Why are the videos recorded in pieces?
This has to do with file format differences between AVI1 and AVI2.
FRAPS compression only supports AVI1 for the actual capture process. As a result, the file sizes are bound by the limitations of the file type. Note that both AVI1 and AVI2 have the .avi extension, however additional data in the file defines it's specific type. AVI1 format simply has a limit on the file size so the FRAPS recorder breaks the file up into segments around the this file size requirement.
This compression engine which is tried and true for generations simply works. Why mess with something that works well. In the future they may some day redo their compression and switch it to use AVI2 format however this isn't necessarily an easy fix nor would it necessarily be worthwhile as the product does exactly what it needs to do already.
Why are the files so big?
They are not. The first thing you do when you see a nearly 4GB video file that is only part of a recording is panic and wonder what's going on. In truth, these video files are already compressed heavily. If they were uncompressed video, the raw video data would be roughly 15 times larger. It wouldn't be possible for a normal computer to record raw uncompressed video live since the sheer amount of data would be too much for it to write to disk (you generate data faster than you can write it). So it needs to be compressed before it is written to disk such that you hard disk can keep up.
Why aren't they compressed more?
Performance is the reason why. When you compress video, for example using DivX, it takes your system longer to encode the video than it does to watch it. It takes work to encode and compress data, be thankful your computer is doing the trillions of calculations for you. Since FRAPS is capturing video live, the compression needs to be simple enough that it can run faster. If you are recording at 30 frames per second, you have to be able to both compress and write that one frame of data in less time than it takes before you get to the next frame (about 3 hundredths of a second).
Ok, so I have several large files, what do I do with them?
You use video editing software in order to merge the files, edit them, and compress them into a higher compression format (this is where it will take longer than the actual video takes to watch). For example, a popular freeware product is VirtualDub which will allow you to merge your video files together and compress them using some codec you have such as XVid, a free variation of DivX. VirtualDub also allows you to do some filters such as adding subtitles or credits or other visual effects all of which are free. This isn't as user friendly as some tools which cost money. To edit your audio if you want to attach audio to your video you can use another free product called Audacity, do be aware of any copyrights though before you upload for public viewing on services such as YouTube.
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