Need adjustable bit rate for MP3 exports from Camtasia 2019 Windows

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Though m4a audio files might be more efficient, there are still many issues even when trying to play on an iPhone, the most annoying being that QuickTime (the standard player called from non-built-in apps) stops to play an m4a when not in foreground. Hence I need mp3 for audio-only export. I learnt from support that mp3 still can be produced in Camtasia2019 using the "Share | Export audio only" path (it is not possible using the production wizard - why?) for Win 8.1 and 10. Though this is better than nothing, the export is fixed to 256kBit, producing huge files - especially when exporting something like a podcast. I searched the project files for a possible option to no avail. Please make some bit rates available to choice, maybe "Speech (64kBit), Standard (128kBit), High (256kBit)".
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walter

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  • a bit duped after paying for an update from 8

Posted 9 months ago

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dmey503

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Hmm...that's weird you're having issues with m4As on your iPhone...I'm pretty sure that's the format they use for songs purchased on iTunes.

Does that occur when you import the m4a through itunes?

You can always get free, open-source software with audio conversion functionality. I think you can do this with audacity (it may require an extra plugin) or with fre:ac. Adobe Media Encoder should also be able to convert m4a to whatever audio format you want. 

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rg

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Export audio as WAV, open the file in Audacity, export as MP3 using the bit rate you wish.
I wish you good luck in trying to persuade TechSmith to restore the full functionality for MP3 export that the program once had.  We have all been there and our pleas were received with the kind of polite indulgence typically shown to insistent toddlers.
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Ed Covney

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"Though m4a audio files might be more efficient" - what do you mean by efficient? MP3 encoded with VBR is more "efficient" than without but is unusable for syncing to a video track.

I think LAME is still considered the Cadillac of sound compression (free), although it's a command line program and not very user friendly. "Razor Lame" creates a Windows front-end GUI, but doesn't allow 100% of LAME's features.  BTW, LAME is open source!
I recommend vers 3.984 as the newest 3.100 is a  lot of bloatware and no underlying improvement.

To download:  https://lame.sourceforge.net/
Example (content of a "Lame.bat" file:

   lame.exe -q 0 -b 192 "D:\Music\SourceFile.wav" "D:\Music\TargetFile.mp3"

" -q 0" = highest quality
" -b 192" = encoded at 192 kHz, the highest quality that my ears could detect 20 years ago.
Input source file can be a any file type including MP3.
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rg

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I think by "efficient" the OP was referring to this kind of description:

"Compared with MP3, M4A can compress audio with the same bit rate in smaller file size" [https://www.winxdvd.com/resource/what-is-m4a.htm]

Whether m4a is superior to mp3 is a matter of opinion, not subject to objective validation.  They are both crunched down from higher quality audio, so they both suffer from some degradation.  Why m4a ceases to play on a particular device probably has to do more with the device than the file.
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Ed Covney

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Lame's MP3 variants are open source. What open source program can I produce M4A with?
I care very little about opinions, just wanna see the code. - Ed
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rg

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My understanding is that m4a is basically an audio-only mp4 file (no video) -- and, as such, it's an AAC format.  I don't know what open source programs are available to produce m4a, but I would assume that any program capable of mp4 should be able to produce an m4a file.
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rg

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Just checked my version of Audacity (2.3.0).  It will export audio as m4a and provides a sliding scale for adjusting the quality.  It uses FFMPEG.
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walter

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The sole intent of my post has been to alert TechSmith of an unhappy customer who bought an upgrade that turned out to be worse in one aspect: MP3 generation. I know many ways to convert to mp3 (though thanks to all who tried to help!) and I also didn't want to discuss possible advantages of m4a over mp3. We further don't need to discuss why Apple treats it's favourite format stepmotherly on the iPhone. Fact is that mp3 gets played more smoothly and from more devices than m4a and that I don't want to muddle through with external converters if I buy an allegedly top notch product like Camtasia. As more and more insistent toddlers  (rg :)  declare their needs I always hope for the insight of marketing. It can't be such a big deal to hand over some parameters to an external mp3 encoder. 
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Ed Covney

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Walter - MP3 & MP4 have been international standards for decades, open source and the most widely accepted format in use today. If you're upset, be upset with Apple for NOT using standard formats.
Today there are maybe a million developers who dabble in (play with) MP3 & MP4 source codes, most of us just to see how things work. As you noted M4A is Apple's baby, and is not open source.
So In Tech Smith's defense they accept standards. So if I were you, I'd be thankful there are many great converters (for example - Hand Brake for videos, LAME for sound).
The bottom line is you shouldn't have a beef with Camtasia or Tech Smith, it should be with Apple (IMO). BTW I think you owe rg an apology, he only wanted to help and didn't realize how closed minded you can be.
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walter

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Ed - I am thankful to everybody trying to help and to everybody providing open source software. I am especially grateful to rg who suggested not to expect too much from TechSmith. Hence, my apologies to everybody whose feelings I might have hurt! 
And while it is not my intention to discuss standard or propietary formats: To the best of my knowledge, mp3 was patented until quite recently while m4a is the audio part of the mp4 open standard. Hence it is to some extent understandable that TechSmith think they can do without mp3, but the real world has many cheap and old devices that don't play m4a smoothly.