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I want to record a live online video show (record the computer screen) I'm attending. The total length will be four hours.

I know about the free Camstudio (Windows), which is able to record video. I just did a rough estimate of the resulting video by recording 1 minute of screen video with sound and the file size was about 40MB. Four hours would then be 9,6GB.

I'm wondering what choices in terms of programs I have and whether CamStudio will be enough to do the job or whether it will break at e.g. 2GB file size. Is there any other free alternative?

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What OS are you using? –  Griffin Mar 14 '13 at 14:42
    
Good question @Griffin - Windows. Camstudio was implying that but you're right to ask. –  Dennis G Mar 15 '13 at 13:00
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5 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Camstudio should be able to produce much smaller videos. It depends on the video codec used. Jawor's Xvid codec is often recommended. But with 4 hours you will probably exceed the 2 GB file size limitation.

I suggest to take a look at Open Broadcaster Software. It's a very powerful open source recording and broadcasting software and uses the highly efficient x.264 encoder.

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Ive had really good experience with FFSplit, have been using it since version 0.4 and it gets better all the time. Its primarily a streaming software for twitch.tv and other services the like, however it does have standalone capture functionality. I use it to stream 1080p to twitch all the time. But you can modify the frame rate, bit rate, resolution all that jazz.

I usually stream to twitch and then download the stream data after, as my hard drives have a hard time keeping up with disk I/O when I'm play a game trying to capture 1080p at the same time. Being concerned about space this would probably be a good option for you, because a 2GB constraint is quite low for 4 hours of video straight out of a capture program at any decent quality.

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Try this: http://www.bbsoftware.co.uk/BBFlashBack_FreePlayer.aspx
Its free for 30 days. Requires you to create an account(again free) after 30 days..

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If you're running Windows 7 then FRAPS does a good job. It's made mostly for games, but you can tell it to record the windows desktop. The downside however is that the files are effectively uncompressed and truly massive. 10 minute of video clocks at around 15GB for 1080p at 30 frames/second. So 4 hours would require about 3.6TB of storage.

However it does mean that you get the highest possible quality for subsequent editing.

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If it's that long I'd say don't use a video, or take screenshots and then add them to your video. Debug Mode makes a neat program called Wink which takes screenshots and allows you to add annotations:

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