Thursday, 16 December 2010

2 Linux Screencasting Applications

recordMyDesktop - This is a powerful command-line screencasting application which uses open formats to save the obtaining video (Ogg Theora for video and Ogg Vorbis for audio). recordMyDesktop also provides GTK and Qt frontends, for both GNOME and KDE (the Qt version is not included in Ubuntu's repositories, but it can be downloaded from SourceForge).

However, recordMyDesktop seems unable to record sound, the program hanging there so I had to kill it manually. It will successfully record 3D in Ubuntu if 3D effects are enabled. At start I though it was a video related issue, so I looked in the man page and the bugs section specifies that it will not work unless the --full-shots parameter is specified in the command-line. I did it and no result. I also tried changing the --fps option to 8 fps but still no result, with the program hanging there so I had to kill it manually. I used Ubuntu 10.10 with the version of recordMyDesktop which comes in the repositories (which seems to be unmaintained since 2009). However, I gave it a try by disabling sound recording, and it turned out that was the issue. After I googled it, I also tried to change the sound driver to hw:0,0 but again, no results, this time I got an I/O error. Should this have something with the sound driver? Maybe someone knows a workaround for this.

To use it, just type recordmydesktop in a terminal and hit Ctrl+C when done, then wait for the file to be encoded. By default it will save the video in a file called out.ogv, in the current working directory. Options like --fps, --no-cursor, --on-the-fly-encoding or the output filename can also be specified. For example:
recordmydesktop --no-sound --fps 8 --on-the-fly-encoding myfile.ogv
Will encode a video called myfile.ogv of the entire screen, with no sound, using on the fly encoding and a framerate of 8 fps.
To install it in Ubuntu, type in a terminal: sudo apt-get install recordmydesktop
Or, for the graphical frontend: sudo apt-get install gtk-recordmydesktop
The graphical frontend offers a nice graphical configuration window, so some may be more comfortable with this one.
Istanbul - Istanbul is written in Python and it offers a few less features than recordMyDesktop. It allows to select area or window to record, 3D record, enable/disable mouse pointer recording, and choose the size of the video (full, half or quarter width and height). It saves the file as an Ogg Theora video. Again, I had problems with recording sound, I believe I'm doing something wrong here.
To install in Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install istanbul

Another application to include here would be Wink, a freeware software presentation application with ports for both Linux and Windows. Bear in mind though that Wink is not free software. Wink allows to create presentations, include voice recording, explanatory popup boxes, exporting to Flash video. I should also mention the powerful Xvidcap (GTK) and reKordmydesktop (KDE frontend to recordMyDesktop), which, although they don't seem to be maintained anymore, still offer a good amount of features.
Have some more? Please share!


Anonymous said...

Whenever I use recordMyDesktop, I use a USB Microphone and it works perfect. I have a Guitar Hero (Xbox 360) mic, you just need to plug it in, and set it up within the sound preferences "input." I usually have problems with using the jack on the sound card, it requires a lot of tweaking to get it to work, so I went with a USB mic.

Emil Beli said...

You probably need to get drid of PulseAudio crap

Kevin (Whizard72) said...

Try This:

Anonymous said...

Also try this,

And these.

Penguini said...

I use Istanbul but I need to set it to "half screen " for flawless recording on my main box. To me it seems as if both desktop recorders worked better in 2007 than they do today.

Anonymous said...

From my research you need to set 'record my desktop' to use the 'pulse' device, with the use of the pavucontrol tool. Ive not managed to get it working either.

I get so tired of people saying 'get rid of pulse'