I used to get that question a lot from customers, and for a long time, my answer was to download the videos from YouTube and upload them to the Share pod in a meeting. Then late last year, as part of our annual training event at Adobe, we decided to run a friendly 'custom pod development' contest, and with a little help from Flex.org, the YouTube chromeless player, and (borrowing) a little code from Alistair Lee's awesome Twitter pod, I came up with an app that lets you search and display YouTube videos within a meeting. For the lack of a better name, I called it ConnectTube (very original, right?). You can find it on the official Adobe Connect extensions page.
A few weeks after ConnectTube was posted on Adobe.com, I received a request from a customer for an 'HD' version of the pod, to allow for 720p video within Connect (the original version of ConnectTube had the video player size hard coded to 480x360). I was really hoping to change the code so that the frame size scales automatically, but unfortunately, I didn't have a ton of time so ended up hard coding the larger frame size. I'll get around to it someday. In any case, here are the two pods - download 'em and try uploading them into your meeting room.
The pods are pretty easy to use (I think), but here's a quick rundown of how it works:
- Once the pod loads into your meeting, the meeting host can enter keywords to search YouTube. Results are displayed in a datagrid on the right (not visible to participants). The host selects the video and hits the play button. That should play the video for everyone.
- To play the video for everyone, make sure to use the Play button along the bottom of the pod, rather than clicking on the video to play.
- If the pod is in 'Unsync' mode, each participant can search YouTube on their own.
A few caveats:
- ConnectTube does not work in recordings - any searches conducted in a live session do not repeat in a recording
- Make sure that you STOP the video playback before switching to another document or switching to another layout. Otherwise, you may continue to hear the audio playback from the video.
- Participants can control the play/pause of a video by clicking on it (feature of the chromeless player that I couldn't disable).
- There's also YouTube branding on the bottom-right. Clicking on it will take you to YouTube.
- YouTube sometimes changes the search results based on your location - so if you really want to be sure that everyone is seeing the same video, search for the video's ID (e.g. in this URL, the video's ID is in red: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfRnnGuhhr0)
- 720p playback of videos isn't a great experience on older machines. My 6 year old T42p has issues playing back 720p videos, whether I try to watch them directly on YouTube or through ConnectTube.
- Also, you really have to put the HD pod in fullscreen to see the interface and video.
Ok, I think that covers it. If you run into other issues, let me know. Or if you have ideas on improving the UI or functionality, let me know that too.