‘vokoscreen’ is a simple and easy to use screen recorder that is based on ‘ffmpeg‘. It does not come with a lot of options (you know, changing the between video and audio codecs, lots of options etc) but for most users, it should be more than enough to get the job done.
It also comes with this handy feature that lets you add a video stream from your Webcam while the screencast is going on and supports recording the audio input as well.
Main features …
*. Supports recording the whole screen, current window or a selected area.
*. Add screen magnification.
*. As mentioned above, adding a video through your webcam is also supported.
*. For the video settings: You can change the bitrate, codec (‘mpeg4’ and ‘h264’) and the container format (avi & mkv).
*. If you have enabled the audio input, then MP3 will be used as the codec. You can change the audio input device settings, but you will not be able to change settings like the codec, bitrates, sample rates etc.
*. Enable/Disable the mouse pointer in the recording.
*. Change where the output file is saved, set a default ‘player’ (for playing it once the recording finishes) and make it automatically minimize when the recording starts.
You can install ‘vokoscreen’ in Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail, 12.10 Quantal Quetzal, 12.04 Precise Pangolin, 11.10 & 10.10 thanks to its PPA. For that, put the below commands in your Terminal window.
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:vokoscreen-dev/vokoscreen
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vokoscreen
If you use the Unity desktop, then search for it in the ‘Dash’ for launching it.
Once you have selected to record an area, you will be presented with a rectangle for ‘defining’ the area. However, one might find it difficult to move the rectangle, though resizing it is pretty easy. So the trick here is to move your mouse pointer over any of the vertical/horizontal lines and then press and hold the ‘Alt’ key on your keyboard.
As soon as you do that, you will see the mouse arrow changing into a small ‘hand’ icon (I can’t give you a screeshot of that, the screenshot taker in Ubuntu doesn’t seem to support that), and then you can move the rectangle around the screen (make sure to keep pressing the ‘Alt’ key). Once you have moved it to a desired location, just let go of the ‘Alt’ key.
*. Well, when running, even with the video codec set to ‘mpeg4’, everything slows down dramatically. As most knows, this usually happens when your CPU and the memory are fully occupied by some application (s) and it is pretty common when running a screencast too.
But the CPU usage of ‘vokoscreen’ (‘ffmpeg’ to be precise) never went beyond 20% while using ‘mpeg4’ as the codec (recording the whole screen) and the memory usage is also very minimal. So I don’t actually know what could be the reason, as with most other screen recorders, I have not experienced such aggressive system slowdowns.
However, as soon as ‘vokoscreen’ was opened and when it was not doing anything (‘idle’), I noticed a somewhat high CPU usage of ‘xorg’ (a core library in GNU/Linux that is used to ‘draw’ graphical user interfaces) and ‘vokoscreen’ processes (shown below). Now I cannot be sure, but perhaps the whole ‘slowdown’ has something to do with an incompatibility with the ‘Xorg’ library.
Note: Please not that, because I have a multi-core processor (4 cores), to get the actual CPU usage reading one has to divide the CPU usage count by 4. And once done that, the CPU usage is not actually high. Still, once the ‘vokoscreen’ is opened the CPU usage goes few times higher than usual.
*. Another thing. When I enabled the video recording from my webcam, the video was also displayed with a few seconds of delay as well.
But being said these, ‘vokoscreen’ is a very new application and one should expect such bugs, and hopefully these will be fixed in future releases. And on the bright side, the recordings went pretty well and I also like its simple & user-friendly UI as well.