Another dot in the blogosphere?

Zoom video recording blips

Posted on: August 15, 2021

I discovered a few things during and after two recent Zoom sessions.

Some background first. During these sessions, a systems administrator starts the session as host. When I sign in, they make me the host and I assign them as co-hosts. This might seem unusual because most instructors or facilitators should be provided with paid accounts that start sessions as hosts by default. My guess is that this collaborator is trying to keep costs down by having fewer paid accounts.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

But here is one downside of that strategy. During one session, the administrator as co-host decided to record the session because one student had an emergency and had to sign out. When the video recording started, my system became sluggish. I could not activate any function in the tool bar, e.g., I could not start sharing my screen, activate the text chat tool, etc. It took about a minute before things returned to normal.

I work with another organisation where I am the host by default. The sessions are also by recorded by default and there is no performance lag at my end. I thought this was the norm until I experienced the problem I described above. 

Photo by Karina Zhukovskaya on

Here is another downside. At another session, the administrator asked me to start the video recording. The rationale: The co-host recordings do not include what happens in the breakout rooms when I enter them. That is where the most valuable interactions and learning happens!

I did this and did not experience any lag, thank goodness. But the video file for an almost two-hour recording was just under 1GB in size. Not only that, I had to manually convert the Zoom proprietary format into an MP4.

I double-clicked on the video files (there were two) and Zoom started converting and combining them. Slowly. Very slowly. I left my computer to the task, had a late dinner, watched Netflix, and returned to find an MP4 in place of the two files.

I would not ordinarily have to do this because the file capture and conversion should have been done on a server elsewhere. I would only wait to be notified to download the video. Instead, I had to upload and share the video I had prepared. 

I record this here to outsource my memory. If I need to do this again, I can refer to the experience so that I will be better prepared. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

1 Response to "Zoom video recording blips"

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