3 Ways to remove the GoToMeeting codec from your recording.

3 Ways to remove the GoToMeeting codec from your recording.

UPDATE: These methods are no longer needed, please see my most recent recordings post, Ch ch ch changes to GoToMeeting Recordings.

As you may already know (or have just discovered), when you record a GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar or GoToTraining, a codec is applied to the WMV file.  The codec is used to compress the size of the recording, but unfortunately it can get in the way when you try to edit the file.

The good news is that you can always remove the codec from your recording, here are the 3 methods:

Method 1

Configure the GoToMeeting Recording Preferences to automatically remove the codec at the end of the session.  This is handy because it’s an automatic process but the down side is it ties up your PC right after your session.

Method 2

Use the new Transcoding Wizard provided by GoToMeeting.

Method 3

Use the free Expression Encoder from Microsoft as documented here to remove the codec and edit the recording.  The benefit of this method is it lets you remove to codec whenever you want plus you can edit the recording.  The downside is the free version of this application does not let you convert the recording from WMV to another format, but there are other free applications you can use to achieve this.

If you are having trouble with this method, it may be due to changes made in GoToMeeting v5.4.  Please see this new post for a solution: https://glenndcitrix.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/using-microsoft-expression-encoder-with-gotomeeting-v5-4/

I would like to thank everyone who have left comments, and shared their own helpful tips!


44 thoughts on “3 Ways to remove the GoToMeeting codec from your recording.

  1. Wouldn’t it be dandy if Citrix simply recorded in a nifty MP4 format with a H.264 codec that always played nicely? Not only would it be easier for webinar organizers who want to have nice archives, it would probably stream better from the Citrix servers and be easier for people to watch on mobile devices.

    What’s up with Citrix giving customers almost what they want, instead of what they want? It’s like renting cars that only turn right – sure, you can get there – it just takes a little longer.

    And to be sure, I’m a Citrix corporate customer who thinks they do a better job than everyone else in the space. How about that?

    BTW, about that MP4 codec and recording software – they acquired it when they bought Netviewer a year ago.

    1. Hi Gary, the current recording feature was built into GoToMeeting quite a while ago, maybe even before Citrix purchased Expertcity, it’s hard to remember. Back then OS X was yet to take off, a 40GB hard drive in a work PC was pretty standard and the codec made sense. A complete over haul of the recording feature has been talked about for a while now, but as it’s built into the software itself I don’t think it’s a simple task to replace. I know our developers are working on a lot things for our collaboration products, like constantly improving audio, making the join process smoother and easier not to mention the stability and reliability of the service. I completely understand your frustration, it’s the main reason I started this blog in the first place. I promise I will do everything I can to have the recording feature updated sooner rather than later.


      1. I understand that the GTW WMV codec is probably hard coded. So why not create a separate app that users can download and convert your files into industry standard files like MP4 h264 on their computers? Surely such an app wouldn’t be a big cost. Possibly a few thousand dollars. A drop in the pond for Citrix.

        This is priority. The number of times I have had to waste 2 days of my time messing around with incompletely converted GTW files. Honestly, it drives you crazy.

        It’s one of the catalysts that made me investigate other webinar solutions. But as it stands GTW is still the best in my opinion. However, I wouldn’t rely on that being the case for too much longer. If you don’t take care of your customers, as soon as there is a better alternative your customers will jump ship.

  2. This clear set of instructions is perfect and does exactly what it says on the tin, cleared up some confusion and solved the issue I was having in no time. Thank-you!

  3. Thanks Glenn, your promise is appreciated. Hopefully, management will hear you and send someone to look over just what Citrix got from the Netviewer deal. That was an awesome platform in so many respects. Not only did it have its production strengths and a great following in Europe, the servers and network end also worked really well.

    Back to the recording, is there a link to the batch file somewhere?

  4. I have purchased webinar recordings and can’t play them on my Mac because of the codec. I do not have Go To Webinar installed on my computer. Is there any way I can edit the .wmv files to remove the codec so I can, with the help of Fllp4Mac, play them? I do have access to a Windows XP computer if needed.

    Will method 2 (using the free Expression Encoder) work? You say use it “as documented here” – but I can’t find that documentation.

  5. Glenn,
    Thanks for the directions!

    Yeah…when is that new improved recording quality coming for GTW? You’re one of the few Citrix people I’ve talked to who tells it like it is and admits the recording audio quality is not great. BTW it was much better before the VoIP was added. If the engineers could just make a phone only version of the client that records the old way I could get a recording that sounds as nice as it did when it left my phone patch.
    Another solution would be to roll off the high end in the software somehow. That’s where most of the the problem is (every thing above 2500-5000 khz.) To quickly ‘fix’ an archive that’s what I do EQ the top out.

    The GoView engine outputs mp4. I’d take it over the GTW archiving…audiowise anyway. Can’t beat the small file size of a GTW wmv.

  6. I’m also a Citrix corporate customer who would like better recording options (MP4 + H.264). The three workarounds listed above really don’t work for us because we record too many meetings. It isn’t feasible to dedicate most of a FTE to removing the G2M4 codec individually from files.

    For anyone that needs to get rid of G2M4, convert to MP4, and is willing to pay for some software:
    1) Get Rhozet Carbon Coder OR
    2) Get Microsoft Expressions Encoder PRO (The PRO part lets you conver to MP4)

    You can configure both of these to have “watch folders”. Drop a G2M4 encoded file into the watch folder and the software will convert to MP4 based on some profile settings that you can configure. It will take you some time to configure… but it is much better than doing it manually. Heads up, for Expression Encoder PRO you will need to be able to compile .NET code for the watch folder feature.

  7. Thanks, Glenn, and hooray for your commitment to finally get some of these long-standing GTW frustrations fixed.

    The audio is the biggest one. Thanks for admitting it’s a problem. GTW customer service has not been quite so forthcoming, despite the obvious dismal quality of the recordings. It’s hard to understand why it’s so terrible. I regularly record my call audio via a 3-way call to a separate service (callbandit.com – free and simple to use). The call itself sounds fine; the CallBandit recording sounds fine; the GTW recording of the same exact call sounds awful. Seems like that should be a simple thing to fix, therefore … no?

    Any advice from others on the quickest (preferably free) path to either fixing the audio on the existing recordings, or replacing it with my CallBandit recordings, please let me know.

    The problem of the G2M4-format files sometimes failing to convert to WMV3 has cost me mucho time. Seems like the more complex the video, the more like the conversion is to fail (and there’s no notification that it’s failed – I had to discover this problem the hard way – from frustrated viewers). Glad to finally have a fix, but it still takes up way too much time, now that I know I need to check every video to see if it’s converted (they behave the same on my end, but not for my viewers!), and then manually convert them if not. Thanks for the batch file, which is a big improvement over running g2mtranscoder manually. It’s less work, and it has the huge added bonus of displaying the little window that shows the progress of the conversion as it runs. G2mtranscoder runs “blind”, so I can’t tell how far it’s gotten and need to keep checking the Task Manager (or listening to the whirring hard drive!) until it finishes.

    Also, a warning to others (I wasted a LOT of time on this): be sure to run the conversion in a folder you own. I ran it numerous times in various folders that (because I have Administrator rights) I am able to write to from other applications (like Windows Explorer!), but that my “user” account doesn’t own. The transcoder runs just fine – whirs away for 20-30 minutes or more, depending on the complexity and size of the video … then leaves the video file completely unchanged. Very frustrating, until I figured out the problem. This may be only a Windows 7 issue, but I sure wish I’d known this up front. It’s the only program I’ve ever had trouble running in arbitrary folders.

    Thanks, Glenn, and keep us posted on progress with these udpates.

    Another I’d like to see is a way that 1) participants can receive and use the call-in number without having to start up G2M on a computer to see it (it doesn’t currently come to them in any of the emails they receive), and (along with that) 2) those participants (who call in without being on the computer) are visible to me so I can unmute them and they can participate in the webinar by phone only.

    G2M is the best service I’ve found of its kind – that’s why I use it. AND, it sure would be nice if some of its features worked a whole lot better. Thanks for your support!

    1. TPA,
      I take the archive and replace the audio recorded via phone in Sony Vegas, but you could do the same in many video editors (Sony has an inexpensive version called Movie Studio, there’s Camatasia, MS Movie Maker, etc…and I imagine iMovie would let you swap audio on Mac.) The only drag (besides wasted time) is the file size will be much larger (2-4x) than the original archive.

      A slightly quicker approach is to use the nasty audio from the GTW archive, but cut all the high frequencies out (where the distortion is). This you must also do in a video editor that has audio tools like EQ. You’ll get a slightly muffled recording that sounds way better than the original but not as good as a phone recording.

      You can also record the VoIP broadcast audio externally…just pipe it into a recorder (another computer) of some kind. Then edit into the archive like a phone recording. I find the the live VoIP sound pretty good.

  8. Glenn – Thanks for this blog post and awesome shout out @GotoDane, this was a huge time saver and so that I can go ahead and edit our goto meeting recordings on my Mac.



  9. I have a MacBookPro. I can not get to the training that I need, because everything that apple tech, told me to download and try did not work. I would like to know do anyone know how I can see this training? The training is wmv and I downloaded Flip4WMV and quick time but that did not work.

    1. Hi Karen, it sounds like the recording still has the GoToMeeting codec present, unfortunately it is not Mac compatible. Someone will need to use a PC and follow my guide to remove the codec from the recording.

  10. Dane – you are my hero – I tried several methods to remove the GTM codec to no avail – countless hours spent running conversions, installing various software packages, etc. Your batch file is the only thing that has worked!

  11. Since the recordings i need to convert are from a vendor who makes them available for download after our meetings, this Method 3 is the bomb-diggity. I like the goto thing better than our Webex thing. ARF!

  12. This is gold! The converter saves me a lot of time as I sometimes forget to remove a character (&, !, etc.) in the training title. With such a character in the title the conversion to standard wmv does not work…I used to transcode with Sony Vegas, that took ages!

  13. Glenn, looking for advice. We are just launching a webinar program. I hired someone to edit the video but I am torn as to where to host it and in what format. MP4? MOV?. We want to give our community instant access it. Private You Tube channel, linked from our website (WordPress site)? Vimeo Pro site? We want to keep our branding. Any advice is appreciated. I didn’t realize the GTW made it so complicated.

  14. Thank you!

    After installing the G2M4 codec and trying all 3 methods everything had fail. But I was getting the “Transcoding Initialization error” message when I was using the batch file of method 3 and it didn’t make any sense. So I called Citrix customer service. Well, Todd I believe was his name, says “try renaming the file to something simpler, make sure there are NO SPECIAL CHARACTERS IN THE FILENAME.” (emphasis added). I did just that and the file decoded right away with no further problems.

    Just thought I would share this before someone else gives up.

    And Thanks to Todd at Citrix customer service.

  15. This converter worked great for a few months, but it seems to have stopped working, and I now get a “transcoding initialization error” Anyone else having this problem?

    1. I have solved my own problem, and just in case anyone else has it, the file name was too long! I cut it down to a single word and the converter worked just fine.

  16. Learned something the other day – if you’re using method #3 described in this post, you need to either use the same computer that recorded the webinar, or copy the g2mtranscoder.exe and G2M.dll from the computer that recorded the webinar to the computer you are using for this method.

  17. I tried #3 but unfortunatley it did not work. Everytime I drag and drop the file and enter my built number and press the enter button the window closes and nothing happens. My file name is short and does not have special characters, I am using the computer that recorded the file, gotomeeting is installed on it and even running. I really don’t know what else to do?

      1. Hi Glenn, thanks for your answer. I did this, but it didn’t help – I still got the same problem. If I drag and drop the file and type my batch number and hit enter, a new line appears but the window closes too fast and I cannot read what it says – but I guess it’s some error message?!

  18. Although I think GTM should use a more user friendly format/codec/whatever, this batch file converter tool works great for now. Thanks so much for writing and offering it to the public. It save me from the command prompt headaches.

  19. Thanks for providing this helpful tool. The GTM Codec prevents SharePoint from correctly playing a recorded meeting and returns a “Media Failed to Load” error when using the silverlight webpart. Embedding the video also solves this problem, but the silverlight webpart is preferred and thanks to this, we will be able to keep that uniformity.

  20. I use the converter tool for converting my webinars into the right codec. Since I have a new version of the gotomeeting software it does not work anymore. When I drag the file into it, put in the build number (I use 1132 now) it does not start converting anymore. Anybody else having issues with the converter or knows how to solve this issue?

    1. Hi, it may be an issue with the version of codec you currently have installed. I would recommend uninstalling and reinstalling GoToMeeting from your PC, this will clear out any old versions and ensure you have the most current codec. If that does not work, please call GoToMeeting Support.

  21. What about if I want to add the codec to a wmv file to upload and archive on g2w (reverse process!)? We recently had a power outage during one of our webinars and the g2w recording failed. But luckily we were running camtasia and so have a backup. I’ve been unable to get g2w to archive the converted wmv file though. I’ve ran it through Expression Encoder. Gw2 rejects the file (“incorrect extension or is not a WMV file”). Any ideas? Customer support hasn’t been much help. I’m about to just host the file on our own site and send a direct link to that.

    1. Hi, if you convert the recording to a regular WMV file (without the codec), you should be able to upload it. If you load it into Expression Encoder you should be able to encode it and select .WMV

    2. Weird! It should upload as a standard wmv. As last resort you could create a new recording via a new dummy webinar.

      Either perform the slides again to recorded audio or record the Camtasia playback (won’t be as clear but if you have lots of screen action may be easier than re-performing everything.) You can patch the audio on same computer by running a cable from the output to the input (or sometimes internally in the sound card.) Do a short test first.Then record entire program; upload that to original webinar.

      But I would try everything possible to get a standard wmv so your Mac OS viewers can watch too.
      And I would give customer support several calls…you may get someone more experienced, with more ideas to try.

  22. Hi
    I have an mp4 recording of a meeting from a colleague which he did not convert after the meeting. I can play it WMP, but I would like to remove the g2m4 codec so that I can upload it onto YouTube. Previously I had no problem using your suggested methods on unconverted wmv files, but this new version makes mp4 files and I haven’t been able to use the old methods. I would be grateful for help with this.

    1. Hi, with the recent changes to the GoToMeeting recording feature, the codec is automatically removed when the file is converted to .wmv or .mp4 with the GoToMeeting Recording Manager. Recordings that have not been converted and still contain the codec, now have a .g2m file extension. You should not need to do anything to the .mp4 recording before you upload it to YouTube.

      1. Thank you Glenn, that is what I thought too, but when I uploaded the mp4 on YouTube, the audio was missing and hence my confusion.

      2. Sorry about that, i have heard of that happening with some .mp4 files. If you contact the person who sent you the recording, have them make a .wmv copy and then upload that. YouTube will be able to convert it. Their recording will be in C:Documents/Original, if they copy it to their Documents folder they can run the Recording Manager again and make a .wmv version.

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