Over the years I have run different meetups and question that popped up from time to time is if the meetup could be recorded. The recording is useful for people that couldn’t attend or want to watch parts again. I tried different setups and this page represents the setup I’m using at the moment. Should parts change I will update the page.

Requirements

My requirements for the setup are as following:

  • Portable: It must easily fit into my backpack
  • Support for Demo Session: Screen recording must be possible
  • Low Cost: Should not cost more then $300
  • Wireless Microphone: Allow speaker to move freely
  • No / minimal post processing: No special skills are needed for the post processing

Setup

First a quick overview over my setup to see hardware and software used. I will go into details later on why picked these specific items:

Here is an example of a recording where Tyler Hannan is talking about a Deep dive into Elastic Machine Learning:

How to record

To be able to record the screen of the presenter they must install Screenflick in advance. Before the presentations start I setup the external Camera so the speaker is in the center and the slides are in the background (if possible). As the Camera stand is magnetic it can be attached to lots of different places or grab to a window handle (see image below). Keep in mind when setting it up that the speaker may walk around or sit down / stand up during his presentation. The main limitations of setting up the external camera is the length of the cable. I always bring some tape with me to the meetups so I could also attach it to the wall if needed. Below is an image of one of the meetups where I installed the camera to a window handle:

Camera Setup

After having setup the external camera I attach it to the presenter computer and also the microphone receiver. I turn the microphone on and start up Screenflick. Screenflick must be configured to record the screen, the external camera and the audio from the wireless microphone.

A few seconds before the talk starts, I let the speaker start the recording with Screenflick. After the talk the speaker stops the recording. After the meetup I ask to speaker to share the recording. For this he can right click on the recording in Screenflick and show it in the Finder. From there he can send it with your preferred way to your computer.

Exporting, Processing and Publishing

As soon as you have the Screenflick file it can be opened in Screenflick. Here choose the best params to combine the recording of the presented with the recording of the screen. Depending on the presentations some different edges can be better to put the image.

After exporting the video I cut off the beginning and the end of the video either in QuickTime locally or directly online in the YouTube Video Editor. There you can also enhance the audio if needed.

To publish the videos I use a public YouTube Playlist.

Limitations

The current setup has 2 major limitations:

  • It only works if the presenter has a Mac
  • Recording of the Q&A is tricky and always requires the speaker to repeat the questions

As a solution I leave the Q&A part out of the video, but it becomes tricky if there are lots of questions during the talk. For Windows or Linux machines so far I didn’t find a similar software like Screenflick. Best would be to have Screenflick for these platforms too.

Some workaround for the above problems can be found in the alternative setups.

Alternative Setups

Coming soon …

Decision Background for Hardware and Software

Coming soon …