Camtasia Studio support of MP4, SWF, and FLV file formats

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  • Updated 1 year ago
We want to take this opportunity to explain current video technology trends, the benefits of using MP4 files, and why Camtasia Studio will no longer support producing FLV or SWF files in future releases.

Use MP4 to share your videos with anyone, anywhere, on nearly any device!

Here at TechSmith, we are continuously revising and updating our products to help our customers succeed in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven environment.

With the rise of mobile video, the MP4’s ability to be shared easily and play across devices has helped it become the top video file format in the video industry today.

What makes MP4 the best file format for Camtasia Studio and you?


  • MP4 files provide high quality video with compression that creates small file sizes for quick-and-easy sharing!

  • Video hosting sites such as Screencast.com, Vimeo, YouTube, and iTunes play videos using MP4 files.

  • Many distribution platforms, like Screencast.com, Vimeo, and Apple’s iTunes store list MP4 as their preferred file format.

  • All major web browsers now support MP4 playback.



Why is using MP4 files instead of FLV or SWF files for your Camtasia Studio videos a better option?


  • Camtasia Studio and Screencast.com will not support producing FLV or SWF file types in the future.

  • FLV files are rarely served up by video hosting services anymore, and many distribution platforms, like Vimeo and Apple’s iTunes store no longer support the FLV format.

  • FLV content on websites is not available on many mobile devices.

  • SWF files can cause viewers’ machines to use a lot of resources to load and play the files.

  • FLV or SWF files typically create large file sizes that are much harder to share than MP4 and lack playback ability on many mobile devices.



For video that can be viewed by anyone, anywhere, on the greatest number of devices, the MP4 format has become the latest standard in video. That is why we strongly recommend the use of MP4 for your Camtasia Studio videos.

NOTE: If you are creating videos using the default settings in Camtasia 7, you are already producing MP4 videos and do not need to do anything differently!



Not sure how to produce or share a MP4 Video with Camtasia Studio? Find out!

Want more information on the benefits of using MP4 files instead of FLV files? Learn more.

Why is SWF not actually a video format? Learn more.

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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Posted 4 years ago

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Scott

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Will the free Jing tool continue to output only SWF files?
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Mike Curtis, Employee

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Hello Scott, Jing will still create videos in the SWF format. These will remain playable on Screencast.com.
Mike Curtis
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garnetgarden

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When will you stop supporting FLV in the future, in a month, a year?
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Mike Curtis, Employee

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Hi, the next release of Camtasia Studio will not support FLV output, but you can always create FLV videos with current versions of Camtasia Studio. Also, Screencast.com will still allow you to play FLV videos. Camtasia Studio 8 is still in active development, so it's hard to share a date. We mostly wanted to be proactive with this information and try to clear up any potential misunderstanding. We will still support FLV (from Camtasia 7 and prior) and we will still support FLV on Screencast.com. The key is that we will no longer allow the production of FLV or SWF video with the advent of Camtasia Studio 8.
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Jeno

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from what i've seen, mp4's tend to be bigger
flv's are best for compression and maintaining quality
i had to convert many flv's to avi so i could edit them in camtasia studio

converting to wmv/mp4 would make files much larger in some cases

a 220mb video in flv format would be come an 800mb video after conversion to mp4 or wmv

after flv i'd say avi is best for compression

lol my real world experience(last night no less) makes some of your points look like downright lies
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Jeno,

Thanks for your feedback. You're certainly free to continue using Camtasia Studio 7 to produce FLV files.

The file size is affected by many factors. You should not see a large increase in file size when converting from FLV to MP4. All other things being equal, the H.264 compression (used with MP4) generally outperforms the On2 VP6 compression (used with FLV). If you'd be willing to post a sample video in flv and mp4 formats, along with how those files were created, I could take a look to see if I can spot the cause of the file size increase.

We're choosing to move away from FLV because that's where the industry is headed, and we believe we can offer superior solutions if we focus our energy in this direction. Thanks again for your candid feedback. Please keep it coming.
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rym4ever

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I understand that, but how do I burn the files to a dvd so I can play it at any standard dvd player?
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Robert R., Official Rep

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Hello, rym4ever;

That depends on your DVD authoring software; you will need to use an actual DVD authoring / burning tool (rather than Windows' built in utility) to create a standard DVD. The authoring tool would, essentially burn your video to the disc in separate folders (Video_TS and sometimes Audio_TS). You will need to look into the requirements of your authoring software to determine what to output the file as.
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bamheid

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Hi - can MP4 videos support the table of contents that I use in FLV videos I produce. They are great for chunking information and letting users jump about to relevant sections. thanks - Julian
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Yes. The table of contents feature has always been supported for MP4.
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Patti Murphy

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Will MP4 videos support closed captioning and quizzing in the next release? Is there a way to do show closed captioning and quizzes in MP4 format for 7.1?

If there is a way to do this now, I haven't figured it out.

Cheers,
Patti
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Yes, you can do this now with Camtasia Studio 7.1, provided that you also host the controller that is created at the same time you produce your video. Closed captions and quizzes are features of the Flash controller (the play controls). They are overlaid on top of the video during playback, and not burned into the MP4 itself. I made a short screencast to show using Closed Captions and Quizzing with MP4 in Camtasia Studio 7.1: http://screencast.com/t/E8YYN2FRHEY

Hope this helps.
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Chris Guld

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But, using the Flash controller renders the video unplayable on an iPad ... correct?
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Chris, yes, in Camtasia Studio 7.1.1, that is true. For iPad playback, use the iPad preset in Camtasia Studio 7.1.1. This will give you just an MP4 (no Flash controller) and that file will be playable on your iPad. Hope this helps.
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Chris Guld

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Last time I tried the iPad preset, I had no control over the autostart of the video. I sometimes put several videos on one page - so I need to set it to pause at start.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Chris, yes, it does autostart by default. If you're hosting on Screencast.com and embedding into your own page, you can change autostart to false in the embed code. Here's a screencast showing this process: http://screencast.com/t/o5Ao1Ipa

Hope this helps.
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Chris Guld

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I've been using Camtasia to render the video - thus they are all .mp4. I also host them on screencast.com. When I copy the code to embed, and paste into my page, I get the video displayed twice. Thru trial and error, I've discovered that the second iteration (using iFrame) plays on an iPad, where the first one does not. They both play fine on my computer. Any reason why I need the first one?
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Daniel Foster, Snagit strategy lead

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Hi Chris - are you embedding on WordPress by chance? If so, this thread may have some helpful tips: http://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmi...
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Chris Guld

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Excellent, thank you! yes, that helps, I am using Wordpress. Re-copying the embed code works, as does the shortcode from the plugin. Now my video appears only once, and it works both on Windows and on iPad - perfect!

BUT ... (there's always a but.. isn't there?) Now, my video doesn't go full screen. The .mp4 produced on my computer expands to fit full screen very nicely - but the one from screencast.com stays the same size even when you click fullscreen. The rest of the screen is just black.
Any suggestions?
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Mike Curtis, Employee

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We fall back to an HTML5 controller when flash isn't available. Unfortunately, I believe the HTML5 controller does not support full screen. In the case where full screen isn't working, are you watching on an iPad or browser with no Flash?

I am thinking the trouble is that when the video is played in the native player, it will expand to full screen, but if you stream it from Screencast.com and use our HTML5 controller it's locked to the original dimensions.

One idea might be to change the dimensions in the embed code to make it take up more of the iPad screen. Sorry for all the complexity!
Mike Curtis
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Chris Guld

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Well - no- when it doesn't go full screen, I'm looking at it on a PC. I understand that the html5 player on the iPad doesn't have full-screen, but you can accomplish the same thing with the two finger zoom gesture. Here's a sample: http://geeksontour.tv/2011/11/blog00-...
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Chris Guld

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Actually - it won't even go full screen while logged into screencast.com ... http://www.screencast.com/t/fwR9oPxARUYy I use the Camtasia preset 'Share on Screencast,.com' to produce the video
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Phil B

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What video sizes and frame rates will the new Camtasia support? I have never used your product but we are considering a purchase. I like the move away from FLV for h.264. Overall you will get a better picture. When we shoot events they are always shot in 1920x1080 60i so it would be awesome if Camtasia will support a 1920x1080 format even it is has to be progressive.

Thanks.
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Randy Schott

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Hi Phil,

We do support 1080p resolution for both import and production. It will be progressive and a max of 30fps (the editor edits at 30fps internally).

Randy
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Phil B

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Thanks for the quick reply Randy. I tried looking on the site but could not find any info about recording specs. I would use Camtasia to record a Power Point and then edit bits and pieces into a video of the presentation. So being able to keep everything the same resolution is extremely helpful.

Thanks again.
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Mel

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Hi All,

I used Camtasia Studio 7 to create FLV video without any problem. I just upgraded my Camtasia Studio to 8, but cannot find the FLV video output. Please help. Thanks!

Kind regards,

Mel

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
How to Create FLV Video in Camtasia Studio 8.
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Lisa

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Where I understand everything said above, I also use Captivate to create eLearning modules, which will only let me import FLV files and not MP4, therefore, I have to go through a second conversion now, which reduces the quality.
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phil

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MP4 is not supported by Firefox:
See "https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Usin..."
And now again: "All major web browsers now support MP4 playback."
o.K, for you, Firefox is not a major web browser - For me, with 24% market share it is.
Please reconsider your decision until flash is clearly out of the market- so far it seems to be an inavoidable option if we want to bring contents to the 24% of users too.
I will not update to Camtasia 8 if it cuts me from essential features.

Thanks for considering-
Best regards,
Phil
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Phil,

The MP4 output from Camtasia Studio 8 plays in the Flash Player. So you can still produce content that will play in all browsers, including Firefox.

Hope this helps.
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Debbie Midwin Montes

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I downloaded the Cam 8 trial only to find that I could no longer find .SWF as an option for producing my video. Does anyone know why this is?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Camtasia 8 no longer offers .SWF as a production format...why???.
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Karl Hardiman-Douglas

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Hello,

I have been using Camtasia Studio to produce .swf files but his functionality has been removed from CS8.

Looking here there appears to be the demand for this format, is there any plan to get this functionality added back in?

I have been using the tool to create self help videos which are then loading into our Service-Now end user portal and the Service-Now tool currently only supports the following formats:

Streaming Flash video (.avi)
Flash animations (.swf)
Movies (.mov)
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Capitano America

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I have an old release of Camtasia Studio 3. I downloaded the Cam 7 trial last week -I never used this kind of tools earlier in my life - and I created this video help for my customer (Telecom Italia): www.travelmatic.net/help/telecom
I was going to upgrade my old Cam3 to the 7 and I discovered that the Cam 8 has been lounched. Well let me see what's new: .SWF no longer supported and, Cam Theater not include any longer.
Maybe I can switch to .AVI or .MP4 files but I cannot hope that my tool users will guess that they have to click on a quite invisible button to show the table of content that will disappear when the mouse is moved out....

Up to the Cam 7 I considered this tool a professional one. The Cam 8 is a commercial product. Is this the new marketing strategie?
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Thanks for the feedback. No, it's not a new marketing strategy :) This change was made so that we could focus our energy and provide superior solutions with the MP4 format. This will allow your content to have the broadest reach possible, which includes mobile devices. This is the way the industry is moving, and we're moving along with it.
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Andy

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Not having SWF and FLV as a production option is a bad change. Some of us in corporate environments strictly develop for in-house presentation and need to use systems limited to SWF and/or FLV only.
I understand the need for TechSmith to be able to produce for the latest technology trends, but with V8, it looks like you have forgotten those who are still on older systems. Over the last few releases I have noticed a trend to lean toward those who publish on online hosted services and the promotion of your own Screeencast.com, and it seems that those of us who use Camtasia I a “closed” corporate environment are being left out because we are no using the “latest and greatest” in our environment.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Andy,

Thanks for your feedback. I'm sorry to hear that this is an issue for you in your organization. We do recognize that not everyone can move ahead at the same time. As of Flash Player 9.0.115, released in December 2007, all systems that are based on the Flash Player, have been capable of playing MP4 files. As I'm sure you've noticed, many people now consume video on mobile devices, such as phones and tablets. That's also a driving factor behind this change.

We want to make sure we're providing the tools and outputs that give your content the broadest possible reach. We believe we can offer superior solutions if we focus our energy on the MP4 format. To that end, we've released the TechSmith Smart Player, which you can host on your internal servers, or you can simply upload your video to Screencast.com and use our hosted solution. So we're not trying to lock anything down. We are trying to move with the large shifts in the way videos will be consumed in the future.

Again, I realize this is little comfort if your organization is not willing to move forward. We're willing to help, if we can, to find solutions to the problems you may face with moving your content away from SWF/FLV and into the MP4 format. Please see the help content we've prepared at the bottom of the post above. If you need additional help, we do offer free tech support. Just submit a ticket at http://support.techsmith.com and someone will follow up with you by email to help.
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Will McCann

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The fastest way to go out of business is to build products that you think your customers OUGHT to want, rather than what they actually want and need.  

I'm another frustrated Camtasia 8 user in a closed corporate environment.  We have 60,000 employees, and "adding a plug-in" or any other such thing is just not feasible.  Our existing video hosting software--which I have no say in upgrading or selecting--REQUIRES FLVs.  I know it's not the latest and greatest, but it's what I have to work with.    

I just don't get what the big deal is.  It's not like providing an output option for FLVs would prevent you from allowing--and pushing users to use--MP4 output.  It would just indicate that your users in corporate environments were important to you.
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demarest

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"It's not like providing an output option for FLVs would prevent you from allowing--and pushing users to use--MP4 output."

By that same token, it's not like providing a version 8 precludes you from using version 7. I understand your frustration for sure. I invested myself pretty well into ASF once upon a time. However, it would be wrong of me to get upset with one software company for not supporting ASF when the move away from it was much larger than that company.

I don't know if it was because of my ASF debacle's lesson, but I knew FLV was a fad when it came out. If the corporate environment you're in made a bad wager, it now has to pay that price. Either by continuing to use software that requires something that never made it to the level of dependability they should've banked on, or by using a lesser version of software in order to accommodate that requirement.
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Lance Simon

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I absolutely disagree with TechSmith on this one. You've killed Camtasia 8 for me, thank goodness I still have Cam7 to use. FLV is still superior on many desktop applications including webinar systems. I'm sure TechSmith saved on Dev and QA time by removing this support -- the only real losers are the users.
(Edited)
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Lance Simon

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MP4 files are bloated in size compared to FLV. Process the exact same video both ways -- OOPS you can't do that in Camtasia now so try an older version -- the MP4 files is 3-4 times the size as FLV.
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Karl Hardiman-Douglas

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Hello,

I have been using Camtasia Studio 7 which allowed me to produce .swf files but can't find this functionality in CS8.

Please can you advise if this is still possible?

I have been using the tool to create self help videos which are then loading into our Service-Now end user portal.

The Service-Now tool currently only supports the following formats:

Streaming Flash video (.avi)
Flash animations (.swf)
Movies (.mov)

Regards,

Karl

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Camtasia 8 - Produce .swf.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Karl,

To be clear, we do not intend to include SWF or FLV support in future releases. I do not have access to the Service-Now portal, but if you'd like to work with our TechSupport staff, we may be able to help you find a format that would integrate with your existing system. Our support is free, and we'd like to do all we can to help you be successful moving ahead to new formats. If you'd like to pursue this option, you can submit a support ticket at http://support.techsmith.com and someone will follow up with you by email to help.
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IronLion

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Regrettably, the video server set up in my organisation will only serve FLV and not MP4. This means that an upgrade to future versions of Camtasia are not possible. WHY? You had a great product, easy to use.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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I'm sorry to hear that this is a blocking issue for you. For what it's worth, we have instructions on how to configure the MIME types so that the server will serve MP4 files. It's a pretty simple change, though you'll need someone with access to the server and permissions to make changes. Here's the instructions: http://techsmith.custhelp.com/app/ans...

Hope this helps.
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IronLion

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Thanks for the link. Sorry, unless you've ever worked in a Government Authority in the UK you might not get how difficult making a change like this is. I suspect there'll need to be navel gazing, head scratching, sucking in air over teeth and many other things before I'm told this isn't business critical and to take a ticket at the end of the line.

I understand the need to move with the times, and the pressures that being in a busy marketplace has on companies like yours. However, surely day one marketing says to increase your client base, not to make changes that will decrease it? What was the harm of keeping in the elements that worked for existing users and giving the customer the choice of when to move?

I'm rambling. I'm frustrated as, after a few months of scoping, Camtasia was the most effective and cost efficient.
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austin.gage

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I completely agree. This was a really bad change. I work for a very large company and all the videos we produce are for internal use only. We cannot use mobile devices on our intranet at this time. I convinced my company to purchase licenses to Camtasia after trial running the product with Camtasia 7 and one of the deciding factors was the range of file types it would produce. Now they ordered additional licenses, we got shipped Camtasia 8 without my knowledge of course since a large company like mine has purchasers. Now I find out you dropped support for flash and really screwed me as all our applications are set up to run flash. Really bad move guys. This is going to be a huge headache trying to get v7 now.
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Daniel Foster, Snagit strategy lead

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Hi Austin - Sorry for the headache. Your keys for version 8 will also unlock version 7. So you can download and install the v7 trial on those machines and unlock them the new keys.

Also just to make sure we're on the same page...Camtasia Studio 8 still supports flash player. So if you use the default productions settings you'll get one video that plays on both flash-enabled and flash-free devices.
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austin.gage

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I know it still supports the flash player but we have users of an application upload videos to the server and have options of user defined view restrictions. Our application currently is set for the users to upload a single .flv file to the server and we embed the flash player in a dialog. The security of our content is very important and we can't use mobile devices anyways. We have several videos created using v7 and this method and we are not going to rewrite the application to support the forced changes of using v8. Looks like we will be sticking with v7. Thanks for your response and I understand your desire to move forward with newer technologies, but for my needs a video that produces a single file as compared to an mp4, xml, and swf files is not desireable.
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Capitano America

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I Just purchased BlueBerry Flashback Pro and I solved my problem
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Tom Guthrie

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In Camtasia 78 there was an Express Show production preset that let me produce .swf files from short video clips. I can't find anywhere in Camtasia 8 to adjust the Flash Options. What am I missing?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
SWF objects.
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Duane Blankenship

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For all of you that need FLV I would recommend producing in high quality avi then running through a product like sorenson squeeze to create your FLV video, should you need swf buy Adobe Flash, while you may invest another $600 to $1000 you should be able to create the files you desire.
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Antoni Christian

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Guy's stop taking away useful features in a new version of the product, giving users less choice is a backwards move. FLV is still useful and is used on some platforms, I don't want to have to re-encode twice in a separate tool, that wastes time.
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Mark

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I have to add my voice to the others who think the elimination of flv and swf is a significant setback. I just spent the entire day trying to identify the implications of going from SWF to MP4 in my circumstances. Here are some observations and comments:

1) The MP4 videos are bigger than the SWF videos I used to get (I have to degrade the MP4 video and audio settings significantly to get the file sizes down to reasonable levels). I'm not sure how my customers are going to react to this.

2) From what I can tell, the implementation of the controller, pause on start, hotspots, quizzes, closed captions and tables of contents in MP4 requires a bunch of extra utility files and folders in addition to the MP4 file -- where SWF could implement most or all of these features within the single SWF file itself. In a nutshell, I used to be able to give my customers a single SWF file and that was all they needed for things like hotspots and tables of contents. With MP4, it now looks like I will have to give them an MP4 file, 2 SWF files, 2 html files, 1 xml file, 1 css file, 2 png files, 1 scripts folder (with 6 js files in it) and 1 skins folder (with 1 file and another folder in it). I find it a bit ironic that SWF utility files have to be used to implement this functionality with MP4.

3) I now have to work with my customers to change processes and web site setups that we have had in place for years. They are (or will be) unwilling and unhappy about having to do this. I try to explain to them that I have no choice if I am to continue using current versions of my software -- and that my software vendor forced me into this situation, but they still aren't happy with me about it. This move might be good for your business, but it's not good for my business.

4) It would have been nice if you would have given us more warning that you would remove this functionality. I didn't find out about this change until after I purchased and installed Camtasia Studio V8. When I saw that the SWF and FLV features were missing, I had to dig around to find out what was going on. I am not accustomed to investigating new versions of software I have used for years to find out what features the vendor has removed. It is bad enough to remove longstanding features from a product, but at least give us plenty of proactive warning and a version or two of upgrades before pulling the plug on such features.

5) Recommending that people who need SWF and FLV continue using Camtasia Studio 7 or lower (and never upgrade to V8 or higher) is not a very good strategy. You are putting your customers in a position of having to choose between necessary functionality and new features.

6) The process of upgrading from V7 to V8 has cost me a lot of time, effort and goodwill from my customers. I hate to put it this way, but that is a mean thing to do to me and your other customers in a similar situation.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do at this point, but if your software is going to cost me time, business and a good name with my customers, it makes it very hard to continue using your software. I have been a good Camtasia customer for years and enjoy the product, but it is difficult to stick with the product when you make decisions that cause me to have to absorb these kinds of costs and stress.

Sorry if any of this comes across as terse or impatient, but you really pulled the rug out from under us. I'm trying to be as constructive as I can, given the circumstances.

Please reconsider your decision to remove this functionality. Thank you.
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Paul Normand

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Hello, I used to be able to produce a very stripped down mp4 video with a swf controller in Camtasia 7. (Express Show/Silver/MP4). I can't seem to produce similar results in Catasia 8. I have tried multiple settings with no luck.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
MP4 with SWF controller in V8?.
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Paul Normand

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Found a solution to my problem - I can produce an mp4 in v8 and recycle a swf file controller created in v7 using this (free!) tool - SWiX available at http://www.swixkit.com/
I can crack open the swf, change the name of the mp4 it is looking for and I am good to go.
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janegergel

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thanx for info, but as for me, i prefer to convert video to flash using this tool http://www.macvide.com/Macvide_VideoF..., it's simple and nice!)
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Mike S

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It's for this reason that I always recommend keeping the previous version installed (for backwards compatibility and deprecated features. I agree, the future is most certainly MP4/HTML 5, but it does seem shortsighted to throw all the format options out when they're still very popular in real world.

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