How to Record a Live Webcam on Windows Media Player

By Brent Watkins

Windows Media Player is Microsoft's robust media management and playback component that ships with every version of Microsoft Windows. While the player component of Windows Media is included with Windows, the recording component is available as a free download at Microsoft's web site. Windows Media Encoder is a robust video production tool for the Windows Media Player native format. With Windows Media Encoder, you can record video from a connected device, convert other video formats into the Windows Media format or generate a live stream for output to the Web.

Things You'll Need

  • Web cam
  • Computer
  • Windows media player
  • Windows media encoder

Step 1

Download Windows Media Encoder at microsoft.com (see Resources) and install and launch the software.

Step 2

Select "Capture audio or video" from the New Session dialogue box and press "OK."

Step 3

In the Device Options dialogue box, select your webcam as the video device and the appropriate audio input device from the pull down menus. Note that you can adjust the input image and audio quality using the "Configure" buttons to the right.

Step 4

Press "Next" and enter the file name and location where you want the recorded file saved. For this example, you can enter "mywebcam" as the file name and place the file in a folder where you normally store your videos.

Step 5

The Content Distribution dialogue box allows you to use presets for different uses. For our purposes, we will select "File Archive." Press "Next" and keep the default "Highest quality video (VBR 100)" settings, then press "Next" again.

Step 6

Enter whatever information you wish in the "Display Information" dialogue box. Remember, this information will be viewable to those you might share the video with.

Step 7

View the "Settings Review" dialogue box with a summary of your previous selections. Press the "Finish" button.

Step 8

View the main encoder window with the image from the webcam. You may need to adjust the size of the image by changing the zoom to less than 100 percent.

Step 9

Begin recording the video to your file by pressing the "Start Encoding" button. When you press the "Stop Encoding" button, a dialogue box appears. Press the "Play Output File" to play what you recorded in Windows Media Player.