The other day I came across a Windows Media file that would not play correctly on any player on Mac or PC. The audio track played fine, but there was no video – it was black. Nor would any encoding software convert the file to Flash Video, which is what was really needed. 

Looking in Quicktime’s Movie Inspector I could at least tell that the video was in “G2M3” format. G2M3 is a proprietary codec, used in GoToMeeting by default when you save a recorded session.

GoToMeeting allows users to record meetings in either G2M3 or in standard Windows Media format. The latter choice is likely to be overlooked by most users, so chances are their recordings will be un-viewable and un-convertable on non-GoToMeeting software. However, even if a GoToMeeting session has been recorded in the proprietary format  you can still convert the file after the fact using a little application called g2mtranscoder that is installed in the GoToMeeting folder.

A PC is required to transcode G2M3 files. If you have only a Mac available, you are unfortunately out of luck. I tried a few of the online media conversion services to see if they could handle these files, but they also rejected the file without converting.

From the GoToMeeting FAQ:

**To view a meeting recorded in the Windows Media format, you will have to wait until the conversion process has finished. GoToMeeting converts the recorded meeting into a Windows Media Player file after the meeting is over to avoid slowing down the computer during the meeting.
***Mac® users cannot record meetings at this time. They can only view meetings recorded in the Windows Media format and may need to click a button to install Windows Media components for QuickTime before viewing.

Click this link to install GoToMeeting, on your PC.

Once GoToMeeting is installed, you’ll notice that you will can now view G2M3 videos within Windows Media Player. But conversion tools and other software such as Camtasia, Captivate and Presenter will still not be able to read them. They can be them to standard Windows Media format using the following instructions (thanks to Ben Littler for these)

    1. Navigate to your GoToMeeting program files folder. Typically this will be in C:Program FilesCitrixGoToMeeting320.
    2. Copy your GoToMeeting recording to this directory.
    3. Open the command line. On Vista / Windows 7, click the Start button and in the search box type: cmd and press Enter; in Windows XP, click the Start button, select Run, and type: cmd and press Enter.
    4. Type: cd C:Program FilesCitrixGoToMeeting320 and press Enter. This should take you to the GTM directory.
    5. Type: g2mtranscoder source=GoToMeetingRecording.wmv (replace with the name of your GTM video).
    6. Hint: you can copy and paste into the command line window by clicking the C: icon from the command line window and selecting Edit > Paste.

Once the conversion has completed, the file can be imported or converted as a normal Windows Media file would be.