Tutorial: Convert aMSN webcam sessions

Let’s say that you are using aMSN to access Windows Live Messenger and that you have recorded some webcam sessions…

As you may know, these are normally located at /home/user/.amsn/webcam/ and are files with the extension “cam”.

These files are encoded using the “mimic” codec and not easily viewable under linux. You can install the “libmimic” library using apt-get and use a video player like VLC to see them, however you will see that the player is quite slow and unable to seek the videos, therefore converting those files to another format would be advisable.

During the years, some different software have been created to allow a simple and smooth conversion, however these are now not easily found on the internet, and even if you find them, you cannot easily install them in Ubuntu anymore due to old dependencies not easily satisfiable.

Anyway, don’t worry! All you need is to install WinFF, download new presets (depending on which libavcodec version you have), configure the screen options as you can see below and click on “Convert”:

WinFF Conversion

Depending on the size of the file and your computer speed, it will take from a few seconds, to a few minutes, but in the end you will have a nice copy of your webcam sessions!


4 responses to “Tutorial: Convert aMSN webcam sessions”

  1. Good info. Lucky me I came across your website by
    chance (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!

  2. Ruben Cardenal Avatar
    Ruben Cardenal

    Sometimes that, even working, fails for some recorded files, as it seems that resolution changes occur within the recorded video and avconv dies. While vlc is able to keep on playing (and/or converting/SOUT’ing) eventually crashes sooner or later.

    The solution for that is to go back to the original aMSN player. Of course, as MSN is already dead, the program won’t connect and won’t let you see the history of webcam records. So you need to enable that menu while being disconnected.

    Go grab the source code of amsn from http://www.amsn-project.net/linux-downloads.php and, before compiling, edit file “gui.tcl” and remove the “-state disabled” part from line 5095:

    $conts add command -label “[trans webcamhistory]” -command [list ::log::OpenCamLogWin] -state disabled

    (you can do the same with line 5093 and you’ll be able to easily read logs)

    Then compile (both tcl-dev and tk-dev are required, works with 8.6, and a plain “./configure” is enough) and install, and you’ll have that menu item enabled even while being disconnected. Then just play the entire session you need to convert and save it with any screen recorder.

  3. I love you

  4. Barrythemole Avatar


    Sounds like a great idea but I have no idea how to make this. Could somebody make a build of this kind available ?

    Thank you so much

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