IT Services



Educational Media (Podcasting)




Title of Service: Podcasting Services

Status of Document: This document describes services offered in April 2014.

Author: Peter Robinson

Last Modified: Ian Senior, April 4th, 2014

Contents



1. Introduction

The University Podcasting Service is managed by Educational Media Services, part of Academic IT Services.

This service provides access to inclusion within, and the maintenance of, two institutional portals – Oxford Podcasting Portal (podcasts.ox.ac.uk) and Oxford on iTunes U.

The service provides best-effort support for all university members involved in podcasting; training and documentation; and liaison work with departmental content providers so content can be efficiently delivered in a timely fashion.



2. Summary of IT Services responsibilities

The Podcasting Service comprises several independent elements, details of which are outlined below



2.1. An institutional RSS and ATOM syndication service

To enable the syndication element of podcasting, we provide access to a meta-data content system that creates RSS/ATOM suitable for use within the two institutional portals.

Hours of Service

This service should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and accessible online worldwide to users with a valid university computing account and that have registered their interest with the podcasting service in advance.

Resilience and Backup

We take responsibility to backup this data on a weekly basis, and we will restore any catastrophic service outage within 5 working days.

System Development

The Podcasting Service is working with partners to enhance provision throughout the year. This may have a negative impact on service availability.

Administration and Support

Support for this service is available via email (podcasts@it.ox.ac.uk) and via the IT Services help centre during normal office hours (9:30-5:30, weekdays).

We aim to respond to each email query within 4 working days of receipt.

Education and Training

Online documentation is available to describe system usage.

Courses on podcasting delivered via the IT Services ITLP also provide training on using this service.



2.2. A transcoding and processing service

To generate compressed digital files suitable for podcasting, we offer a service to transform a wide range of input formats into the correct outputs.

Hours of Service

This service is available on request during normal office hours (9:30-5:30, weekdays).

Facilities

We support a limited set of methods for data ingest and delivery. These details are available upon request.

Resilience and Backup

We take no responsibility for data and digital assets that use this limited service.

System Development

The Podcasting Service is working with partners to enhance provision throughout the year. This will have a negative impact on service availability during the next 6 months.

Administration and Support

Support for this service is available via email (podcasts@it.ox.ac.uk).

We aim to respond to each email query within 4 working days of receipt.

We will endeavour to offer troubleshooting advice on any non-standard material that has been supplied.

Education and Training

Users are advised to contact us directly by email and we will advise on specific usage arrangements.



2.3. The institutional podcasting web portal

We develop and maintain the institutional web portal for podcasting content (podcasts.ox.ac.uk). Inclusion within this portal is via our documented submissions process.

Hours of Service

The portal should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and accessible online worldwide without any access restrictions applied by this service.

Facilities

The portal provides access to meta-data about available podcasts

Inclusion within the portal is governed by a review process

We can provide limited marketing support for material as judged by the Podcast Service Steering Group.

Duration of inclusion within the portal is determined by the Podcast Service Steering Group.

Resilience and Backup

Content for this portal comes from a wide range of sources, many outside of IT Services. We take responsibility for the ensuring the display of meta-data within the portal, but are not necessarily responsible for ensuring access to the content referenced within the portal.

Alternative Facilities

Departments and Colleges can supply their own web-publishing services suitable for hosting podcasting content.

We will endeavour to work with departments to support a common process for creating suitable podcasting content for these resources.

System Development

The Podcasting Service is working with partners to enhance provision throughout the year. This will involve large changes to the interface and appearance, as well as underlying changes such as changing URLs.

Administration and Support

Support for this service is available via email (podcasts@it.ox.ac.uk).

We aim to respond to each email query within 4 working days of receipt.

Education and Training

Inclusion within the portal is covered in courses on podcasting delivered via the IT Services ITLP.



2.4. The Apple iTunes U portal

We are in partnership with Apple Inc to provide meta-data for inclusion within their iTunes U system. This portal operates in a similar fashion as the institutional podcasting portal also maintained by the Podcasting Service. Inclusion within this portal is via our documented submissions process.

Hours of Service

The portal should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and accessible via the Apple iTunes Software.

Facilities

The portal provides access to meta-data about available podcasts

Inclusion within the portal is governed by a review process

We can provide limited marketing support for material as judged by the Podcast Service Steering Group.

Duration of inclusion within the portal is determined by the Podcast Service Steering Group.

Resilience and Backup

Content for this portal comes from a wide range of sources, many outside of IT Services. We take responsibility for the ensuring the display of meta-data within the portal, but are not necessarily responsible for ensuring access to the content referenced within the portal.

System Development

Development of the underlying system is undertaken by Apple on their schedules. Provisioning of content and some design elements are the responsibility of the Podcasting Service. Where possible, alerts will be issued to content providers about matters that may affect the display of their content.

Administration and Support

Support for this service is available via email (podcasts@it.ox.ac.uk).

We aim to respond to each email query within 4 working days of receipt.

Education and Training

Inclusion within the portal is covered in courses on podcasting delivered via the IT Services ITLP. Please see http://www.it.ox.ac.uk/podcasts for more information.



2.5. A web repository for produced media

To enable the distribution element of podcasting, we can provide suitable internet accessible storage for compressed podcast files.

Hours of Service

The repository should be accessible via http requests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Access is affected by external networking activities, such as the JANET At Risk periods.

Facilities

We provide a university web repository for produced media.

This is referred to as media.podcasts.ox.ac.uk.

Use of this service is determined on a case by case basis using the following criteria:

Duration of inclusion within the repository is determined by the Podcast Service Steering Group.

Alternative Facilities

Departments and Colleges are encouraged to supply their own web-publishing services suitable for hosting podcasting content.

We will endeavour to work with departments to support a common process for creating suitable podcasting content for these resources.

Departments and Colleges hosting material for inclusion within either of the podcasting portals maintained by the Podcasting Service will need to meet a limited set of Operational Requirements. These are available upon request.

Resilience and Backup

Data hosted within this system is backed up on a daily basis, and hosted on upper tier enterprise level hardware equivalent to that used for other key university services.

System Development

Service outages will be notified 24 hours in advance to users, where possible.

Administration and Support

Support for this service is available via email (podcasts@it.ox.ac.uk).

We aim to respond to each email query within 4 working days of receipt.

Education and Training

Access to this resource is handled by the Podcasting Service Team.



2.6. Training, Advice and Support for podcasting

The Podcast Service Team will aim to support content creators within the university through responses to individual queries, and via training sessions delivered via the IT Services ITLP.

Hours of Service

Support for this service is available via email (podcasts@it.ox.ac.uk).

We aim to respond to each email query within 4 working days of receipt.

Elements of support for podcasting can be sought via the IT Services help centre during normal office hours (9:30-5:30, weekdays).

Facilities

We will maintain IT Services web pages on Podcasting

We provide and support a project area within Weblearn for Podcasters.

We can provide basic advice on copyright and clearance topics.

We provide the pro-forma legal paperwork for speaker release and departmental sign-off to accompany recorded content.

We handle storage and management of associated paperwork for items submitted for inclusion in either institutional portal as need for auditing purposes.

We will endeavour to provide quantative feedback on downloads for content submitted to either institutional portal, where such data can be collated.

Best practice, basic principles, technical skills and related podcasting skills are provided via online documentation maintained by the Service, and via courses delivered via the IT Services ITLP.



3. Summary of client’s responsibilities

Users are expected use the service for its intended purpose, as recommended in published documentation, and in accordance with any supplementary advice provided by IT Services.

Users must be aware that podcasts are visible world-wide, and should consider carefully the impression that subscribers will form, both of them and of the University. They should also bear in mind the legal constraints that may apply to material they publish by this means.

Use of these facilities is covered by the University’s ‘Regulations Relating to the Use of Information Technology Facilities’ at http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/statutes/regulations/196-052.shtml.

Users should also take note of the guidance issued by the Web Strategy group at http://www.ox.ac.uk/web/rules/.

Users take full responsibility to meet the institutional demands for legal release forms from speakers, to seek head of department approval to request inclusion of material within the institutional portals.

Users are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of meta-data submitted to enable podcasting. This includes the creation of “Album Art” in a form and format described in Podcasting Service documentation and training.

Users take full responsibility for ensuring that any digital assets included within the university podcasting portals, but that have not been through the Podcasting Processing Service, meet technical requirements related to file formats and encoding standards as published by the Podcasting Service Team.

Where podcast content is hosted outside of the Podcasting Web Repository Service, users take full responsibility for ensuring operational requirements are met by their selected host. These include reporting back of statistical information related to file distribution and time constraints on the enforced take-down of published material upon request by the Podcasting Service.



4. Premium services

We are normally able to assist directly with content capture (i.e. recording of lectures, interviews and conferences), requests can be made for capture help by requesting a quote with full details of the event via podcasts@it.ox.ac.uk

In exceptional circumstances uncharged work can be taken on by a formal request which will be considered by the Podcasting Service Steering Group in conjunction with staff availability.