RecordMyDesktop is a screencasting tool for the Linux platform that comes in two parts. One as a command-line program as the backend and the graphical interface as the frontend. These two parts are distinct programs though their functionality depends on the backend. The frontend cannot function fully on its own without the backend which is a standalone program. This means you can make screencasts with RecordMyDesktop from the command line and all you need to know are the commands to implement to achieve that.
On launch, the main interface of RecordMyDesktop software will provide basic parameters while a new icon entry in system tray will be used to control the recording in terms of start and stop. This app brings even more features as it will be evident by the end of this review article.
RecordMyDesktop captures the screen in two different ways; recording the full screen or a user selected region on the screen. Besides that, you can also record an application windows only like a browser. A preview window is available on RecordMyDesktop through which you can define a specific area that needs recording.
You just need to click the mouse button on that preview widget windows and drag to preset the area of interest. After that, you just need to hit the record button to get started with the screen video recording. You can opt to outline the capture area on the screen besides choosing whether to include the mouse cursor or not in the screencast.
Follow Mouse Capture
This is a feature added to RecordMyDesktop that captures the area around a moving mouse cursor. It can also be referred to recording the path followed by the mouse. This option results in you recording only what is necessary, maintaining a minimal resolution and thus a small and shareable file size in the end. RecordMyDesktop is able to boast of this feature which is not available in other app reviews for the Linux system.
RecordMyDesktop has the ability to capture sound be it the internal audio or from a connected JACK server. However, audio can not be recorded unless you tick the option to enable it. At the same time, you will be able to decide on the quality of sound to work with. An adjustable slider is provided next to the enable option so that you can move it to the level of preference though it is advisable to set the slider to maximum to ensure audio is captured in the best quality possible.
To capture sound from devices like the microphone, you have to use external programs to configure the sound card. In addition, as part of advanced options, you can customize the number of channels, the audio frequency and the device to use all in RecordMyDesktop.
Customize Video and Audio Quality
Being able to control the quality of output is a very handy feature that anyone would love. RecordMyDesktop does not fall short here at all as it enables you to have full control on the quality of the final encoded file which in turn determines the size of the final file. Sliders are provided on the app for these two components and both are used differently.
While audio can be set to 100%, the video quality selector is best at 25-50% since anything above that will just considerably increase the file size with very minimal difference in quality.
Simultaneous Encoding with Recording
RecordMyDesktop is capable of encoding video as the recording is going on. For those of us who may want to use this feature, you are advised to set the quality to 100% for both audio and video encoding. However, the amount of CPU required to create highly compressed files may be so high that it results in a video that is not smooth at all. Unless your Linux computer comes with good resources, this feature can only be used for experimental purposes.
Hotkeys are known to make work easier with convenient and faster completion of tasks. RecordMyDesktop brings several keyboard shortcuts for various actions. Start, pause and stop recording at the click of a combination of keys without the need for tedious interaction with menus and options. These hotkeys are registered by the backend program and are customizable to fit your preferences.
- File Management
In regard to this, RecordMyDesktop lets you decide what to do with files in terms of existing files and working directory. You will be able to overwrite existing files if they share same names with the new files or alternatively disable the option so that new files are named automatically with postfixed numbers.
You will also be able to set a working directory that stores temporary files as you record although this applies when you are not encoding simultaneously. Remember, the directory you set should have write permissions for you and have enough storage capacity.
An option to this is the ‘Save As’ button on the main screen that lets you pick a destination and filename to go with the output and encoded file. Managing files should not be a problem or hectic at all when using RecordMyDesktop.
Several factors determine how efficient this application will be on your Linux computer in terms of CPU usage. These factors are as below;
- Frame rate – The higher the frame rate, the higher the CPU consumption and vice versa.
- Encoding on the go – You will experience high CPU usage when you opt to perform simultaneous encoding while still recording the screen.
- Zero compression – This means that compression is enabled and results in more CPU usage and may impact performance negatively.
- Quick Subsampling – This involves the quality of colorspace transformation before caching and encoding. Enabling this in RecordMyDesktop will result in low-quality output but soft on CPU.
- Full shots at every frame – This option will enable full captures which require higher CPU utilization.
System Tray Icon
This icon brings convenience when you need to perform three main tasks; start recording, pause recording and stop recording. Depending on the current state of the icon, a right or left click will result in different outcome as indicated below.
Get started with RecordMyDesktop today and unlock a world of endless screen recording features.