CamStudio – Free Open Source Recording Program

What is it?
Back in 2001 the first release of CamStudio was let loose upon the internet. It is a fabulous open source software that is not only free, but it is updated and also maintains a support form on their websites for users having problems. It is written in C++ however the newest version will be written in C# (a language that has a lot of similarities but it is cleaner and more efficient).

It was developed by seven people and you can find more information about the developers and learn more about the program at their website:

What is it used for?
CamStudio is a simple program that allows you to record your computer screen, or a selected portion of your computer screen, and it also gives you the option to record sound from a microphone. This makes it incredibly easy to do online tutorials while giving directions, or just explain anything and then upload that or send the video file anywhere you want.

There are thousands and thousands of users, many of which use this for program demonstrations and you can find most of those up on YouTube.

Where can you get it?
As was mentioned earlier the program is free and you can go to their website for more information, however if you want the direct download link.

Here are the download links:
CamStudio 2.0

CamStudio 2.6 Beta

What common problems are there?
This program is for Microsoft Windows and you can encounter a variety of issues with it.

  1. File size – This program only allows you to record 2GB max file size. If you accidentally go over that then you will not be able to find your file and will have to rerecord, so make sure to split up the files if necessary or shorten the recording.
  2. Sound issues – Sound recording/playback is the biggest issue with this program. Often times your computer will have a mind of its own and turn off your microphone so check that first and ensure that when you speak into it that it is acknowledging there is sound. Next, if you still are not getting any sound from your recordings try going to CamStudio and resetting your settings, they may have become corrupted and generally this will do the trick. If all else fails redownload the program and the sound should work properly after that.
  3. Messed up recordings – Sometimes users will use CamStudio a few times then it will randomly stop working as well as it used to. This phenomenon is probably caused by altered settings or corrupted settings, simply reset them to original settings and it should work properly after that.

If you experience too many problems with CamStudio, or simply want to look at other programs that will record your computer screen then you can check out these FREE alternatives here.

  1. For Mac users:
  2. RecordMyDesktop:
  3. Jing:

Read our previous post on Camtasia Alternative.

Best Free Software To Record Screen Activities And Audio From Computer

Caution: This software, by far is the best and freely available, yes true opensource / freeware tool to record all on screen activities along with Audio.

From business presentations to marketing demos, to creating fun videos to doing some serious teaching and training, camtasia is a fantastic screen capturing / recording tool. Only catch, you got to pay for it. I wanted a free alternative that would do what camtasia does, and my search ended with CamStudio.

CamStudio is not just free, but its Open Source, under GNU’s GPL. If your requirements are moderate, then Camstudio beats Camtasia any day, but however after having used both, I personally feel Camtasia, any day is a much better tool compared to CamStudio when it comes to making professional videos.

It’ll be harsh on CamStudio if I say “Pay peanuts and you get monkeys”, because in this case you pay nothing and get quite a  load full. What is better fitting for this amazing software is that; “Best things in life are always free” 🙂

With CamStudio you can record all your screen activities and related audio activity from the system. You can also record audio from your speakers. All the recorded data can be stored in two formats, either in the form of industry-standard Audio Video Interleave (AVIs) or can also be saved as Streaming Flash Videos (SWFs), this is an advantage as SWFs consume more bandwidth when compared to AVI’s.

CamStudios, home build Loss less Codec ensures the video is crystal clear. Their codec is well optimized too which results in smaller file size when compared to videos made by other popular codecs.

You do not need any prior programming experience to record a video or capture a screen shot. There is an extremely useful ‘help’ section which answers most of your questions.

Haven’t tested the CamStudio 2.5 yet, but it claims to support multiple languages, mouse-button-based visual feed back, recording from audio speaker (wait .. thought they already had this feature 😉 ).

Now if you come across the question : “How Do I Show The Technical Support People What’s Happening on My computer?” — simply record what exactly is happening and share the video with them 😉

[ Download CamStudio ]