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Blank video file

edited October 2013 in Support
I just started using Camstudio, went through the tutorial videos, etc. and was able to come up with a video of good quality and small file size. I can view it on my computer perfectly by double clicking the file, but when I try to open it on another computer I only get a blank page!! I have video options to Microsoft video 1, audio 44.1 kHz, mono 16 bit. I have played around with the settings but I still cannot see the file on another computer.


  • edited October 2013
    Firstly, Microsoft Video One is a pretty lousy codec. I'd suggest either Xvid or x264vfw instead. See this video and its "Show More" section in the about tab for links to those and more info:

    Heck, here are the links. Watch that anyway if you haven't (full screen).

    Jawor's Xvid - http://www.digital-digest.com/software/download.php?sid=1052&ssid=0&did=14

    X264vfw - http://sourceforge.net/projects/x264vfw/

    Also, the player matters. We've heard good reports with Windows Media Player and the VLC media player. What player was giving you a blank page?

    Otherwise, your settings sound fair, but I'd use the fixed region setting and set it to a standard width and height like 856x480 (also called 480p), 1280x720 (also called 720p HD) or 1920x1080 if you have a powerful computer (also called 1080p HD) The reason I bring this up is that some players cannot play oddball width and height videos. If you have inadvertently created such an oddball, you can fix it with the crop or resize commands in VirtualDub - video and article showing how is here:

  • Terry,

    Thank you for your help. I already installed the codec and changed from full screen to fixed region 1280x720, but I still have the same problem. I double click on the file and it opens a new tab on my web browser (it works both on explerer and chrome) and plays the video, but when I try to do the same on another computer, I get a blank page! I also can´t open it with Windows media player (maybe I need to do something there about the new codec). But I really need to be able to use the tutorial for a webpage.
  • edited October 2013
    What is the file extension of that video you've made? Is it .flv or .swf by any chance?

    If so, you made a flash video file, so go get the VLC player. Only get it from the official site here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-windows.html

    If you want them opening in a web page, either those or MP4 will do fine. But viewing flash video files needs a different media player other than Windows Media Player.

    To switch the videos you made already to AVI or MP4, you can use a converter like Any Video Converter http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/ or Freemake http://www.freemake.com/free_video_converter/ or my favorite but a little more work to understand, the MediaCoder FLV edition http://www.mediacoderhq.com/flv-converter/

    Here's a review that includes an important consideration when converting to MP4 using MediaCoder: http://screencasttutorial.org/20/need-a-review-of-free-video-converters-and-encoders-576

    Now, if you have the very latest version of CamStudio we uploaded October 22nd, 2013, it now has a "Star" or "Gear" shaped icon in the taskbar of the program up top. When you click it, you'll see the words cycle: Record to SWF | Record to AVI | Record to MP4

    Keep hitting that till you show Record to AVI if you want that, or Record to MP4. Both of those will play in any player out there.

  • It would be interesting to know what the developers of the original CamStudio had in mind in terms of the codec of choice was when using Cam’s onboard SWF converter. I’ve tested the versions I have using various codecs and have found that all are corrupted to one extent or another in the conversion process. Was Cam designed to use MPEG1? That was what most early capture programs used, but it’s inconsistent with an SWF file which will not retain ratio and other video information.

    An MV1/SWF video will play to one extent or another using MPC, assuming the file association is made manually, but the others really can’t handle these, and most editors can’t extract video info from the compression process, which would be necessary to open the file.

    Converting from a poorly produced SWF doesn’t seem like an appetizing choice to me. Why convert to SWF and then back to something else? In the case of this poster, I think the best option is to go back to square one and re-record using either MPEG-4 or x264 in an unconverted AVI container and work from there. We know that Vegas and Premier Pro generally can’t handle these, but there are other choices.

    I’ll be interested to see how the new Cam does with .mp4 conversions. If it does well, I’d have to start wondering why the .swf option is still there.

    For the sake of producing a test capture, I’d use either x264 or MPEG-4 in an AVI at 40/25. That is a universally playable file, so if a given media player cannot open and play it, it’s simply lacking the necessary (and very common) codecs we would expect it to have.

  • edited October 2013

    I believe the new CamStudio is utilizing an ffmpeg script to perform the MP4 conversion, but I don't remember for sure. I'll ask Nick to take a look at this thread.

    I agree that converting FROM an SWF is not a great idea, as you are then converting from a conversion.


    Following from what Ken is saying, In Options==>Record to Flash Options there is a pre-checked item "Delete intermediate AVI file upon completion" --- I'd definitely suggest un-checking that so you have the original AVI to perform further actions upon! :-)

    You might be interested in also checking "Display conversion options before generating SWF"

  • @TerryBritton, @bmoreken

    Yeah we're currently using a compiled ffmpeg to create an MP4 version of the video from the recorded AVI file ... for now.

    Of course right now because the AVI is still 1.0 format, we're still currently limited to what we can do with the MP4 but when AVI 2.0 is implemented things will be a LOT better.

    This has taken long that we thought as the programmer has had to create the entire code for the function from scratch - apparently code from VirtualDub and/or other sources weren't suitable for some reason.

    We're also currently in the process of basically gutting CamStudio of VideoForWindows and replacing it with DirectSound functions which should fix a lot of incompatibility issues (webcams, video annotations, recording audio from speakers etc.) in one fail swoop. [fingers crossed, JINX]

    In the future we might look into making MP4 creation a bit more "elegant" but we'll see how things pan out ...

    But right now, things are moving forward slowly ...

    Terry and I have also had the discussion about removing SWF functionality from CamStudio as it seems like it's no longer needed thanks to MP4/Xvid/x264 ...

    I was never happy with the quality of the end result with SWF (especially the controller) and now with certain hardware like iPhones, iPads, etc. not being able to play them and modern browsers that are implementing HTML5 with native video support, it could be that SWF Producer's time has finally come to an end ...?


    Nick :)
  • Terry,

    I am still trying to figure this out, so I have only being doing test videos. The file I was generating was SWF, and only worked on my computer (which is odd, because my coworkers have the exact same computer and software as I do).
    I already have the new camstudio version and tried doing a test video using mp4 format, but after recording I got an error message saying "failed to start mp4 converter", and only the avi file was generated. Do I need to install something to make the mp4 work?
  • Matilde,

    No, the MP4 converter should have worked out of the box. But I know that if the width and height were not both even-numbers, then no MP4 converter would work.

    This won't be a problem soon as we are going to limit the sizes to even-numbered sizes soon, but for now a fixed-region setting using one of the standards would be the best bet.

  • Terry,

    I am using fixed region 1280 x 720. I also get a window labeled Xvid status that was not appearing with the previous version and that I can´t get rid off. Still no luck with the mp4 format = (
  • edited November 2013
    Get rid of the status window by clicking on "Other Options" at the bottom of the Xvid configuration and un-check "Display Encoding Status". I show this in the tutorial at 24:09.

    They are still working on the MP4 converter issues in CamStudio, so stick with recording to AVI for now. YouTube will create an MP4 from that when you upload it anyway (which can be downloaded frm YouTube's Video Manager section!)


  • Terry,

    Thanks for your help. I finally was able to upload the video to you tube. But I am getting a dialog box when I stop recording with a "1" and an accept button. How can I get rid of it??

  • Download the most recent version at http://camstudio.org - it has the bug fix (version 2.7.3)

  • Terry,

    I just downloaded the latest version, but I´m still getting the "1" error message ...
  • Sorry, you need an older version as it turns out - a bug was left (actually some test code) when that version came live. Get the prior version here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/camstudio/files/stable/CamStudio_2.7_r316_setup.exe/download

  • Thank you!! :D
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