When playing a preview of what I'm working on, the audio / video just stutters/freezes for a couple of seconds at every transition point between two clips.
I find the stuttering on preview playback extremely annoying, it's impossible to accurately preview with this happening. The produced end result does not stutter at all, but the problem is I have no way of accurately previewing the end result due to the preview stutter. I have to produce the end result, hoping the edits/transitions were ok, then go back and do it again every time I find out the edits needed tweaking.
I'm using Camtasia 8.4.3. I'm making HD content, so 1920x1080 pixels. Fair enough that means a lot of data for Camtasia to handle, but it ought to do it better than this. My pc is decently specified, i7 2670 processor, 8GB ram.
I've given up on expecting Camtasia to be able to handle many HD video clips in a project without the stuttering. I even upgraded my hard drive to a solid state lightning fast drive - Camtasia still stuttered.
Check out Lightworks - the Pro version is expensive but worth it, or there's a free version that does lower resolution output. It's miles better for this use than Camtasia.
Camtasia is good for basic screen capture, I still use it for that, but forget it for serious video editing at high res, it can't do it.
Yes, it is their responsibility, I completely agree. But I paid for my Camtasia licence nearly two years ago and despite contacting tech support they haven't been able to solve the issues, and judging by the fact that others have experienced the same problems I don't think they know how to solve the issues.
You can either put all your projects on hold, waiting for the possibility of TechSmith getting their act together, or move on. I chose to move on. You don't have to be stuck with their software if you don't want to be. I know it's frustrating to pay for something that doesn't work, but I personally decided to regard it as a sunk cost and move on.
In Camtasia Studio 8, there are a few things you can do to help rendering performance:
1. Keep all source files (the files in your media bin) on a local disk. If these files are stored on a network drive, the disk reads will be slow, and this can cause choppy playback and in some cases, errors during playback.
2. Use source dimensions that match your editing dimensions (the dimensions of your canvas). In other words, if your editing dimensions are 1280x720, use source video at 1280x720. This eliminates the need for scaling during rendering, which can be costly because it occurs 30x for each second of video.
3. Use sources that are 30 fps, if possible. The CS 8.x timeline runs at 30 fps. If your source video is 60 fps, every frame must be decoded, but every other frame is thrown out to drop down to 30 fps. This is a huge time sink and causes choppy playback.
4. Experiment with Tools > Options > Use GPU acceleration. By default, CS 8.x tries to use the GPU to accelerate scaling and transitions. This is usually faster, but not always. If the GPU is busy doing things for other applications, or if the dimensions are large, this can sometimes bottleneck the rendering. Unchecking this option switches to the software renderer which is faster in some cases. Note that after toggling this option, you must close and re-open your project in order to reset the renderer and see the effects of this change.
We've recently released Camtasia 9.0.0 as a 64-bit app. This allows our application to use more memory and larger registers on the CPU. We've also upgraded from DirectX 9 to DirectX 11 which allows us to use larger texture sizes and more of the capabilities of your graphics hardware. These changes help rendering performance because we're using more of your hardware to get the job done quicker.
But much of the advice above still applies. The results you see will always be project and machine dependent. With version 9 we've made some efficiency improvements that we think will benefit a good majority of users. We continue to iterate on the rendering to eek out as much performance as we can. So if you're seeing lags in rendering, we do want to hear from you. There may be things we can tweak to get even better performance.
Hope this helps.