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Do any video compressor other than "MS Video 1" work?

edited October 2013 in Support
I tried to select a Video compressor other than "MS Video 1" but whenever I start a recording CamStudio crashes.
My hardware is well stuffed so CPU speed and memory shouldn't be the bottleneck.

Did anyone get CamStudio work with another Video compressor (and which parameters ?)

Or are other Video compressors only listed as "nice-to-have-on-the-todo-list-items" ?



  • edited October 2013
    I use Xvid and x264vfw all the time. Which ones do you have installed? BTW - only use 32-bit codecs, as CamStudio is a 32-bit program and can only "see" 32-bit codecs.

    Keep your width and height even numbered values. Preferably standards like these:

    856x480 (480p)
    1280x720 (720p HD)
    1920x1080 (1080p HD)

    Any of those should work fine. Use your Fixed Region settings to force those numbers as the best practice. If you want to use the top/left setting with the Select button, uncheck it first, then use the select button to freehand draw a region, then adjust your numbers all around and re-check the top/left checkbox.


    P.S. - get codecs frm the links below this video after watching this video at YouTube:

  • Hello Terry,
    thank you for reply. Some remarks:

    1.) When even values are so important: Why not introducing something like a "snap-to-even-grid" option which auto-adjusts the width/height of the (fixed region) to even values?

    2.) What should users do who want to record a window rather than a fixed region?
    An "auto-shrink (browser) window to even value" option would be fine at this point.

    3.) Furthermore I wonder what the "best" settings are for my x264vfw codec.
    Here is a snapshot of my current setup:

    Could you provide a similar snapshot for the recommended settings for Xvid and x264vfw?

    Thank you
  • Re your x264 settings - the “basics/ presets” must be set to “ultrafast”.

  • edited October 2013
    We actually do intend to force the region selected to even-numbered values in a release very soon. At the moment, the priority issue is getting the AVI-2 specification functions so people are no longer limited to 2GB file sizes.

    I use Sizer by BrianApps (link at bottom below) to pre-size my windows for use with the "Window" region selector. Note that Internet Explorer just broke the ability to use the "Window" region selector by breaking its browser into multiple windows. So, this works only with other makes of browser windows.

    Here are some more useful links:

    NOTE: CamStudio is a 32-bit program and as such uses only 32-bit codecs!

    Jawor's Xvid compressor/codec -

    X.264vfw compressor/codec -

    Any-Video-Converter -

    ZoomIt -

    Sizer -
  • Hello bmoreken,
    thank you "ultrafast" was the key information!
    However in addition to "ultrafast" users have to select "Single pass - lossless" under rate Control. Otherwise it will not work.
    Even "Single pass - quantizer based (CQP)" or "Single pass - ratefactor-based (CRF)" or "Single pass- bitrate-based (ABR)" do not work.

    Can you confirm this?

    Furthermore I would be interested to get the necessary Xvid codec setup.
    I tried "MPEG 4 ASP @ L3" and Encoding type="Singlepass" and target bitrate=1800

    Much to my surprise the resulting video cannot be played in CamStudios own player but only with an external player like VLC.

    Can you confirm this?

    Is two-pass encoding possible (H.264 or Xvid) at all?

    What is the recommended Xvid Profile @ Level?

    Thank you
  • You want to leave it on “Single pass - refractor based (CRF)”. I’d also leave the output mode on VFW. I know that these settings work without fail UNLESS your processor is sending incorrect information regarding the area being recorded with regard to both dimensions being even numbers. Like MPEG-4, x264 will either fail to work or default to MS Video 1 if confronted with an odd dimension. Generally, you can test for this by making captures at full screen first. Apparently, x264 lossless will capture odd dimensions (as you’re experiencing), but they will cause problems later.

    BTW Cam ignores the first (collection) pass in multi pass using MPEG-4 and I assume it does the same thing in x264, so using that is just adds the potential that the settings don’t get past through intact to the recording phase.

    Don’t use the Cam player at all. I use MPC, VLC and Win media player and have no problems.

    Different versions of Xvid have somewhat different interface situations. I set mine to unrestricted mode with both packed bitstream (a frame arrangement intended for hardware capture devices) and B-VOP disabled. You can move over to HD 720 and set the “target bitrate” to at least 7500. Note again that not all MPEG-4 interface setups have all of those options.

    My conclusion, after doing a lot of tests using both, is that x264 provides slightly better motion capture, while MPEG-4 is best for image quality, although the differences are slight, and most people seem to be using way less bitrate than is necessary for a fair test of both.

    Generally, x264 is a better “one size fits all” solution, and that the settings used are less complicated and are usually good for any capture situation after the initial configuration.

  • I believe we will soon be removing the CamStudio built-in player entirely. It was always crap and didn't know how to use some codecs for some reason.

    Record to SWF is likely going away soon, too. There are much better free Flash Video converters than the one that came with CamStudio! (MediaCoder FLV edition, for instance....)

    Thanks for this info, Ken! I'm making this conversation into a sticky one so I can find it when I need to reference it again!!! :-)

  • @bmoreken:
    Thank you for your hints. Once more some comments from my side:

    H.264 crashed occasionally from my side. It seems to me that CamStudio and its codecs really, really hate odd dimension values. CamStudio should urgently offer an "auto-adjust window dimensions to even value" option.

    What value did you recommend for H.264 rate factor?

    Your suggestion for a target bitrate of 7500 seems to me by far too much.
    Even if I record the whole desktop (1920x1080) and have a "nature wallpaper" as desktop this seems overkill. Isn't 1800 kbps a good choice?

    Much more important seems to me the frame rate. With a default "Capture frames every" 50 ms the cursor movements are somehow stuttering. Is this the value to make it softer?

    At last I observed that with Xvid and H.264 the menu font in the resulting video is somehow comparable to the original blurred/smeared. Can you confirm this?

    I would appreciate sharp letters as the original. What solution would you recommend?

    Thank you
  • All videos should be even dimensions in both directions. If they’re not, video editors will crash when trying to open them and converters, such as Youtube’s, will produce a skewed or otherwise distorted image. Even codecs which will produce odd numbers should be given even number images to work with. If your computer isn’t producing even numbered images, try adjusting the sized settings. For example changing 640 x 480 to 639 x 479.

    7500 is not at all too high, but 1800 is way too low to produce a sharp image. Oddly, x264 will produce a good video using a Cam setting of 25/40, while this might cause problems for some media players using MPEG-4.

    I’ve been quite pleased with image sharpness using either codec. I’ve done my desktop and left the resulting video playing full screen and have had unsuspecting viewers completely unaware that it was not actually the real desktop being displayed. It looks as good as the real thing, and I assume that the higher quality/bitrate settings make it that way.

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