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Just Another Meeting Option
Message Center notification MC263666 published on June 22 discusses the introduction of Teams meeting auto recording. This topic surfaced in May when TechRadar reported that “The video conferencing service will soon automatically record all Microsoft Teams meetings at the start of a call for the first time, adding a function that has been strangely absent.” As reported, the implication was that tenant administrators could enable automatic meeting recording to start at the commencement of each call, which created a bunch of adverse feedback from those worried about the prospect of every Teams meeting being recorded, not least because of the retention challenge of managing so many recording files in OneDrive for Business.
Microsoft didn’t do anything to tone down the coverage or say what will really happen until now. The real story is:
- Automatically recording a meeting is a new meeting option, just like the options which control if meeting attendees can turn on their cameras or chat during the meeting.
- The meeting organizer must set the option for each meeting. It’s not something which will be the default for every meeting.
In effect, the new option preconfigures an action that a meeting organizer can take today after they join their meeting. The new option simply ensures that the organizer doesn’t forget to start recording for important meetings.
The new option will appear in meeting options in late June to complete in late July. GCC High and DOD tenants will see the feature in late July.
Obviously, the meeting policy assigned to users must allow them to use cloud recording before they can initiate either manual or automatic recording. In addition, the tenant must have switched recording storage from Stream to OneDrive for Business (ODSP), a process which is now approaching completion. The option isn’t available to users with Office 365 A1 licenses.
Setting the Option to Auto-Record a Teams Meeting
There’s no way to configure a policy to set auto record for every meeting. There might be a way to do this programmatically using the Graph API, but I can’t find a suitable call (the update meeting call doesn’t allow access to meeting options). For now, if you want automatic recording to happen, you’ll have to select meeting options and set the checkbox (Figure 1).
Recording the Teams Meeting
When a meeting with auto-recording set starts, a short delay occurs between the organizer (or the first user holding the presenter role from the home tenant) starting the meeting and the recording beginning. This allows the recording bot to join the meeting.
As is the norm for personal meetings recording stored in OneDrive for Business, Teams creates the recording file in the OneDrive for Business account of the person who starts the recording. With automatic recording enabled, if someone other than the organizer starts the meeting, the recording is in their OneDrive for Business account rather than the organizer’s. However, the organizer has edit access to the recording while other people from the tenant invited to the meeting have read access. Obviously, organizers need to be sure to join their meetings first if they want full control over the recording file.
Recordings for channel meetings are stored in the Recordings folder for the channel in the document library of the team site. Anyone in the team has access to the recording. Everything works as expected when automatic recording is enabled for a channel meeting, with the exception that if the first person to join the meeting isn’t a member of the team. In this case, Teams records the meeting but can’t post the recording to SharePoint. Instead, the recording is available in meeting chat and can be uploaded to SharePoint by a team member.
Value in the New Option
Allowing organizers to set up meeting recording ahead of time is a good thing. I’ve been in the situation where I failed to record a meeting that I should have and regretted the lack of a recording afterwards. Whether I remember to update meeting options before important meetings in the future is entirely debatable, but at least I now can.
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