Camtasia kills my movie again

I am sitting here – I have just lost a 2 minute movie that was fully developed. It wasn’t open in Camtasia Studio – I was batch rendering. I am still swearing at the screen.

I was batch rendering the 7 parts of my movie – it was only last week I couldn’t get a batch render at all. I don’t know what part was being rendered when it crashed – but part 2 seems likely – BUT it might be that part 2 was open in Camtasia when I launched the batch render – I can’t be sure.

Anyway Windows wound up completely locked up. I don’t see Windows lock up like that so often now. When I get Windows going again – the project file for part 2 wont open – but hey! Camtasia has a backup and autosave. Ok we will go with that.

Uh-oh the autosave is from a previous version of Camtasia? Wonder how that could be?

Nope we cant load that autosave.

My part 2 is gone.
I have that sicky feeling you get
when you loose a lot of work
and the deadline is too close
to work all night and save the day .

Today, I had been making one word script adjustments ready for the voice over dude in 2 days time. Now I got nothing.

What really sucks is that I haven’t committed my changes since I discovered 50+ Gb of files being created by Camtasia because I had foolishly used their library functionality. That sad story is here. If your a Camtasia user and you aren’t aware of the library issues I have raised – take a look.

So I been caught with my pants down – no backup for a week or more – because backing up the 50gb of excessive bloat in the Camtasia libraries, would seriously pollute my svn and cause major problems checking out on my other machines.

Worry: My 2 minute video needs about 5 days of edits reapplied -not 5 full days but tweaks and bumps and timing changes. And once they are all done – are we going to crash again?


BTW when this happens the original project file looses ALL the edits and resources – captions, clips  – the file is void of anything representing my work and the autosave – has had a lot of the xml from the front of the project deleted and starts part way through my edits. More excitingly following the crash, the autosaves include binary data which….. well take a closer look at the image above. There’s more than one binary blob in there – so extracting the xml is probably not worth it. So whilst we are rendering we also have the autosave file open in write mode? Really?

My Camtasia tips as of today:

  1. Don’t use the Camtasia library, create clips in your project directory
  2. Don’t ever render or batch render without making a full backup first. Especially of your project files – they get hammered all too often.
  3. Don’t ever batch render with a project open. Launch Camtasia with no project and then batch render – if you dare….
  4. Autosave – hasn’t ever rescued me from a crash. Perhaps your luckier than I am.
  5. Camtasia clearly don’t know the old programming rule about closing files when your not using them and opening them read only when you don’t need to write to a file. Or do you need to update the project file whilst your batch rendering… autosave files? Why?
  6. I suspect changing project files a lot – like I have been today triggers memory leak issues in Camtasia – and that then triggers the rendering crashes I have and then finally it kills your movie. But this is only my speculation. One part of my movie is over 10 minutes long…

I am sure Camtasia works great at some level – but it’s kicking my arse.

Once this job is done – I will definitely be seeking a software solution that’s more mature.

See I didn’t swear once as I wrote this..