I used Easy Screencast Recorder yesterday to "watch" a program being used so I could compare what was being done onscreen to what happened behind the scenes.
Worked brilliantly. (Capturing a VNC window -- I wondered before trying it if it'd work at all and was delighted to find that it was completely fine with it.)
However... I used the preferred / default settings, which means that I have a .ASF video. And the first six minutes of it is filled with irrelevant stuff I'd quite like to delete. (If you're squeamish, you'd probably rather not know that the bit I don't want to keep contains photographs of the insides of someone's lower intestine. Oh. Sorry. Too late.
The easiest answer, particularly given the starting file format, seemed to be Microsoft Movie Maker. Impressively, it carved the video up into sort of chapters -- presumably on the basis of what appeared to be going on onscreen -- so I could delete the colonic bits wholesale. And I could even add titles and credits. Gosh.
Only thing was, when it came to saving the amendments, the quality had dropped through the floor. Most of the onscreen text wasn't readable anymore. This despite the fact that the filesize had gone from under 4Mb to over 17.
Presumably MovieMaker re-encoded the output using something completely inappropriate. (I can spell "codec" on a good day but -- even having read Vurbal's brilliant explanation above -- trust me, I'm definitely drowning rather than waving!) There don't seem to be any useful options to tweak quality or active codec or anything...
So... does this apparently simple thing (remove the first 6:22 of an .ASF file) require me to install a zillion new programs, spend a couple of hundred dollars, face due north with a pencil up one nostril and recite poetry to appease the gods? Or am I missing something somewhere?