camtasia alternative that can record 3 hours video plus audio

can you please suggest from your experience if any from the below
would fit the bill to
*record 3hrs straight video on screen
*capture audio also.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Why not use Camtasia. It can handle that length of recording and is top of class. (I have Camtasia).
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
I've been very pleased with Screencast-O-Matic:

I started out with their Free version and liked it well enough to go with their Pro version, which is just $15/year (I actually went for three years at $29). The Free version is limited to 15 minutes and places a watermark in the lower left, which can be very bothersome. I used Screencast-O-Matic to record ten 5-minute video Micro Tutorials here at EE about a year ago. The first three were with the Free version — here's one:

The next seven were with the Pro version — here's one:

And here's another one that I did with Screencast-O-Matic just two days ago (it continues to perform very well):

The main reason I went with the Pro version is that the watermark was blocking important stuff.

The Pro version can record three straight hours of video and audio — in fact, there is no maximum recording length!

I haven't used the other six products mentioned in the article that you posted, but I give a big thumbs-up to Screencast-O-Matic. As a disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I have no affiliation with this company and no financial interest in it whatsoever. I am simply a happy user/customer. Regards, Joe
I use Camtasia but have also use Ocam in the past, it's an alternative.
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Try FRAPS. I used it before and is not a bad alternative.
Then inside to Corel Video Studio  Pro X7 there is a "Screen Capture with Sound" application which does the job too. Now is 8.5:

The above 2 I know, but as people want to use free software, then why not focus on Sourceforge? Here are 2 free software to try by yourself:
25112Author Commented:
thank you experts..

revisiting this only because of the price of Camtasia.

Camtasia- yes, did good on 3 hour videos and also the space it used to make the file.

camstudio there failed on 3 hour recordings.

is there a study on relative file size between video capture tools? (for bigger recordings like 3 hrs or so)
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I know Camtasia is relatively pricey, but that is because of the product and what it can do.  If you are up to it (budget-wise) it is a good investment.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
The Wikipedia article on the comparison of video codecs will lead you to some studies of relative file sizes for various video capture tools. Some of the main factors in file size are compression level, video quality, and window size being captured. For example, in my EE video Micro Tutorials that I mentioned in my previous post, one that is 5:04 is 8.6MB, while one that is 5:05 (just one second longer) is 13.6MB — 58% bigger! Yet both were recorded with the same software (Screencast-O-Matic) and both are in the same video format (MP4). In terms of price, as I mentioned before, I bought three years of Screencast-O-Matic for less than 10 bucks per year. Regards, Joe
25112Author Commented:
John, thanks for your reco. if Camtasia will be the only tool to handle the 3hrs effectively, then that is what we will do.

Joe, that explanation is helpful- have you done 3hrs videos in Screencast-O-Matic, by any chance?
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> have you done 3hrs videos in Screencast-O-Matic, by any chance?

I haven't, but I'll do it right now for you, if you'd like. I'll bring it up and let it run for the next three hours. How large of a window would you like me to record? These are the pre-sets:

Screencast-O-Matic size pre-sets
But it allows you to set any size window that you want by simply dragging the sizing handles. Let me know what size I should record and I'll run it for the next three hours. Btw, Small HD is 854x480, Medium HD is 1024x576, Full HD is 1280x720, 1080p HD is 1920x1080, and my Fullscreen is 1920x1200. Regards, Joe

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25112Author Commented:
thank you Joe- that is very considerate of you..

resolution is not as important, but full screen is needed.
should we choose middle of road.. 1024x768.
thanks again.

then I can check how much space it took for the 3 hour video I did on Camtasia trial.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
OK, I started recording at 11:30am my time. It is capturing the screen at 1024x768 and also recording audio from an external mic. I'll stop it at 2:30pm, save it as an MP4 file, and will let you know the file size. Regards, Joe
25112Author Commented:
thanks Joe.. I will also check the Camtasia file size on my end and report back.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
I stopped the recording at the 3-hour mark (missed by a half-second):

SOM 3-hour recording
In addition to showing the hh:mm:ss counter, I captured the whole S-O-M area, as I thought you'd like to see the other controls and how it frames the portion of the screen that it's recording.

There are three quality options for saving:

SOM quality
In addition to showing the quality options, I captured the whole Save screen so you could see the other options when saving (some users really like the Show Mouse Clicks and Show Mouse Halo options).

I did the Save with all three quality settings. Here are the results:

Lower: 263,557,437 bytes
Normal: 382,913,432 bytes
Higher: 499,810,475 bytes

Saving the 3-hour file to the MP4 (in each of the three cases) took about a half-hour (obviously, this will vary depending on your system). It shows the percentage complete while saving (you can see below that I captured it at the 90% mark). It has the ability to Publish to other places besides a video file:

SOM edit publish
Also, you can see above that it has an Edit Recording feature, which I've never used, but here's what the Edit tools look like:

SOM Edit tools
Be happy to run other tests if you'd like. Regards, Joe
25112Author Commented:
thank you Joe..  i was able to get the info on the 2 files i had with camtasia earlier..

i will have to decide by tuesday, and this is quiet helpful.

camtasia below seems to have taken more space, but due you think it is due to 1920x1080? also does it make difference between avi and mp4?

tuesday on, i will have to record at least a dozen of 3 hr sessions.

avi file
Data Rate: 1406kbps
Total bitrate: 1759kbps

avi file
Data Rate: 1504kbps
Total bitrate: 1857kbps
25112Author Commented:
also can you suggest what i wont get in  in Screencast-O-Matic that only camtasia would provide?

i understand camtasia is 10 times costlier so it very well could provide more features.. but for what i described (recording dozen or so 3 hour session, with no need for highest resolution), do you recommend camtasia would make any big difference?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If you are happier with the lower cost product and it works, you can use that.

I like Camtasia and I viewed it as an investment for the long term. Anything I wish to do, I can.

But feel free to make your own choice.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> due to 1920x1080?

The resolution definitely makes a difference: 1920x1080 is 2,073,600 pixels; 1024x768 is 786,432 pixels.

> does it make difference between avi and mp4?

AVI is simply a container. It can hold different types of audio and video formats. So it really depends on the file format that Camtasia placed in the AVI  — and not being a Camtasia user, I don't know if you have control over that.

> also can you suggest what i wont get in in Screencast-O-Matic that only camtasia would provide?
> do you recommend camtasia would make any big difference?

I don't know the answer to either question — I don't have Camtasia. Regards, Joe
25112Author Commented:
thank you experts - quiet helpful.. will put it to test/work.

thanks again for your time and especially willing to do that test for me, joe.

Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Following up with a little math, 2,073,600/786,432=2.64, so (other things being equal, which they may not be), I would expect the SOM file for 1920x1024 to be approximately:

Lower: 0.7 GB
Normal: 1.0 GB
Higher: 1.3 GB

Regards, Joe
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
You're welcome. Happy to help. Good luck with the recording project! Let us know how it goes for you. Regards, Joe
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Agree with Joe that I was happy to assist. Good luck.
25112Author Commented:
off to a good start.. !

I could not see the difference yet.. but on trial with the costlier product, and with the $29 option Joe recommended..

Joe, John.. can you list *all* the items you do in your general day/week/month with these product(s).. so I can get a grasp of the scope of the applicability of these 2 good products in practical situations of 2 very busy/effective tech experts. thanks.
(can you list numerically all the purposes for which you deploy the product.. this list may help me to think outside the box of what is possible to do with camastia or Screencast-O-Matic
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I use Camtasia for very modest uses right now and not in daily use. I was able to get it from TechSmith for 1/3 off the regular price, so it was worth it to me.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Glad to hear you're off to a good start!

I don't use all the capabilities of S-O-M. In fact, the only thing I've done with it is screen recording videos (and the only place I've saved them is in an MP4 file). If you check my EE profile, you'll find 14 video Micro Tutorials that I did with S-O-M and published here (all are screen recordings with audio, too). I've also recorded "How to..." video tutorials (with audio) for clients, family, and friends. S-O-M has many other features, such as webcam recording, editing audio and video (including drawing tools), publishing to something besides a file (Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Vimeo, YouTube), taking screenshots, etc., but I've never used any of them. Regards, Joe
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