MINES CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
EMBEDDING VIDEOS
INTRODUCTION
In addition to stil images, the Content Management System al ows users to embed YouTube
video clips within a web page, as seen below. This is a brief guide to embedding videos with the
CMS.
An “embedded” video on a Mines web page
Video adds a distinctive element to a web page and can be an effective way to communicate
with customers. However, Mines does not currently host or stream videos on its own servers.
We recommend instead that users al ow YouTube—a free Google service—to host their video.
(For more details about YouTube itself, see: http://www.google.com/support/youtube/.)
Colorado School of Mines “owns” an official YouTube channel, which is managed by the Mines
Public Relations Department. Contact Public Relations to have your video uploaded to the
official channel. This gives your video the imprimatur of the Mines “brand” and makes your video
easy to find online. Public Relations asks that departments, programs, teams and other school
organization not create their own, separate YouTube channels.
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EMBEDDING A VIDEO
After your video has been uploaded to YouTube, it is time to embed it in a web page. To do so,
sign into the Content Management System as usual and check out the page on which the video
wil appear.
Place the cursor where you want to insert the video and click the YouTube embedding icon, on
the right side of the editing toolbar:
Enlarged section of CMS toolbar
A dialog box like this one wil then appear:
YouTube Property dialog box in the CMS
Simply insert the URL (web address) of your YouTube video in the proper space. Leave the
default width and height as they are, or specify another width and height (in pixels) if the
defaults are unsatisfactory.
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In most cases, “Low” quality is sufficient, but for HD video “High” may be preferred. The former
can be more usable if viewers have a slow connection, or might watch the video wirelessly, or
might watch it on a mobile device.
When finished, click OK then Save and Approve the page and view it with your preferred web
browser to see if it is working. If it is not, the additional information below may help you fine tune
the video link so it wil play correctly.
USING THE PROPER URL
What is the correct URL to insert into the dialog above? Depending on how you reach your
video, the URL may be more or less complex. This is a side-effect of the way YouTube operates.
However, the basic YouTube URL is al you need to know.
A basic YouTube URL wil be in the form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
In other words, a basic URL includes the YouTube address “http://www.youtube.com/plus the
attribute “watch?v=” plus 11 random characters (letters, numbers, punctuation) that form a code
designating a particular YouTube video.
There may be a number of added attributes after the code string—al of which should be
removed for purposes of embedding a video—but if the URL has exactly the components noted
above it wil typical y play correctly.
Here's a test: If the OK button in the YouTube Property dialog does not become active after the
URL field is fil ed, then the URL is not in a format that can be used the CMS. If it does become
active, the URL may be in the proper format. Click OK, then Save and Approve the page, then
attempt to view it in a browser. If you stil experience issues, read further.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
As noted previously, YouTube wil occasional y present a nonstandard URL that wil not function
correctly in the CMS (though it may work fine in a web browser). For instance, if you are within a
dedicated YouTube channel—say, the Colorado School of Mines YouTube channel—and
navigate directly to a particular video, the URL may look something more like this:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ColoSchoolofMines#p/a/u/0/s-9J2ixyHIQ.
Note that there's no "watch?v=” section in that URL (though there is a code—“s-9J2ixyHIQ”—
designating this particular video). While you may be able to insert this URL into your CMS page,
the video wil not play correctly when the page is published. In such a case, to find the proper
URL (as far as the CMS is concerned), right-click on the title of the video—the blue title link just
below the video—and select Copy Link Address. Paste that address into the YouTube dialog
box and it should now work properly.
The general rule here: If there's no "watch?v=XXXXXXXXXXX" in the URL, it's not going
to work properly. Try again to find the right URL.
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For the great majority of users, the first URL you try wil just work. If it does not, or if the OK
button in the YouTube widget does not become active or "clickable," then the URL needs to be
in another form.
Embedding a YouTube video with the CMS is part science and part art. But by fol owing the
instructions above, you have a very good chance of success.
Last updated 30 July 2013
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