initiating them through My Mediasite. Also, the program can handle "local" control with start/stop/pause buttons with "confidence monitoring."

During a Sonic Foundry event in May, Vice President of Engineering Dharmesh Sampat told attendees that the program could accommodate six modes of recording:

  • Audio only;
  • Video only via webcam;
  • Screencast (the desktop plus audio);
  • Slides plus audio;
  • Slides plus video; and
  • Dual video.

Because the video capture is limited to a webcam, it's not intended to record lectures being presented as the instructor moves around the room, Sampat emphasized. It doesn't "support cameras with sophisticated interfaces; it's primarily for USB capture," he said.

Catch plays well into an education environment, said Alan Greenberg, a senior analyst and partner for Wainhouse Research, in a statement. "Scheduling, ease of use and the ability to expand their lecture capture deployments are among the very top features we hear our educational clients asking for in their video solutions." He added that "a simple-to-use, podium-based solution like Mediasite Catch is ideal for many classrooms and will allow campuses to scale their deployments and make lecture capture more ubiquitous."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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