How to Convert Videos with VLC Media

If you’re uploading a speech or other video to your course’s Ensemble dropbox link, you may encounter an error related to the file extension on your video.

Your video’s “native” extension depends on how you created it and how you got it onto your computer. Ensemble is pretty much file-extension agnostic (it doesn’t “care” what you use), but we do recommend MP4 for best results (.mov also works well). For more information on Ensemble’s transcoding process, check out this guide.

If you do need — or just want! — to convert, you can use free software called VLC. Here’s how.

How to Convert Video Files with VLC Media

1) Download and install the free program VLC Media Player for whatever operating system your computer uses (Windows, Mac, etc.).

2) Start VLC Media Player.

3) In VLC, go to Media > Convert / Save.


4) In the File Selection area, click Add and navigate to your video file.

5) On the Convert / Save button, click the little triangle menu button and select “Convert.”


6) In the Source box, copy the full path to your video file and paste it into the Destination File box. (If it’s already there, just leave it as-is.)

7) If you want a copy with the old format, give the destination file a different name. Make sure the three-letter extension after the dot to “mp4.”

8) In the Settings area, set the Profile to “Video – H.264 + AAC MP3 (MP4).”


9) Click Start.

10) When finished, please return to Ensemble Video and upload the converted (.mp4) video.

Thanks to Curtis Bryant for help writing these instructions.


Alex is online course support technician at IDS, working to support all online, hybrid and LMS-enhanced instructors and students in using Blackboard and several media servers. She's also the administrator for the MCC Blogs network. You can reach her at

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Posted in Blog, Free & Cool, IDS Tech Academy

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