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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Streaming Media Resources

this is a guide to audio and video services available from the library and on demand, including both licensed and free resources.

Putting Media On Reserve

Faculty in increasing numbers use multimedia in the form of full-length feature movies, documentaries, news programs, and music as a vital and necessary part of their curriculum.  Unfortunately, class hours have not been increased to meet the demand, so faculty have had to become creative in finding ways to make these media available to their students outside of class. 

The W.E.B. Du Bois Library has a media listening station on the 9th floor which contains individual stations where students can listen to music on their own, or in small groups of up to four persons.  There is also a media viewing station located in the Microforms Viewing Room located on the lower level.

If the Library does not own a copy of a film requested for classroom use, and no copy is easily available in the Four Colleges, the Library will make every effort to obtain a copy.

Streaming Media Service (New Pilot Project)

What is Streaming Media?

Streaming Media is any content in audio or moving picture form - movies, documentaries, cartoon animations, film clips, newsreels, etc., that is formatted for delivery over the internet to a personal computer.

How does it work?

After receiving any required permissions to stream, the audio, DVD or VHS is converted to a stream of data which is sent over the internet from a server. The data stream is received by a player which decodes it for the viewer at the other end. Students in your class access the player by logging in to your Moodle course, and then clicking on the title of the film they wish to view.

What are the benefits of Streaming Media?

The ability to deliver films and documentaries directly to students’ desktops has several benefits;

1.       As with reading assignments, students can now be assigned to view films prior to class. This frees valuable class time for discussion and analysis.

2.       Students and instructors can access the film anytime and anywhere they can log in using their net ID.

3.       Students don’t need to come to the library to try to gain access to the DVD or VHS.

4.       Instructors don’t need to come to the Library to pick up DVD/VHS. Instead they can project streams in classrooms with a computer connected to a projector by logging in their UMass account.

What are your options at UMass?

First check the Video on Demand databases of subscribed content and free videos to see if what you want to show your students (or use in your research) is available. If so, you can either link to it or embed it into your powerpoint presentation.

If the materials you want to show to your class are not available, contact the Reserves Dept. (  to learn more about your options.

Using Clips in Class

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries is now offering a streaming media service to instructors who utilize the one of the learning management systems. The primary purpose of the service is to support classroom instruction by providing required course content through on demand streaming of library-owned media. Videos of class lectures may be more suited to podcasting and are not within the scope of this service.

The scope and features of the service are:

• Streams are ordinarily designed for viewing on a personal computer, but can be used in a classroom setting.

• Our ability to provide any given stream is based on available resources (disk space, staff time) and what other videos are in the queue. Lots of advance notice is appreciated.

• Streaming media needs to be password protected and must be presented through Moodle.