How to Record a Webinar Presentation From Your Computer

by Kevin Lee

When you can’t attend an important presentation, let it come to you. People use webinar technology to broadcast audio and video presentations over the Internet. Although some webinars may be prerecorded, many of them are live. After you tune in to a webinar broadcast, you may want to record it yourself so you can watch it again later. Windows doesn’t have a tool that captures streaming multimedia content, but you can record a webinar using third-party software.

From the Teacher to Your Desktop

Webinar presenters share information with others in a variety of creative ways. Some may share their computer desktops over the Web while others might transmit live video that shows them teaching different things. Like streaming video from YouTube, digital information from a webinar arrives at your computer where a monitor displays it. All you have to do is figure out how to capture that information if you want to view it after the webinar ends.

Choose Your Recording Software

Programs that record screen activity don’t care where multimedia information comes from. That means that a screen capture application, such as Camtasia Studio, Screencast-O-Matic or Replay Video Capture, will record what’s happening on your screen. After you install an app, test it before your webinar begins to ensure that you set everything up correctly. You can do that by recording a simple task, such as opening and closing a few windows. This practice session familiarizes you with the recording process and helps ensure that everything flows smoothly when it’s time to record a live webinar.

Don’t Forget the Sound

If a webinar has audio, you may want to record that too. On the other hand, you may only care about the webinar’s video content, which may be the case if the presenter overlays text information on top of the video. Recording audio that comes from a streaming video is a little different than recording audio using a mic. When you want to record webinar sound, ensure that the application you choose has sound recording capabilities. If it does, the app will have audio settings you can adjust that tell it whether you’re recording from a mic or from another audio source. Consult your program’s documentation to learn how to enable and disable audio recording.

Watch Your Bits and Bytes

When it’s time to record a webinar, launch your recording program and begin recording. Unless your hard drive has infinite space, you’ll eventually run out of room putting files on it. Video files can consume a significant amount of space depending on how you record them. Screen capture programs often give you the option to create smaller compressed videos. The trade-off there is that compressed videos don’t look as good as those you don’t compress. If you don’t care about file size and want the best quality recording, choose the best quality setting before you save your file. You can always use a video-conversion program later to compress the recording if you’d like to reduce its size.

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About the Author

After majoring in physics, Kevin Lee began writing professionally in 1989 when, as a software developer, he also created technical articles for the Johnson Space Center. Today this urban Texas cowboy continues to crank out high-quality software as well as non-technical articles covering a multitude of diverse topics ranging from gaming to current affairs.

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