CamStudio is basically the best freeware recorder you can get. http://camstudio.org/
It has most of the features of other paid programs, you can use a wide variety of codecs (pretty much any Windows-compatible codec you have on your computer, but I prefer the CamStudio Lossless Codec that's an optional add-on. It does make the filesize a lot bigger, and some programs don't like CamCodec-encoded files (MovieMaker's okay with it, and with some tweaking, you can re-encode with MediaCoder), but the quality is really good), and the interface is really simple. You can assign record/pause/stop hotkeys to whatever you're not using in the program you're recording (I like F10 to record/pause and F12 to stop, since it doesn't conflict with Minecraft or Roblox), and you can choose to record a microphone or game sounds (Line In and What-U-Hear or Stereo Mix respectively, don't think you can do both at once though). The only forseeable issue you may have is that CamStudio only works in Windows... and possibly Ubuntu if you use WINE, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Major protip though: record to a hard drive other than what the game is installed to. This applies no matter what game you're recording or what program you use. Recording to the same HDD as the game will lag both the game and the recorded footage. It's really simple to do if you're on a desktop and you have a second drive mounted in the system, but if you're on a laptop, it can be a bit more difficult. I haven't tested to see if a USB thumb drive is fast enough for this, but you can try plugging one in (at LEAST 4GB of free space! Or more if you plan on making a long video using CamCodec) and set the temporary recording directory to it. Then once you're done recording, have it save the completed .avi to your main HDD. Might want to have a smaller video size for this, though, like Minecraft's default size instead of a maximized window. (Oh yeah, CamStudio will have a fit if you try recording something in fullscreen mode. Maximized window is just fine, but it has to be windowed mode.) Also, if you edit with MovieMaker, it'll horizontally squish Minecraft just a bit since the default size is about 20 pixels longer than what it sees as a usable aspect ratio.
Also, for the love of Batman, please don't leave CamStudio set to the default "Microsoft Video 1" codec. It looks worse than Creeper poop, and almost guaranteed to desynchronize audio. And certain audio drivers (like some versions of Realtek) like to switch the recording line from Stereo Mix to Line In on boot, so make sure it's set right before you try recording a long Minecraft session.
Oh, and one more thing: raw .avi files will not be accepted by YouTube on account of their size and lack of compression. So even if you don't plan on cutting and editing, just import it wholecloth into some video editor and have it recompile. It'll automatically compress the video (and depending on the editor, should hopefully keep the same quality), and then it'll be allowed to upload.
Edit: Forgot to say, if you plan on also recording videos from a Valve game, like TF2, CamStudio is the long way around. Use the Source Engine's built-in demo recorder and converter. No matter your system specs and game settings, the demo-to-avi converter will output exactly the same quality as you see in-game.
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"Urist McWackoMcGoose cancels Mod Minecraft: Discovered Dwarf Fortress"
Ancient sig archive:
Paper Minecraft: Legend of the Music Discs... is on hiatus until I get a new high-end gaming laptop! Episode 2-4: watch?v=Lk4TjTnUJYU
Personally, I'm about to start experimenting with this, and if I have the time, perhaps start a YouTube channel. Probably gonna go with the freeware version of CamStudio to start with, and when I have my main machine and enough money, will likely buy Fraps.
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When all is said and done, Will you have said more than you have done?
Yeah, that guy in the avatar is me. I'm *that* strange. It happens. Sometimes people act like that. Just go with it. I can offer help with suggestions even before you post them - NOT make your suggestions - but help you with them.