For a while now I’ve long been toying with the idea of making videos. Nothing too fancy, just keepsakes of battling rares, Brawler’s Guild matches, and PVP. That sort of thing. I probably won’t even upload any of it to youtube, I just want something to show off to friends and family who also play and something to remember fondly after WoW finally calls it quits. So after facing similar stumbling blocks on this path as I did on my quest for 3-way chat, in which I felt much like Goldilocks as each piece of software just wasn’t quite right and had to be discarded, I finally found EZVid (free for download at EZVid.com).
At first blush it seems to be powerful enough to do what I want. I made some sample videos on the farm and it does a decent job of keeping file size down, considering the video quality. The good news is that it doesn’t really seem to effect frame rate at all while I’m playing and despite being freeware its limitations aren’t all that limiting. It adds a short “made with EZVid” clip to the start of your video if you use the built-in wizard, but it doesn’t add any watermarks or annoying text messages across your video. It’s also possible to just take the source video and edit with some other software to avoid that clip altogether. The maximum length of the footage you capture is 45 minutes per file, so obviously you can fit in Brawler’s Guild matches, Battlegrounds, and even 5-man Dungeons with no problems.
One nice feature is that it can automatically add music to your video. It comes with a broad library of freebies with a variety of styles, but you can also add your own music if you so desire. It has a built in movie editor that allows you to trim the raw footage as you see fit and it automatically trims the music to match.
The only downside I’ve found so far is the way it processes the video. Like most video capture software, this works by creating a temporary file for the original recording. This temporary file is usually uncompressed and thus quite large. Once you hit stop to end the recording, it converts your temporary recording into a permanent one. The permanent one is compressed to save space while preserving quality. This process, though great for saving storage space, is generally lengthy and resource-intensive. Meaning that it may well drop your frame rate while it is converting, and since the converting happens automatically and immediately, you probably won’t be able to chain individual recordings to make a video of a longer instance (since the program is busy converting the project and can’t start a new recording until it’s done). That is to say, most progression raids aren’t going to be particularly compatible with this recording software. (Just a warning to those who may be thinking along those lines.)
All told, though, I think I’ll be able to work with this software. I doubt I’ll be doing much progression raiding any time soon, if ever. It will give me a chance to capture other memories on a shorter scale, though, and that should be enough to be getting on with.