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Distance Education Library Services: Streaming Video through UI Libraries

These webpages guide University of Iowa Distance Education students to library resources and services. A University of Iowa HawkID and password are required to use some resources.

COVID-19 Temporary Access


Two common and easily solved problems with streaming video involve off-campus access through the University of Iowa Proxy Server or temporary network errors.

  • Proxy problems: Links to resources, like videos, that the University of Iowa pays for must be routed through the UI proxy server to take advantage of IP network authentication. If you are off-campus and being asked to pay for access to a video, try adding to the beginning of the video's web address.
  • If you are getting an error message that the film is not available or the film will not load in your browser, it is possible that network error occurred.Try clearing your browser's cache/Temporary Internet Files and linking to the video again. Go to any webpage (to make sure you are not reloading the same bad information) and follow the instructions at

More detailed troubleshooting information is available through the link below.

Licensed Online Videos - Most popular

Licensed Video Databases

The UI Libraries subscription to these resources includes permission for use in online and geographically limited classes. Most also allow you to make clips of specific sections of video.


Thanks to deg farrelly from Arizona State University for allowing us to use information from his LibGuide:

Dan the Librarian

Profile Photo
Dan Gall
335-5256 (local)
877-807-9587 (toll-free)
Subjects: Social Work

What is Streaming Video?

Streaming video is a means of delivering video content to computer desktops via an Internet connection, without requiring any additional equipment for decoding or downloading. A host server delivers the file to the receiving computer. The host can be either local or remote. Multiple users can view the same video at the same time from different locations.

Streaming video differs from downloads in that no copy of the file is stored on the end-user’s computer, so files remain relatively secure.

Playback requires receiving computers to have appropriate software installed. Commonly used streaming frameworks include Windows Media, RealVideo, QuickTime, and Flash. Some streaming services provide files in the end-user’s choice of formats.

Because of the large file size for visual data streaming videos usually employ file compression. This compression usually negatively affects image quality when played full-screen or projected. Even with compression, effective use of streaming video requires a robust, high-speed internet connection. Dial-up connections generally are too slow to adequately deliver streaming videos.