Desktop Capture Software

There comes a time in a person’s life when the need to record or photograph everything in their life becomes an obsession.  No, that hasn’t happened to you?  I guess it is just me.  Regardless, eventually everyone will come to a point in their life where they will need to record or photograph themselves or their activities.  A webcam, digital camcorder, or digital camera will more than suffice for your recording activities taking place out in the real world.  The problem occurs when you want to record video of yourself using the internet or a program on your computer.  Technically, you can use your existing camcorder to record over your shoulder but that just looks tacky.  So what do you do?  Fear not little fella, for I will introduce you to the magic of desktop capturing software.

What is it?

Desktop capturing software is a program you can install on your computer that records what is on your desktop.  Anything you can see on your desktop can be turned into a video.  Desktop capturing software does vary from program to program.  Some programs records both video and audio (either from the programs running or your own commentary), others only record video, and some could even record you playing video games.  In addition to the various features, the price range for these programs also vary.  Some software can price for as much as $500 that include cool little features.  For now, I will focus on three: CamStudio, Taksi, and FRAPS.

CamStudio

CamStudio is free software that can be downloaded by following this link and running the installation process.  CamStudio is one of the best programs out there you can use to capture your desktop activities.  I use it whenever I need to make a video on how to teach others how to use certain programs.  It is very easy to use.  Just push the play button when you want to start recording and then just push stop to stop the video.  As far as I know, there is no limit to the amount of video you can record using CamStudio.

Taksi

Taksi is free software designed to capture your video game activity.  Its was design to imitate FRAPS in all except price.  I unfortunately do not have very good luck with Taksi.  I was able to make some videos work such as this one; however, the quality does not look good.  It could be that my computer is not powerful enough to run its maximum potential.  If anyone can get it to work, let me know by contacting me through the comments or social media.

FRAPS

So far, FRAPS is my favorite software to use whenever I want to record any of my video game gameplays.  It is easy to use, the quality is beautiful, and the format the videos are saved in are easy to manipulate.  The best part is that FRAPS is easily available for only a one time payment of $37 and it includes free updates for as long as you have the program.  If you want to try out the program before you buy it, there is a free trial version of FRAPS available to download.  Just remember that with the free version you can only record up to 30 seconds and every video you record will have a watermark advertising FRAPS.  Here is a little sample of me using FRAPS to record myself playing Bioshock.

Have any other desktop capturing software you prefer?  Let everyone know by commenting below.

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