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As a part of the recent updates to the UNCG Webex service, session recordings made using the Webex Meetings (Meeting Center) and Webex Events (Event Center) platforms will now be recorded in MP4 format, instead of the ARF format. MP4 files are standard video files with excellent cross-platform compatibility.

What is the difference between ARF and MP4?

MP4 files are natively viewable on all platforms, including Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, and mobile operating systems (iOS and Android). By contrast, ARF format is inflexible. To watch Webex recordings in the ARF format, users must download a separate Webex Player application, which functions only on Windows or Mac computers. ARF files can be converted to MP4 through some extra steps and processes.

What’s new with MP4?

With the new file format, Cisco has slightly changed the layout of their recording files. The experience also differs depending on which method viewers choose to use when playing back a recorded file.

For users who opt to use the Streaming method, an Internet connection is required for the duration of playback, but the recording includes more information. In addition to the shared content window, the Streaming recording can include the speaker’s video, participants list, and chat window. By contrast, when playing back video with the Download method, users will receive only the shared content window and speaker video.

Getting the best viewing experience with MP4

While Webex provides hosts with a streaming recording link and a download recording link, ITS recommends using the Streaming method for watching playback whenever possible.  This enables additional content (chat, participants list) to be viewed next to the main content and speaker video.

Recordings in Webex Training/Training Center

The same process that has been in place since UNCG adopted Canvas remains in use. For the time being, Webex Training (Training Center) users will continue to receive recordings in ARF format. However, when using Webex through Canvas, the recordings will still be automatically converted to MP4 via a third-party tool. Cisco plans to release direct-to-MP4 recordings for Webex Training in the future.

For more information

The 6TECH Knowledge Base has more information on the specific differences between the ARF and MP4 formats, specifically the Webex Recording File Types and Playback article.