July 31, 2009

Dog Days of Summer bring in some new features

We've just launched a couple new features on Media Mill. The first and most exciting is the ability to do video recording directly within your browser. Just visit the "Record Video" page to give it a try. Even though it's on our main site, we're still considering this feature a bit "beta" - let us know how it works for you.

We've also revamped the way UThink blogging integration works, to support the new version of Movable Type that UThink is using. Check this help page for more information.

Finally, we've upped the limit on web-based uploads to 75megabytes. We're continuing to monitor the load that this puts on the server, and will hopefully be able to increase it a bit more.

January 28, 2009

MOD, VOB and TOD oh my!

I've got beta support for MOD, VOB, TOD and MPG files up and running, and I'm looking for some folks to test. If you're interested in giving it a try, please let me know.

November 26, 2008

Minor Bug fix

I just made a minor fix in the Quicktime caption convertor. There was an issue that could result in missing spaces at points where the caption had line breaks. If you need to fix that on files you've already created, you'll have to delete and recreate the derivative.

November 3, 2008

Upcoming downtime

Media Mill will have some downtime early Tuesday morning, while we add additional storage. The downtime should start around 8am. The total outage period should be approximately 15 minutes, and hopefully the bulk of media mill (the web interface, serving videos, etc) will be offline for less than that.

Just take it as a sign that you should be out voting! Let me know if you have any questions (mcfa0086@umn.edu).

October 28, 2008

New Features

Here's a short video that runs through some of the features that are about to appear on Media Mill.

What all have we got?

  • Upload from your browser (for small files)
  • AJAXyness - No more page refreshes for deleting archives/derivatives, locking, adding to projects, adding to podcasts, or checking status.
  • Support for setting the author field of podcasts (uses the credits field for individual videos, globally defined in the 'my podcasts' edit page)
  • Revised and cleaned help system - New articles on derivative types, quality levels, quicktime captioning and more!
  • Quicktime captioning support (actually shipped a few weeks ago, but it's official now)
  • Podcast viewing with Mango
  • Performance improvements for page loads
  • Ability to restrict access to only people with X500 accounts

October 23, 2008

More teaser fun

October 17, 2008

More New Hotness

Coming soon...

Cla Media Mill   University Of Minnesota-1

October 7, 2008

Captioning in Quicktime with Media Mill

The Media Mill beta site has a new feature, which allows you to caption Quicktime (and video for ipod/iphone) files, in addition to the existing flash capability.

All you need to do is add your captions to the transcript field (in the same DFXP format as always) and then create a quicktime derivative. The captions will be baked into the file, as a true captioning track. Then you can choose to turn it on and off during playback. In Quicktime Player, it's under the view menu, in iTunes it's under Controls->Audio Options, and on the iPhone it's in the iPod settings menu.

When you're watching it in the browser, just right click (or control click on a mac) on the video and choose "show captions." Here's an example.

August 15, 2008

New Features

Later today, there will be a new Media Mill release that adds a ton of new features. This has been in beta for ages, as we waited for a few pieces to come together. Here's a partial list of what to expect - the links go to videos demonstrating the features:

Plus lots of minor tweaks and bug fixes.

So, what's still on the todo list?

  • H.264 flash integration
  • H.264 streaming
  • Revised Help interface
  • Demux mpeg-2 (maybe, possibly, perhaps...)
  • Migrate flash player to actionscript3
  • Modules for submission to third parties
  • More flash options
  • Autodetect interlaced files
  • And whatever else comes up...

August 13, 2008

Retention Policy

Recently we sent out our retention policy, which basically says that after you leave the University, you get 60 days of complete access, after which we prevent you from uploading new content and remove your source files (without touching your derivatives). Obviously we'd love to keep everything forever, but it's just not possible. The bulk of the content on Media Mill is stuff that doesn't necessarily gain additional value by having the originals stored, and the costs are substantial.

Anyways, there was some confusion from the email - we have no intention of actually billing folks for the storage space they use. We only mentioned it because we wanted you to know how generous CLA-OIT is.

August 10, 2008

Downtime report

Media Mill went offline around 6:30am on Sunday, August 10th. Service was restored around 1:45pm. This was due to another power failure at the WBOB data center. For more information on University service outages, you can always visit the OIT system status page.

July 30, 2008

FLV as a source file

I've just added support for FLV files as source videos, rather than just as a destination. Although it's available to anyone at the moment, consider it beta. I'm relatively concerned that this is going to break other formats, in which case I'll need to disable it. We'll see though...

July 24, 2008

Storage upgrades complete

You may have noticed some notices about downtime this week and last, due to storage upgrades. I'm happy to say that the upgrades are now complete, and we're in good shape to continue growing.

For the technically minded, the first round of downtime, last week, was necessary in order to physically upgrade the RAID array. The second round was necessary in order to actually add the storage to the Media Mill SAN pool. In the future, upgrades should be able to take place in less time, as many of the tasks performed this time were one-time only.

July 2, 2008


As some of you surely noticed, MM was down for nearly 24 hours from noon on July 1st until 10:00am on July 2nd.

This was due to the fire and power outage at the WBOB data center. Sorry for the inconvenience.

April 1, 2008

New Features

Some new features just went live. Most requested - Thumbnail selection, as previewed here earlier. Just click the 'edit metadata' link for your video, and you can use the slider to pick a new thumbnail. You'll get a near-instant response, and changes take place instantly.

Also, there's a new filtering option on the 'My Videos' page, as well as some new embedding and instant play options. Neato.