Whether you are reviewing a software application or new features of a newly released operating system (for instance), the use of multimedia content as the medium for promoting the content, is fast becoming prominent. If you are big time into that, then having installed a screen recorder is a must.
If you use Ubuntu, then there are few screen recorders available. Some have excellent features and others are too simple and do not capture the audio input. If you are looking for a screen recorder that comes with versatile features and integrates well with Unity (system tray) and Linux Mint’s Cinnamon (plus Gnome Shell), then you should try ‘Screencastor’.
It is actually a front-end that uses ‘ffmpeg’ for the encoding and as I put in the title it is multithreaded too. Therefore, if you have a newer processor with multiple cores, then you can make use of that feature for speeding up the encoding times.
It only supports capturing the whole screen rather than a chosen area, but being said that, it comes with few other options that will come in handy.
*. Captures the content using x264 (put the video into H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format), WebM (a format that is getting exceeding propular in HTML5 standard) and Flash.
*. Supports adjusting the video bitrate.
*. By default it does not come with any presets.
However, once installed and as soon as you click on the small down-arrow under the ‘Presets’ option, it will download a big list of presets that you can use. Some lets you encode the video stream in a certain resolution, different quality settings, encode into formats that supports iPod etc.
*. If you know your way around ‘ffmpeg’, then you can pass different command-line arguments too.
*. Change video ‘quantizer’ value (if you do not know what that is, then leave it alone).
*. Change how many threads should be used.
*. Supports a big number of audio formats (MP3, OGG Vorbis, Speex, AAC, MP2, WMA 1/2 etc).
*. Change audio frequency and the bitrate.
*. Change sound server settings.
*. Add a delay before the capture.
*. Add a capturing time-frame.
*. Change file output location.
*. Supports MKV, AVI, MP4, FLV, WebM and nut container formats.
*. Also shows you a terminal output (handy while troubleshooting errors).
*. Supports minimizing into the system tray area of both Unity and Cinnamon desktops.
If interested, you can install ‘Screencastor’ in Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal, Linux Mint 14, 12.04 Precise Pangolin, 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, 11.04 and 10.10 by using the below command in your Terminal (we’re using its PPA).
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:hizo/screencastor
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ffmpeg
And then enter the below command to install the application.
sudo apt-get install screencastor
Then search for it in Unity or Cinnamon’s start menu for opening.
Note: ‘Screencastor’ is a new tool and therefore it might contain bugs. I think I have come across one too. And that is, when you click on the ‘Stop’ button, the last few seconds of your audio will be excluded from the output file.
But there is a simple solution. Once you have done ‘talking’, before clicking the ‘Stop’ button, wait for a few seconds (4-5), and that will make add the whole audio into the output file. I hope this will be fixed by ‘Hizoka’ (developer) in a next release.
Well, that’s pretty much it. Good luck.