/ Miscellaneous

Record the screen on macOS

Record the screen on macOS

aperture

Record the screen on macOS.

Install

$ npm install aperture

Requires macOS 10.12 or later.

Usage

const delay = require('delay');
const aperture = require('aperture')();

const options = {
  fps: 30,
  cropArea: {
    x: 100,
    y: 100,
    width: 500,
    height: 500
  }
};

(async () => {
  await aperture.startRecording(options);
  await delay(3000);
  console.log(await aperture.stopRecording());
  //=> '/private/var/folders/3x/jf5977fn79jbglr7rk0tq4d00000gn/T/cdf4f7df426c97880f8c10a1600879f7.mp4'
})();

See example.js if you want to quickly try it out. (The example requires Node.js 8+)

API

aperture.screens() -> Promise<Array>

Get a list of screens. The first screen is the primary screen.

Example:

[{
  id: 69732482,
  name: 'Color LCD'
}]

aperture.audioDevices() -> Promise<Array>

Get a list of audio devices.

Example:

[{
  id: 'AppleHDAEngineInput:1B,0,1,0:1',
  name: 'Built-in Microphone'
}]

aperture.videoCodecs -> Map

Get a list of available video codecs. The key is the videoCodec option name and the value is the codec name. It only returns hevc if you're on macOS 10.13 or newer and your computer supports HEVC hardware encoding.

Example:

Map {
  'h264' => 'H264',
  'hevc' => 'HEVC',
  'proRes422' => 'Apple ProRes 422',
  'proRes4444' => 'Apple ProRes 4444'
}

recorder = aperture()

recorder.startRecording([options])

Returns a Promise for the path to the screen recording file.

Fullfills when the recording starts or rejects if the recording didn't start after 5 seconds.

recorder.stopRecording()

Returns a Promise for the path to the screen recording file.

options

fps

Type: number

Default: 30

Number of frames per seconds.

cropArea

Type: Object

Default: undefined

Record only an area of the screen. Accepts an object with x, y, width, height properties.

showCursor

Type: boolean

Default: true

Show the cursor in the screen recording.

highlightClicks

Type: boolean

Default: false

Highlight cursor clicks in the screen recording.

Enabling this will also enable the showCursor option.

screenId

Type: number

Default: aperture.screens()[0] (Primary screen)

Screen to record.

audioDeviceId

Type: string

Default: undefined

Audio device to include in the screen recording. Should be one of the id's from aperture.audioDevices().

videoCodec

Type: string

Default: h264

Values: hevc h264 proRes422 proRes4444

The hevc codec requires macOS 10.13 or newer. A computer with Intel 6th generation processor or newer is strongly recommended, as otherwise it will use software encoding, which only produces 3 FPS fullscreen recording.

The proRes422 and proRes4444 codecs are uncompressed data. They will create huge files.

Why

Aperture was built to fulfill the needs of Kap, providing a JavaScript interface to the best available method for recording the screen. That's why it's currently a wrapper for a Swift script that records the screen using the AVFoundation framework.

But you can use ffmpeg -f avfoundation...

Yes, we can, but the performance is terrible:

Recording the entire screen with ffmpeg -f avfoundation -i 1 -y test.mp4:

ffmpeg

Recording the entire screen with Aperture:

aperture

Linux and Windows

We want to bring Aperture to Linux and Windows, but we don't have time or resources for such tasks (we're Mac users), so any help is more than welcome. We just want to enforce two things: performance and quality – it doesn't matter how (ffmpeg, custom built native lib, etc) they are achieved.

Upcoming

Aperture is in its early days. We're working on adding more features, such as export to GIF, compression options, support for multiple displays, support for audio, and much more. Check out our Aperture issues on Kap to learn more.

GitHub