Krut Computer Recorder is a free program that can record anything that
occurs on your computer screen (both video and audio) and encode it into a MOV video file. It can be used to create demonstrations/presentations or to capture and record streaming video.
What I like about this program is its simplicity. Once set-up, there are only 3 controls that you will ever need; “Record”, “Snap” (to snap a still picture), and the little arrow button that you is
used to set the boundaries of the recording area. Here’s how to use this program:
- Enabling video: you do not need to change any of your computer’s display settings if you are recording a presentation, but will likely need to disable your graphics
- card’s video acceleration it if you want to record streaming video or video from a media player. You can do this from the settings for some media players or through Windows’ “Display Properties” control panel (for my system I got there thought Display Properties, settings tab, advanced, troubleshooting tab, and then disabling graphics acceleration using a slider. Remember to re-enable acceleration once you’re done with recording (it is generally a desirable thing).
- Enabling audio: for sound, double click on the sound icon in the system tray, go to options, properties, click on the adjust properties for recording radio button, and then check “stereo mix” (may also be called “wave out-mix” or something similar). After this, you will see the Recording Control dialog; check the select box underneath “stereo mix” (or “wave out-mix” or whatever it may be called).
- Installing:unzip Krut in the appropriate location and run either Krut.bat or Krut.jar (this is a no-install Java application).
- Defining capture area: click the arrow on the main console to set the capture area. Place on top left corner and press control; keep pressed and move to bottom right corner, then release the control key.
- Settings: if you want to change encoding settings, click menu then settings. Setting video encoding quality is done very simply using a slider with a range from zero to 100. You can change audio encoding quality here as well.
- Volume levels: max out the system volume before you begin recording. This will give the recorded video the best sound.
- Recording: Click the “Record” button to start recording (if you are recording a video start playing and recording in quick succession). At this point you want to make sure no video or audio events occur unexpectedly, as anything that occurs within the capture area will be recorded (for example, moving your mouse into it, moving other windows within it). Any sound events will be recorded as well, so if you change the volume during recording it will change in the resulting recording, or if your computer beeps to notify you of new email that will be recorded. Click “stop” on the Krut console when you’re done; the program will encode and mux your video.
- Output files: by default, your new video will be named movie.mov in the Krut directory. You can also find the files for video or audio alone (temp.mov and audio.wav respectively). You can use Krut to just do audio recording, but if that’s what you’re interested in I suggest you use Mp3MyMp3 instead.
Other notes/observations on this program:
- While this is a good screen recorder, if capturing streaming media is what you’re after you may be able to download these more easily using URL Snooper to identify their URLs and Flashget to download.
- My wish list: although the program’s simplicity is really its strong suite, there are a few things that I wish it had, such as encoding with a different codec and container format (xvid AVI’s would have been great), and a timer to start the recording process (as it is you kind of have to scramble to get recording and playback to occur as close to each other as possible). Also, a magnifying function when selecting the recording would be really useful.
I like this program because of the simplicity; all it is is a straight recorder rather than a fancy presentation-creation software, and at that it works remarkably well.
Version tested: 0.9.2.1
Compatibility: Multi Platform (WinAll, Linux). You need java JDK 5.0 or JRE 5.0 to run this program.