Simple software questions (screen captures of DVDs)

This is for a PC, so no Mac answers, please.

I just need a simple program that, while playing a DVD on my laptop, I can pause the DVD and create a JPEG (or other format) off of the screen capture of that frozen moment. Note–not a screen capture of the laptop screen, but of the media I’m playing.

I know that there might be default functions that allow for this in certain media playback software that are standard on some PCs. If so, I’m interested in those answers (in case I have it but am not aware of it), but otherwise, need a basic answer on which programs can do this easily and inexpensively as a stand-alone purchase.

Please note–I am not interested in movie editing capabilities or more sophisticated image handling. This is a simple quality screenshot capture of the film when paused.

Any suggestions or recommendations for this generally computer-non-savvy Doper?

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Both VLC and SMPlayer – both available for Windows – include snapshotting. One ought to set up the saves folder in preferences to somewhere easy to find.

Buttons can be added to the toolbar to press for instant snapshots.

Thanks! I’ll see if I have that currently and if not, then price them out accordingly.

VLC does it. But you won’t see the frame capture button by default.

Go to View and click on Advanced Controls

theres 4 buttons. record, snapshot, loop, advance frame by frame

I always keep advanced controls visible.

Even Media Player Classic can do it - and that’s free too, same as VLC. You just press Alt+I and it’ll do it. I prefer doing it with VLC though as the controls are a bit more streamlined and it can also capture subtitles as well (you have to set it up in the settings first though). Ctrl+Alt+S does a screencap in VLC and for super easy gif making you can just advance frame by frame using E all by itself and screencapping as you go.

(if you are making gifs I recommend doing every other frame to save on file size)

Well, I do have Windows Media Player, but doing the alt didn’t work (tried ell, eye, and one; wasn’t sure which one you meant). Nothing while right-clicking either.

I don’t have VLC so I’ll have to figure out how to get it (since it’s free, I assume it’s a download?)


For Windows
Videolan VLC

There’s no harm in having additional players, although one can only associate filetypes with the one one likes best — eg: make it the default player.
I prefer SMPlayer to VLC mostly, but SMPlayer2 ( a fork ) to either. SMPlayer and SMPlayer2 are basically wrappers for MPlayer, which by itself is rather simple.

To do it with Media Player, you’d have to disable Overlays, and then use Alt-print screen. Disabling overlays may make videos jerky, however.

(That link doesn’t include instructions for Windows 7 or 8–the Options menu item is under Organize.)

OK, this is why I hate computers.

I downloaded SMPlayer but it won’t play anything. It says “The CDROM/DVD drives are not configured yet.” When the window opens to configure, nothing works. I press “Scan for CD/DVD drives” and it does nothing. I select a DVD drive and hit “Apply” or “OK” and it still does nothing. It sits there, inert and not very helpful. I don’t mind working my way through instructions, but not if it tells me to do something that is completely unresponsive.

I also tried downloading VLC and twice, it went up to 44% and then locked up, not budging an inch (and saying expected download time is 8 minutes, for 20+).


I haven’t tried it myself, but can you use the Windows7 “Snapshot tool” for this?

Hooray, the VLC worked! Perfect screen grab. Thanks to everyone for your assistance!

Just for the record, Media Player Classic is not the same thing as Media Player - especially not the one that comes with Windows nowadays.

I always download k-lite for all my codecs and MPC comes bundled with that. However, if you do not need codecs then you can just go get MPC-HC here. I prefer MPC-HC for actually watching things over other media players because it tends to use less resources. And like I said, it does screencaps rather well (but not as well as VLC).

Accessories > Snipping Tool

This is built in and you can play DVD, pause, run the program and select the area showing the DVD and capture screen image to graphic file.

I use Snagit which is more fully functional screen capture/annotate tool, I’m sure it could do the job as well.

What am I missing?
What is the difference? Other than maybe media player controls, which could be cropped out?