Since a webinar can be rather costly to produce depending on who the speaker is, it is a wise move to learn how to record it. This need not be difficult or even expensive; webinar recording software can be acquired for free from the internet. We will discuss some of them here.
VirtualDub is a screen recorder, video capture, and processing utility licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It is designed to be a general utility that can trim and clean up video before exporting to tape or processing with another program. It does not possess the editing power of a general-purpose editor such as Adobe Premiere, but is streamlined for fast linear operations over video.
VirtualDub has batch-processing capabilities for handling large numbers of files, which you can extend with third-party video filters. Virtual Dub is best at processing AVI files, although it can read (not write) MPEG-1 and handle BMP image sets. A VirtualDub download of a webinar can be as high quality as you need it to be.
CamStudio is a small, sturdy screencast app that faithfully records your PC in AVI and SWF (Flash) formats. There is an option to highlight the cursor path during a recording session, automatically pan, and record with sound. A brand-new effects menu provides the ability to annotate and append videos with comments, a time stamp, and a watermark. A CamStudio download is available online for free.
There are some problems with this app, though: there is no file-type support outside AVI and SWF files, and there is no editor for trimming, splicing, and optimizing a video. But if you can live with these omissions, then this free software will provide the necessary tools for creating quick demos and screencasts as well as capture webinars.
Wink is a simple app with which you can record activity on your screen and save it as animated tutorials, including your own annotations, text boxes, arrows, buttons and even a voiceover.
Wink isn’t really a video recorder; tutorials are captured frame by frame and then exported to Flash format, which makes them really easy to share as basically everyone these days is able to play Flash files on their computers. Wink screen capture can be widely distributed because of this and as such is a valuable webinar recording software.
The program also gives you the option to save the tutorial as a PDF or HTML documents. Using Wink is very easy. Simply create a new document, tweak the configuration settings and start capturing frames on your screen. Once the recording is finished, you can add shapes, arrows or comments to specific frames, to provide further explanations or point something out.
Recording The Webinar
Remember that because these three applications are free, they do not come with a detailed user manual. The best option for learning them is to go to online forums in which users trade secrets and tips on how to use them. But they are, for the most part, easy to use, and they follow the same basic steps.
- One, open your selected webinar recording software. Prepare it to capture a video, and then open the webinar before it actually begins to you can set up the screen the way you want to capture it.
- Two, record the webinar. Begin the screen capture as soon as the webinar begins. Continue running the screencasting software and capturing the screen for the duration of the webinar. Participate in the webinar as though you were not capturing the screen; the capture will run in the background.
Three, stop the screen capture when the webinar ends. Preview the video before you save it to your hard drive. Save the captured webinar to your hard drive in your preferred video format. Popular options include AVI and WMV.