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This question is somewhat similar to this one but I'm specifically after a solution that will record a session lasting a few hours or more. I would expect such sessions to result in a video file anything upwards of 4GB. I'll be more than happy with one that creates a series of smaller files if necessary.

All those I've tried so far look like they're doing the job but won't actually create the file for sessions longer than 20 or 30 minutes. I suspect they fail once the file size hits either 2 or 4GB but of course that's only a guess, because it's kind of hard to debug without an output file. The really bad part is that the recorders normally won't tell you of the problem, so you don't find out until it's much too late.

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Can I suggest that you leave a recording going until it crashes, measuring how long this takes. Then make another recording of 1 minute less and see how big the data file is. This should tell you if your hitting the 4gb file size limit. You could always combine these files afterwards. – AliGibbs Dec 14 '10 at 14:27
@AliGibbs, the problem is that all recorders I've tried so far either appear to keep on recording but the file is either not created or is lost when the recoding is stopped. Alternatively, they quietly crash and I'm unaware of it unless I'm actually watching the icon. If that icon is in the System Tray it will even stay there after the program has crashed, at least until you move the mouse over it. – John Gardeniers Dec 14 '10 at 22:18
What file system are you using? FAT32? – AliGibbs Dec 15 '10 at 11:14
@AliGibbs, only NTFS 4 and 5. I don't even use FAT on removable devices. :) – John Gardeniers Dec 15 '10 at 21:20
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Have you played with win7's built-in support video recorder? "Problem Steps Recorder" makes extremely small files, provided you don't need to capture typing or full-screen video.

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Thanks. I'll have a look at it but I also need something that will work on Server 2003. – John Gardeniers Dec 13 '10 at 22:36
This version should work on 2003, and I believe works on the same principle - primarily just a series of screenshots… but I haven't used it for anything as long as you're intending. – Kara Marfia Dec 14 '10 at 14:24

What kind of FPS and fidelity are you after? We're trialling ObserveIT (currently working with their tech support team to simply get it installed at the moment), but it's more of an auditing solution, and I don't know if their video files can be exported into, say, a presentation, but it's great for just knowing what's going on on your servers.

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The quality needs to be good enough to be able to create in-house training videos. We generally use screens of 1440x900 and need to be able to read the text reasonably clearly in the videos. Frame rate isn't too big an issue, as long as there isn't an overly obvious flicker. – John Gardeniers Dec 13 '10 at 3:43
@John - yeah, observeit won't be any good for you then. It records at about 1-2 FPS in black and white low resolution... – Mark Henderson Dec 13 '10 at 3:45 Free/Pro includes session recording - I would guess that it can handle this. Plus, the files are very compact.

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Media Services has a capture tool that can do waht you want. Look for "Windows Media Encoder". It has a special codec for screens - which all windows machines have installed per default. Can handle loooong sessions.

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As I've never seen anything called "Media Services" on any of my Windows machines perhaps you can elaborate on that. – John Gardeniers Dec 13 '10 at 10:11

a good one above... hope that helps

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Tried it but it has the problem described in the question. – John Gardeniers Dec 13 '10 at 22:37

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