Microsoft gives, Microsoft takes away. Live Meeting, formerly Placeware, is my web conferencing tool of choice, primarily because I could use their recording tool to record training sessions, including the audio from the conference call. (Webex can't easily integrate the audio yet, and uses it's own proprietary video format.) I typically would download and edit these recordings using Camtasia, taking out empty air at the beginning and end, and/or announcements unrelated to the session, then post on the Intranet for those who couldn't attend the live session.
Then Live Meeting when through an upgrade. When I tried to edit the first recording after the upgrade, Camtasia hung up, unable to process the recording. Knowing that we would have major training needs in a few weeks that involved lots of recordings, I started trying to work out the problem. The nice people at Camtasia were mystified. Then I realized that the pre-Live Meeting upgrade tapes processed fine, so I contacted Microsoft.
Several emails to Live Meeting/Microsoft support later, the truth comes out. According to support, the new version of Live Meeting uses a different codec, the ACLEP.net Audio Decoder and the Microsoft Screen Codec video decoder V7 codecs for audio and video, respectively. Camtasia isn't compatible with these codecs. I was instructed to try using the free Microsoft Producer program instead to edit the videos. Okay, sure, I've got plenty of time to learn another software program.
Yesterday was the day. I figured out how to cut clips in Producer, created an intro to the Live Meeting segment I'd edited, and life was, well, if not good, at least okay. Then I tried to produce the file. Producer bombed just like Camtasia. Another day of my life gone, with nothing to show for it. :-)
You may be wondering why I'm telling you all this. The truth is, this entry is really a cry for help. Does anyone have a solution to this problem?
In the meantime, we can still make our own recordings using Camtasia, and, of course, those are editable. Though I've also noticed that screen recordings played in Windows Media Player don't fill the screen in 100% playback mode and are slightly fuzzy. This is also a relatively new development. The quality just isn't that good, though it's readable. (I'm recording and viewing at the same resolution.) I thought it was something I was doing until I played one of Microsoft's Producer tutorials, and noticed the fuzziness on THEIR recordings as well. So I'm expecting that we will have to start distributing the Camtasia Player to anyone wanted a clear video. What fun. Installing new software always goes over well with users and technology folks in an enterprise environment.
I hate it when technology takes a step back.