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

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  • Updated 4 years 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.

Photo of Dave O'Rourke

Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Posted 7 years ago

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MHardin

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I have been producing the majority of my videos in .MP4 for a while. However, I have a learning management development program that allows me to create software simulations required for many lessons and it will only accept .swf and .flv.

While I understand the need to follow the industry trends and standards; I don't see the harm in maintaining a feature that many of your customers find useful and necessary. Especially if you've already developed the capability - why take it away?
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janegergel

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thanx for info, but as for me, i always use this flash to video converter http://www.macvide.com/Macvide_FlashV..., it's simple and nice!)
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Kenneth James

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I've been using the trial version of Camtasia 8, Importing MP4 files crashes the program almost everytime. The one time I did get it to except the MP4 in the clip bin, it stalled the minute I drug it down to track one...then froze the program. It doesn't matter if its an MP4 downloaded from the internet or one I create with my HD PVR.

I've uninstalled the trial version and reinstalled it and it does the same thing. Also, although my HD PVR records in MP4 it dosent look nearly as good as the M2TS files- which Camtasia dosen't support.

Strangly enough, my free, no frills Windows Movie Maker supports MP4 and M2TS without a hiccup.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Kenneth,

What you describe is not a known issue. Please contact our TechSupport staff by submitting a question at http://support.techsmith.com and we can help troubleshoot the cause of the crashes you're experiencing. If you'd be willing to share a short sample MP4 that isn't working, we could investigate further. Please note that MP4 files are supported only if they use H.264 video and AAC audio.
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T

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A decision to drop SWF support is very strange. You are aware that currently output produced by Camtasia 8 does not work in Firefox, aren't you?

I reported this to your tech support and they replied that videos produced in Camtasia will not play in Firefox and you are not going to do anything about it.

I for one cannot consider having videos on my site that cannot be played in Firefox.

My workaround is different from what your representative suggested: I am going to look into competing products that do not consider ignoring Firefox a solution.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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I tried uninstalling Flash Player, then installed version 11.2.203.233. I produced using Camtasia Studio 8.0.2, and the resulting video played as expected. Here's a screenshot: http://screencast.com/t/GfYi0BIy9l2

As I said, 10.2 is the min required Flash version. If you're getting different results, it would help if you could post a screenshot or post a link to a short screencast showing the results that you're getting.
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Kevin Mojek, Employee

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T, could you also let us know what specific version of 11.2 you're seeing problems with? Thanks.
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T

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Kevin, the problem is on Flash Player 11,2,202,228, Firefox 15.0 on Win 7 x64.

After the controller loads and I click the "Play" button I get "We are unable to connect to the content you've requested. We apologize for the inconvenience."
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T

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David, this video does not work for me in Firefox http://bit.ly/UfA9QM but works in any other browser. It only works in Firefox if I update to Flash Player 11.4 (not sure about intermediate version 11.3, I did not try it).
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T

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David, if I bump up the min version in player-min.js to 11.4 I get "This browser does not support the video format needed for playback. Please install the Flash Player or use a different browser". I am not sure how exactly you use SWFObject but this is not the desired behavior.

The desired behavior is to notify the visitor a newer player is needed and perform express install. Here is how it should work http://bit.ly/SYo0BM (try this on any Flash Player below 11.4).
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T

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Is it possible to download Camtasia 7? I am willing to try it and purchase if it can produce Flash videos.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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T,

Please see the above comment, and please post again if you have additional questions. Thanks.
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Fernando Frei

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I also have problems with browsers. I bought version 7.1 and should not do the upgrade from version 8. Also did not like the exclusion tool Theater ...
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Mike S

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CS 8 videos are now working in Firefox version 14.0.01. I found we only needed to upgrade to the "latest" version of Flash Player. Videos are produced with CS 8.02, produced to MP4/HTML5 for Smart Player.

Would appreciate any volunteer "testers" to try the same for any of the clips on our site, for example: http://cbtclips.com/outlook2010/
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T

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If that solves the problem then it would be best for Techsmith to update Camtasia Studio to make generated player to check and require minimum Flash Player version that it needs to work. This will prompt an "update your player" message to the end user that attempts to watch the video.

Without this the end user has no idea that he/she runs an outdated Flash Player and that updating it will solve the problem with the video.
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Mike S

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You make a good point T - without checking for the Flash version, the user is left hanging and assumes it just doesn't work.
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T

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I can confirm that updating to Flash Player 11.4 solved the problem with our video in Firefox (Mike S: also checked your site's video and it works for me too).

Now if the Camtasia video player could check for Flash Player version and warn the user that would be all we need.
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T

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If Techsmith is going to address this issue and add a Flash Player version check I would suggest to have a look at SWFObject and how it is used in Flex.

It does SWF embedding, minimum Flash Player version check and express Flash Player updating if needed. You only need to make a single Javascript call to have this all done for you.

For a developer that is familiar with Flash and Javascript this should be a simple job to do.
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George Abraham

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Whatever the reason, you could have retained the .swf output format in Camtasia. If not in Camtasia, please provide the option in SnagIT to convert an .AVI file to .SWF

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Please allow saving as .SWF.
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Christophe Seyen

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Firstly I agree to all the negative comments above here.
I use CS very often, like weekly. I mostly create web-videos in SWF format, sometimes FLV.
I was very happy with my V7.

Recently we bought CS8 and now I am struggling to create my videos in MP4 format. It is actually impossible to create videos that have the same quality like my SWF videos. Also the player is different and there is the ugly black background.

This + the less intuitive and less responsive interface of V8 (yes it feels like I'm using a different program with other shortkeys) make me unhappy.

CS8 for me is a disappointment.
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Mark Smith

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Well, I just updated to the latest Adobe Flash (for the 4th time), but still can't get Camtasia default-level MP4's to play in Firefox. I get a window in my browser that I can right-click and pull up a Flash context menu, but I have nothing that will play. A timeline is at the bottom, and I can click play/pause (even see the video duration), but nothing happens; the timeline never advances to even one second of the duration.
The same thing happens in I. E., with security on medium-high defaults.
However, I CAN open the MP4 directly in Win Media Player.
The problem seems to be more than a Camtasia issue though, because I can't play YouTube videos in Firefox anymore, but I CAN in I.E. Not sure what gives...
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Mike Moulton

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I created a video in Camtasia 8, produced it in MP4 and uploaded to my screencast.com account. When I went to embed the file and share it on my training website, Screencast says, "Embed not allowed, download only" or something. Was it because it was a 33 mb file size? I was kind of bummed that it wouldn't embed. Thanks,
Mike
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Dirk Frazier, Employee

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Hi Mike,
That doesn't sound like normal behavior unless the folder privacy level is set to Private. The size of the video file has nothing to do with its ability to be shared, embedded or otherwise. Perhaps a screenshot of the exact error, or a quick screencast of you experiencing the problem would help.

Otherwise, you might be best served by our technical support staff. You can enter a case by visiting: http://techsmith.custhelp.com/app/uti... You'll need to create an account if you haven't before. Your Screencast.com credentials won't automatically work with our support site...yet.

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Dirk Frazier
Product Manager
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Mike Moulton

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Ok, thank you for the reply. I do have the folder set to "hidden". maybe that is the issue? I guess I could leave it public as it probably wouldn't get caught in any search engine results.
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Dirk Frazier, Employee

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Mike,
Hidden folders should allow content to be embedded and public content has the chance of being crawled. I suspect something else is going on. I would keep the folder hidden and get in touch with our technical support staff for assistance. I'm sure they can help!

- Dirk
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Luis Claudio LA

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I WANT to use the FLV format. You should keep all options CAMTASIA earlier and not try to tell me what format should I export or not. I paid $ 300.00 for software that does not do what I wanted to do: export to FLV format. I want to have the FREEDOM to choose the format that I'm using ...
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Antoni Christian

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When can we have an official response on if FLV will be introduced back into Camtasia again?... most of us agree that FLV is still useful and it was a short-sighted move to remove it at this point in time. If it's not going to be introduced I won't be upgrading or buying any new versions of this software.
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Shane Lovellette, Employee

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Thanks for your post Antoni. At this time, TechSmith does not have plans to implement FLV back into Camtasia Studio. Unfortunately, it does not make business or technology sense for us to invest in this format.

I'm sorry this decision does not help if you want to continue using FLV. You can certainly continue to use Camtasia Studio 7.

Thanks,
Shane Lovellette
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Antoni Christian

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Thanks for your response but ignoring your paying customers can't be a good business move either. I guess I will have to use Camtasia Studio 7 because newer versions will have less choices, seems ridiculous.
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Fred Grover, Champion

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In response and defense to any software company. Think of it like this people. The newest and latest greatest product just come out (open) in the market and you decide to purchase it. Then 1 month or 1 year later it is discontinued or a new similar product is taking over. Would you still use the old discontinued or going out of style product or upgrade and try the new?

I guess what I am trying to say and give my 2 cents worth here is that TechSmith is looking into the future for this issue as FLV is being faded out and replaced with new and better format(s). So, you have to decide what you would like better. Choices are one thing in life we all have and can make. I like the new mp4 format that is giving better quality than the flv for what I use it for. So, it is not that they are ignoring paying or any type of customer(s) they are just trying to keep their software updated with the latest technologies and they do listen but, they in turn have to decide what is the best and not so best for the company in the long run. With FLV fading out it is probably not a great decision they see to keep it implemented when it will eventually be by the way side. Ok, I am done with giving my feelings on this. You all have a great day and take it for what it is worth.
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Luis Claudio LA

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Nobody here is saying not to invest in MP4 and for me don't need to invest in improving FLV. What we want the OPTION conversion exists. Whatever I choose the format you want and not the company chooses for me. I want to have the FREEDOM to choose what format I'll convert my video. I do not want the company to choose it for me. In Camtasia 6 this has not occurred? Once back in Camtasia 7. This program is not going to free for me, and I hoped that the features of Camtasia 7 were maintained and some improvement occurred for the new version and old features that were not removed.
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Fred Grover, Champion

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I understand your feelings here Luis. Most companies in life do make choices for their customers unless it is something where the customer has the option of having things they want for a custom installation but, software companies could not possibly provide that to each individual customer or they would never get things done as every user wants different options. TechSmith has always been great at listening to what their users want and their support is at the tops in my opinion over some of the other companies I have dealt with in the past for their products.

All I am saying is for the customers that want the FLV Format is there are options for converting them for free if they do a Google search fro example mp4 to flv free converter, etc. I know this is not the quickest or most convenient way to accomplish this but, it is better than nothing right? Just takes a little longer as it would be a work a round. I am sure I can understand and respect your views and opinions here as you would mine. Thanks and have a great day.
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Rachel Resnick

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Is there a way to upload mp4 files to sharepoint? I know you can with .swf but I am not sure how to do that with the new camtasia version?
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Mike S

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For SharePoint deployment, I'd recommend dropping the produced "folder(s)" (containing the MP4 and other files) directly into a SharePoint document library folder. To make it easy to find, you could then create a list, which points to the respecitve video folder's HTML file.This way the MP4 is contained within the Smart Player. Depending on the configuration, the SharePoint may need to be set to "permissive" rather than "restrictive" which allows the HTML file to be "opened" rather than "saved".

Sounds more complicated that it really is. Be happy to help if you need it. (my company makes Camtasia videos for SharePoint training and this is something we do all the time).

Mike
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Bill Slayton

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I've created a list "asset type" and it provides 3 options: image, video, audio. Can't point to the html file.
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Bill Slayton

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And if I pointed to the mp4 file (rendered as mp4/html5), the quiz doesn't work.
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Fawad Mirzad

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I will downgrade to camtasia 7 . because of flv format. lots of our applications require flv files
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kurrykid, Champion

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You would upload it the same way as you did with the .swf file. Sharepoint is just a content holder...I don't think it really matters what the file extension is although some web servers (which is what Sharepoint is on) need to activate certain file extensions.

Give it a try and see what happens.

HTH
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Rachel Resnick

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I lose the closed captioning functionality when I upload the mp4 file.. is there a way to retain that?

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