Mirillis Action!...'If it Plays it Stays'



A lot of people reading this forum are currently using software like DVD Fab, DVD NextCopy, Ideal Ripper or Any DVD to make backups of their purchased media. These require frequent updates (and usually a subscription) to keep up with the constantly changing DRM techniques used by the studios. I suggest a different approach to preserving and making your media available. I’ve been using a screen recording program called Action! to backup my media and am pleased with the results. Here’s a short video demonstrating what is possible with this software: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STCKwxzL3VM&feature=youtu.be . Here’s the MediaInfo for that file:

Complete name                            : I:\DeskTop\Desktop 9-29-2012 3-17-47 PM.mp4
Format                                   : MPEG-4
Format profile                           : Base Media / Version 1
Codec ID                                 : mp41
File size                                : 799 MiB
Duration                                 : 4mn 50s
Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
Overall bit rate                         : 23.0 Mbps
Encoded date                             : UTC 2012-09-29 22:27:13
Tagged date                              : UTC 2012-09-29 22:27:13

ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : AVC
Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                           : High@L4.2
Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames                : 2 frames
Muxing mode                              : Container profile=Baseline@3.0
Codec ID                                 : avc1
Codec ID/Info                            : Advanced Video Coding
Duration                                 : 4mn 50s
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 22.9 Mbps
Maximum bit rate                         : 59.7 Mbps
Width                                    : 1 920 pixels
Height                                   : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
Frame rate mode                          : Constant
Frame rate                               : 60.000 fps
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
Bit depth                                : 8 bits
Scan type                                : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.184
Stream size                              : 794 MiB (99%)
Language                                 : English
Encoded date                             : UTC 2012-09-29 22:27:13
Tagged date                              : UTC 2012-09-29 22:27:13

ID                                       : 2
Format                                   : AAC
Format/Info                              : Advanced Audio Codec
Format profile                           : LC
Codec ID                                 : 40
Duration                                 : 4mn 50s
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 128 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Channel positions                        : Front: L R
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Stream size                              : 4.44 MiB (1%)
Language                                 : English
Encoded date                             : UTC 2012-09-29 22:27:13
Tagged date                              : UTC 2012-09-29 22:27:13

There is quite a bit of flexibility in the Video modes, including presets for a number of devices. The Audio, however, seems limited to AAC 2 or 5.1 channel with no option to select bitrate. It will record the output of almost any media player (Windows Media Center in full screen mode is one exception) and doesn’t circumvent copy protection to do so. It is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get method so if you need to make adjustments to the source video (change the brightness or gamma for instance) you can make these adjustments in the player software. The same goes for the audio track.

Obviously you can’t produce a one-to-one copy with this method but I believe the results are pretty good. I mean, after all, how many of us collected our movies on VHS at one point?


That’s an interesting approach and one I haven’t seen before.

Many people choose to make movie only copies anyway (myself included) even if their software is capable of doing entire discs.



Yeah, screen recording is often thought of for game captures or streaming video. Earlier programs had limited resolution or a high processor overhead. But with the WYSIWYG quality of Action! and its low processor budget it is a viable option for movie backup too. Add the ability to optimize the PQ as you record and it is a good solution. I just wish they’d add a better audio option than 128kbps AAC for stereo. Plus because you aren’t circumventing AACS or other copy protections to use it it doesn’t violate the DMCA.


Here’s an interesting update: Action! 1.11.0 now can:

Record HD videos in MP4 format with Intel® Quick Sync Video!
Action! introduces real-time FullHD 60p video recording directly to MP4 (H.264/AVC) format with low CPU usage! Record your desktop or gameplay directly to MP4 format and enjoy smooth videos and super small file size!

I’ll try to test it this weekend…


@ olyteddy , I posted this in another thread but I plan to dl it & give it a try.


Too late for an edit .
I DLed Action & was tried it .
It gave me a message when I did that I needed to enable AERO.
I’m not going to do that so this software is not useful to me.

My bad I should have read the “system requirements” on their web page .


I played around with the capture portion of Potplayer awhile back, it can capture while you play something in Potplayer.
Potplayer is freeware, it can capture to different formats although as best I remember some worked better than others.
I only captured short clips, no idea of how well it would do to try a full length movie.


After trying the trial and having no noticeable frame loss with 1080p, I ended up purchasing Action. :wink: I did try a few others, but ended up either with frame loss or not being able to capture the sound.

My main use is recording web-streams that cannot be downloaded (at least not easily), such as RTÉ player. For example, yesterday RTÉ closed down its analogue TV service and I forgot to schedule my PC to record the live news event. :doh: They posted this event on their website, but as they now use encrypted Adobe flash, it is not possible to download it (at least not with RTMPDump), so I played it full screen and recorded it with Action.

I’m sure Action will come in use for recording other web streams later. I never thought I’d be going back to the days of setting up a taping process, i.e. getting the playback source ready and finger on the record button (F9). :slight_smile:

The only issue I encountered is that very few encoders outside of Action seems to be able to re-encode the AVI file it produces. E.g. AviDemux gives a green screen, Sony Vegas makes the picture too dark, Handbrake says “No title(s) found” and Xmedia only recognises the sound track.


They do include an export to AVC in MP4 option. The latest version can even encode directly to AVC if you have QuickSync. My i3-3225 and i7-2600 can both do it fine.