How-to guide: Recording Live Gameplay in RetroPie’s RetroArch Emulators Natively on the Raspberry Pi (and Twitch streaming)
@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
meleu last edited by
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
--recordoption to something like this:
--record /media/pi/SG_3TB_D/RPi_AVI/recording_VCS_$(date +%Y-%m-%d-%H%M%S).mkv
What do you think?
@meleu excellent idea - I'd actually wondered about doing something like that, but bash scripting isn't really my forte - thanks, I'll update the guide (and give credit where it's due, of course!) when I have time
@meleu No time like the present; I've updated the 'Naming the Recording File' boxout with the following:
UPDATE: RetroPie forum member meleu suggested an improvement to avoid the inconvenience of renaming the file before each emulator launch, by automatically appending the filename with a timestamp (year-month-day-hourminutesecond), for example:
This is achieved by updating the --record parameter as follows:
--record /media/pi/EXT_HDD/RPi_AVI/recording_VCS_$(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)
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
ffmpegfrom 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.
senkun last edited by
It's a pitty that I can't upvote your post twice or more. :-)
Upvoted one more on your behalf. :P
@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
I'l post an update later...
LSolrac2 last edited by LSolrac2
1a- Something messed up in my 3.8 install, so I updated to 4, so yes, I am running v4
1b - Nope there's no Recording option, FFmpeg is the recording driver though (instead of null)
2a -Converted Opus>mp4 perfectly, and currently converting mkv>mp4 (quite slow)
2b - Any terminal, even ssh can summon almighty ffmpeg
3a - Yes, in fact, the 3rd time I redid the whole thing, I used your ffmpeg-install.sh script, then the sed -i, removing the --disable-ffmpeg part of retroarch.sh, and then reinstalled from source, using retropie_setup.sh
3b - Whoops xD I was astonished by the quick reply so I'm replying all of 'em
4a - As stated previously, it's a retropie image, v4-rc1 to be exact (still hyped for 4, but I think this should be incorporated into the final release cause it's pure awesome)
4b - I haven't installed it yet cause I wanted to have everything set before, besides I barely use the desktop, might use later when I make a portable case, but for now, I believe I won't be using it anytime soon
4c - I believe it's Jessie, I tried installing moonlight, which required me to work with the sources.list file, there, it says Jessie
Seeing your newest post, I hope these details can help your investigation c:
Thanks for the information, sorry for the deluge of questions.
I've just completed my installation from scratch (as described in my last post) - luckily the recording feature does still work!
It seems that in the 1.3.6 release of RetroArch the 'Recording' menu has been removed (I can't find any reference to this in the release notes or elsewhere), however it was pretty superfluous as nothing you change in there has any effect.
As you've noted above, the entry for 'driver' does now say 'ffmpeg', which is what really counts.
I just created a recording to the local sd card whilst playing Pitfall II in the VCS emulator, at all appears okay.
I'm going to undertake more checks and tests, then, assuming things are okay, I'll update the guide on my site!
 I've just successfully recorded to external hard disk whilst running the PlayStation emulator, at 60fps - so everything looks fine.
Given the slew of changes recently I'm very glad to see it's working, to be honest...
 btw the files created can't be played back correctly by omxplayer on the Pi, as the video is using planar 4:4:4; it's simple enough to transcode them to a compatible format (which also works for YouTube and Twitter) - there are examples on the FFmpeg compilation guide for doing this. (this is true also if you use Kodi Media Center). Without transcoding the vide is a complete migraine-inducing mess...
Can't wait >u< Hope everything goes smoothly!
It looks like everything's fine (I edited a couple of my earlier posts, above).
Apart from the (ineffective) 'Recording' menu no longer being present in RetroArch 1.3.6, the recording is working well - I recorded direct to the SD Card from the VCS emulator, and to a usb hard drive using the PlayStation emulator at 60fps.
I'm updating the "Recording Live Gameplay" guide at the moment.
Okay, all seems well and I've updated the guide to reflect the RetroArch GUI changes in version 1.3.6, and also to show that I've successfully tested the process on RetroPie 3.7, 3.8.1, and version 4 rc-1 (on the latest image of Jessie available, from 27/5/2016)
I completely forgot to mention; the --record option ended up crashing altogether.
@LSolrac2 can you post your
emulators.cfgfor whichever emulator you're trying to record from?
If you're using a custom
config.cfgto control the ffmpeg recording format, can you post this?
Also, can you double-check the paths and that there are no case-sensitivity issues in directory or file names?
Have you checked in /tmp/ for any
runcommand.logfile? - this often reveals the cause of recording problems