Create a media solution in SharePoint 2013

Did you know that you could easily create a media solution in SharePoint 2013, without using any code?

These days, almost every business wants to use audio or video on their website. Video, especially, is a great way to share information. People want to use it in many ways – entertainment, branding, communication, training, customer service, even product catalogs. The range is amazing – the video might be a lengthy documentary to provide background for a business plan or a 30-second snapshot of a process on a computer screen. Video is no longer the protected reserve of specialized gurus – today people create videos with a cell phone and send them all over the world at the press of a button.

In the business world, people often want to manage video content just as they manage any other business asset. Whatever kind of business or organization you have, the chances are that you use video or want to use video. SharePoint 2013 can help you do that, whether you just want to share a video with colleagues, or build an enterprise-level Intranet portal for video resources.

The following sections provide more information to help you create your own media solution.

To learn more about the new features, see Enhanced Video Experience in SharePoint 2013.

In this article

Step 1: Activate the features

Step 2: Set up an Asset Library

Step 3: Add media content

Step 4: Use the Video Player and Player Page

Step 1: Activate the features

To enable the enhanced media handling features in SharePoint 2013, you must have permissions to change Site Collection features.

  1. On the Site Settings page, under Site Collection Administration, click Site collection features.

  2. On the Site Collection Features page, under Video and Rich Media, click Activate.

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Step 2: Set up an Asset Library

An Asset Library is a special SharePoint library app, pre-configured to use all the features that help you manage rich media assets such as images, audio, and video. For example, an Asset Library offers these features:

  • Thumbnail-centric views

  • Overlay callouts

  • Podcasting support through RSS

  • Digital asset content types

  • Automatic metadata extraction for image files

To learn how to add an Asset Library to a SharePoint site, see Set up an Asset Library to store image, audio, or video files. To learn about how to plan for an enterprise digital asset library, see Digital asset library planning in SharePoint Server 2013.

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Step 3: Add media content

Adding new content to an Asset Library is easy. You can just click New Item on a library page, or the New Document button on the ribbon. Either way, you have the familiar option of entering the file information (path and file name), or browsing for it. If you choose Video from the New Document button menu, you’ll see more options: upload from your computer, link to a video, or provide code from the web to embed the video.

You don’t have to remember what to do for each separate option - when you choose, SharePoint asks you for exactly what it needs.

To learn more about how to add content to an Asset Library, see Upload video, audio, or pictures to an Asset Library. Or, to learn how to embed a media file on a SharePoint page, Add video or audio to a page.

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Step 4: Use the Video Player and Player Page

SharePoint 2013 has two video players: a HTML 5 player or a Silverlight player. SharePoint selects the player automatically, depending on the video format that it encounters in the video set (the collection of related files, such as documents and different renditions of the video). If the HTML 5 player can’t play the video format, then SharePoint uses the Silverlight player.

You can even have multiple renditions of a video, all kept together in the same video set. Your video set collection might include different video renditions for different bandwidths or for different devices. You can switch between different renditions dynamically.

One of the handiest new features in SharePoint 2012 is the video player page. It’s one page that gathers much of the information related to a particular video in one place. You can specify related documents (such as a lab workbook for a training video), the video owner, people who appear in the video, the thumbnail, and so on. You just click the thumbnail, and the player page opens. You have immediate access to everything about the video – all the metadata, any other renditions that might be available, and the thumbnail.

A thumbnail is the first thing most people see when they encounter a video on the web. Thumbnails appear in searches, in file lists, on portal pages, and almost everywhere. Thumbnails can give people a quick preview of what the video is about.

SharePoint makes it easy for you to capture a thumbnail of any video in a SharePoint library, or to upload a thumbnail image for a video in a library. You can just use options on the video player page. If the video file is stored in the SharePoint site, you can actually capture a thumbnail from the video itself. It’s not only easy, it’s fun to experiment with capturing different stills from the video action and then decide which one that you want. Or, you can upload an image file from your computer or from a web address.

To discover how to create a thumbnail, see Capture or change a video thumbnail.

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