Creating training videos with recordMyDesktop

Points of View

Thanks to the high-quality codecs, recordMyDesktop produces very attractive results. Audio and video signal synchronization works without restriction, and when you play back your screen movies, you will notice that the quality is excellent at any resolution.

In our lab, I recorded videos with a resolution of 1600x1200 pixels at a frame rate of 15 frames per second, and then at 1280x1024 pixels, again at 15 frames per second. When I played the recordings back, they were pleasingly smooth, without drop-out or jerkiness, and the focus was sharp – even in full-screen mode.

RecordMyDesktop returns good results with interpolated resolutions, even if you change the screen resolution while the recording is in progress.

This kind of premium-quality video is demanding on storage capacity: 50MB per minute are required for the raw data. Splitting the recording into several sessions makes sense, especially for longer movies. This not only gives you more flexibility in storage space management, but also lets you divide more complex topics into smaller chapters.

Conclusions

RecordMyDesktop finally provides a solution for creating high-quality screen movies on Linux.

Despite the relatively low version number, the software is stable and has a full set of features. The controls are mostly self-explanatory, and there is no need to RTFM. RecordMyDesktop thus provides a useful and efficient approach to creating training material for software rollouts.

The only drawbacks are the non-trivial free disk space requirement and the need to have a powerful CPU for a smooth recording. Now that hard disk capacities are measured in terabytes and CPU clock speeds of several gigahertz are the rule, these requirements might not pose a serious problem.

Infos

  1. recordMyDesktop: http://recordmydesktop.iovar.org
  2. Istanbul: http://live.gnome.org/Istanbul
  3. Binaries for Fedora and Mandriva: http://rpmfind.net
  4. Binaries for Slackware: http://www.linuxpackages.net/pkg_details.php?id=12173
  5. Binaries for openSUSE: http://rpmseek.com.
  6. Source packages: http://sourceforge.net/projects/recordmydesktop.

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