Code download available at: UtilityOnlineMarch092009_03.exe(10,209 KB)
Whether you are having problems yourself getting something to work correctly on your computer and are working with tech support, or you're trying to solve such problems for your customers, friends, or your Mom, you have probably spent hours describing or explaining events over and over again in an effort to deal with the lack of clarity that exists when one party can't see what is going on. Now there's a solution. Screenrecorder is a very easy-to-use screen-to-video capture program, developed on top of Windows Media Encoder, that lets you easily capture what is going on to a small video file, which you can then send via e-mail to the appropriate person. That person can then watch the video just as if he is sitting next to you and you are showing him what's is happening on the screen.
Figure 1 You can choose to capture either the full screen or a particular window
Using Screenrecorder is very easy. When you first run the program, you will see a window like the one in Figure 1. You simply select either Full Screen or any program window from the drop down list, check the audio box if you want to record audio as well, and then click OK.
Next you'll see the screen shown in Figure 2. Just supply a filename for the video and then hit START to begin the capture. Screenrecorder starts to capture screen movements to the video file you specified. You can pause capturing at any time. When you click STOP, a PLAY button will be displayed at the bottom right. Just click and your captured video will be played by your default video player for .wmv files. That's about all there is to it!
Figure 2 After you specify a filename, press the Start button
So what is Screenrecorder good for? Just about any onscreen situation where visualization would help. You can record step-by step instructions to create training videos. You can capture problems as they happen to send to tech support. Instead of telling Grandma where she will find the photos on her machine, you can show her. Or she can show you what is happening if she gets an error when trying to run a particular program. With Screenrecorder, you don't need to read any help file—the program lets you know what to do from the beginning to your final video. Moreover, the tool is optimized for the best resolution and smallest-size video, so you never have to worry about any settings. There are no complex menus to wade through or to try to figure out what they're for. And Screenrecorder produces a .wmv file so it can be played on any Windows computer without the need for an audio/video decoder.
Screenrecorder simplifies screen capture for everyone. PLEASE NOTE: For 32 bit Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, if you get the error "Screenrecorder has stopped working", then apply fix in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929182 by right clicking and selecting "Run as administrator".
Burak Uysaler began as a Support Engineer for Microsoft Hotline, and joined Microsoft in 2002 to provide support for Premier Customers. He has written several public articles, and developed tools and programs to be used by Microsoft customers and employees. Currently Burak works as a Technology Specialist for the sales department.