Link and Embed Best Practices

Alexander Street video and audio content can be integrated into Web pages and learning management systems in two ways: links or embeds. Both are provided for video and audio content, playlists, and clips in all Alexander Street collections. Look for the following symbol below the video player in the Alexander Street interfaces:

Using a link will provide a permanent digital pathway to a specific video, audio album or work, part of a video, audio track, playlist, or clip. Using an embed will generate Java-based code that can be used to add a full-featured Flash-based player directly into any Web page. As with links, embeds can be used for videos, parts of videos, albums, audio tracks, playlists, or clips.

Tips for Links

When linking to content, please be sure to either copy and paste the URL in the text of the popup screen, or use the “Copy Link” button. Do not use the URL displayed in your Web browser's address bar. If you are copying a link into a learning management system, insert it as plain text and not as a Web link, and be sure not to add any spaces to the inserted text.


Tips for Embeds

When embedding content, please be sure to either copy and paste the complete text of the embed code in the popup screen, or use the “copy embed code” button. You can check by verifying that the code starts with “<script” or “<iframe” and ends with “/script>” or “/iframe>”. This embed code should be used only in Web pages. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, email clients, and other desktop software do not support this code. Depending on the Web editor you are using, you may need to use the “source code” option for inputting embed codes, as plain text may not be supported. For more information about using iframes, visit the w3schools iframe page.


Alexander Street Press captures proxy URL information as users access its sites through institutions’ proxy servers. This information is then automatically inserted into all links and all URLs in embeds to allow for seamless off-campus playback.

To provide the best experience, it is recommended that users authenticate through a proxy or single-sign-on system prior to interacting with Web pages containing Alexander Street embeds.

Off-campus users may see your institutions’ proxy page instead of the embedded media if this authentication step is not in place, and authenticating through an embedded proxy page may have unintended results.

Learning Management Systems

Alexander Street links and embeds are supported in most learning management systems.

Some learning management systems apply security settings that do not allow for the insertion of Java-based code. You may need to adjust your system’s security settings to allow code from Alexander Street.

To provide the best experience, it is recommended that you tie you course management software’s authentication with your single-sign-on and/or proxy authentication.

For details on where to find further information on the security settings and authentication tools of your course management system, please see the support links listed below.

There are always more ways than one to accomplish something in a course management system, but these quick tips may help you get started and troubleshoot problems.

Quick Tips

  • Angel Learning:
    • Add embeds by selecting "source" view of your course management system's rich text editor, and imputting the <iframe> embed code
  • Blackboard
    • Create a content item in Blackboard
    • Toggle the editor to HTML mode, and paste it in.
  • Desire2Learn:
    • For embeds, click on the “Edit HTML Source” button of your course page.
    • Paste your embed code into the HTML source window and then click “Update.”
  • Moodle:
    • Add embeds using Moodle’s editing mode.
    • Use the “Add a Resource” menu to select “Compose a Web Page” and name your embedded media.
    • Select the (<>) icon to add code using the HTML editor.
    • After saving your page with the embed code, click “No” on the security warning to allow the embedded media to load.
  • Sakai:
    • Embedding from our site will not work in Sakai, due to their security settings. We recommend you use permalinks instead of embedding if your institution uses Sakai. Other learning management systems are not affected.

Other Valuable Information

Some browsers have security settings that do not allow a mix of https: (secure) and http: (non-secure) content on a Web page. As both protocols are fully supported by Alexander Street, you may wish to use one or the other in all embed URLs and links that you use in Web pages and learning management systems.

If you have any questions about using links or embeds, please contact the Alexander Street Customer Support team at support [at] astreetpress [dot] com.