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How-to guide: Recording Live Gameplay in RetroPie’s RetroArch Emulators Natively on the Raspberry Pi (and Twitch streaming)



  • Hi all,

    I've finally written up my guide to recording real-time gameplay in RetroPie’s RetroArch emulators; this approach requires no external hardware, and allows 60fps capture in emulators from the VCS to PlayStation.

    Recording Live Gameplay in RetroPie’s RetroArch Emulators Natively on the Raspberry Pi

    Topics Covered

    A Little Background Information
    A Note Before Proceeding
    Installing FFmpeg and Selected Codecs
    Rebuilding RetroArch to Enable FFmpeg Recording
    Checking FFmpeg has Been Enabled in RetroArch
    Activating the RetroArch Recording Features
       An Overview of the Emulators.cfg File
       Adding Recording Options to the RetroPie Runcommand Menu
       Recording with the Custom RecordConfig Option
    Performance Enhancements
       Custom FFmpeg Recording Configuration
       Tuning the FFmpeg Recording Configuration
       Recording to an External Storage Device
    Streaming to Twitch
    Related Posts
    External Links
    


  • @RetroResolution This is really cool! I wonder is there any chance of this being added officially to future RetroPie releases. It would be a great feature.



  • @Charco Thanks, that's very kind of you to say!
    I'm more than happy for that to happen - happy to assist in any way to make this a reality.



  • @RetroResolution
    YOU
    ARE
    AMAZING!!
    It's a pitty that I can't upvote your post twice or more. :-)


  • Global Moderator

    @meleu said in How-to guide: Recording Live Gameplay in RetroPie’s RetroArch Emulators Natively on the Raspberry Pi (and Twitch streaming):

    It's a pitty that I can't upvote your post twice or more. :-)

    I got your back.

    @RetroResolution

    Nicely done, sir.



  • @RetroResolution you said on your article that you are using raspi3 with overclocking.
    Is it doable on a raspi2?



  • @meleu wow! Thank you!



  • @mediamogul cheers! That's brilliant, thanks



  • @meleu there's no reason it wouldn't work, but some of the more demanding emulators may struggle to run at full speed whilst recording - that said, the ffmpeg config can be tuned so it may well be possible to trade quality for more speed



  • Hey @RetroResolution , I was reading your guide more carefully this time. At the end of the "Recording with the Custom RecordConfig Option" section there is a box "Naming the Recording File" talking about the file overwriting issue.

    I would like to suggest an improvement to avoid that inconvenience of rename the file before launch RetroArch again. I was thinking to name the files with an appending timestamp. Example: recording_VCS_2016-07-14-221955.mkv(year-month-day-hourminutesecond). To achieve it you just have to change the --record option to something like this:

    --record /media/pi/SG_3TB_D/RPi_AVI/recording_VCS_$(date +%Y-%m-%d-%H%M%S).mkv

    What do you think?



  • @meleu excellent idea - I'd actually wondered about doing something like that, but bash scripting isn't really my forte - thanks, I'll update the guide (and give credit where it's due, of course!) when I have time



  • @meleu No time like the present; I've updated the 'Naming the Recording File' boxout with the following:

    UPDATE: RetroPie forum member meleu suggested an improvement to avoid the inconvenience of renaming the file before each emulator launch, by automatically appending the filename with a timestamp (year-month-day-hourminutesecond), for example:
    recording_VCS_2016-07-14-221955.mkv
    This is achieved by updating the --record parameter as follows:
    --record /media/pi/EXT_HDD/RPi_AVI/recording_VCS_$(date +%Y-%m-%d-%H%M%S).mkv

    Thanks again for this excellent suggestion



  • Anyone else having issues getting this done?
    I've recompiled FFMpeg along with the extra codecs, even downloaded and ran the script in the same site.
    RetroArch compiles fine, even though FFMPeg is present, and the --disable-ffmpeg part is removed,
    I still don't have the Recording option (Done this 3-4 times now)



  • @LSolrac2 hi,
    Which version of RetroPie do you have installed? - I'm wondering if something has changed in the 4.x betas, as I used 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8 when creating and testing this process.

    [Edit] just to clarify, when you say 'there is no recording option', is this referring to the entry in the Retroarch GUI menu, rather than the RetroPie runcommand menu?



  • @LSolrac2 have you tested ffmpeg by transcoding some video files from the command line, to ensure it has correctly built and installed?
    Has ffmpeg been installed to the default location so that it can be found by other applications (can you type ffmpeg from anywhere / directory at the terminal)?



  • @LSolrac2 it's worth asking, although I'm sure you'll have followed the process in order, but has Retroarch been recompiled after ffmpeg has been built and installed?
    [Edit] re-reading your post, it seems that you did install ffmpeg before recompiling retroarch, so this question is moot.



  • @meleu said in How-to guide: Recording Live Gameplay in RetroPie’s RetroArch Emulators Natively on the Raspberry Pi (and Twitch streaming):

    @RetroResolution
    YOU
    ARE
    AMAZING!!
    It's a pitty that I can't upvote your post twice or more. :-)

    Upvoted one more on your behalf. :P



  • @senkun cheers!



  • @LSolrac2 hi, some further questions (there are so many parts involved in a RetroPie system...)

    Is your installation from Raspbian image, with RetroPie installed on top, or from a RetroPie image?

    If you used a RetroPie image, do you have the lxde / Raspbian desktop?

    In either case, which version of Raspbian Linux is installed (Wheezy or Jessie)?

    Which version of Retroarch is installed on your system? This is shown at the bottom of the window when the Retroarch GUI menu is being accessed? My version is 1.3.4 on RetroPie 3.8. I notice in retropie's github that the retroarch framework was updated on 17th June, just after I last ran through the installation process . at a glance i can't tell from the source if anything has changed that could be causing the issue.



  • I'm currently undertaking a complete from-scratch install on my Pi 3 using all the latest versions of everything:

    • Raspbian Jessie 27/5/2016 image
    • Manually installed RetroPie 4 rc 1
    • Manually compiled FFmpeg, using the 'all-in-one' script from my FFmpeg compilation guide
    • No overclocking applied

    Part way through the ffmpeg compilation at the moment, having installed RetroPie.

    I have noticed that RetroArch is now version 1.3.6, released June 17th 2016 (my 3.8 RetroPie installation has 1.3.4, which was the released in May 2016), although there's nothing in the release notes to suggest a problem with ffmpeg recording.

    I've checked RetroPie's RetroArch setup script, and this seems to be as it was previously, including the original --disable-ffmpeg parameter.

    I'l post an update later...



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