Opencast Summit 2023: Agenda

From Wednesday, March 22nd to 24th the Opencast Summit will take place in Berlin. Here you can find the preliminary program. A description of the venue, accommodation, and directions can be found in the announcement of the event.

Participant registration is still open and closes on 17th of March 2023. You can register here.

For those arriving on Tuesday, we will announce a meeting point for an informal get together in the evening before the event.

  1. Tuesday, March 21
  2. Wednesday, March 22
  3. Thursday, March 23
  4. Friday, March 24
  5. Abstracts
    1. Wednesday, March 22
    2. Thursday, March 23
    3. Friday, March 24

Tuesday, March 21

While there is no official program yet, if you are already in Berlin, feel free to join us at 7pm at Ristorante Da-Vinci.

Wednesday, March 22

Main Track

09:30Registration (30′)
10:00Welcome (15′) – Olaf Schulte
10:15Opencast in Numbers (15′) – Greg Logan
10:30Opencast 12 and 13 releases (30′) – Felix Pahlow, Lars Kiesow, Nadine Weidner, Matthias Neugebauer
11:00Opencast 2023 Roadmap (30′) – Lars Kiesow
11:30Upgrading Manchester from Opencast 3.x to 12.x (30′) – James Perrin
12:00Lunch (1h)
13:00Tobira: recent developments and future plans (30′) – Lukas Kalbertodt
13:30Tobira in the real world: experiences, use cases and plans (30′) – Olaf Schulte
14:00Opencast Studio: recent accessibility improvements and other developments (15′) – Nadine Weidner
14:15How to install Tobira (15′) – Lukas Kalbertodt
14:30Community talk about Tobira (30′) – Lukas Kalbertodt
15:00Coffee break (30′)
15:30Manchester’s Next Gen Capture Agent (WIP!) (30′) – Paul Pettit
16:00CAs in a huge new building (15′) – Paul Pettit
16:15Evaluation of an FPGA Accelerator Card for transcoding (15′) – Sven Dyhr
16:30Discussion: Extron & Capture Agent API (30′) – Olaf Schulte, Rüdiger Rolf, Greg Logan
19:00Dinner at Das Lemke
Main Track

Devoloper Track

14:00Job Dispatching (30′) – Greg Logan
14:30How to debug in Opencast and setup your environment (15′) – Maximiliano Lira Del Canto
14:45How to integrate? An overview of Opencast’s APIs (15′) – Matthias Neugebauer
15:00Coffee break (30′)
15:30How to integrate with Moodle? A showcase of various integration scenarios (1 hour) – Matthias Neugebauer
Developer Track

Thursday, March 23

Main Track

09:30New Opencast LMS integration for Stud.IP with Stud.IP User Provider(15′) – Till Glöggler
09:45ILIAS-Opencast-Plugin (15′) – Christoph Reifers
10:00New Integration in BigBlueButton 2.6 (15′) – Dennis Benz
10:15Asynchronous Engagement: Seeding Video Comments with Zoom Chat (15′) – Karen Dolan
10:30Vendors Showcase (15min)
10:45Group Photo
11:00Coffee break (15′)
11:15Paella Player 7 in Opencast. What, when and how (15′) – Carlos Turro
11:30Opencast full API integration with corporate LMS/CMS (30′) – Ferran Ciscar Blasco and Francisco P. Vives Aragonés
12:00Lunch (1h)
13:00Captions and Subtitles with Amberscript in Opencast (15′) – Carolina Kluck & Moritz Wagener
13:15Automatic language detection for transcription (15′) – Lars Kiesow
13:30Large-Scale Automatic Subtitling (15′) – Ypatios Grigoriadis
13:45Alex helped us transcribe more than 40.000 hours of video recordings (15′) – Stefanos Georgopoulos
14:00Generating subtitles for Opencast using OpenAI’s Whisper (15′) – Jan Mertens
14:15Automatic processing of diverse video sources – Phoebe Miller
14:30Automatic subtitling using Whisper AI (30′) – Maximiliano Lira Del Canto
15:00Coffee break (30′)
15:30Opencast Architecture and Services (30′) – Greg Logan
16:00Beyond NVENC – Alternatives on HW encoding (30′) – Maximiliano Lira Del Canto
16:30Dissecting a Video File (30′) – Lukas Kalbertodt
18:30TV Tower
Main Track

Developer Track

12:00Lunch (1h)
13:00Writing Unit Tests (1-2h) – Greg Logan
15:00Coffee break (30′)
15:30Proper player integration for third party tools (30′) – Carlos Turro
Developer Track

Friday, March 24

Main Track

09:30Future of the Opencast Editor and Opencast Player (45′) – Rüdiger Rolf, Carlos Turro
10:15Tracking the blackboard? (30′) – Olaf Schulte
10:45Release managers are the best❗️(15′) – Lars Kiesow
11:00World Cafe (30′)
11:30Board meeting (30′)
12:00Lunch (1h)
13:00Revisited: What’s next in lecture recording and video management (1h) – Olaf Schulte
14:00Annotation Tool State of the Union (30′) – Julian Kniephoff
14:30Opencast User Statistics (15′)
14:45D/A/CH Community Meeting (1h)
Main Track

Developer Track

09:30Developer Tutorial (90′) – Greg Logan
11:00Coffee break (15′)
Developer Track


Wednesday, March 22

Opencast 12 and 13 releases: Overview of new releases in the last year.

Opencast 2023 Roadmap: Roadmap what is going to be new in Opencast in 2023.

Upgrading Manchester from Opencast 3.x to 12.x: An update on progress to upgrade our huge deployment from Opencast 3.x to 12.x. Covid delayed our plans to move to AWS and then to update, we are finally trying to catchup!

Tobira: recent developments and future plans: The bi-annual update on the video portal Tobira! What happened in the past year and what are our plans for 2023?

Tobira in the real world: experiences, use cases and plans: Short reports from different universities on how they use Tobira or plan to use it.

Opencast Studio: recent accessibility improvements and other developments: A quick update of recent developments and future plans.

How to install Tobira: On brief demonstration on how to install Tobira on a server, connect it to Opencast and configure it.

Community talk about Tobira: We will talk about everything Tobira. What are high priority changes? Where would the community like Tobira to go? What are reasons it’s not yet used at _your_ institution? Community feedback regarding specific open questions.

Manchester’s Next Gen Capture Agent (WIP!): Current work in progress with our next generation of Capture Agent hardware/software and management

CAs in a huge new building: Lessons from rolling out CAs in a new build with ~100 teaching rooms

Evaluation of an FPGA Accelerator Card for transcoding: For my bachelor thesis I used a Xilinx FPGA accelerator card and tested the efficiency of this solution compared to CPU transcoding. I will present the results in this talk.

Extron LinkLicense & Capture Agent API: Together with Greg, Rüdiger, and Lars, I would like to discuss plans to work towards an enhanced CA API which is likely to become a LinkLicense by Extron

Job Dispatching: Opencast’s workflow and job dispatcher systems are the complex, vital core of your install without which Opencast does not really do anything. Do you know how they work? Come learn exactly how the sausage is made, and understand why Opencast’s job dispatching can be so slow. Targetted for all Opencast adopters, regardless of technical skill. Author Note: This is a repeat of a talk from Vienna (2018).

How to debug in Opencast and setup your environment: Presentation to show how you can debug in opencast and what tools are available, also, how to setup the IDE for this task

How to integrate? An overview of Opencast’s APIs: This talk gives an overview of Opencast’s APIs. It can function as a starting point for adopters who want to implement a custom integration.

How to integrate with Moodle? A showcase of various integration scenarios.

Thursday, March 23

New Opencast LMS integration for Stud.IP with Stud.IP User Provider: The Stud.IP Opencast Plugin has been completely overhauled, facilitating the new Stud.IP User Provider from OC 12.8 and upwards. In this short presentation, light will be shed on the new features of the integration and the technical backgrounds.

ILIAS-Opencast-Plugin: Current state of the plugin, new features and releases. Upcoming features and improvements. Could also be 30min presentation. I’d rather move more general LMS-specific discussions in their own time slot

New Integration in BigBlueButton 2.6: …

Asynchronous Engagement: Seeding Video Comments with Zoom Chat: Live Zoom meetings often have an active Zoom Chat session that accompanies the Zoom meeting. Attendees post reactions, thoughts, and links into Zoom Chat in response to the live lecture. The Zoom Chat content of the Zoom live experience is lost to our asynchronous students who watch processed recording published through Opencast. We decided to start ingesting Zoom Chat along with the Zoom recording, for select courses, to bring the asynchronous student closer to the live experience of their peers. This lightening talk describes how the time coded Zoom Chat documents are retrieved and processed to synchronize with trimmed videos in Opencast, and how they are seen and engaged with by asynchronous users.

Vendors Showcase

Paella Player 7 in Opencast. What, when and how: After the launch of the fully-rewritten Paella player 7, the player is ready for its inclusion as the default player in Opencast (if the community wants to). In this talk I will present the updates carried out this year, especially those regarding accessibility and testing, and will provide an overview of the integration process

Proper player integration for third party tools: IMHO Opencast lacks a proper solution to integrate the paella player from opencast into third party tools (e.g. LMS). There should be a way to let a third party tool authorize/use the player without requiring user specific data/authentication. Currently third party tools like LMS plugins either use their own player, use LTI or roll with their own player like Tobira. In this session I would like to propose to discuss the future of those implementations and what a usable solution would look like. Obviously the title is a little bit mean and could/should be changed. I’m happy to explain this further if necessary.

Captions and Subtitles with Amberscript in Opencast: Explanation how to use Amberscript in Opencast and what you can do with it, as well as give an update on new features in the integration

Automatic language detection for transcription: Showing off how automatic language detection with Vosk work so that you don’t have to know in advance what language is spoken in the video.

Large-Scale Automatic Subtitling: Developments in the AI field have been quite rapid in the last several moths, with ChatGPT by OpenAI making headlines worldwide. OpenAI released a less famous, open-source, tool for automatic audio transcription (speech-to-text) and translation, called Whisper, for which there is already an Opencast integration. In this lightning talk I will be presenting our approach at TU Graz, which has two parallel tracks: 1. short-term large-scale deployment of automatic subtitling via an external partner; 2. internal instance of Whisper for R&D with focus on automatic subtitles for livestreams.

Alex helped us transcribe more than 40.000 hours of video recordings: In February 2023, Alex used Whisper OpenAI and within 24 hours transcribed more than 37.000 videos from our university videoportal ( In this presentation we will show some interesting findings from our overall experience.

Generating subtitles for Opencast using OpenAI’s Whisper: Short insight into an API implemented with Python, which transcribes videos via OpenAI’s Whisper. In addition, introduction to the associated program to extract videos from Opencast and transcribe them automatically, recognize languages, etc.

Automatic processing of diverse video sources: Automatic adaptive editing and transcoding

Automatic subtitling using Whisper AI: Last year, Open AI released Whisper AI, a Free Open Source AI that can make audio transcriptions in more than 20 languages. This presentation will show how to implement and use it in opencast.

Opencast Architecture and Services: Opencast is a complex beast, do you know how it works? What is a service, and how does that relate to this jar file? What’s the difference between an admin and a worker profile? How do the services find each other and schedule jobs? If you’ve ever wondered something along those lines, this is the talk for you. Targetted for all Opencast adopters, regardless of technical skill. Author Note: This is a repeat of a talk from Vienna (2018).

Beyond NVENC – Alternatives on HW encoding: In this talk, I will look into other HW acceleration technologies for video processing, in specific Apple M1 and intel Quicksync, Advantages and disadvantages

Dissecting a Video File: Have you ever wondered what’s inside an mp4 file? How come you can play some video files, but not others? What even is video and audio data? How is it compressed to a fraction of its original size, often without a noticeable loss in quality? In this talk I will try to answer these and other questions in order to explore the technologies without which Opencast could not exist.

Opencast full API integration with corporate LMS/CMS: Since June 2022, in the IT Service of the University of Alicante, we are integrating Opencast as back-end solution and encoding engine for our multimedia CMS replacing our old system based on Visual Basic, Visual C++, FFMPEG and Avisynth. As we want to keep our front-end (Vértice), this integration its being done entirely through the Opencast API and final users will not be aware of this replacement. For us ut is a big step as Opencast will process not only VoD stuff but also materials generated LIVE from our University classrooms, auditoriums, etc. In this presentation we would like to share the details of this integration. The steps that we have taken, difficulties, security aspects, phases of the project and future developments. Maybe, there are other institutions that could benefit from this initiative.

Writing Unit Tests: Opencast is a modular system with lots of interplay between modules – and testing that effectively can be really hard! In this talk we will go through, with concrete examples how to create good tests for Opencast. We will be covering what mocks are, what the differences between the types is, and how to properly define and verify their behaviour. We will also cover some basic strategies for debugging your mocks when things inevitably go wrong. Talk is targetted towards Opencast developers.

Friday, March 24

Release managers are the best❗️: I’ll talk about what release managers have to do and why you should become one.

Annotation Tool State of the Union: What is happening with the Opencast Annotation Tool? Find out about the latest developments and the overall state of the project.

Tracking the blackboard?: I will report on what scenarios we invest in at ETH Zürich to record lecturers and/or blackboards, which technologies we abandon, looking for in put from others.

Opencast User Statistics: What possibilities are there in Opencast to collect user statistics? What are the pros/cons of the different methods? What technologies are behind these methods and how are they implemented? What experiences have other institutions made with these methods?

World Cafe: Discussing issues in small table groups.

Future of the Opencast Editor and Opencast Player: Discussion

Revisited: What’s next in lecture recording and video management: Discussion

D/A/CH Community Meeting: Discussion in German language

Developer Tutorial: In this talk I will be going through how to do day-to-day Opencast development. We will briefly cover some system environment setup (dependencies, selection of IDE) before moving on to development. The development section includes selecting which branch to work against when starting a patch, how to commit with good hygiene and messages, and what is expected when filing issues and pull requests. Expect to see some git magic (git rebase, git reflog) as well. Talk is targetted towards developers, whether Opencast or otherwise.

Opencast 12.0

Hi everyone,
it is my pleasure to announce that Opencast 12.0 has been released:

The documentation for this release can be found at:

Please make sure to read and follow the upgrade guide carefully when upgrading from an older major version to Opencast 12.

RPM and Debian packages as well as Docker images will be available soon. Watch for announcements on the users list.

To all committers and involved contributors, thank you for all your work. This could not have happened without you, and I am glad we were able to work together and get this release out.

Best Regards

Release Managers Opencast 12.0
Lars Kiesow
Felix Pahlow

Opencast 12 release branch cut

Hi everyone, the Opencast 12 release branch (r/12.x) has been cut. Please check if pull requests point to the correct branch.

For a guide on what you can still add to release branches, please refer to the acceptance criteria for patches in different versions.

Remember the release schedule for this release:

  • Cutting the release branch: May 18, 2022
  • Translation Week: May 23, 2022
  • Public QA phase: May 30, 2022
  • Release date:  June 15, 2022

As always, we hope to have a lot of people testing this version, especially during the public QA phase. Please report any bugs or issues you encounter.
For testing, you may use if you do not want to set up a test server yourself. The server is reset on a daily basis and will follow the new release branch with its next rebuild.
Additionally, look out for announcements regarding container and package builds for testing on list if you want to run your own system but do not want to build Opencast from source.