I've some videos (avi formatted) that can only be opened by its own software (a game which has special codecs, as far as I understand).

I want them to open in any video player. Is there a way to record these videos?

I tried a few destop recorders but they failed to capture the video (non-windowed regions stayed as black).

  • Are you talking about "Bink" videos ? (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bink_Video)
    – Gnoupi
    Oct 28, 2009 at 8:53
  • No, game has some avi'es. but normal players can't play them. They give errors, codec or unidentified file, etc.
    – evowinds
    Oct 28, 2009 at 8:57
  • Which game are you talking about?
    – Snark
    Oct 28, 2009 at 9:04
  • Note: we are talking about a video played in a game, although the question is not especially specific to videogames. It is about recording a video while it is being played on screen. (it would be the same issue if it was to record a video played by some proprietary program only). The problem here is to be able to record video on screen, which is particular in the fact that it won't be captured by regular desktop recorders.
    – Gnoupi
    Oct 28, 2009 at 9:13
  • why don't you just tell us the name of the game?
    – Molly7244
    Oct 29, 2009 at 12:38

3 Answers 3


Have you tried GSpot to try and identify the codec? If it is publicly available then you should be able to grab the codec. A large number of codecs are available in some of the packages to be found at FileHippo.

  • Search for codecs in free-codecs.com.
    – harrymc
    Oct 28, 2009 at 10:07
  • 1
    It's possible also that it's not an exotic codec, but simply that the file is encrypted, like often with resources in videogames.
    – Gnoupi
    Oct 28, 2009 at 10:17
  • Yes I 've just tried GSpot but didn't work. I think they are encrypted..
    – evowinds
    Oct 28, 2009 at 11:49

I don't know how well it goes with played videos, but for games, there are specialized programs to record what is on screen.

  • Xfire is originally an in-game messenger, but it can also record videos, and is free to use (this requires the game to be recognized by them, though, so it has to be quite known).
  • Fraps is also able to record videos from games, but the free version will have watermarked and shorter videos. You can try with it, though, and see if it works.

(Disclaimer: the original question is not specific to videogames, but since it is about it, I provide answer more likely to work with them.)



CamStudio is able to record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create industry-standard AVI video files and using its built-in SWF Producer can turn those AVIs into lean, mean, bandwidth-friendly Streaming Flash videos (SWFs)


This is for uploading screencasts of video games, but they also provide a free Windows software for recording games on the computer. Just start the software, launch your game and hit record.

Game recording software similar to FRAPS but is open source and free. Can capture game screenshots or video clips of running games but without audio, in full screen mode with hotkeys.

Game Cam
Free software for making movies of your favorite games on Windows. It will automatically search for games installed on your computer and will create an individual recording profile of every game. Game Cam can capture game screen shots, videos in AVI as well as audio.


This ACA Capture Pro article explains the problem and contains a solution:
How to re-record other video files playing on the screen

Sometime people want to record playing video with ACA Capture Pro other movies and games, that they see playing on the web or in Microsoft Media Player, RealMedia RealPlayer, Apple's Quick Time Player etc.. The problem they face is that often these players use video overlay for faster, smoother playback of the movie. A video overlay is invisible to Windows screen capture software like ACA Capture Pro, because it is handled by a special video hardware. ACA Capture Pro will then record only a solid color block (usually pink, blue or black, the so called "overlay key color"), which is all Windows sees at the place where the movie is played. But all is not lost, the overlay use for playback may be sometimes turned off, at least temporarily for recording.

The article offers the following solutions:

  • Method 1: Disable "hardware acceleration" from your video player.
  • Method 2: Disable "Hardware acceleration" from your display properties.
  • Is this one able to catch videos playing on screen as well ?
    – Gnoupi
    Oct 28, 2009 at 10:19
  • 1
    I tried a few examples, but non-windowed regions stayed as black. they didn't record the video file I mean played avi files.
    – evowinds
    Oct 28, 2009 at 10:26
  • You might ask about it in their forums at camstudio.org/forum.
    – harrymc
    Oct 28, 2009 at 10:29
  • What does they didn't record the video file I mean played avi files mean? You can play the video in that game, right? So, this is they didn't record the avi files while they were playing I guess?
    – Arjan
    Oct 28, 2009 at 10:55
  • @Arjan, it means the same effect as when you try to take a screenshot of a playing video in a regular media player. The window will show, but the video will be a black area.
    – Gnoupi
    Oct 28, 2009 at 10:56

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