Media Best Practices

Recommended image, video, and audio standards and more

Anthony Karcz avatar
Written by Anthony Karcz
Updated over a week ago

 Applies to these roles: Author, Reporter, Admin  

Rise optimizes media for faster downloads without compromising quality by using a mix of industry standards and the latest technologies. So you can use high-quality media in your courses and let Rise do all the work of optimizing them for learners. Here are our recommendations for:


Rise uses cutting-edge image compression that reduces file sizes with virtually no loss of quality. For this reason, we recommend using high-quality images and letting Rise prepare them for web delivery. For example, compare these before and after images.

Original Image 3.9 MB


Click to enlarge

Optimized Image 330KB

Click to enlarge

In addition to using high-quality images, it’s a good idea to use images where important details won’t be lost if the edges are cropped. 

Rise courses are fully responsive, so your images might have different dimensions as they adapt to different devices and orientations. For example, compare how this image appears on a tablet in landscape mode and how it appears on a smartphone in portrait mode.

Tablet in Landscape Mode

Phone in Portrait Mode

The maximum file size for each image is 5 GB.


We recommend using high-quality videos with a 16:9 aspect ratio for the best results in your published courses. You can upload videos in any common format such as WMV and MOV.

Rise compresses videos so they have smaller file sizes while maintaining quality, converting videos to H.264 video and AAC audio in MP4 containers.

The maximum file size for each video is 5 GB.

Make sure you're adding closed captioning to your videos!


We recommend recording narration or voiceovers directly in Rise or importing high-quality audio files. Rise optimizes them for broadcasting without sacrificing sound quality, maintaining stereo tracks and creating two mono tracks if the original audio is mono. 

The maximum file size for each audio clip is 5 GB.

Mac Users: Older versions of Safari don’t support audio recording. We recommend that you update to the latest version of Safari. Alternately, you can use Google Chrome or Firefox when you need to record narration in Rise.


How do I keep Rise from compressing my image and video files when they’re uploaded?

If you'd like a media file to keep its specific file format and not undergo compression, you can opt out of optimization on a case-by-case basis. Just add _NOPROCESS_ to the name of your file. It'll upload and display exactly as you saved it. For video files, this method bypasses transcoding as well, so learners may encounter issues with playback across different devices. The file size limit still applies.

What image formats does Rise support?

You can import just about any standard image format into Rise, even animated GIFs (as long as they're under the maximum file size).

Does Rise support scalable vector graphics? What about animated SVG?

Scalable vector graphics (SVG) are supported by Rise. However, Rise only supports animated SVG if they've been exported via CSS, not Javascript.

What do I do if I can’t see all of an image when I insert it into my course?

Since Rise is responsive, images that span the entire width of the screen get cropped to fit different screen sizes and orientations. These images are used in image-full-width blocks, text-on-image blocks, and quote-on-image blocks.

If it's important that an image not get cropped, try using an image-centered block or an image-and-text block instead.

Be sure to preview your course in desktop, tablet, and phone modes to see how your images look on different screen sizes and orientations.

Also, remember that flashcard and quote block avatars display at a 1:1 ratio. Cropping your image to a perfect square before uploading ensures that your images will display as expected. You can also use the cropping tool in Rise to constrain your image to a square.

How do I fix a cover photo for an imported course that isn’t displaying properly?

Like full-width images, course and learning path cover photos are also dynamically cropped. The best practice is to choose an image that uses a 16:9 width/height aspect ratio.

Why is my image blurry?

Other than the centered image block, Rise scales your image to fit the frame it's in. Especially on high-resolution displays, this can lead to images that appear blurry or pixelated. We recommend using the highest pixel dimensions possible for your images (as long as it's under the maximum file size).

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