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WebEx Recording and Playback

Please feel free to add your knowledge to this page, correct errors, and/or improve clarity.

WebEx's network-based recording feature enables a meeting host to capture WebEx session content, both visual and audio, for later playback.  This page describes the simplest (of multiple) techniques to record (at no direct cost and with no additional hardware or software) both the WebEx "shared desktop" activity and teleconference audio by "connecting WebEx" to the audio/phone bridge.

The recordings are stored on WebEx servers in arf (Advanced Recording Format), a proprietary format.  They can be played back by anyone having the URL to the recording.  The host is e-mailed a URL to the recording within 30 minutes after the recording is ended.  This URL can be forwarded or posted to a Web site or wiki site.  The host can access all recordings by logging into WebEx, clicking on the "Meeting Center" tab, and clicking on "My Recorded Meetings."

ARF files can be converted to Windows Media File (.wmv) format or to Flash (.swf) format through the WebEx Network Recording Player.  The Player is available by logging into WebEx, clicking on the "Meeting Center" tab, and clicking on "Support", "Downloads", and "Recording and Playback".

Recording

An important thing to note: only the Host can start a meeting recording. The host will be noted in the Webex window with Host in parentheses next to their name. The main host is always the person that created the Webex meeting in the first place but there can be alternate hosts that are permitted to start the meeting. If an alternate host starts the meeting then at that time they are the host and they can start the recording however if the person who originally created the Webex meeting joins the meeting they will automatically become the host. However, anyone can become the host by selecting Participant from the top of the Webex window and selecting Reclaim Host Role. At that point you will need to enter the Host Key which is available on the Working Group / Focus Group meeting page. Alternatively, the host can make you the host by right-clicking on your name, selecting Change Role To and clicking Host.

(Note: Get all this stuff done in the 10 minutes before your meeting starts so that all you have to do is click on "Start Recording")

These instructions should work for both the RestonTalk Audio Bridge and FreeConference.com audio bridge services.

  1. Start the WebEx session
  2. Click on "Record" in the WebEx meeting window, or click on "Meeting" and "Start Recording."
  3. Record other teleconference
  4. On the WebEx Recorder (Record on Server) Setup window
    • Dial-in number:  enter your 10 digit audio bridge number, without any preceeding 8, or 9 to get out of a local phone network. (this is being dialed by Webex to get into your audio conference, so how you dial a long-distance number from your office is not relevent). (The "US flag" you see will provide the preceding "1")
    • Greeting bypasss digit:  Select "None"
    • Pause before user ID:  Enter "8" (seconds) (This may vary depending on your conference call service. Eight seems to do it for Reston talk, if that doesn't work, try 10.)
    • User ID:  Enter the audio bridge access code, followed by the pound (#) sign if required by the particular audio bridge. Make sure you include the # sign, or you will have an audio recording that just has "please enter your access code, followed by the pound sign"!
    • Pause before user PIN:  Leave this blank if your bridge allows you into the call without confirming you entered the right bridge access code. Otherwise allow a reasonable time prior to confirming the access code, 5 seconds should be fine.
    • User PIN: If your bridge requires in (freeconferencecall.com does) enter 1 here to confirm the access code entered.
    • Press the "Next" button
    • Click on the "test recording" to make sure you hear the message that tells you that WebEx has joined your meeting.  If you don't hear the message, you don't have things set up correctly!  Like maybe you forgot to include the "#" sign.
    • When you are ready to start recording your meeting, click on the "start recording".

Prior to pressing the "Next" button, the Webex Recorder (Record on Server) Setup window should look like the following. You may or may not be having as much fun as the person in the picture.
This image applies if your phone bridge requires a call code confirmation of 1

This image applies if you phone bridge does not require a confirmation of the access code.

Playback

  • In about 30 minutes, the meeting host will get an email. This will include a link to the recording on Webex's servers that will play if you follow it. Please download this .arf file from your webex admin account under Host a Meeting -> My Recorded Meetings and upload it to the Archive - Webex Player Installation Files page under Resources. Then link to this in an email to your attendees
  • Clicking on the link starts a Webex player that shows the movie.
  • Please do not leave recordings on the site for a long period, as there is limited storage. When you can, please download and delete the recording from the webex site. If the recording needs to be accessible to others, the downloaded .arf file can be converted to .wmv format using the WebEx Network Recording Player and posted anywhere, for example the USGS SharePoint site.

References