Successful Audio and Video Screen Capture on Windows 7


Occasionally, I see some great videos online, and I download them to my hard drive for my personal use. One reason, some videos can take a long time to watch.  So I download them and watch them at another time, like using a DVR.

Recently, there was another webinar. I thought it would be easy enough to download. But like so many other times, I had to spend a LOT of time installing and fixing the software first.  Here’s how I made it all work. 

Executive Summary:

For those of you who just want the answer, I managed to configure my Creative SB X-Fi sound card, and used Debut Video Capture Software.

Long Answer:

My usual go to software for video download are Free Youtube Download, or Video Download Capture.

Youtube videos are easily downloaded with Free Youtube Download, from DVD Video Soft.

Other times I’ve used Video Download Capture, from Apowersoft.com.  Video Download Capture is good for when the actual video is buried deep within a webpage. It has a detector that will find the audio visual file, and allow you to download it. Looking at the logs, I’ve noticed that sometimes the AV file has a suffix of M3U8. I’d never heard of that before.  But this time, even though I had the complete URL, Video Download Capture did not succeed.

CamStudio

CamStudio:
So I tried to use CamStudio. In the past, it had only recorded the video, not the sound. And it happened again.  So I tried to configure it:
CamStudio, Options, Record Audio from Speakers

WaveOutGetSelectControl_Failed

But I kept getting the error, WaveOutGetSelectControl() failed. Sigh.

This kicked off an afternoon of trying to solve this issue, and trying different things on my various laptops and desktops, both Linux and Windows.

A number of websites suggested that configuring the sound card for Stereo Mix would solve the issues.

The instructions were along the lines of:
Right click the Windows speaker icon
Click recording devices
In the white space, right click, and Show Disabled Devices, Show Disconnected Devices,
Enable Stereo Mix

However, this did not work, because, after showing all the devices, my laptops and desktops did not reveal any Stereo Mix function at all.

Turned out that none of my multiple Acer laptops, using Conexant audio hardware, had Stereo Mix. As well, my Windows 7 desktop, with a Creative SB X-Fi sound card, also did not have Stereo Mix.

There is a software from StereoMixPlus.com that is supposed to add the Stereo Mix to your machine, however, I didn’t get that far.

Configuring The Desktop’s Creative SB X-Fi Sound Card To Work:

Eventually I got the sound card to work with the screen capture. Here’s how I did it.

CreativeAudioWhatUHear

Right click the Windows speaker icon
Click recording devices
In the white space, right click, and Show Disabled Devices, Show Disconnected Devices,
Right Click “What U Hear”
“What U Hear”: Set as default device

 

WhatUHearProperties

Then set the properties:

Right Click “What U Hear”
Properties
Set: Playback through this device:
Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi)

Creative Audio Control Panel:

CreativeAudioControlPanel

In the Creative Audio Control Panel, in the Mode tab, I set the mode to:
Audio Creation Mode

When I then tried CamStudio, I was able to get the software to record both audio and video, but it didn’t give a good recording. Review later.

Getting The Acer Laptop To Work:
I was not successful configuring the sound card on my Acer laptops to work with CamStudio (as I did with the desktop).

However, I was able to install a different software that did work.

Debut Video Capture Software:

Eventually I started to download and try some different software. I went to the excellent website, videohelp.com, and looked at their synopsis of screen capture software.

Eventually, I downloaded Debut Video Capture Software, and tried it.

DebutScreenCaptureSW

Debut worked great on both my desktop, and my laptop. With Debut, I was able to do a screen capture the webinar, and save it to file. It defaulted to recording to a .avi file. However, there is a dropdown in the front page, where you can choose other formats such as mp4.

DebutAudioConfig

Just to be sure, I checked the audio configuration, and set the microphone to “What U Hear”. And that worked.

Software That I Rejected:

There were a number of other software products that I tried. However, I rejected most of them. They did not perform well enough. The quality was just not there. Hopefully, I’ll be accurate in what I remember. All of these were done on my desktop server. 16 GB of RAM. Dual Xeons with 8 CPUs altogether.

CamStudio Review:
I was able to get Camstudio, to work a bit. But interestingly, when I tried to configure the software using:

CamStudioMikeConfig

CamStudio, Options, Record Audio from Speakers, I kept getting the same error as before:  WaveOutGetSelectControl() failed

However, after getting this error, the software was in fact configured to Record Audio from Speakers. Go figure.

I also set this configuration:

CamStudioAudioOptionsForSpeakers

Camstudio, Options, Audio Options for Speakers
Change to SPDIF out

Camstudio sometimes “worked”. But, it had to do a lot of compressing before it stored just a few seconds of audio/video. Of the tests that I have, one has bad sound. Another had no video. My Camstudio test files are found at:
C:\Program Files (x86)\CamStudio2.6b\Recordings

DVD Video Soft, Free Screen Video Recorder Review:

Saves files as MP4s. Automatically saves the file you are recording to your video directory, say:  C:\Users\oracle\Videos

As I try this again today, a few days later, playing a file in Windows Media Player, it seems to work fine.

However, from my notes, when I tried to record the webinar from the webpage:
Records the sound, but not the video!

VLC Media Player Streaming Review:
There were a number of websites that mentioned how to stream the video into VLC Media Player, and I tried following them.

However, I was not successful using VLC with the webinar.

Summary:
Configure the Creative SB X-Fi sound card, and use Debut Video Capture Software. Hope it’s useful.

 

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