Ever have one of those days where the tech solution you are looking for just doesn’t exist?
That was me yesterday. I simply wanted a software program for a PC that would capture both video streams on a skype call, along with both audio streams and record it. Better yet, it would display those two video streams in a good looking format, but ultimately I failed to find a solution (that works). (See video or read on!)
[tubepress mode=”playlist” playlistValue=”PL94BD293F2FBBF04D”]
The first thing a PC user will learn is that an awesome solution exists for Mac users, but no such luck for PC. There are lots of blog articles that will point out Call Recorder for Mac, but there is nothing comparable for a PC.
Want do interviews or record those Skype calls for training purposes or to recored split screen interviews? … In most instances what you are seeing has been recorded with Ecamm’s “Call Recorder” software. Call Recorder is …
Do a couple more google searches and you will also notice that everyone claims it IS possible to do all of this on a PC, but all of those articles are from before 2010. In 2012 it is not possible. I’ve developed a theory on this, but have no idea if it is accurate. You see, Skype added a new Premium service a while back. The Premium service includes Group Video calls. I think that when they set up this service it wiped out the ability for most of the software programs to easily manage this capability.
Pamela for Skype was the big one in this category, but they have a nice support article that says in just a sentence or two that it is no longer possible.
Vodburner is the next big one after Pamela. I did try this one as well, and from what I could see, it kinda sorta worked, sometimes. I tried it on a half dozen calls and it worked on 2. It did not work on the other four. In the failure videos, it would record one video stream but not the other. It was usually the ‘other’ video stream from the computer I was calling.
After it records (whether it works or not) you will be prompted with a pop up (the user interface is functional in a windows 95 kind of way). Don’t get me wrong, I’d use it if it worked more reliably, but on my Win 7 64 bit toshiba with a core i5 intel processor that was new 7 months ago, it just doesn’t very often.
Skip ahead and before the day was out, I had downloaded and tried several more programs including (See video demos of each below):
- VodBurner (mentioned before)
- Skype Video Group (I signed up for the premium account that was supposed to cost $8.99 but charged me $9.99)
- Supertintin that I read about in a relatively cheesy review
- SplitCam in the hopes that I could maybe control what was sent to my WebCam and then maybe do some kind of Screen Recorder deal with Camtasia which I already had. Not sure, but I think this program (or maybe one of the others tried to hijack my search engine in chrome with some affiliate search engine #boohiss
- Pamela again one that I already mentioned.
Together all those programs let me make this nice desktop collage!
Despite the fact that none of them really did what I was looking for (do what Call Recorder can do) I did get sort of close with IMCapture, Evaer and Vodburner. In fact Evaer and IMCapture seem almost like identical programs with a very slight difference in the User interface. If I had to guess, I’d suspect that IMCapture came first and some one that was better at user interface benchmarked off of IMCapture (maybe its open source or something) and created Evaer.
Both Evaer and IMCapture force you to choose what type of recording you want to do before you record. In this I mean, you can select from a video output with both video streams rendered side by side, or you can choose a few renderings that look like picture in a picture, or you can choose two completely separate video files, one for each source.
This is kind of unfortunate if you can’t predict the future.
Sure you could later do some post production work in the video editor of your choice as long as it has an easy interface for putting two videos together in split screen. I use and have used a half dozen video editing programs over the years. I generally use Camtasia the most these days, but that’s primarily because I create a lot of screencasts. Unfortunately, Camtasia is definitely not suited for side by side video comparisons. It can do Picture in Picture, but not two pictures of the same size. Well at least not easily.
I haven’t decided what program I will actually attempt to run these through. I’m anticipating rendering a large number of videos, and I need something very fast and easy in regards to the workflow.
Yes I have considered getting a Mac, although it is difficult to justify the price tag for this one type of activity, this might be the straw that broke the camels back.