This article details the process of converting Blackboard Collaborate - Original Experience - recordings from the native Collaborate format (.collab) to an MP4 video or MP3 audio format for archival purposes. 

Important! The updated version of Blackboard Collaborate - Ultra - uses the MP4 recording format by default and does not require the following process. Sessions recorded in Ultra can easily be downloaded and stored on your local machine

You'll use a software called Blackboard Collaborate Publish to convert your recordings.

Step 1: Obtaining Blackboard Collaborate Publish

  1. Navigate to the Blackboard Collaborate Publish webpage.

  2. Under the 'Get Blackboard Collaborate Publish' heading, select the download link that applies to your operating system. The software is available for both Windows and Mac users.

    screenshot of available downloads
  3. Download and install the software on your machine.

Step 2: Get the Session Recording Link

  1. Navigate to the Online Rooms area of your D2L course ('Communications' > 'Online Rooms').

  2. Click on the session/online room that contains an archive that you wish to convert and select 'View Archives' from the list.  

    screesnhot of 'view archives' menu
  3. Click on the archive that you wish to convert.

    screenshot of available archives
  4. A new browser tab/window will open and prompt you to download the .collab playback file. Cancel the download.

    screenshot of download pop up
  5. In the new browser tab/window that opened, copy and paste the entire recording link from the address bar and proceed to the next section.

    screenshot of address bar text selected

Step 3: Use the Software to Convert the Recording to MP4/MP3

  1. Open the Publish software on your machine.

  2. Paste the recording link into the 'Recording' field.

    screenshot of Publish software
  3. The software will validate the link. Once it's finished, the name of the session/online room will display directly below the 'Recording' field.

    screenshot of session link pasted
  4. Choose the option(s) that you desire for the conversion process. You may choose one or more of the available options.The two options recommended for session archival are:
    1. Create Multimedia Files: This will create a video file of the whiteboard and/or application sharing (PowerPoint slides) that were displayed on the screen during the session. The video will include the session audio. 
      • Be sure to check off 'Application Sharing' and 'Whiteboard.'
      • If you want transcript of the chat, be sure to check off 'Chat' in the 'Transcripts' area. Most sessions will likely not include captions. If you session was captioned by an in-person captioner or by a captioning service, check off 'Captioning (.rtf)' and 'Captioning (.srt).'
      • Change the 'format' to 'MP4.'
      • 'Automatic Level Control', 'Scale Up Images', and 'Optimize for desktop (1024 x 768)' are recommended.

    2. Create Audio File: This option will create an audio file of the session audio. There will be no visuals.
      • Change the 'format' to 'MP3 (64 kbps)'.
      • 'Automatic Level Control' is recommended.

        screenshot of audio file settings
  5. Click 'Convert.'

    Important! The Publish software must remain open during the conversion process. In addition, the computer must remain awake and connected to the internet throughout the process.

  6. Choose a location on your machine to save the file(s) and click 'Convert.' Once the conversion is complete, you will see the files on your local machine in the location that you chose.

    screenshot of computer location dialogue box

If you wish to share MP4 recordings with students, please use Mediasite or another video hosting platform to share your videos.


  • Audio files will generally convert within in few minutes.

  • Videos files will convert in real-time playback, plus processing time. You may notice the session playing on your machine without audio. Please leave this window open.