How to record any streaming video on the Internet
Sometimes it may not be enough to just watch a streaming video while it is broadcasted. Maybe you are in a webcam session with your colleagues or better-half and want to record it for safe keeping, or maybe, you are watching a presentation or live gaming session and want to save it to your local system so that you can re-watch it at any time and without Internet connection.
While it may be difficult to near impossible to record the stream directly, depending on which technology is used to send it to your computer, you may make use of a simpler method that works at all times and is totally independent from the streaming technology and programs used to display the contents on your computer monitor.
The ingenious method? Screen recording. Instead of tapping directly into the stream, you record what is being displayed on your monitor instead.
Record any streaming video
I'll be using Free Screen Recorder for this tutorial, as it is easy to use and yields great results.
Here are the steps that you need to undertake to record streaming video on the Internet:
- Install VSDC Free Screen Recorder or a comparable application.
- Start the software afterward and modify the video format settings to your liking. You may want to raise the frames per seconds of the recommended format (15) to one that results in a better experience, e.g. to 25 or 30 frames per second.
- Once you are done with that, you may also want to modify the destination path which defines where the resulting video is saved to. As pointed out in the comments on the original review page, the program has a bug currently here so that changes to the path in the program are not saved. You need to modify the path in the Registry directly to change it.
- Switch to the "video and audio sources" tab and enable audio recording if you require it. You need to specify an audio capture device, e.g. a soundcard and other parameters there.
- Open the streaming video interface that you want to record. This can be anything in any program. You can open streams on Twitch for example, a streaming video in VLC Media Player, or in any other application on your system. As long as it is displayed on your screen, you can record it.
- Start the stream and make sure it is running in the desired resolution.
- Once that is done, click on the start recording button to start the process.
- This does not start the recording right away. Instead, it displays a transparent rectangle that you can use to define the area that you want to record.
- Use drag and drop to resize the screen, and the middle icon to move it around.
- All that is left now is to click on the red record button to start the recording.
When you start the recording on your system, you will notice that a new toolbar is displayed by the screen recorder. You can use it to stop the recording or pause it at any time.
Tip: Hotkeys are available so that you do not have to use the mouse at all to pause or resume (F5) or end the recording (Shift+F5).
If you did not change the video codec, the resulting video is saved in avi format on your system. The size of it depends largely on the recording size and selected codec.
I had no issues recording video streams using a PC that is two years old. Depending on your PC's performance, especially the speed of the hard drive but also processor and RAM, it may work even better for you or you may run into recording issues.
If you notice slow downs or issues, try experimenting with the available codecs or try to reduce the recording size of the video frame.