Litecam HD Review
By Matt Marine
In order to complete my "In Search of the Old Glory Dam" video, I wanted to have a screen capture program to show readers how I used programs like Google Earth to help with the search. I Googled for video screen capture software and came up with Litcam HD. It seemed to be fairly highly rated and a moderate price.
There are freeware versions of this type of software out there, but I try to stay clear of most freeware. At a minimum, freeware typically contains unwanted advertisements, while some freeware has malware attached to it.
I also did not want to pay a lot of money for this software package and set my limit at $40. There's a bunch of video capturing software out there in the $20 - $40 dollar range and I didn't spend too much time trying to compare them all. I knew I wasn't going to use this for gaming or stretch the capabilities of the software, I just wanted something easy to use and that did a decent job.
I found that Litecam HD had good ratings on CNet and took a closer look. It seemed to have a bunch of nice features for a good price $35, so I gave it a try.
Not surprisingly, you have to be connected to the Internet to install this software (they aren't going to mail you a CD). The download was fast and easy (about a 34MB file).
The setup program worked the first time (which doesn't sound like much but with these cheaper software packages, this can be an ordeal in itself). One thing I did notice was that I told the install package to do a "Custom" install, but it did not allow me any choices and just went ahead with the "Typical" install.
Again, setup was fast and easy. After completing the normal setup, the program told me I would have to install the lameXXX.dll driver to completely take advantage of the program. This isn't unusual and have had to do this before with these types of programs.
They provided a nice link to a web page that provided download instructions for the driver. Although this was better than others I've seen, they could have been a little more clear here. I could see where people could get confused depending on whether they had a 32 or 64 bit OS.
Anyway, I had the software downloaded, installed and ready to use in less than 5 minutes. Very good.
When you first start the program it has some quick start up tips. I thought these were helpful since I hate reading manuals. They also allow you to close and not show them again.
Litecam HD seemed fairly easy to use and intuitive. It only took me about 5-10 minutes to get used to the user interface (due to its transparency, this can be a little strange).
My only problem (and one I still have) is that the "General Recording" mode does not work. Yes, it seems to record what I want, but the file will not play back. I have contacted customer support. They told me to reinstall the program (which I did), but it did not solve the issue. I have since asked them some additional questions and am awaiting a response.
When I put the mode to "Video Recording" I was able to record and watch a video screen capture of what I was doing on my computer. Very cool. Again, this took less than 10 minutes.
Using Litecam HD
A disclaimer: I have not run this software through its paces (probably never will). I am a light user. I did not try to capture my gaming experience or use many of the other features. I just recorded what was happening on my computer screen.
There's a nice big record button on the bottom right. You press that and in 3 seconds you're recording. Very easy.
You can also set the size of the area of what you want to record by dragging the corner of the Litecam recording window (or by setting a specific size in the tool menu section).
When you're done, hit either the pause of the stop button. Again, easy. There's a tool bar on the right hand side where you can select a pencil or highlighter to draw on the page. You can also click on the camera icon to take a quick snapshot of your computer screen.
Litecam states you can also put a logo, title, credits, convert video files and a bunch of other stuff, but I haven't tried these options yet. When you're all finished, Litecam saves your video on your hard drive where you can import it with your choice of video editing software programs.
Inexpensive ~ $35.
Easy to use interface.
Decent video quality.
Lots of great features.
Customer service. I contacted customer service a few times to help resolve some issues, they always promptly emailed me back with answers.
Love the chameleon.
Quick menu to select most used items.
Drawing feature allows you to draw on your screen.
Camera icon lets you take a snapshot of your screen.
Not really HD. It has the pixel dimensions for HD, but the video quality is not HD.
Sometimes it can be a little jerky in video mode. Every once in a while, the program "freezes" for a half second or two making the video jerky. This could be my laptop, though it's got an i5 core and 3 GB of ram, so I doubt it. It more than meets the minimum requirements.
Sometimes when I clicked on the draw button, it flashed a white screen for about 1/2 a second or so. This may have been resolved when I reinstalled the program, but not sure.
The side toolbar is part of the video or picture by default, you can remove the toolbar, but it is not that intuitive (in Video Option, click Icon in Task Bar).
I never could get "General Recording" to work. I don't know what the difference between "General Recording" mode and "Video Recording" mode for what I do.
Although this is a decent program, I'm on the fence about recommending it (that's the reason for the question mark rating). I used the program in its most basic form and it had two very noticeable glitches (program freezing and screen going white momentarily). This should not have stressed the program at all and I wonder how it will perform when you're recording games or anything more advanced. If it was $10, I'd say it's worth it, but at $35, there may be better programs out there (or maybe not). For me, not sure if $35 would be worth it.
Let me know what you think!