Using Collaborate Publish!

Publish is a program that allows you to save Collaborate recordings in a variety of different formats. This is convenient for access to recordings when a user may not be able to be connected to the Internet or may want to play the recording on a different device. This program is available for download from the Collaborate site.

Publish can save recordings in many formats including mp3 (audio only), various video formats such as mp4, and "unplugged" Collaborate recordings (which include recorded interactive features). For starters, we are only going to focus on mp3 conversion because it is quick and the file sizes are manageable. 

See more information about Publish. Note the Resources in the right menu. Click the link on that page for recorded demonstrations and Collaborate Publish user guides.

The following instructions detail how to create an mp3 file. Mp3 files can be used to listen to audio content on mobile devices.

First Step: Download and Install Publish

  • Download Publish to your computer from the vendor's site here:!/?id=357

  • Save and then run the downloaded file.

    When you try to run the program after installation, it will ask you to register. You can review Blackboard Collaborate's privacy policy and decide whether or not you wish to uncheck the boxes for receiving further information and updates. If you need further details about installation, see the Installation and User's Guide on the same page listed above.

Next: Saving a recording as an mp3, mp4, or "unplugged" recording

There are two methods you can use to point Publish to the recording, depending whether you have a Collaborate recording or an Elluminate recording.

Method 1 (recommended for iSchool Collaborate recordings):

  1. Open Publish and paste the link for your recording into the “Recording:” box at the top of the interface.

    You will see Publish immediately start to process the file (it will say, “Copying VCR file to Local System”). When it is finished, Publish will activate the other options on the Publish interface.

    Continue with item #2 below.

Method 2 (recommended for iSchool Elluminate recordings):

  1. Save the JNLP file for the recording.
    a) Find the recorded session listed on our Elluminate list of recordings
    b) Click on the session name and enter the requested information (name, email, and password)
    c) When presented with the box asking whether to run the file or save it, select the option to SAVE. (Remember where you save it.)

    Open Publish and browse to where you saved the JNLP file.
    It will process the file and then activate the other options on the Publish interface.

    Continue with item #2 below.


  2. After pointing Publish to your recording, you can confirm the name of the session. It will be listed just below the box that shows the file location on your computer.
  3. Select options for the file conversion.
    a) Uncheck all boxes except "Create Audio File"
    b) Check "Create Audio File" and "Automatic Level Control"
    c) For format, select the desired output format (e.g. MP3, MP4, "Unplugged"). For mp3, 32 kbps is sufficient for voice.
  4. Click "Convert."
    You'll need to specify where you want to save the mp3 file and then click "Convert" again.

    Publish will begin processing and will continue for a few minutes. Mp3 conversions should be done within approximately 5 minutes. You can use your computer to do other things while this conversion continues in the background, but remember not to close the window where it is working.

    After the conversion process is completed, you can check to be sure the mp3 file was created and will play.

If you wish to edit the mp3 file (for instance, to delete portions of the recording) you will need to use additional audio editing software. Audacity is a good application for this purpose, it works on both Windows and Mac platforms and it is free. See

Other Formats

If you wish to save a version of the recording that includes the whiteboard and all other activity in the session, we recommend the "unplugged" version. This can be saved on a computer or on removable media such as a CD. The resulting file can be played without an internet connection. However, the file is not editable.

Standard video file formats such as mp4 can be created with Publish. But note that converting to these file formats will take at least as long as the original recording and the resulting files will be very large. Short recordings will be much more manageable. 

back button Back  Next next button