Video screen capture, to be honest doing my own clips scared the heck out of me! So it took a while for me to finally get round to having a go! I’m in the process of creating a product so if there was ever going to be a good time it’s was now! Then of course comes the problem of “which”video screen capture software to use!
Now as it turns out using this software is a piece of cake, my attempts at the audio commentary are how shall I put it…rubbish. Well actually they are getting better now. My daughter thinks it’s hilarious! Many a time I’ve shot a video been really please how it went then messed it up, ending up with a few words that quite possibly should not be aired! Thank goodness for editing software.
I’ve found this the same as anything else I do that’s new, I guess, it soon becomes easier. I’ve got a way to go but I will get there!
Now down to the reason for this post. I was asked recently what I was using to do the videos with. So I though it might be useful to run through my experiences so far, of video screen capture software as there is some great stuff out there that you don’t need to pay anything for!
I first started out using Camstudio. I’ve found it very easy to use and it’s completely free being Open Source. It is as easy as selecting the part of the screen you want to record and hitting record. I get everything open in the task bar ready to just click into so that everything flows. Early on in my experiments I realized i need to do that as I was wasting so much time clicking to open new programs.
The downside with Camstudio seems to be the limited file formats that you can choose. As far as I can see you are limited to .avi and .swf. .avi is easy to edit but creates huge files even when compressed, however it can be widely accessed by potential viewers. .swf creates much smaller files but is difficult to find editors that support it. So in my view easy to use and I need to get my file sizes down!
Next I downloaded a free thirty day trial of Camtasia it is good very good! It was a joy to use and all the main file formats are supported. It has a built in editor which made things even easier. I still struggle with file size a bit though. The downside is the whopping $299 price!
Finally I had a look at the free Jing Project what a revelation! I wasn’t expecting the quality of video screen capture software that I got at all. It was fast to download and install. It sits just in view right at the top of the screen when i need it I click and drag the required area then record.
Not only does it have the ability to do video screen capture you can also just do a screen image capture. It takes seconds, is high quality and can be edited by using text, arrows and highlighting there and then.
That’s the good bit the downside is it is .swf only with very limited options for editing. Another downside is the recording is limited to 5 minutes. Actually that is probably no bad thing, large recordings can be broken down into smaller more manageable clips.
I did find one editor for .swf at Sothink it can be trialled for thirty days then costs $85.
Camtasia is the best there is no doubt but at $299 I can’t quite justify it at the moment. It’s extra for their “snagit” which just takes an image of the screen!
Camstudio would be my second choice, it does a good job but isn’t as smooth as Jing and I did get a couple of freeze ups using it.
My method of choice for now is Jing, it’s free, the file format is widely supported according to wikipedia. It is super easy to use with virtually no learning curve. The downside is the editing, to combat that i’m working on quick small clips that don’t need any editing. Out of interest the Jing project video screen capture software is from Tech Smith who are in fact the makers of Camtasia!