Camtasia (Windows): Production hangs/freezes with Imported .WMV file or shows blank thumbnail in Clip Bin


Production hangs/freezes with imported WMV files from webinar applications.


WMV files made in Microsoft’s Live Meeting, GoToMeeting or GoToWebinar may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • The thumbnails in the Clip Bin or Timeline are blank
  • Any attempt to produce a project with this kind of clip in it hangs
  • The audio/video can be out of sync in the Timeline

The Microsoft Screen Capture codec does not contain time stamps.  These are needed for Camtasia to edit and produce a movie.  This essentially puts gaps in the file that Camtasia cannot read. The lack of time stamps in these WMV files are also an issue in Microsoft’s Movie Maker and Producer.

The following methods can be used as workarounds

Create a new file using Camtasia Recorder

The best workaround is to use Camtasia Recorder to capture the playback of the WMV file from another program, and use this new .camrec or AVI in a new project.  This will ensure you have a recording that can be properly rendered in Camtasia Studio.

Please review the following article for tips on recording media playback:
Title: Camtasia Studio: Image and Video capture results are Blank or Black

Please review the following article for tips on recording audio.

How do I record system audio

Encode the video file again using Microsoft Expression Encoder

Microsoft's workaround has had limited testing by TechSmith, and we cannot support it or guarantee its effectiveness.  We have seen cases where this method does not create the necessary time frames and the problem is not resolved.  When you use Movie Maker in Windows Vista to try to publish a video file of a recorded screen capture, the publishing process never finishes

Download link for Expression Encoder:
Microsoft Expression Encoder 4

Once Expression Encoder is installed, open it and perform the following basic steps to re-encode the file:

  1. From the Get Started tab, click Transcoding Project.
  2. Click File > Import and select your video file, then click Open.
  3. The default settings from the Encode tab on the right hand side should be sufficient for Camtasia Studio, but can be modified to suit your needs.
  4. Click the Encode button on the bottom of the screen to begin the encoding process.
  5. When the encoding is completed, a new file will be created in your Documents > Expression > Expression Encoder > Output folder.

For a quick how to video on using Expression Encoder please see below.

Further specific information can be found within the Expression Encoder help file.

Microsoft is aware of the issue and that they are attempting to resolve it for Live Meeting.  The Live Meeting General Questions Discussions Board can be found here.  If there are further Live Meeting questions, contact their Technical Support at 1-866-493-2825.