Monday, September 6, 2010

How to make C64 videos

I am assuming you have a pc and a C64 emulator to play your favorite games and you want to make videos for youtube or other social media outlets. So how do you do it?

I don't recommend CCS64 to make videos because the video and the sound are never ever synchronized unless the video is real short. A real headache. It's too bad because I otherwise really like CCS64 as an emulator.

I do recommend VICE for making videos but it's slightly tedious to get all the elements working, at least at the time of writing this article.

So, let's assume you have WinVICE 2.2 installed and ready to go. To record a video, you press 'Alt C' and you select the FFMPEG driver. If the FFMPEG driver is not there, it means you have not installed the FFMPEG video/audio codec libraries (dll files). If you go back to where you have downloaded VICE, there's a link to download the pre-compiled FFMPEG video/audio codec library for MS-Windows. Put the dll's where your VICE executable is located and see if you can now select the FFMPEG driver. In my case, it still didn't work because those are not up to date. You need to go to the Unofficial FFmpeg Win32 Builds to get the "latest" builds. In my case, I got ffmpeg-r16537-gpl-shared-win32.tar.bz2 and it worked, I was finally able to select the FFMPEG driver in VICE and save videos.

Ok, you now should be able to save avi videos but can you play them back? When you try to play any video you made, it's likely you'll have sound but no video. It's because you don't have the proper video codec to play back any avi FFMPEG generates. The easiest thing to do is to get a DirectShow and Video for Windows codec at ffdshow tryouts. It provides support for a wide range of audio and video formats, such as Xvid, DivX, and H.264. What's important is that it can decompress FMP4, the FFMpeg MPEG-4 video format.

If all went according to plan, you can now save and watch Commodore 64 videos. Hope to see them on youtube in the not so distant future.


  1. thanx for the info!
    just one remark: ffmpeg-r16537-gpl-static-win32.tar.bz2, as you wrote, seems to contain the executables, while ffmpeg-r16537-gpl-shared-win32.tar.bz2 unpacked to the required dlls.

  2. oops. you're right and i have updated the article. thanks.