An Alternative to Fraps

Yesterday was a frustrating day, as my twitter discussions showed. Since I installed windows 7 (fresh install from the RC) my ‘trial’ version of fraps (which isn’t really a trial, but doesn’t allow for lengthy videos and adds a watermark) refused to work. No matter what I did, it just simply would not work. There is a known obscure bug that involves the registry and there’s very few ways around this bug I learned. Basically the only way to get around it was to delete the registry files involved in the trial version, and then purchase the real version. I fiddled around with everything, and it took forever and I’m not a very tech savvy person so this was a real learning experience for me.

Eventually I decided it was going to come down to me either reinstalling windows 7 (and wiping those registry issues out with reformatting my drives) or finding an alternative to Fraps.

Turns out, there ARE alternatives to fraps out there, and one of them happens to work very well.

I decided to check out Game Cam which does everything Fraps does, with a few extra selections. Now my only issue is getting it hosted on Youtube without the quality being turned so far down, does anyone have an alternative to that? If so please comment below.

Alright, so details about Game Cam that I really enjoy:

  • – Videos have numerous quality settings, and every one of them turned out absolutely beautiful.
  • – Add sound from speakers or microphone or chose some other sound option
  • – Cheaper then the retail version of fraps by $10
  • Noticed absolutely 0 game performance issue, even with my video recording settings turned to max. Of course I am running an i7 with 8 gigs of ram, so this may not be 100% accurate for everyone else. If you notice an issue, let me know.
  • – VERY easy to use. Also adds a ‘mini cam’ in the lower right side of screen, so you can see what the video is seeing.
  • – Files were MUCH smaller then Fraps. Fraps was giving me 1-2 gig files for 30 seconds of video. Game Cam reduced those down to 80 MB files. I realize people can compress files on their own, but I wanted something that wouldn’t involve a whole lot of work afterwards.

So far I’m quite impressed. I made three quick videos last night and if it wasn’t for the fact that Youtube just wasn’t cooperating with me, I’d have them posted here. I’ll try to do another one today and get it working properly. I also found a great program that does video conversions (an encoder), called Super. It’s 100% free to use so if you do want to encode your avi to mp4 or some other format, you can (and it’s also very simple to use).

I realize that fraps is very popular out there (I was asking for suggestions for video game captures on twitter) but I think that people will be pleasantly surprised with Game Cam. If you don’t mind the watermark you can also use the non-retail version of it in order to get a feel for it, though some of the options (video quality, size, etc) will be grayed out unless you purchase the full version. So far I’m loving my decision to pick it up, and people should be expecting lots of game related videos to show up on the web site soon!


5 Responses to An Alternative to Fraps

  1. stargrace says:

    I’m absolutely loving Game Cam, a minute and a half of video is about 100MB, I can edit them all with microsoft movie maker (very simple and amazing program) and they can also be uploaded directly to youtube or where ever I want from there. The quality is fantastic, it hasn’t caused any performance issues what so ever (and if the amount of videos I’ve made in the last week is any indication) I’m having a blast. I love being able to zoom in while filming, and adjust the quality to a number of settings, as well as take sound from microphone / in game at the same time. Makes videocasts really easy.

  2. br3ntbr0 says:

    I would take a look at Xfire.com and WeGame.com for video recording as well. Xfire records to a video folder, at which point you can take the video file and edit/upload it to YouTube. Both wegame.com and xfire.com allow you to upload the videos to their respective sites as well, but if you only do that you miss out on the larger YouTube audience.

  3. Nice, thanks for the information. I have used fraps, but I don’t like the performance hit that comes with it for me, so I will check this out.

  4. stargrace says:

    YouTube was playing the videos about 10x faster then their normal speed. I fixed that this morning I believe, changing the format to MP4 instead of AVI made a HUGE difference in the uploading time, and it worked just fine.

  5. Pete S says:

    Thanks for the write-up!

    What problems were you having with YouTube? Sometimes YouTube gets laggy and takes a while to process uploads to a HD version, so maybe go back and check them this am?

    I haven’t found a good alternative to YouTube for game content. I kind of like Vimeo but their terms of service specifically states “No gaming video”. I’ve used Photobucket but it didn’t feel much better than YouTube and is more obscure, so… :(


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