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.
(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...")
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.
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.
I'll try it next time and post the result. Cut out the costly middleman.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.