How to make a screenshot of Windows Media Player.

Making a screenshot of Windows Media Player sometimes can be not so trivial task. Usually you can use Print Screen key to capture whole desktop image, or Alt + Print Screen to copy the image of active window into clipboard. But often when you are trying to use this technique over Windows Media Player window, things usually goes wrong. You can get this picture

Without CapTrue

instead of expected

With CapTrue

Why does it happen? Modern computers are very powerful. They can crunch big numbers, or they can play your DVD with ease. Playing video usually done through a mechanism called overlay. Central processor and operating system draws a black rectangle in place where video is supposed to be. While composing an image, video adapter encounters this rectangle and fill it with video frame. This method saves much time to central processor. But when you are taking a screenshot, the area is not filled with video frame; it's empty and ugly black. How to avoid this problem and get the desired image? Here are some ways to do it.

Disabling hardware acceleration.

You can forbid hardware to help operating system and central processor. There are two ways:
Go to Control Panel and click Display icon. Select Settings tab. Click Advanced button and select Troubleshoot tab. Slide Hardware Acceleration slider to the left. Now you can click OK and the settings will be changed. Run Windows Media Player, open a video and now press Print Screen key. That's all; your screenshot is in the Clipboard! You can paste it into your document or graphic editing application. This way is very straightforward but the main disadvantage is: when you are disabling hardware acceleration, most of your games won't work. They will not even start. You'll have to do the same as described, but move the slider to the right, in order to restore hardware acceleration.
You can disable hardware acceleration just for Windows Media Player. Go to Tools -> Options -> Performance tab. Slide the Video acceleration from the default Full to None, click OK and then restart Windows Media Player. Next time you open it you can use Print Screen key. This will work only for Windows Media Player and not for the other players you may prefer. The other disadvantage of these methods is increased central processor loading.

Using CapTrue screen capturing software

This way is more preferable, because CapTrue does the entire job. It can save captured files in different formats: BMP, JPG, and PNG. It also can capture your mouse cursor and of course, it can capture video players windows, not just Windows Media Player, but Media Player Classic, BSPlayer, Light Alloy and the rest of them. It does not disable hardware acceleration, so you can always run your favorite game without any performance loss.
Download CapTrue from its site, unzip and install. If you want to start working with CapTrue, just launch it. You are ready to go! By default following hotkeys are enabled in CapTrue:
Prnt Scr - this hotkey captures entire desktop and put the screenshot into Clipboard.
Alt + Prnt Scr - captures the image of active window.
Ctrl + Prnt Scr - allows you to capture arbitrary rectangular region of the desktop. Left click to mark top-left corner, move mouse to select a desired region and left click again to capture this region into Clipboard.


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Keywords: how to, get a screen shot, windows media video



21 March 2009 - Thumbnailer 1.7 has been released. Embedding thumbnails into video files has been discontinued in this version.
05 March 2009 - Thumbnailer Lite, the set of Windows Explorer extensions for easy thumbnail embedding has been released.
04 March 2009 - CapTrue Thumbnailer has been renamed to Thumbnailer Plugin
06 January 2009 - Thumbnailer 1.6 has been released. Thumbnails are automatically assigned to video files. Download Thumbnailer 1.6