Recently, the need arose for me to demonstrate several related web applications for a presentation. This is my story.
The Search Begins...
My preferred development platform of choice these days is Fedora 7 (though anxiously awaiting the final release of Fedora 9) in a Compiz Fusion-enabled dual-screen environment. However, I use Ubuntu on my single-screen laptop configuration due to the hassles associated with specific hardware port detection and notorious suspend/resume issues. I investigated several screen recording solutions that would allow me a 24-frames per second or higher capture rate for smooth mouse and window scrolling movements. I also needed audio support to simultaneously capture accompanying narration. Several open source choices exist, including:
After test driving each of these, I settled on recordmydesktop thanks to its ease of use, tweak-ability, and ubiquitous Linux distro repository proliferation. While the program worked flawlessly on my single-screen laptop, it hiccuped on my dual-screen configuration. While the results started off fine, once any window or desktop cube movement was recorded, the playback would go turn into a runny watercolor mess:
Compared to the other options, only xvidcap seemed to successfully capture a good portion of the desktop without going rainbow on me:
Unfortunately, if I exceeded a certain width, xvidcap would die with a segmentation fault. I returned to recordmydesktop after researching the application's website and noting its FAQ page mentioned known playback issues in Compiz-Fusion environments though no specific mention was made of dual-screen problems. I tried captures with Compiz-Fusion turned off during recording as well as playback to no avail. At this point I acquiesced and chose to reset my width expectations by reducing the screen recording area from 3200×1200 to 2000×1200. Partial dual-screen activity could then be successfully and smoothly replayed: