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University Information Services


The SMS, which provides a quick, easy and free way for University users to host their online multimedia content, has just seen a major upgrade that brings several benefits for content owners and viewers alike…


The Streaming Media Service offers an easy way to deliver audio and video content online

Fine-grained user access controls

Before the upgrade, content owners could only choose between publishing media either to the general public, or restricting it to University members with a Raven login. UIS has addressed SMS users’ wishes to have more control over how they share their content by developing new functionality to extend the range of privacy settings to include named individuals, Institutions, and/or Lookup groups. These settings can be applied to whole collections, or to individual content items.

Browser detection built-in

The latest version of the SMS also introduces some clever behind-the-scenes enhancements that improve the viewing experience. Cross-browser/device compatibility issues are addressed by the new Auto format feature. This converts uploaded files into the most popular file formats for web-based delivery, and serves the most appropriate format for the individual viewer’s browser, freeing the content owner from having to specify their preferred format(s) at the time of upload, while retaining the option for expert users to specify additional formats, if required.

Responsive design

The new system also features support for responsive web design, meaning that media files embedded into web pages will automatically scale up or down to fit the available page width, blending seamlessly with the website’s own design.

Support for <oembed> method

Web developers and content managers will appreciate the introduction of support for the oembed method, meaning that embedding videos and podcasts into a website is now a simple matter of cutting and pasting a URL from the SMS. This method is supported by some Content Management Systems (CMSs), including Drupal, and work is underway to include this in the next release of Falcon.

Further information

10 September 2014