You can add several types of video into a Captivate project, including AVI, MOV, and Flash Video (FLV or F4V). To insert a video, open or create a Captivate project and then choose Video > Insert Video to open the Insert Video dialog box.
You have two choices when inserting video: Event Video (typically video that is expected to play on only one slide) or Multi-Slide Synchronized Video (video that is expected to play across multiple slides). Most developers elect to use Event Video since videos that are confined to a single slide are easier to control.
After you've made a decision between Event Video or Multi-Slide Synchronized Video, the next big decision is to load the video from a file that is already on your computer (by selecting On your Computer), or link to the video that is stored on a server (by selecting Already deployed to a web server, Adobe Media Streaming Service, or Flash Media Server).
If you choose On your Computer (which most developers do), you simply Browse to the video that's on your computer or network drive, open it, and the video will be inserted onto the slide. From there, you use the Properties Inspector to set the video's timing and other attributes. It's a clean process with one major drawback: when you publish an eLearning lesson containing video, the resulting output could be quite large. And large lessons take longer to open and view over the Internet than smaller lessons that don't contain video.
Instead of embedding the video in a Captivate project, you lower the size of the project and decrease load times for learners accessing your published content by linking to the videos that are stored on a server.
If you have a web server, you can upload the videos to the server in advance and simply copy/paste the URL to the video into the URL field. Your corporate IT can set you up with a web server or, if you're up to the challenge, you can create your own web server using free media server software.
If you don't have a web server, your server cannot handle large amounts of traffic, or you simply don't want to create your own server, a media service could be the way to go. Generally speaking, media services are servers available in the cloud that house your videos for you. When a learner watches your eLearning content and comes across a video you've added to a slide, the video is streamed from the media server to your learner. There are several pay-as-you-go companies/websites that provide media servers including Adobe Media Streaming Service, Wowza, Subsonic, and Plex.
I'd love to get feedback from you about this topic. I've created a quick poll that asks how you're using video in eLearning and, just as important, where you're storing the videos. You can take the poll here.
See also: Adobe Media Server 5 With Kevin Towes and a review on five of the top-selling media servers.