ERROR: The Project file cannot be opened. Make sure the selected file is a valid .camproj file.

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Please help!

I have recreated my Camtasia video three times, and it's driving me nuts. When I try to save my project, it goes smoothly. I even exported to zip files just to make sure.

But when I open up the saved camproj files, and even when I use the "import zipped project..." I get this same error. It looks like a valid camproj file, so I feel like this error message is catching some other error instead.

Also, when I was completed with my video and tried to publish, an error popped up then as well. My project includes a few of the built-in effects (transitions, audio edits, zoom n pan, callouts), mp3 files, jpegs, and screencapture vids. I am using the Trial version of V8.0.1 on Windows 7 Enterprise.

Thanks,

Sami
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Sami

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  • frustrated!

Posted 7 years ago

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Grégory Makles

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Ok, I solved this for me and that would possibly works for others. By fixed I mean I repaired my file, not that it won't happen again. I'll try my best to explain.

ms message above described the action that I also did and which resulted in corrupting my save. Basically I destroyed an audio file from timeline/pool, reimported a new version and put it on the timeline. I did it several time with no prob until for some unknown reason file lenght changed a tiny bit. From what I get I ended up having an instance of the file in the timeline that was longer than the file actually was, which resulted in CS8 being depressed and commiting suicide.

Now how to fix this ?

1) make a backup of your corrupted file and mark it as read only

2) open it and the corrupted file in an xml editor (notepad can do that although anything with code identation will make it easier)

3) if you have an idea of the file source that may cause the issue, create an empty project in CS8 and import it. Save and open your test file as well in your xml editor.
Look for the "GenericTrack" tag. If you're not familiar with XML basics, the important thing to get is that this works like boxes in boxes. You have a Track container. Top of the container is <Track> and bottom is </Track> : everything in between are smaller containers that are held in - and in that case that means all of the tracks of your project. <GenericTrack> is the top of a smaller container inside the <Track> one that hold one your track with everything dropped on it and all of its parameters (such as height of the track...). </GenericTrack> is the bottom of that container. Sorry for those who already know that.
In your test xml, you should notice two <GenericTrack> containers (although there's only one displayed in your project, for some reason). One hold more lines : it's the one with your file. Among those one should read like this :
<AMFile id="9" start="160" duration="5040" scalar="1/1" mediaStart="0/1" mediaDuration="5040/1" trackNumber="0" src="4" channelNumber="0,1" >
Take note of the value for duration (5040 here), then go to your own project file XML. You shall now inspect all the "Generic Track" containers to find the one that hold the file. Lower Track id means closer to the bottom of your timeline and in general the more clip on a track, the bigger the pile of lines in the XML - it can easily be thousands of lines. Make search on "Generic Track" to find your way, then between that and the closure of the tag you'll search for the AMFile tag, I guess.
Once you have it, check the duration and mediaDuration value. If not the same as your test file, change it to the test file value, and try to reopen. If it doesn't, the search continue until it works. Once it works, note what the faulty line was, copy paste the content of your backup file and change just that line.

4) if you have no idea of the culprit, here's a method. In your save file xml, identify all of your <GenericTrack> containers, then remove the first half of them - ie select all the text starting from <GenericTrack> up to the first </GenericTrack> and delete, and do this as many time as needed to stay with just the second half of it (pay attention to get the correponding closure to the opening). Save, try to open in CS8 : if it works the culprit track is in what you've removed, else in the other part. In any case restore your save file in its original state will all of the tracks, then proceed to eliminate smaller packs of Generic Tracks until you narrow it done the the corrupted one. Search for the AMFile line and in it find the src parameter value. Then go at the beginning of the file : around line 80 / page 2 you should find a <SourceBin> container. In it are several <Source> containers listed by id. The one with the id matching the previous src parameter value is most likely your culprit. You can now proceed to 3.

Sorry if the whole thing reads more tedious than it reads - I assume some users here are completely unfamiliar with basic syntax (I am barely educated my self on this) and they deserve like everyone the right to fix up days of work ;-P.

All in all this is a very serious issue that will hopefully be fixed soon. In the meantime, do incremental saves, especially each time you reimport / update a file.

Hope that will help someone !
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ms

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Yes, going back to what I said a month ago, this is a major issue in that EVERY TIME you make an edit to the audio outside of C8 (no matter how minor), it crashes the project.
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John Craig

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Same problem here. Lots of work all gone. Latest version of Camtasia. Frustrating, very frustrating.
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Grégory Makles

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Read my message above and be saved, then.... Why did I bother to type it, then ? :P
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John Craig

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Gregory, thank you!!!! I took the time to follow your instructions, and even though it was tedious, it sure was better than to have to rebuild and edit what I lost from scratch. Very much appreciated! It worked!
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Grégory Makles

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(BTW) I used the solution above to replace in context a movie that was intensively edited in my project by a better quality version. Can't say it made my research effort a positive investment but I did save some time with this - a nice bonus from recovering my project.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Official Response
For anyone experiencing this issue, please use the Help > Check for updates... menu to see if there's a newer 8.x version available. If there's a newer version available, follow the link to download the latest version. While it's downloading, save your project (if open) and close Camtasia Studio. You'll need to manually run the installer after it finishes downloading. You do not need to uninstall your current version. Just run the installer and it will apply the update.

Once you're updated to the latest version, please try again to open the project that was giving you trouble. If it still fails to open, please visit http://support.techsmith.com and submit a ticket for our TechSupport staff. This is the best way for us to help you.

We are fixing all escalated project issues, and adding fixes and tests to the product to prevent these problems in the future. My sincere apologies to all who are affected by these problems. They are high priority fixes and we are working hard to fix them.
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Ed Soria

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Nope, I just upgraded to 8.6.0 Build 2054 and it made no difference!
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Grégory Makles

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Dave, it's nice of you to come here but seriously...

1) it's not an update issue. Yes, we've seen that you previously fixed a version of this bug with file using the & charcter, but that's not what people have here. Although I understand some people may find this thread while having an issue that can be fixed through update, it's important to state that this solution won't adress at all the issues related by nearly everyone here

2) I submitted a tickey for this a week ago. I've updated it 3 times in the process, including the mention of me having found a fix. I never had any answer all the while.

The 24h response time is clearly not here. I am not blaming you for this but you have to know this. Even a "it's a known issue, we're on it" would have helped.
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Shiny Alligator

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you have CS8, don't you? I'm trying to install CS7 and see if the same problem happens. That's because the bug is only there in the CS8 version
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Shiny Alligator

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also, If you have windows 7 (I dont know about vista and xp) you can right click the file and then select- "restore previous versions." It will restore a previous version for you, and you can edit that. It's at least better than having to do it from scratch.
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Mark Nowowiejski

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I agree 100% - come on man updating the software for the first thing I tried.
(I'm not an old lady whose flash player stopped working)

I've also sent a file +1 week ago and checked on the progress multiple times.

I did try the opening it with Dreamweaver any playing with XML stuff but know luck

Yesterday i finally cut my losses and started to rebuild the file from scratch - I more concerned with preventing the issues moving forward. I lost a weeks worth of time.
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John Craig

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Sorry, I have to agree with Gregory. The first thing I did was to make sure I was updated. I was. It was tedious work, and not likely something non-technical people would feel like jumping into, but Gregory's solution worked. Sure seems to me that simply adding very, very simple error message output at the point where Camtasia tries to load the faulty item would go a long ways towards helping. That plus simply skipping the loading of the problem item and loading the rest anyway. At least we could start editing and correcting the problem. As it is, the average user is 100% stuck, out of luck, and without recourse for attempting to fix the problem unless they start over completely.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Gregory, Mark, John, thanks for your replies. Again, I apologize for the frustration this has caused you. We are aware of this bug, and we're working to make it better.

While there is one error message referenced here, there is more than one possible cause. We've fixed some of these root causes in the 8.0.2 release (the current public release, as of today), and we have more fixes queued up for the next release.

In order for us to diagnose the root cause of the problem, it helps for us to get the project that exhibits the incorrect behavior. Our TechSupport has access to our nightly builds, and if the issue is fixed, they may be able to provide you with a pre-release version that would address the issue. If the issue is not fixed, then the broken project is escalated to development. In response we:
1. Try to get a fixed project back to you, with the goal of salvaging as much of the original project as possible. This is the highest priority, so that your work can continue ASAP.
2. Diagnose the root cause of the problem and add a fix for the next release.
3. Add a test that exhibits the bug to our automated project tests. These are automated tests, run daily, that help to prove the correctness of our project open/save code, and to prevent the same bugs from cropping up in the future.

I hope this helps give context for the steps I suggested earlier.
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Mark Nowowiejski

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I no longer need my file back at this point - I agree with the posters above, there needs to be some sort of message box indicating the file that is mis-linked.

I work with many other programs like InDesign, Final Cut & Dreamweaver that all use linked files but none of them ever refuse to open when one of the links has been moved or modified.
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John Craig

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From what I've experienced, and fixed very tediously, and from what others have described, the main problem is that any items (audio, video, pictures) that have been edited, deleted, or moved have the potential to cause Camtasia 8 to stutter when it tries to load it. In today's software world programs should not stop and exit, they should do the best they can and report exceptions so people can correct or work around them. For example, when there's an error on a web page, your browser doesn't stop. I use a lot of professional desktop software of a lot of types, and except for Camtasia 8 I can't recall the last time I've ever had a program stop running on me when there's been a problem. Yes, I've seen lots of error messages, but that's an entirely different ball game than simply bailing out altogether after a vague "not valid file" type of message. Please have your software engineers simply put up an error message, skip loading the item in question, and at least give us something to work with. I'll bet that 95% of the time the user will think, "oh yeah, I did edit that video clip externally", or "whoops, I shouldn't have deleted that audio clip", so something like that, and then they'll be able to correct things by simply re-loading what Camtasia skips due to these types of problems. I'm sure there are perhaps a few strange problems not covered by this suggestion, but as an experienced software engineer I feel quite confident that way over 90% of the problems we're all experiencing here in this thread can be easily fixed, at least from the customer's point of view.
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Mark Nowowiejski

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LOST ANOTHER ONE - 3 days of work & I didn't move or modify anything
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ton

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I SOLVED THE PROBLEM YAY!

Yes I have the new version 8.0.3. (updated Oct 28, 2012)

Here is how i got the infamous: "The project file cannot be opened." problem

Recreate the problem by doing this:

1 create camtasia project
2 add mp3 file
3 save project
4 exit camtasia
5 use Audacity to edit the mp3 (trim 2 seconds off the front and save)
6 start camtasia
7 camtasia displays "The project file cannot be opened.

I was able to fix this only because i realized i had the previous non-edited mp3 file in my recycle bin. As soon as I placed this non-edited mp3 file back in the camtasia folder, the "The project file cannot be opened." problem was gone.

So obviously what is happening here is that the camproj file is saving some media header file information. And when this media file information is changed (when camtasia is shutdown), then this confuses camtasia.

I have had other problems with editing media outside of camtasia in previous versions as well.

They'll need to do some sort of "verify file integrity" functions in Camtasia in the future. Because editing outside of camtasia is quite common.

For now, users can avoid this problem by always saving their edited files with different names, and manually reloading them into your camtasia project.

e.g.

vocal track edit 1.mp3
vocal track edit 2.mp3
vocal track edit 3.mp3

In other words, don't work on your media files if your camtasia project file is currently referencing them!!!
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ms

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Yes - if you look back through this thread, this is exactly what I reported a couple of months ago.

If you make any subsequent edit to your audio outside of C8, it will crash the project.

This NEVER happened in C6 and C7 in my experience of creating 1000's of tutorials.
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Shiny Alligator

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I have CS8, but My best video suddenly stopped working, so I'm really frustrated now... I think it's because I had my project open and the computer froze and I shut it down by force. Is this correct? I wanna try using CS7 and see whether that fixes the problem.
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Robert Kuhlig

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Hi Ton

Thanks! BTW It is the same with Video Files :-(.
I still think it is a BUG

cu rob
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Mark Nowowiejski

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My only advice is that you really have to watch you clip bin like a hawk, anytime you edit a file outside of Camtasia 8 I suggest renaming and importing it. Very frustrating compared to other software I deal with
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marcin8352

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i worked 2 days on a project and its gone. f*** that gonna use sony vegas
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ms

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Yes - as I stated quite a while ago, if you edit outside of C8 after you have started to build the project (especially audio), then this will 99% of the time lead to a crash that C8 can't resolve.
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Jesse Schulz

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So I think the main issue is that if you have created a camproj in a earlier version pre 8.0.3. then open that project file in the latest version and try to adjust it in ANY fashion you won't be able to re-open the newly saved project file. WOW Tech Smith you really hit a homerun with this one!!! and to top it off all of your users are having this problem! How about some help? Or are you too busy making stupid videos for your facebook page??????
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Eric Neilsen

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It happens even without making changes. I tried to open it on another platform; Win7 64 bit opens fine - Vista 64 - Unable to read. Very much a BUG
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ms

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This can occur with the latest version and without having opened / created it in previous versions.

I've recently noticed (so, I assume this is part of the 8.04 update) that if you now make a subsequent edit outside of C8 (i.e. with Audition CS6) then once you open the project again, a new dialogue box opens to state a change to the file has occured and has, therefore, been removed from the project. This is better than having the project crash and not be able to open it. It only means you now have to reimport the audio file and place it back on the timeline. Not too much hassle if the audio file is not 'cut up'into sections across the timeline.
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ms

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Sorry - I meant 8.03 update (not 8.04).
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Eric Neilsen

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I have the lastest release, so there is no update. The files have not been changed in anyway outside of C8 that I am aware of. THere may have been a metadata change of an assest but I don't think so. Point is is that it still opens fine on teh original computer of creation. Both zipped and unzipped versions fail.

SERIOUS BUG.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Eric, I'm sorry for the trouble. We agree. This is a serious bug and we're working to deliver a fix as soon as possible. If you haven't done so already, please contact our TechSupport staff at http://support.techsmith.com by submitting a question, and someone will reply to you by email to help. This is the best way for us to help you.
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Christian Harder

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Dave, are you saying that in some cases corrupt camproj files can be saved?
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Yes Christian, that's correct. We're asking for you to contact TechSupport for 2 reasons:
1. We can sometimes fix the project, and send it back to you. We will certainly do all we can to get you back on track.
2. All corrupt projects without a known fix are escalated to development, so that we can do a root cause analysis of what went wrong. We then add fixes and tests to prevent this kind of thing from happening in future releases.
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Haxor Leet

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Sorry dave but this support sucks, i just lost 29 hours of work.
If i had purchased this ( I got the trial atm ) then i would have refunded it because this is a useless product, only for screenrecording its good.

I Saved my project -> Produced it -> Crashd by exident -> opend project again
Gives me message that i used old version of camtasia studio and that i need to conver it then it says The project file cannot be opened. make sure valid .camproj blah blah

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