Can Camtasia Studio produce videos for Android tablets?

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I think I want a tablet, but don't know which ones to consider
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Natalie Kehr

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Posted 4 years ago

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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Currently, your best bet for playback on Android tablets is to use the Share to YouTube path in Camtasia Studio. To keep things simple, I'd recommend recording and editing at dimensions of 1280x720 (a.k.a 720p). When YouTube gets your video, they will re-encode it to various sizes and formats in order to ensure playback on multiple devices, including Android tablets. By editing and sharing to YouTube at 1280x720, you should get an excellent viewing experience with browsers and tablets.

For what it's worth, I've been pretty happy with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Asus tablets seem pretty nice too, though I've less experience with those.

Hope this helps.
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Natalie Kehr

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Thanks. I have loads of stuff I have recorded at 804x452 and then produced at the same dimensions using your standard Web preset. My local store has said that I can bring in stuff on an external drive and load it on to their tablets. I am due to visit them in the next day or two to do these experiments. Will my existing movies play on the Galaxy, or should I put off my visit until I have learned how to interact with YouTube?
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Natalie,

I just tried producing with CS7 and the Web preset, uploading to a test server, and playing from my Galaxy tablet. I opened the native browser on the tablet and navigated to the HTML page on the test server. It does work, but only if the Flash Player is installed on the tablet, and to be honest, the experience isn't the best. In my test, the video played ok, and the visual and audio quality was good. Interacting with the play bar is difficult though. The default Web preset in CS7 uses the ExpressShow controller which was designed for the mouse, and not for touch. So the buttons on the play bar are small and difficult to hit with the finger. Similarly, the scrubber bar is very difficult to use. Some good news is that the "click to play" button at the start and the "replay" button at the end are both larger buttons, easy to tap on, and they work well for play and replay.

As for loading videos onto the tablet and playing them directly... I had mixed results. The Galaxy that I have does not include a USB port. Instead, it comes with a charging cable that has a proprietary jack on one end and a USB jack on the other end. The tablet charges with a USB power adapter, but the USB end of the cable can also plug into a PC for file transfer.

After making the connection to the PC (and waiting for Windows to install the "Samsung_Android" driver software from Windows Update), Windows brought up the USB "Auto Play" dialog, and I opened an Explorer window to see a view of the tablet file system. I located the "Movies" folder on the tablet and copied a few MP4 files into this folder on the tablet.

Before it copied the files, Windows said that the videos may not be compatible with the device, and asked if I'd like to convert each one. The first time through, I said no, and 1 out of the 3 videos did not play. The 2 videos that did play had excellent visual quality and great audio. So I deleted all 3 videos from the tablet, and tried copying them again. This time I answered yes when prompted about converting them, and it tried to convert my MP4 videos to WMV. But this time one of the videos (a different one than before) failed to convert, and it asked me if I wanted to copy it anyway. I said yes to this. So in the "Movies" folder, I now had 2 WMV and 1 MP4. At least this time, all 3 videos played. I tried playing the videos using both the native "Video Player" app, as well as the "Google Play Movies" app. I had the same playback results in both apps, so I think they're both sharing the same native player, which is designed for touch, and easy to use.

Overall, I must say that loading videos directly on the device was definitely not a smooth experience. Using the browser to locate a video already on the web was a much nicer experience. I mention all this simply because you said you were going to try your videos at a local store using an external drive. It's possible, but it's definitely not simple.

Sorry for the long post. Hope this helps.
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Natalie Kehr

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Thanks for all the details. The idiots in the local store airily told me that everything would be possible, but I obviously don't believe them about anything. Unfortunately the only tablet owners I know all have iPads, and use them for e-mail and playing games!

I really want to give my husband a device onto which we can load his collection of classical music CD's, and which he can use in bed in the middle of night without headphones. The demo machines only have 5 pop songs so are useless in deciding if one can listen to Mozart with pleasure. His CDs are so old that when I tried to rip 3 of them into iTunes one gave me 7 anonymous tracks instead instead of 2 symphonies, - but I can't inflict my ripping woes on TechSmith :-(

But one thing I can ask you about is batch processing. Using your Web preset works fine when I produce 1 movie at a time. It picks up the editing size and produces using that. But when I try to use the same preset to produce a few camrecs using the Batch production, the productions don't pick up the editing size. Is this a bug in v 7.1?
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Yes, I would consider that a bug. It looks like the batch production is using the fixed size from the preset instead of using the editing dimensions.

We'll try to get it fixed for a future release. In the meantime, the workaround would be to create a preset for each size you intend to make with batch production. So you could have a "Web - 800x600" preset and a "Web - 400x300" preset, for example. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thank you for the report.
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Natalie Kehr

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I had tried to report the batch production bug before, but the person who picked up my query didn't understand what was wrong. :-(

Is there any documentation about the structure of the production presets? Is there a tag which says "Use editing dimensions"? I found modifying your presets rather nerve racking - there appear to be many places where sizes are mentioned.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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You don't need to edit the xml by hand. In your my documents/camtasia studio/custom production presets 7/ folder, you can make copies of the web preset. Then, fire up Camtasia Studio and use the preset manager in the batch production tool to set the output dimensions for these new presets.

Hope this helps.
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Natalie Kehr

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Now that Camtasia 8 has been announced, I wonder if this changes anything dro wrote about Android compatability?
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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We can't talk about this just yet. We will be talking soon. Stay tuned.
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Natalie Kehr

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We will certainly stay tuned. My work partner Jonathan Lewin is one of your power users, and I have just discovered that Android users can't view the movies on our web-site www.math-movies.com.
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Brandy Pethel

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I have found I can play MP4 produced files on Android phone/tablet using MX Player available for free in the Market.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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With Camtasia Studio 8, we've done the following things to improve the reach of your videos to more mobile devices:

1. All MP4 production defaults have been adjusted for better compatibility with smartphones and tablets. This includes iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, as well as newer Android phones (those that support H.264 video) and Android tablets.

2. We've included the TechSmith Smart Player as an option for MP4 output. This player uses Flash with an HTML5 fallback. This means that if Flash Player is available, it will use it, just like previous versions of CS. If Flash Player is not available (as is true of the iPad and iPhone), it will fallback to an HTML5 player with the same functionality. This enables the consumption of interactive videos (those with hotspots and quizzes) that wasn't possible before. The simplest way to use this player is to produce out of Camtasia Studio 8 using the "Share to Screencast.com" path. This will produce and upload your video to Screencast, our hosting service. With this path, you can view your video, including the hotspots and quizzes (if any), from virtually any device. If you don't wish to use Screencast.com, that's fine too. We have production presets that will give you all the files you need to host the Smart Player on your own web server.

3. For the iPhone in particular, the way video is handled is that when you click on a video in a browser page, the phone will launch into the iPhone's native video player. This is a nice experience for video, but it doesn't allow for interactivity. For videos with hotspots or quizzes, we've written an app that extends the interactive experience onto the iPhone. It's free. You can find it here.

4. For videos that include quizzes, we've rewritten the email reporting feature so that it no longer relies on the viewer having an email client. The viewer simply watches the video and takes the quiz, even on a mobile device, and the results are reported up to the TechSmith cloud quizzing service. As the content author, you can receive an email report (2 .csv attachments) daily, when there are new responses to the quiz. We see this as a way to complete the loop with your audience. Quiz may even be too narrow of a word for the feature. You could think of it as a system for lead retrieval, or a survey feedback mechanism. The quizzing service is provided as a free service with Camtasia Studio 8. Again, the simplest path is to host on Screencast.com. But we also designed it so you can host the video on your own servers, and still use the quizzing service if you wish.

We're excited about the enhancements that Camtasia Studio 8 brings to mobile video, and we'd love to hear from you. I hope you'll give it a try. Please feel free to chime in with what you like or don't like, and what you'd like to see us do in the future.
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Jason Smith

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We love the new Camtasia Studio 8 software. With our Android tablets though, sometimes instead of the video playing (a 10 minute, 5 second video) the player gets stuck at 01:40 and just sits there. After forcing a stop and rebooting then go back to the player it will load, but after a while it'll get stuck again back to only loading the play with 01:40 and a blank black screen. Any ideas? We've tested this on a couple of servers and it seems to only affect the Google Chrome browser on the Android tablets (OS 4.0.4)

Thanks,
Jason

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