Locating and Purchasing OLLI Videos
Where can I find a list of the available videos?
Videos from the current year are listed on the Video Catalog page. This page is organized into various sections as shown by the Quick Links near the top of the page.
How do I purchase the video of a lecture?
- Sign in as an OLLI member.
- Locate the desired lecture video.
- Click on its title.
- Click on the yellow Register button at the bottom of the VIDEO DETAILS page.
- Go through the usual check out procedure.
- To play the video, either...
- Go back to the Video Catalog, and locate the entry for the video. Click on the yellow Play button.
- Or, go to the HISTORY page, and click on the yellow Play button.
Can I find out what a lecture is about before purchasing its video?
Yes. On the Video Catalog page, click on the entry for the desired lecture. An expanded description will be displayed. The same information is also available from the conventional on-line catalog (click on Course Catalog or CATALOG) for lectures in the current program year. (For lectures in previous program years, you must click on the Video Catalog entry as described above because the conventional catalog contains information only for the current program year.)
I’m looking for a video from a previous year, but I can’t find it.
Videos are available starting with the 2019-20 program year. (Videos from previous years may be made available in the future.) To see the years for which videos are available, see the choices in the drop-down menu labeled “Program Year” to the right of the Quick LInks on the Video Catalog page.
How do I search for a particular video?
Enter a search term in the search box located in the upper right part of the Video Catalog page. Only a single word (for example, “climate”) or phrase (for example, “South Africa”) should be entered. Videos having keywords that match the search term you entered will be displayed in the same format as the complete video catalog page. To return to the full video catalog listing, use the back button of your browser.
How do I know what videos I’m eligible to view? How can I find the videos that I have purchased?
The best way to see this is to sign in to the OLLI website and click on the Video Catalog link. Videos that you are eligible to view in the selected Program Year are marked with a yellow Play button in the Video Catalog listing. Note that this listing includes videos from “no fee” lectures along with those you have purchased.
You can also look at your payment history (click on the HISTORY link). You will see a yellow Play button next to lectures and/or videos that you have paid for.
I’m looking for the video from a lecturethat I paid for in the current program year, but I can’t find it.
There are a number of reasons why a video may not be available. The speaker may have requested that the lecture not be recorded, the lecture may have been postponed or canceled, or there may have been a technical problem. If a lecture was postponed, its recording should be available at a later date. Note that normally, a video will be appear in the Video Catalog 10 days after the lecture.
Viewing OLLI Videos
To Begin: Click on the yellow Play button or on the link to the video. The Video Viewer will appear in your browser. It will probably start playing the video automatically; if not, click on the video image. (See the "Locating and Purchasing OLLI Videos" section above for help on locating videos that you can view.) If you don't see the yellow Play button, be sure that you have signed in as an OLLI member. You may want to check the HISTORY page to confirm that you have purchased the desired lecture or video.
Video Viewer: The Video Viewer and the web page on which it resides will show the video's title, a rectangular space where the video will play, several control buttons, and a text section that gives details about the video (title, speaker's name, and a short biography). The bottom bar of the video viewer itself will show the video's duration in minutes and seconds. As the video begins to play, the video viewer will display the date and time when and the location where the video was made, copyright and other rights information about the video.
Start Playing: The video may start playing automatically on some devices. If the video is not already playing, click on the video image to start playing it.
Pause and Resume: Click on the video image again or press the space bar on your keyboard to pause and resume playing the video.
Controls: Below the video image are several buttons that can be used to control the video. First is the Play/Pause icon. Next is a speaker icon that can be used to mute the audio. Hovering over the speaker icon will cause a horizontal bar to appear that can be used to control the volume. Alternatively, use the volume controls on your computer; your keyboard may have buttons for controlling the volume. More viewer controls are described below.
Timing: To the right of the speaker icon are two numbers: the first shows how much of the video has already been played, and the second shows the total duration of the video.
Finished: When you are done watching the video, simply use your browser's back button to navigate elsewhere on the OLLI website as desired.
More Controls: There are also controls to display or hide close captioning (CC) (see below for more details), to select Playback Speed, to select Quality (the gear-shaped symbol), and to enter Full Screen mode (see below for more details).
More on Closed Captioning: Closed captions will probably be on by default when the video starts. You can control closed captioning with the CC control. Click CC and select OFF to hide closed captions or click English to enable captions. Captions may be hard to see on small screens. Switching to Full Screen mode may make captions slightly larger.
Resizing: You can make the video viewer larger or smaller by resizing your web browser's window. The height of the viewer is determined by the width of the browser window in order to maintain the proper aspect ratio for the video, usually 16:9 or occasionally 4:3.
Full Screen Mode: To enter Full Screen mode, click on the icon composed of two small, outward facing arrows. To exit from Full Screen mode, press the ESC key on your keyboard. Note that Full Screen mode may be unavailable in some situations.
Troubleshooting Video Problems
There is a symbol in the middle of the video viewer (a triangle or two thick parallel lines) that is obscuring the content. There is also a bar at the top and one at the bottom of the viewer.
- Your cursor is probably inside the video viewer. If so, move it outside of the viewer.
I can’t see all of the video in the viewer.
- Scroll the window so the video image is at the very top of the window;
- Resize the browser window to be taller;
- Resize the browser window to be narrower which makes the video image shorter; or
- A combination of these steps.
The video doesn't load or at least the first frame doesn't appear in the viewer.
- It can take several seconds and sometimes longer for a video to appear in the viewer, so try waiting a little longer;
- If there is a Play arrow in the center of the viewer over a blank image, try clicking on the arrow;
- Sometimes a second Play arrow will appear before the video starts, try clicking on the second arrow;
- If after waiting at least 20 seconds for the video to load, try clicking in the center of the video image even if there is no Play arrow visible.
- If after waiting for at least 20 seconds for the video to load, try clicking your browser's Reload button or selecting the browser's Reload menu item.
The video plays, but without audio.
- Using the controls that appear when the mouse is moved over the video image while the video is playing, check to make sure that the volume in the viewer is turned up and is not muted.
- Check to make sure that the volume for your computer is turned up and is not muted.
- If you are using external speakers with your computer, make sure that the speakers are turned on, the volume is turned up, and the speakers are plugged in to a USB or audio jack and power.
- If you are using Bluetooth wireless speakers or a headset, make sure that any batteries are charged, the speakers or headset are turned on, are paired with your computer, and any volume control is turned up.
- If your computer allows you to select different audio outputs, make sure that the correct audio output is selected.
Still having problems?
- Make sure you have an up-to-date web browser. The most recent versions of the Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, or Opera browsers should work.
- Check to see that you have the most recent version of Adobe Flash Player. Go to Adobe's Flash Player web page to get the most recent version.
- You need a good Internet connection to watch videos. An Internet connection capable of operating at 500K bits/s or more is helpful, but see below for information about watching videos over slower connections, including dial-up.
The problem I'm having isn't listed above or the steps outlined didn't fix the problem.
- The video viewer we are using is Adobe's Flash Player. This is the same video player that is used by Google's YouTube service and YouTube has a number of trouble shooting web pages that may be helpful:
Problem still not resolved?
- Call the OLLI Office for assistance, 734-998-9351.
- Send e-mail to OLLI.Video.Help; do this by clicking on this link:OLLI.Video.Help. Please include a description of the problem and tell us what type of device and what web browser you are using (for example, Internet Explorer on a PC running Windows 8, Chrome on a Mac, Safari on an iPhone, Safari on an iPad, ....).
- For help with non-video-related questions, refer to the main help page.
Remember: Videos that you have purchased cannot be shared with others. However, videos that are available on a "no-fee" basis can be shared with others.
The Video Catalog can only be used to purchase and/or view videos of lectures. To register for attending a lecture or series in person or to register for a study group, a trip, etc., see OLLI's conventional catalog.
DVDs of the lecture recordings will continue to be available using the current checkout method.