Adding Media, Interactivity, and Mathematical Equations

12 Videos and Audio

In this chapter, you will learn how to embed video and audio content in your book.[1]

For more information on this topic, see the Embed Media video in the Pressbooks Video Tutorial Series from BCcampus.


Pressbooks makes it relatively simple to embed streaming videos from YouTube, Vimeo, or Kaltura. However, you should not upload videos from other websites directly into your book, to ensure your readers do not encounter playback errors. Instead, embed the video by pasting the URL in its own line in the visual editor.

If you choose to upload a video to your media library, use one of the file types listed in the Pressbooks User Guide chapter linked below, and be sure to keep the file size small. If the file is too large you will have issues with how it displays in your book.

"" For more information about embedding videos in a webbook, see Display Embedded Media in the Pressbooks User Guide.


Many CUNY libraries upload videos on YouTube for the information needs of their campus community. They do so for several reasons.

  • YouTube is easy to use.
  • Videos on YouTube can be assigned a Creative Commons license.
  • YouTube ensures the increased exposure of the information in these videos, beyond the library’s brick-and-mortar location or website.

If you own the copyright for a video posted on YouTube and intend to include it in your open textbook, take steps to change the video’s license from the default “Standard YouTube license” to the “Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed).” (For instructions on how to do so, see How to Change the License of Your YouTube Video to Creative Commons.)

""Not all videos from YouTube can be embedded into Pressbooks. YouTube videos have three privacy settings that account holders can select. Pressbooks can only embed videos set to “Public” (can be viewed by anyone) and “Unlisted” (can be viewed by anyone who has a direct link to the video). Videos that are set to  “Private” (can only be viewed by video owner) cannot be embedded into Pressbooks. (For instructions on how to adjust privacy settings while uploading a video, see How to Upload a Video to YouTube.)

Videos grouped in a playlist on YouTube are designed to play continuously in sequence. To prevent rollover for an embedded video taken from a playlist, use the URL found under the Share link found above the video description box. Highlight the URL by double clicking the link, then copy the URL by right clicking on the link and selecting “Copy.”

Here is an example of an embedded video.

“Fall 2021 Hostos Library orientation” by Haruko Yamauchi at the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College Library [YouTube] is licensed CC BY-SA 4.0.

Video Captions

To ensure videos are accessible to all students, they must be captioned. When including videos in Pressbooks, there are a few options for adding captions to videos.

  1. If the video is hosted somewhere else (like YouTube or Kaltura) and is being embedded in Pressbooks, you can caption the video from within that platform and the captions will be included when the video is embedded into Pressbooks. This is the easiest option.
  2. If you are uploading a video directly to Pressbooks, you will not be able to caption the video within Pressbooks. As such, you have two options.
    1. Use the Amara subtitle editor to create a caption file (VTT) for the video. Then, enable H5P, use the interactive video content type, and upload the video there. Within the H5P activity, you will be able to upload the VTT file to the video, and captions will display.
    2. Apply open captions to your video. Open captions are when the captions are actually a part of the video. They cannot be turned on and off. This can be done in video editors like Adobe Premier.
For more information about video accessibility, see the chapter Multimedia in the BCcampus Open Education Accessibility Toolkit – 2nd Edition.


Audio files posted in a repository, such as SoundCloud, can be embedded in Pressbooks the same way that videos are embedded—using a URL.

Here is an example of an embedded audio clip.

“Jess Mitchell” by Creative Commons [SoundCloud] is licensed CC BY 3.0.

  1. This chapter is based on the chapter Videos, Audio, and Interactive Media in the BCcampus Open Education Pressbooks Guide by Lauri M. Aesoph, published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Changes have been made in accord with the style, structure, and audience of this guide.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Videos and Audio Copyright © 2022 by Andrew McKinney; Rachael Nevins; and Elizabeth Arestyl is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.