Issue with Video Encoder

Hi everyone. First post here. Am new to Articulate Studio '09 and have been having great fun with it. However, I have run into a slight issue with the Video Encoder program. (Apologies for posting this in the Presenter forum, but poor old Video Encoder doesn't have its own space!)

Everything was working fine with Video Encoder until last night I noticed that any .mp4 video I uploaded into it would just have a black screen. I could hear the sound but the time bar wouldn't scroll on. I tried videos that previously worked fine but the same issue would happen. 

It turns out that the Flip Video software that I installed after Articulate also installed the 3ivx Video Decoder program. I removed this and the issue with the black screen disappeared. However, as a result when I *sometimes* uploaded a file into Video Encoder I would get the message "The program can't start because 3ivx.dill is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix the problem." But when I would try the same file again it would work fine. It was happening enough times for it to become annoying, however.

So I deinstalled Articulate, restored my system back to just before I originally installed it (was only a few days ago), reinstalled it again. And the same thing ... this message sometimes comes, up sometimes it doesn't.

Anyone have any ideas how to get around this? I have looked at installing .dll from a website but a lot of techie forums completely advise against this.

As I am typing I am taking a stab in the dark and thinking that the issue might be installing Articulate and THEN the Flip software. If I did it the other way around, I might have more luck. It's just very odd that it is only an issue sometimes.

For info, I am running Windows 7 32 bit. 

(Sorry for the very long first post!) 

13 Replies
James McLuckie

Little bit more info: I tried deinstalling both Articulate and the FlipVideo software. I reinstalled Flip software first, then Articulate, but still get the same issue.

This is the 3ivx MGEG software that comes with it: http://www.3ivx.com/technology/filters/media_muxer.html If I deinstall this, Video Encoder works semi-fine, with the exception of the odd rogue "3ivx isn't installed message".

Steve Flowers

The flipcam output can behave oddball at times. The secret is to transcode the Flipcam output (I think the Flipcam encodes to xvid MP4's) to something a bit more friendly. I've used a program called virtualdub and some careful arrangement of codecs / plug-ins to make it work. I'm not at my work machine so I don't recall all of the details but this might be a workable path for you to get your mp4's into a neatly editable and malleable DV-AVI format that the articulate encoder shouldn't have any trouble with.

Virtualdub is free and really handy for quick cuts and screengrabs:

http://www.virtualdub.org/download.html

Alternatively, there are a few conversion utilities available that might do the trick. I haven't tried any of these but googling Flip to FLV will show a bunch.

If I find the combination of plug-ins that worked for me I'll post in reply. You might have some luck searching for virtualdub and Flipcam.

Steve Flowers

Some other things you can do with virtualdub and plug-ins (this one is called deshaker):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaPNf2Rk4qQ&feature=related

I like virtualdub Can you tell? We used it for a few courses years back to run out incremental screengrabs for stills. It worked like a charm.

James McLuckie

Thanks for the reply and the detailed advice, Steve. Good of you to take the time.

I actually haven't used any of the videos that I have created on Flip in Video Encoder. The .mp4 files I have put into Video Encoder have either been existing ones or new screen captures recorded on Camtasia. In a new twist, the .mp4s will actually now play (rather than just give me a black screen), but the time line still doesn't progress and if I try to publish them, then I get an error messages and the big red cross in the video player.

No issues at all with playing and publishing .wmv files.

I suppose, in the great scheme of things, this doesn't really matter as I can put .mp4 directly into Presenter and they publish just fine. It's just a bit bizarre why this is happening. I have tried playing my .mp4 files in other applications such as Quicktime and directly in browser windows, and all is well. 

Steve Flowers

Strange. Sounds a bit like the Flip application monkeyed with the encoder settings. Could be an issue of encoder compatibility. Perhaps the Flipcam app overwrote something critical to the Articulate encoder? If you installed the Articulate encoder first (before the flipcam app) have you tried reinstalling the Articulate encoder?

James McLuckie

Yeah, have tired it both ways. Installed Articulate first, then the Flip software. Deinstalled them both, and reinstalled Flip THEN Articulate. 

What's also interesting is that when I first installed Camtasia last week, before I had installed the Flip software, it did say during the install process "Can't find the 3ivx.dll library", but I was able to click past that. However (for reasons I won't go into here) I had to reinstall Camtasia today, with the Flip software now on my PC, and there were no error messages during the install process.

Nothing is every simple when it comes to video encoding is it! 

Tom Kuhlmann

http://www.free-codecs.com/download/k_lite_codec_pack.htm

Try installing the K-lite codec pack.  I had issues where the Flipcam, MP4s didn't play properly, and that solved the issue.

I took all of the Flipcam software off my PC because it caused issues any time I did anything video related.  Eventually just switched to a comparable Kodak because I could swap batteries and remove storage.

James McLuckie

Thanks, Tom. I have completely removed the Flip software. I'll just drag any videos from the Flip drive onto my hard drive and edit them in Windows Movie Maker. 

Have just tried converting a video that originated from the Flip camera in Video Encoder - worked fine. (Wasn't working when the Flip software was installed.)

Fingers crossed I don't get the intermittent "The program won't start because 3ivx.dll is missing" anymore. 

Steve and Tom ... thank you both very much.

Tom Kuhlmann

I have the Zi6, but thinking about upgrading to Kodak Zi8.

I like the Flip, but here;s why I switched to the Kodak:

  • Flip had built in battery, if it's drained, you're SOL.  With the Kodak, you can easily swap out batteries to keep going.
  • I like that I can upgrade memory with the SD cards.
  • I don't have to shoot in HD.  HD is great, but I was getting massive vids that were taking too long to upload.  Sometimes I just want to shoot in a smaller resolution.  The Kodak allows that.

The Kodak Zi8 allows for external mic input.  The big drawback with the small cams is that you get limited audio control.  However, that changes with the mic input.  

Steve Flowers

The price is right. I may pick one of these up for some situations. We do quite a bit of work with SME's that are thousands of miles away. Our plan has been to ship through the mail and have folks film themselves performing certain tasks. We figure this might save some travel for task analyses. I like to have one of these in my bag for those odd capture opportunities.

I've been eyeballing the Olympus Pen as well for myself. We have a few DSLR's but they are so bulky and getting on the edge of their life. The accessory shoe allows for external mic connection as well. The pics and videos I've seen taken with this gizmo look pretty good.

Pen External Mic Adaptor