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Archiving Tutorial (Android)


The OpenTok archiving API lets you record audio-video streams in a session to MP4 files. You use server-side code to start and stop archive recordings.

Setting up the server

In order to archive OpenTok sessions (to save recordings of sessions), you need to have a server set up. There are many ways to implement archiving with a server, but for this tutorial we'll be quick-launching a simple PHP server.

To launch the server, simply click the Heroku button below, at which point you'll be sent to Heroku's website and prompted for your OpenTok API Key and API Secret — you can get these values on your project page in your Video API account. If you don't have a Heroku account, you'll need to sign up (it's free).


Want to explore the code? The button above launches server code from the learning-opentok-php GitHub repo. Visit the repo to review the code as well as additional documentation — you can even fork the repo and make changes before deploying.

Setting up your project

To follow this tutorial, clone OpenTok's Android sample app repo on GitHub:

git clone

Then open the Archiving-Java project in Android Studio.

Note: This tutorial discusses the Java version of the Android sample app. For a Kotlin version with documentation, see the Android sample app repo.

Important: You can only archive sessions that use the OpenTok Media Router (sessions with the media mode set to routed). The default learning-opentok-php code used by this tutorial app uses routed sessions.

Exploring the code

Note: The Android archiving sample app builds upon the Basic-Video-Chat app.

In the ServerConfig file, you set the CHAT_SERVER_URL property to the base URL:

public static final String CHAT_SERVER_URL = "";

The endpoints of the web service the app calls to start archive recording, stop recording, and play back the recorded video are defined in the APIService interface:

public interface APIService {
    Call getSession();

    @Headers("Content-Type: application/json")
    Call startArchive(@Body StartArchiveRequest startArchiveRequest);

    Call stopArchive(@Path("archiveId") String archiveId);

When the user selects the start archive, stop archive, and play archive menu items from the action bar or the options menu, the app calls the startArchive() and stopArchive(), and playArchive() methods. These methods internally call the web services defined above:

public boolean onOptionsItemSelected(MenuItem item) {
    // Handle app bar item clicks here. The app bar will
    // automatically handle clicks on the Home/Up button, so long
    // as you specify a parent activity in AndroidManifest.xml.
    switch (item.getItemId()) {
            return true;
            return true;
            return true;
            return true;
            return super.onOptionsItemSelected(item);

The MainActivity class includes an archiveListener property that implements the Session.ArchiveListener interface providing callbacks for handling archive-related events: onArchiveStarted and onArchiveStopped.

When the user clicks the start archive button, the app calls archive/start endpoint via the startArchive() method. When the archive recording starts, the onArchiveStarted() callback is triggered:

    public void onArchiveStarted(Session session, String archiveId, String archiveName) {
        currentArchiveId = archiveId;

The onArchiveStarted() method stores the archive identifier in a currentArchiveId property. The method also calls setStopArchiveEnabled(true), which causes the stop recording menu item to be displayed. And it causes archivingIndicatorView to be displayed (a red dot on the video).

When the user clicks the stop archive button, the app calls archive/stop endpoint via the stopArchive() method. When archive recording stops, the onArchiveStopped() callback is triggered:

public void onArchiveStopped(Session session, String archiveId) {
    playableArchiveId = archiveId;
    currentArchiveId = null;

The onArchiveStopped() method stores the archive identifier to a playableArchiveId property and sets currentArchiveId to null. The method also calls setPlayArchiveEnabled(false), which disables the Play Archive menu item, and it calls setStartArchiveEnabled(true) to enable the Start Archive menu item. And it causes the archivingIndicatorView to be hidden.

When the user clicks the play archive button, the playArchive() method opens a web page (in the device's web browser), which displays the archive recording.


For more information on archiving, see the OpenTok archiving developer guide.

Congratulations! You've finished the Archiving Tutorial for Android.
You can continue to play with and adjust the code you've developed here, or check out the Next Steps below.