I mean something that doesn't have tons of features like VirtualDub (which has both video editing and capturing). Something like Amcap who's purpose is to give you a simple preview of the video feed from the camera, as well as letting you capture to raw AVI video and BMP still image files. Unlike Amcap though, I'm looking for something that's truly freeware. Amcap just has a free trial version, but it has watermarks on EVERYTHING it captures (even the still pictures) unless you pay for it. I'm hoping something exists that's basically a "free amcap", but is an actual legit alternative to Amcap. I'm NOT looking for a pirated version of Amcap.
In fact, I remember hearing that a LONG time ago, there was a very early version of Amcap that was truly freeware. I think the actual name of the program at the time was just "video capture tool" or something like that, before the software's author changed it to Amcap, and started selling it. If there's still a copy of that very old version of Amcap floating around, I'd like it if somebody can link me to it, because I can't find it in Google at all. Any time I type "free amcap" the search results all show links to 3rd party downloads (such as through Softonic and CNet) for the trial version of newer versions of Amcap. None of them actually point me to the very old freeware version.
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Apparently this Noel D fellow took Microsoft's free demonstration from the SDK: Microsoft AMCap, added features, kept the name, and is selling it.
Using the original name seems shady.
Last edited by Brad; 10th Jun 2021 at 19:12.(Formerly vaporeon800)
I bought the 32 bit AMCap and run it on Windows 7 64 bit.
Its pretty hard to beat as to flexibility. Without writing software you can change the DirectShow Video renderer from the old VMR to the Enhanced VMR and VMR9 versions on the fly.. which is very helpful when the capture device outputs in a weird color space and won't preview outside the bundled Capture application for the capture device.
The current AMCap depends on calls only available in post-Windows XP operating systems.
But I contacted the Author and he sold me a copy of the Windows XP compatible version in 2021, without any guarantees of it working on XP. I accepted that.. I desperately wanted those VMR features on Windows XP.. and it worked great.
It will also "pseudo mostly" works with MPEG2 TV Tuners that offer Uncompressed and MPEG2 capture, which almost no capture program tries to do "both" Uncompressed or MPEG2 capture. Again that's almost unheard of.. so its pretty rare.
VLC will come close, but its a bundle of confusion. VLC does not use DirectShow, it uses the re-implemented libavcodec library. VLC will sort of use Uncompressed, but its a bear to figure out. Mostly it was intended as a re-streamer or transcoder using libavcodec and happens to work on windows most of the time.
I can understand the aversion to using paid for software, but sometimes its justified.
I don't think AMCap is a ripoff of the old AMCap demo program bundled with the original DirectX 8 SDK, that's about 25 years old now and was quite immature. Besides almost every capture product from 1995 to 2005 included an AMcap version that worked only with their capture hardware.. and no one complained about reusing the name. Certainly Microsoft was trying to draw attention away from Quicktime and towards their DirectX kit for writing capture software.
These days though, if your using modern hardware and modern operating system most people would run to OBS or a paid version of OBS since that uses DirectX 11. But its a bit overwhlming to learn how to use. The user interface is redundant and all over the place. It aspires to be a piece of software for everyone and kind of looks like it wants to be a non linear editor when it grows up.. much like virtualdub.. but has fallen down the same rabbit hole that VLC did and just wants to run everywhere.
You might give a look towards CaptureFlux from Paul Glagla, he's French I believe so the docs are sometimes hard to understand.. and he mostly targeted the old ADS capture products.. it works with most things and its free for non-commercial use. Its not always stable with every capture card.. and doesn't have the "feel" of AMCap.. I mean AMCap has about as much in common with the original AMCap demo app as it does with VirtualDub (literally none).. but after playing with CaptureFlux for a long long time.. you can sort of figure out how to use it.
Beyond that though I run first to the capture application made for the capture device first, then AMCap second.
I should mention that both AMCap (Noel) and CaptureFlux (Paul) both use Digital River if you decide to license either one from either of them.. and Digital River offers both a Digital Download and CD by mail in a hard cardboard envelope for an extra fee. I kind of like that since you never know when you might forget where your stored the installer.
If your really geeky.. gbrecord was an ancient command line program that would accept a custom DirectShow SDK GraphEdit file from the command line and import it and build it and let you run a capture from the command line. FF mpeg for windows will do almost the same.. it has a complex build language on its input.. and GraphStudio Next (?) I think will import GraphEdits.
One Stellar feature of AMCap however is it will let you "Export" whatever the current Graph its using for Preview or Capture to a GraphEdit file you can open in GraphEdit.. I think it can even Shove it into an instance of GraphEdit or GraphStudioNext .. but I have not done that.
I really wish AMCap could import a GraphEdit graph before discovery so it could handle complex two component, capture plus encoder setups.. quite a few capture cards are broken into two parts and won't work on any software that doesn't suspect this.. or is hardwired for it. VirtualDub and OBS has a lot of hardwired workarounds for common capture devices that do this.. but not everything.. sigh.. not everything.
AmarecTV is also a fan favorite to some people.
I haven't figured it out, but its been around a long time. Its developer I think came from Japan or is Japanese and a lot of the early documentation is hard for a Westerner to understand. (I think) the history was somewhat like VirtualDub.. in that the author was trying to archive some kind of Anime or Manga type of media.. and it generalized into capturing TV programs and grew organically after that. Since it is Japanese.. I've heard some of its defaults set IRE 0 which is not the default for North America IRE 7.5 and that can cause some capture problems if setting aren't carefully looked at before starting.
And sort of tangentially related, Avery Lee has begun infrequently posting again on the VirtualDub home pages.. so the original source for VirtualDub may make a come back.. but I doubt it will be simplified enough to look like AMCap.
AmarecTV does however have special builds out for the Intensity Pro and Micomsoft SC-512 if your into BlackMagic Design or the famous Micomsoft capture devices... they aren't for the light of pocket.. or easily frustrated... (or rather your pocket will be lighter and you will be frustrated at some point..)
Three indespensible programs I have bought for use in 2021 are:
VideoGlide (EchoFx) - it just works with so many capture devices on Mac OSX pre-13
AMCap (Noels) - it just works with so many capture cards and devices on a Windows PC
Isobuster (Peters) - it just works when reading DVD recorders recordings and offloading to a PC, Mac or Linux
Of these VideoGlide is winding down sales and may not be available much longer, but their authors assure me activation will continue to work long after they are gone.
AMcap is still available, but certainly in a quiescent state of development and could disappear at any time, so having a full enabled copy is very important to me. Recent contact with the author and scoring a version that works on XP was quite a win.
Isobuster is still under active support and development by its author after sprinting in 2019 to add over 60 brands and models of DVD recorders.. there is just nothing else like it.
VirtualDub 1.9.11 and OBS 25.0.8 get honorable mentions, but they don't cost anything. They are go to tools, but I don't use them everyday and often only use them when nothing else works. VLC 2.x is also a great capture app.. when it works.. its bamboozled me more than once and eaten tons of time for its lack of clear documentation. VLC 3.x is highly not recommended by me.. its one of those (re-imagined) development efforts..
Last edited by jwillis84; 10th Jun 2021 at 21:13.
Can someone post here a link to an offline installer for the Windows SDK? Or better yet, a direct link to just a copy of MS AmCap uploaded to some other file sharing service (like Mega or Mediafire or Google Drive)?
While I wasn't able to get it to compile in VS 2010, I remembered I also had an even older version of VS on my PC, Visual C++ 2008 Express. So I tried that, and while it did need to convert the project (apparently even VS 2008 is newer than the intended compiler for this project), its conversion was successful. I was then able to successfully compile the project. I've uploaded it here for others to download.
I didn't look at all the project's settings, so I don't know if it compiled it statically (C++ runtime builtin to EXE) or dynamically (requires separate installation of Visual C++ 2008 runtimes on your PC, if it's not already installed). If it says it's missing any DLLs, please let me know.
As I don't even know where to get the runtimes installer for such an old version of Visual Studio (I don't know if Microsoft even still has it on their website), I figured I should compile it statically if possible. I have now gone back in and checked the project settings and found it was compiled dynamically, meaning it has a dependency on the runtime DLLs. I've changed that setting and recompiled it statically now, and uploaded it to Mediafire. If you have trouble getting the other one to work, just install this one.
Note that this EXE file is about twice the size of the first one.
Note that your antivirus software may complain about it. It's not a virus. It's a legit compiled copy of the Microsoft AmCap software. My AVG Antivirus though gave a warning on both versions (static and dynamic). So you may need to add an exception for the program to your AV software, so it doesn't block your using the software.
Last edited by Videogamer555; 11th Jun 2021 at 02:58.
In the year 2010...
the last good version of VirtualDub compilation on Windows instructions said to use "Visual C++ 2008 Express" with Windows SDK and DirectX SDK
those instructions warned the source would be converted from its native 2005 format
I succeeded with that project.. for VirtualDub.. on Windows 7 x64 in 2019
[VirtualDub] Compiling VirtualDub with VC++ Express - how I did it
It probably has a lot of the same requirements since both are DirectShow reliant programs.
AMCap demo probably has a lot less dependencies than VirtualDub.
Last edited by jwillis84; 11th Jun 2021 at 11:18.