WM Capture User Guide

This User Guide covers WM Capture versions 5 and 6. Please go to this page for the WM Capture 7 User Guide.

Overview

Welcome to WM Capture, the only on-screen video recorder specifically designed for high-speed video capture. With WM Capture, you can turn anything you see on your PC's screen into a high quality video file you can play anywhere.

main WM Capture User Guide

WM Capture is especially well suited for recording:

  • Movies and Videos. Including Copy Protected Video
  • Webinars
  • Streaming Web Cams and Video Chat
  • Video Messengers
  • Powerpoint Presentations and Documents
  • DVD's
  • And any other video you can't otherwise capture.

High Quality Recordings

Capturing and compressing on-screen video in real time can require a lot of your PC CPU power. WM Capture is specially designed for this task, as it uses special high quality MPEG-2 and WMV codecs that give perfect looking recordings of videos without freezing up your PC.

Convenient

To make it easy to capture a portion of your screen, WM Capture can often automatically locate the region of your screen where video will be played. Or, you can choose to mark an area of the screen manually by moving markers yourself. Either way, setting up your recording area is a snap.

System Requirements

  • Windows XP-SP2, Vista or Windows 7 (Mac OK with Bootcamp or Parallels)
  • CPU Speed: 2.0 GHz dual core recommended, 2.8GHz single core.
  • RAM memory: 512 MB or higher
  • Recommended with XP Computers: Sound Card with a recording line (Stereo Mix, Master Volume, Wave Out Mix, What U Hear or similar)

New with Version 6

  • Automatic video detection: WM Capture can detect motion videos and automatically mark the recording screen area. Begin playing your video then click Get Video. A semi-transparent window marks the video area on your screen. If the marked area is not what you want, click Retry to run the detection again or simply move/resize window to fine tune the marking rectangle. Note that static images cannot be automatically detected.
  • Improved video quality: Improved motion fluency and audio lip-sync. Especially for DVD recordings even on slower computers.
  • Fixed pause issue when recording WMV files: Windows Media recordings can now be paused.
  • Automatic theme change: Windows “Best Performance” can now be automatically enabled by changing the theme to Windows 7 Basic or Vista Basic. The current theme is restored when WM Capture closes. This improves performance significantly while recording.

Introduced with Version 5 and Still Available on Version 6

  • Record from a second monitor. WM Capture now support dual monitor setups.
  • Image capture. The new camera button takes a snapshot of a video frame
  • DVD ready videos. You can now record videos in DVD format ready to be burned on disc. This eliminates hours of conversion or transcoding.
  • Scheduled recordings. Video recordings can now be scheduled. WM Capture remembers your screen coordinates along with the start/end times of recording.
  • Dual audio recording. Two audio sources can be simultaneously recorded. For example, you can record your voice over a video with audio track.
  • Improved video quality. The new “Best Performance” option allows video frames rates up to 50 frames per second. This is particularly important when recording in DVD format.
  • More video codecs and video formats. MPEG-4 and DVD codecs can now be used as default video formats along with MPEG-2 and Windows Media. AVI files can now be created besides the MPG and WMV. WM Capture can also use other video codecs already installed in your computer (ffdshow, DivX, Xvid, h264, FLV). The recorded video format is AVI.
  • Lots of bug fixes and improvements
    Pause is now available for all video formats, file sizes larger than 4 GB are displayed correctly, use of program on non-administrative accounts and more.

 

How to Record in Just Two Clicks

  • Open WM Capture (if you’re running Windows 7/Vista your desktop theme is changed to Windows Basic. The Basic theme enhances the performance characteristics (speed) of your system. Your current theme will be restored when WM Capture closes.)
  • Begin playing a video from your browser or media player
  • Click Get Video to automatically find the video on your screen and mark the video window. A transparent window is now shown over the video area (see below). You can resize or move this window to fine tune the recording area or click Retry to redo the detection.
  • Click Record to begin recording.
 WM Capture User Guide

How to Set up WM Capture

For most recordings there is no setup required. Using the default video format of Windows Media you'll record videos that can be played back on any Windows computer or easily converted to other video formats. If you need to transfer the recorded video to your mobile device use WM Converter to convert to MP4/iPod/iPhone formats.

Click Settings on WM Capture's main screen if you'd like to record a high quality DVD / MPEG-2 video, fine tune your video/audio parameters or access other options.

Pre-Set Recommended Video Recording Settings

To select preset video recording settings, click Settings, then choose Recommended Settings from the top menu. Choose the selection that most closely matches the type of video you're making. If you're using a dual core computer, use the top selection box. If you have a single core computer, use the bottom selection box.

rec settings WM Capture User Guide

Settings Guide

If you're the type that likes to manually tweak settings, here's a look at each option along with a brief explanation:

 WM Capture User Guide
  • Audio Settings: Set the Audio Bit rate as the quality for recorded audio. In general, 64 Kbps is fine for most recording, but higher bit rates are better, especially when music is involved. Click Audio Setup / Test to locate or manually set the best audio recording inputs on your PC.
    • Windows 7 or Vista: Audio recording will be set up automatically. The Auto Detect option will be checked. Just click OK and you're done. Important Note: Make sure your computer audio is NOT setup on Surround or Quadraphonic sound. WM Capture can only record stereo, 44100 or 48000 sample rates. See Troubleshooting instructions if you need to change your audio settings.
    • Windows XP: WM Capture will make its best guess as to what the audio settings should be, but you can override them if you like. If the Audio Sources drop down list shows a source name and Audio Inputs shows an input name like Stereo Mix, Master Volume, Wave Out Mix, What U Hear then click Test to play a sound and ensure you can record audio. Follow the instructions on the screen. After a few seconds, if the test is successful, click OK to save the audio settings.

      If the audio test fails try to repeat the test increasing the sound volume or choose another audio source/input if available.

      If no audio source is detected or the recording test fails and no other hints are provided by the program try to use the Universal Audio Driver (see Troubleshoot under Audio Test dialog window).

      If you'd like to record audio from the microphone or line in, click Settings, then Audio Setup/Test to manually configure audio recording.

  • Video Settings: Choose the Video Bit Rate, Frames per second, and Video Format (MPEG-2, MPEG-4 or Windows Media). The Recommended Settings menu option will do this for you, but you can manually adjust these parameters here if you like. Whenever you change the video format, the Video Capture Options window will appear. Here are the video options that can be selected:  WM Capture User Guide
    • The Enhanced video mode includes enhanced recording features like dual monitor, pause and video preview.
    • Basic video is provided for compatibility with previous versions of WM Capture.
    • Video Preview – when this button is checked, a small video window on the main screen shows what is being recorded
    • The Resize video option can be used to resize the recorded video and is available only with MPEG-2 video format. Please note that not every width/height combination is accepted. 
    • The Set Markers option can be used to fix the recording area to a certain width and height.
  • Disable Video Acceleration: Use this option if you record Windows Media Player or Real Player windows on Windows XP or lower versions. Otherwise keep this option unchecked.
  • Recording Options:
    • Record Audio: Turn on or off audio recording. This is useful for making "silent movies".
    • Record Video: Turn this option off if you want to make WM Capture into an audio-only recorder.
    • Keep on Top: Keeps WM Capture on top of all other windows.
    • Full Screen: Sets the recording area to the full screen.
    • Set Top Window:This lets you set the recording window on top of other windows. The window size must be smaller than ½ of the screen area.
    • Show Cursur: Will record your mouse cursor/pointer.
  • Recording File Size / Time: This lets you limit the time or file size for your recordings. Handy for unattended recordings.
  • Recording file name: Type in a name for your recording.

Tools Menu:

  • Setup Storage Folder: Choose the folder that you'd like WM Capture to save your recorded files.
  • Setup Video Detect Mode: Determine if you wan WM Capture to automatically find video windows, or if you would like to mark them manually.
  • Setup Windows Theme: Determine if youwould like WM Capture to automatically change your Windows theme to Windows Basic.
  • Scheduler: Opens the scheduler or set it to open when WM Capture starts.
  • Installed Video Codecs: Displays all the video codecs installed on your computer. You can also display which of these codecs have been tested with WM Capture.
  • Hide WM Capture When Recording: Makes the WM Capture window disappear when recording starts. This is useful for recording full-screen video for example.
  • Audio Recording Options:
    • Universal Audio Driver (UAD): This option should only be used with Windows XP systems!
      • Enable: This enables the use of the Universal Audio driver (for XP only.) On some systems, there may not be a usable recording input available. The Universal Audio Driver allows you to record audio on virtually ANY system. You should select this if the Audio Test fails to locate any available recording input.
      • Delay Audio by __ milliseconds : In some cases, the audio and video may be slightly out of sync when using the Universal Audio Driver. (The amount is site dependent.) You can manually enter a delay to help the audio and video sync better.
      • Disable Windows Sounds: Check this option to disable sounds in Windows, which often interfere with the audio in your recording.
    • Enable/Disable Audio Bar Graph: Turn on/off the audio bar graph on WM Capture's main window.
    • Test Speakers (Windows 7, Vista): Will test to determine if your speakers are set to Stereo/Mono, 44100 or 48000 sample rate.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Test Filters
    • Keep Alive: Enable this to prevent your computer from sleeping or hibernating while you are recording.
    • Make WM Capture Visable
    • Open WM Capture Installation Folder
    • Open Still image file
    • Restore initial settings
    • My Regisgtration

Video Capture Options Menu

  • The Enhanced Video Settings mode will enable enhanced recording features like dual monitor, pause, video preview.
  • Basic Video Settings is provided for compatibility with previous versions of WM Capture.
  • Video Preview – when this button is checked, a small video window on the main screen shows what is being recorded.
  • The Resize video option can be used to resize the recorded video and is available only with MPEG-2 video format. Please note that not every width/height combination is accepted.
  • The Set Markers option can be used to fix the recording area to a certain width and height.

Recommended Settings Menu

  • Choose Recommended Settings from the top menu to automatically configure the Audio Settings and Video Settings for the speed of your PC and desired output quality.

How to Record a Video

First, you need to mark a region of the screen to record as a video, and then you can start, stop or pause recording.

Important Note: In almost every situation, you don't need to record the entire screen to get the best video quality. Most video sources broadcast at no more than 640x480 pixels, and then up-scale the video to fit a full screen. This means that you can record at 100% (rather than 200% or full-screen), and get great quality. Plus, recording from a smaller video rectangle ensures that WM Capture uses less CPU power, and this makes smaller files and greatly reduces the chances of dropped frames and choppy recordings.

A simple rule is to select the recording window not bigger than ¼ of your screen area. If you’re recording a large window located inside the browser you can use the ZOOM function (Ctrl -) to lower the size of the browser and the recording square.

Changing Vista and Windows 7 theme

WM Capture 6 changes the Windows 7/Vista theme from Aero to Windows Basic. This greatly improves the general speed of your Windows system by disabling the Aero video effects. The result is a much improved video capture of your screen. The initial theme is restored when WM Capture closes. We highly recommend using this feature. If you want different options open Settings, Tools, Setup Windows theme.

Marking a Recording Region

To change between different marking modes click Settings, Tools, Setup video detect mode

Version 6 provides a Manual and an Automatic mode to mark the video recording area. The Manual mode is provided for compatibility with previous versions. The coordinates of the marked window are shown on the main screen (xTop, yTop, xBttom, yBottom (width, height)).

Using Get Video

The easiest way to mark a region is to use the Get Video function. Here's how:

Auto Mode

WM Capture can detect motion videos and automatically mark the recording screen area. Begin playing your video then click Get Video. A semi-transparent window marks the video area on your screen. If the marked area is not what you want click Retry to run the detection again or move/resize window to fine tune the marking rectangle. Note that static images cannot be automatically detected.

Manual Mode

1.       Click Get Video.

2.       Move the mouse over the window you'd like to record from. As you move the mouse, the recording window will be highlighted.

3.       Once your window is highlighted, click the mouse, and the region is set. It's that easy!

You can often find a Windows Media Player video window this way, or even locate an application window to record videos from. You can also drag the markers to adjust the recording region. Click Home on the WM Capture main window to remove the marker display.

Manually Marking a Region

Auto Mode

      Click Mark Video Window. A semi-transparent window is shown on the screen. Move and/or resize this window to fit the video area.

Manual Mode

You can also manually drag the markers from WM Capture to the upper left and lower right parts of the recording region. This may be necessary if WM Capture can't locate the video window, or if you'd like to record a region not defined by a window.

To manually mark a region:

1.       Click Mark Video Window. The current position of the markers appears.

2.       Go to the upper-left marker, and drag it with the mouse to the new top-left corner.

3.       Repeat with the lower-right marker.


Recording

Once you've marked an area to capture, it's easy to record from it. Here's how:

Starting Recording

To start a recording, press the Record button. In a moment, the region you selected will be recorded as a video. As you're recording, the Record button turns into a Stop button, and Play becomes Pause.

Note that WM Capture main screen is invisible to recording even if the main screen image overlaps the recording area. To change this open Settings and uncheck the box Set Top Window. However, this is not recommended when the Auto detection mode is used.

Hint: You can also start recording by using the keyboard. Press Ctrl+F12 to start and stop recording when WM Capture is open. Click Settings, Tools, Hide WM Capture to enable/disable the keyboard options.

Important Note: The recording quality is highly depended on the frame rate that can be sustained by your computer. Normally this should be higher then 20 frames per second (fps). In the above picture 25/17 indicates a preset rate of 25 frames per second and an actual (achieved) rate of 17 frames per second. The ideal situation will be 25/25. To achieve a higher frame make sure your recording window size is not much higher than 640x480 (about ¼ of a regular screen size) and your Windows theme is set to Basic for Win7/Vista computers.

Pause and Restart

If you'd like to pause recording, click the Pause button. Click Restart to resume recording. You can also use Ctrl+F11to pause and resume recording.

Stop Recording

Click Stop to end the recording. Your recorded file is saved.

How to Record from DVDs

Recording from DVDs is easy using WM Capture. Here's how to do it:

1.       Insert the DVD into your PC, and play it using Windows Media Player.

2.       Once the DVD starts playing, resize the Windows Media Player window to approximately 1/4 of your screen. The size of the video window should be as close to 640x480 pixels as possible.

3.       Click Get Video in WM Capture, and move the marker over the video window in Windows Media Player.

4.       Once the video window is highlighted, click the mouse. This sets the recording region.

5.       Click Record, and play your video.

6.       Click Stop when finished.

Note: You are legally allowed to record clips from DVD's for your own personal use. WM Capture is not intended to be a way to circumvent copy protection on copyrighted DVD's.

Recording to DVDs

WM Capture can write to DVD format and create ISO files, which are easily burned to DVD using any DVD burning program. To record a video in DVD format

  • In Settings select the DVD format, TV standard and aspect ratio. The video bitrate is calculated to fit a 4 GB DVD in relation to the recording time specified.
  • Start recording. When recording is finished click View then right click the recorded file name (file name extension must be .dvd.mpg – do not change this extension).
  • In the pop-up menu select DVD then click Make DVD files. The authoring process begins. This makes the ISO folders and the VOB files. The DVD has chapters distanced every 10 minutes but no menus. Therefore the DVD begins playing when inserted in the DVD player.
  • When authoring is Done click File on the “Make DVD files” window and select Open DVD folder. The two folders VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS are the DVD ISO folders.
  • Insert a blank DVD, open your DVD burner (for example Roxio), set burning type to Data or Data Disc, drag the two ISO folders in the burner window and begin burning the DVD.

Here are some tips on creating the best quality DVD files.

You need to make sure that your computer can sustain a recording frame rate of at least 29.97 for NTSC, 25 fps for PAL. XP dual core computers with CPU speed of 1.8 GHz or higher can easily do this. However, on Vista and Windows 7 you may have to set Windows to "Best Performance" mode instead of "Best Appearance" as shown under Video Capture Options. To check  if the DVD frame rate can be sustained, make a short two minute recording, use DVD video format, 6000 kbps, 29.97 fps, 720x480 size.  When recording, WM Capture shows the actual achieved frame rate next to the preset rate in the Status window. Make sure the actual frame rate does not go lower. If this happens consistently you can still record DVDs but the video quality may not be as good - especially for high motion scenes.

The recorded DVD file needs to be "authored". The authoring process creates the DVD folders VIDEO_TS / AUDIO_TS, which may take up to 10 minutes for a 2 hour movie. The DVD folders can be burned as Data Disc using any DVD burner software (a two hour movie takes about 15 minutes to burn.) The recorded DVD does not have a menu so it begins playing when inserted into the DVD player. The DVD video has chapters set every 10 minutes such that the DVD can be quickly scanned in 10 minute increments.

To maintain a reasonable frame rate of at least 20 fps even on slower computers:

  • The recording video size must be smaller than 1/4 of your screen.
  • Do not use the Full Screen videos. Always try to make the video window smaller.
  • If the video plays in a web page use the Zoom function of the browser to make the web page and the video smaller.

How to Capture a Video Frame (snapshot)

With WM Capture, you can capture a frame on screen as an image file using the Still button:

Here's how:

1.       Play your video, and make sure the WM Capture markers surround the area you'd like to capture. If the Full Screen button is checked in Settings, the entire screen is captured.

2.       Click the Still button.

3.       Your image is saved, and opens in the default editor for .bmp bitmap files. The bmp file is called zzzBmp.bmp and is located in the installation folder.

Note: You can also save a screenshot while you are recording.


How to Schedule a Recording

You can make WM Capture open a program or a web page, and start recording automatically at a preset time or according to a schedule. Here's how to do it:

1.       Click Settings, then Scheduler from the top menu, then Open Now. The Scheduler appears: 

 WM Capture User Guide

 

2.       Within the scheduler are these options:

File Name: What name to use when saving the file.

URL / File Path: What URL to open if recording a video from the web (make sure the video window coordinates did not change). 

Program Name: What EXE file to open if recording from a Windows application (for example C:\Program Files\wmplayer.exe for Windows Media Player).

Window Position: The coordinates of the window to record from (top, left, bottom, right).
Start Time: What time of day to start recording.

Duration: How many hours:minutes:seconds to record. 

Date: Pick the starting date to record from.

Daily: Pick the days of the week to record regularly broadcast programs. Select Once if you will be recording just once. Pick Daily if you will be recording seven days a week.

3.       The Scheduler also has these action buttons:

Enable: Start running the scheduler so that scheduled items are recorded.

Disable: Stop recording scheduled items.

Save Schedule: Save your scheduled item.

View: View all scheduled items.

Test URL: Open the URL to make sure the program to record you want appears. 

Schedule Now: Insert the current time and date into the schedule parameters.

To schedule a recording, set the Start Time, the Duration and a file name for the recorded file. Then click Save Schedule.

Multiple recordings can be scheduled the recording times cannot overlap.

Playing your Recorded Videos

Once you've finished recording, you can see your last recorded video by clicking Play.

To see all your recordings, click the View button. The View screen appears:

 WM Capture User Guide

Double click a file to play it, or select and right-click to playrename or delete a recording.

Click the Open Output Folder menu option to open a file explorer window for your recorded video files.

Note: On some systems, you may need to use the supplied MPEG-2 player instead of Windows Media Player or other players that may be setup to play MPEG files in your computers. Right click the file name and select Open MPEG Player in the pop up menu.


Adjusting the Volume

The volume of recorded file can be adjusted using the Volume slider.  When the Stereo Mix type audio source is used the recording volumes as well as the audio volume of your computer are adjusted. When audio is recorded using the Auto Detect option (available for Vista and Win 7) this slider has no effect on the overall audio volume of your system. The audio is recorded at constant volume even if the computer volume is muted.

Troubleshooting


I can't play MPEG-2 files created by WM Capture

Some older versions of Windows Media Player cannot playback MPEG-2 files. In this case you can use WM Capture simple MPEG-2 player accessible from the VIEW menu or the VLC media player.

Video quality is choppy

To get the best quality video - especially on slower machines - try the following:

1.       Go to Settings, and make sure you are using the MPEG-2 video format. You can also try one of the Recommended Settings options for slower PC's.

2.       Try recording from a smaller video window by resizing your player to 1/4 of your screen, or no more than 640x4800 pixels. This won't affect the video quality (since video is scaled UP from smaller sizes to fit a full-screen picture). This will require less computer power to capture, which will make for smoother videos.

3.       Use a lower frame rate. For example 15 fps or even 10 fps.

4.       On Vista and Win 7 use the “Best Performance” mode instead of “Best Appearance” mode. To change Windows video mode open Settings / Tools / Windows Best Performance


I'm having trouble recording audio.

For Windows Vista: Use the Auto Detect option under audio Setup/ Audio Setup.

For Windows XP: On some PC's, only the Universal Audio Driver will work. Go to Settings/Tools, and select theUniversal Audio Driver (UAD). Use the Universal Audio Driver only if the Test option fails to locate a working audio recording line. Note that UAD may not work with Internet Explorer or Chrome browsers on Vista and Win7.

The Universal Audio Driver Option isn't working for me

To use the Universal Audio Driver, in some cases you may need to open WM Capture before opening your browser or video playback application.


The Video Window is all black when playing back the recording

If this occurs, you will need to disable "hardware acceleration" on your PC. Here's how to do it:

1.       Right click on your Windows desktop.

2.       Select Properties in the pop-up menu.

3.       In the Display Property window click Settings, Advanced, Troubleshoot.

4.       Move the Hardware Acceleration slider to NONE.

5.       Click Apply.

6.       Click OK in the message box displayed by the video card.

7.       Click OK to exit

If this happens while recording a DVD use a DVD player that plays DVD without using hardware acceleration (for example VLC Media Player).


I'm not able to play DVD's any more since installing WM Capture.

WM Capture disables the video acceleration for Windows Media Player when installed. This is required for capturing the screen section where Windows Media plays the video. Otherwise, the recording shows a black window. This feature can be activated or deactivated in WM Capture's settings "Disable Video Acceleration" check box.

Here how to re-enable video acceleration in Windows Media Player:

1.       Open Windows Media Player.

2.       From the menu., select Tools, Options, Performance.

3.       Move the "Video Acceleration" slider to Full and click OK.

 I get a "Cannot Run Graph” error message

The "Cannot Run Graph" error is related to the version of DirectX installed on your machine. You need to have version 9 or higher installed in order to run WM Capture. You should make sure you are running DirectX 9 (or 10 if your graphics card will support it) and that should take care of the problem. You can update your DirectX from Microsoft's site here.

Also, you might want to try uninstalling WM Capture, restarting your computer and re-installing it. Usually this has to be done for it to realize that the proper version of DirectX has been installed.

I use Dual Audio recording but I can only hear one audio channel

WM Capture installs an MPEG-2 audio codec capable of playing videos with multiple audio channels. Windows Media Player is the only player we know which can correctly pick this codec when playing back MPEG-2 recordings. Use WMP to playback dual audio recordings. If you want to have the two channels mixed in one you should re-record the dual channel video.

I get a "Cannot install screen capture filter" error

This error indicates that the screen capture codec was not installed in your computer. In some rare instances this may be the result of very restrictive security software not allowing activeX components in your system. However this problem can also occur on some custom Windows installation (especially Windows 7). Make sure the file regsvr32 located in the folder C:\Windows\SysWOW64 and the regsvr32 file located in C:\Windows\System32 have the same version.

I get "Recording error (x013). WM Capture will close now"

This error indicates that recording could not be started in less than 10 seconds for an unspecified reason. Disconnect the second monitor, use Windows Media video format, use Basic Video instead of Enhanced Video.