Support for ARF files

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  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Not Planned
Do you have any plans of supporting ARF files? Webex has a big market share in the corporate world for online web meetings. They only allow you to download the web meeting recording in ARF format. I saw many people online looking for a way to import ARF files into Camtasia. Any plans in supporting this format?
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Ravi

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Posted 6 years ago

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Logan S.

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Hey Ravi,

I'd never heard of that format prior to this, so I'm curious if you are not able to find a converter for ARF files? Pardon my ignorance.

Thanks for the feedback though! I'll make sure I pass this feature request along.
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Ravi

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HI !

ARF is not a common file like AVI. It is specific to webex recordings. I am sure you may have heard about Webex. They have a big market share in the corporate world, and they only make web meeting recordings available in ARF format. I think it would be a big competitive advantage for Camtasia in the corporate world if you support this feature.

Just search for ARF and webex in Google search. You will find a lot of info on it. Most importantly you will find a lot of people trying to figure out how to handle ARF files.

Webex provides a windows only software to convert ARF to MP4 but in my experience I lost video resolution and also it adds a big blue bar at the bottom of the screen recording when you do this conversion using their software. There is no option for Mac.
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lucasggg

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so, any news about this? it's pretty annoying that a) a big company like webex uses a useless video format, and b) that a big company like techsmith doesn't support the ARF format established by one of the largest technology companies in the world (Webex via Cisco)...
(not to mention a rep that doesn't check on google what ARF is -and then with his dev team to ask when they'll support it- *before* giving such a lame answer like "hey, i've never heard about it...")
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Derek Davis

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I agree that an ARF converter would be great!!! (And I am a currently using Camtasia Studio & WebEx separately. It would be great to convert to common format and share with others in my company that cannot download WebEx.)
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Mr. Tom

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ARF is a real dog of a format.
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wgirlbama

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I have been trying for an entire after noon to get WebEx conversion utility to work. It's a piece of crap, and has yet to convert any files.

Lots of large companies use WebEx and record demonstration etc with this tool. It would be great if you supported their ARF format so companies could convert these files into a more easily edited and distributed format.

I agree that you'd get a lot more users of Camtasia who are trying to cope with this proprietary, crappy format.

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Timbre4, Champion

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Actually I have been using the WebEx conversion tool with ARF files for a several weeks now and it works okay. There is now an MP4 option that comes out pretty good. Once I have that I import it onto a Camtasia timeline to crop and edit as needed. Get the WebEx Network Recording Player downloaded and installed on your desktop. Download the file you want to convert. Tell the player to open the file and then go to File, Convert menu for wmv, swf or mp4 output. Takes about 30 minutes for a 60 min file.
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Hans Kriel

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I have the same complaint as Ravi and have tried the approach that Timbre4 suggests. On some of the conversion attempts from arf to mp4 the video gets skippy or the audio disappears. Hours of waiting (we record 5 hour training events on webex) while the converter does a crap job taht has to be repeated. It is annoying and irritating to say the least. Has anyone thought to run the webex with the computer for audio (instead of the phone) and using Camtasia to record the full screen and system audio?  Or would that not work?  The technique would also capture GotoMeeting, Screen share and Skype.  

I'll try it next time and post the result. Cut out the costly middleman.
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Timbre4, Champion

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I'd be curious to know how well that approach works. The principal difference is the WebEx recording is occurring on their server and fairly robust for long sessions. As for a Camtasia recording (AVI or camrec) being made on a local hard drive, you better have a TON of space because the resulting file would be huge. I'd recommend trying it on a shorter event first and see what that tells you.
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amy.callan

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In my experience the audio is terrible on the converted mp4 file and the video is not great on the converted wmv file.  I've found that by layering  the wmv file on track one and the mp4 file on track two with the audio silenced you get a fairly decent video.
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Mark Powell

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I can confirm that arf converted to mp4 is lossy. The audio is more crackly and 'bottom-of-the-barrel' and the visuals seem to downsample from the original. What I have done that serves me adequately is to download the arf from webex, then set up Camtasia recorder to capture the arf as it plays on my own machine.  I have not done full five hour stretches, but have done 45-60 minutes.  The audio and video quality of the result camrec is lossless from the arf.

You do have to have system sound recording on and microphone off. In addition, turn off your screen saver. It may cause issues. RAM and disk space have never been a problem with me, but I can see how they could become so.  Also, it goes without saying that your machine has to be left alone to do this recording, otherwise you may inadvertently record whatever else you are doing on that computer.

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Timbre4, Champion

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Fortunately, the Windows 8 playback issue was solved so I have not had to convert any more meeting recordings in months.
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yongcomeon

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At first, i also cannot import my ARF recordings to Camtasia.

then i use a third party software called iDealshare VideoGo to convert ARF to MP4, then i can successfully import the converted ARF to Camtasia for editing.

Step by step guide at How to Convert ARF to MP4?


Besides converting ARF to MP4, it also converts ARF to AVI, MOV, WMV, DV, MPG and etc video format or MP3, WAV, audio format
(Edited)
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Richard Campbell, Champion

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Codecs tend to be protected by patent and copyright laws. it could be that WebEx does not permit licensing of their codec, or it could be technically infeasible for Techsmith to provide ARF importability,

(Edited)
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Timbre4, Champion

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That's true; it's probably a small niche of a need as compared to all the other current formats.
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Joe Morgan

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I've never needed to convert a WebEx video.

But if I did. I would use the Free Converter offered by the Company that created the codec.
I would be surprised if a third party program could do a better job.

WebEx Player: Watch, share, and edit WebEx recordings.
http://www.webex.com/play-webex-recording.html
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Marty Hoffmann

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Two problems with that:  1) Converting is not available on MacOS  2) Conversion of both video and audio is lossy
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Mary Vivit

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I have the same ARF pain. I can't/won't use the Webex converter: can't, because of our corporate setup with Webex; won't, because (from experience) converting a 1 hour-long video takes more than an hour. What I do now is play the recording from Webex and record it using Camtasia. That's the least painful way I've been able to work with these files. 
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Mark Powell

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Since my posting in October, I have refined my technique to a fairly workable state. As with Mary, I “convert” the ARF by recording in real time in Camtasia. Knowing this technique in advance, you can also have the presenters mike themselves during the original Webe using whatever tool they have at hand, and have them send you their audio after the fact. And then, you have the option of synching and separating out audio tracks, which can be a huge advantage. Not only is the sound quality better, but it is the only way to edit out cross-talk.

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Timbre4, Champion

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Great tips! I tend to record everything I do with a Zoom H2 recorder on my desk for better fidelity and options later.

Happy New Year

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Joe Morgan

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After reading through  this entire post. I realize now what a piece of junk the WebEx converter must be. 

After doing a Google search. I discovered that there are a number of alternatives to WebEx these days. If some of the reviews I have read for the other programs are accurate. Maybe it's time for companies to start dumping  WebEx.

  It appears to be antiquated and difficult to deal with. When compared to what the competition "Seems" to be offering.

 I've sat in on a number of webcasts hosted by Go to Meeting. I can honestly say I was never impressed with the "Go to meeting" interface. Or the entire experience for that matter.
I Can't say a lot of good things about the presentations audio quality or video streaming either.
I have DSL. I know that works against me.

Maybe it's time for WebEx to improve it's service?  Or disappear like so many other outdated  programs before it.

Just a thought. Joe
(Edited)
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Bella Bellaments

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My MP4 within we ex tool to convert is now grayed out and has been that way for several months. I have tried multiple computers as well with no luck.I wish Webex were gone. Has wasted far too much of my time.
(Edited)
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Ram Prakash Sharma

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Really , I am also trying but no luck , 
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Angie Puller

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ARF, standing for “advanced recording file”, is a file extension for a WebEx advanced 

recording file from a network-based recording. An ARF file contains the video data, a table 

of contents, an attendee list, and other information on separate panels. The ARF file 

extension is for recordings downloaded by the user. The ARF file extension is also used for 

automatic response files. The *.arf files are WebEx recordings directly downloaded by the 

user.

However, we often meet problems when open or play ARF files. To open or play ARF files with 

zone problems, it is nice to convert ARF to MP4, convert ARF to WMV, MP3 or other common 

video and audio formats.You may find a nice guide on how to convert ARF to MP4, convert ARF 

to WMV, MP3 here.