Xvidcap

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With xvidcap you can capture a video from your screen. This allows for example to communicate problems on your computer easily.

Setup

Set your video display to something small and manageable... I did my first screen grab at 1000s of colors, 1028 X 960 (?) and each frame was 1.2 meg! 240 frames and my machine 800 MgHz AMD/ 1 GIG Ram / RH9 choked on trying to make that set into a movie.

Installing and Running

(Click on "Download" directly to the right of "xvidcap" to view downloads. Select "xvidcap_*_i386.deb", "xvidcap-*-i486-1_slack11.0.tgz", or "xvidcap-*.tar.gz" depending on your distribution. If you use Fedora, you might try searching here http://freshrpms.net )

See installing software. The executable of xvidcap is xvidcap.

Configuring

.xvidcap.scf

Note: The following config file originates from version 1.1.3


#SCFF
# xvidcap configuration file

# frames per second
fps: 5.000000

# file pattern
file: capture-01.mpeg

# max frames 
max_frames: 0

# max time 
max_time: 0.000000

# quality (JPEG)
quality: 15

# compression (PNG, GZIP)
compression: 0 

# use shared memory
shm: 16

# video codec used by ffmpeg
codec: MPEG4

# what kind of mouse pointer should be recorded?
# 0 = none, 1 = white, 2 = black
mouse_wanted: 2

# toggle audio capture (0/1)
audio: 1

# device to grab audio from
audio_in: /dev/dsp

# sample rate for audio capture
audio_rate: 22050

# bit rate for audio capture
audio_bits: 32000

# number of channels to use in audio capture
audio_channels: 1

Playback

Use a video player(ie. xine) for movie playback.

xvidcap can save a series of screen grabs XXX.xwd files, they are numbered sequentially (File format .xwd)

Pros

  • audio recording
  • clicking on the target icon will record the entire screen

Cons

  • bad gui control interface
  • maximizing target recording area hides GUI toolbar.
  • The arrow key on the GUI advances the XXX.xwd but apparently is not acting as a manual screen grab tool
    • If an audio controller interface and the arrow key did in fact function as an incremental screen grabber xvidcap may be very useful for doing 'stop motion' videos of the linux interface with voice overs
  • doesn't prompt user for location of save screen grabs
  • no project folder prompt
  • GUI is not very opaque in its usage
  • movie playback happens in imagemagick though there is supposedly a way to do the playback as an mpeg4 file

Alternative Desktop Recorders

  • Video_capture
  • Another alternative is gvidcap. If there are problems with crashing, it may be due to a clash in png libraries. Compilation from source resolves this error and allows gvidcap to run without crashing. The gvidcap client provides an interface a lot more convenient to setting preferences. The animate command is strictly for animating a sequence of images and will not work with mpegs. Use your usual video player.
    • It should be noted that gvidcap is simply xvidcap called via a symbolic link - xvidcap uses the 0th parameter to determine whether to use the alternative interface.
  • http://www.debugmode.com/wink/