Screencasts: Usage and Tools

Copy & Video, Internet Technology

Screencasts are a great way to educate your customers. Let’s say you would like to teach them how to use a certain website or a certain software your company uses; this is simple to do just by recording screencasts. It shows that you care about their learning by providing an easy way for them to receive information.

Screencast tools are also great for recording interviews held on Skype and to record slide presentations on the computer—recording PowerPoint slides with narrative in the background. There are many screencast tools, but there are two in particular that I would like to share because they are the ones I use the most.

When I started with screencasting, I used the Screencast-O-Matic tool, which is free and very helpful for recording high-quality screencasts. It captures the computer screen and its audio. If you have a webcam, you can also include your webcam image on the recording. That means people will see not only what is on your screen but also your face!

Its free version is good, but if you don’t purchase the professional features, you cannot edit your screencast content. It also shows the Screencast-O-Matic tool watermark logo which is not really recommended if you want to publish the screencasts on your website.

The free version will allow you to record a maximum of 15-minute screencast videos, and once you are finished, you can upload the screencast directly on YouTube or on the Screencast-O-Matic website.

The next tool I would like to mention is the Camtasia Studio Pro. This is a paid software, but they would provide a 30-day trial, which is very useful. If you need more advanced options to edit your screencasts, you probably will love it.

Their advanced features include transitions—the ability to separate video from audio and edit each one separately. You can also record your webcam, cut parts you don’t like, optimize audio quality, add multiple video tracks, use animated backgrounds, upload pictures and animations into any screencast.

The screencast tools mentioned above are very easy to use and their interface is intuitive. If you aren’t sure which one you should use for an upcoming project, my suggestion is to get started with Screencast-O-Matic to obtain a better understanding about screencasting. Then, if you decide to try something different or if you need something more elaborate, you can jump to Camtasia or any other advanced screencast software.




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