Monday, December 14, 2009
Free Screencasting Tools: Guide To The Best Tools To Record Your Screen
Video is getting hotter and hotter these days, so why going for a standard blog post while you can communicate more effectively in a visual fashion? Screencasting tools allow you to record your computer screen to create video tutorials, product demos or lectures to be published online. Here in this MasterNewMedia guide you will find all the best free screencasting tools on the web.
Photo credit vasiu
Recording a screencast is a great way to showcase a procedure, demonstrate a service or to create video tutorials without having to write a blog post or an article. Depending on which screencasting tool you choose, you can record your entire computer screen or only a selected region, record your audio as you go along, and, with selected screencasting tools, even integrate the recording of your webcam into your video to complement the screencast.
Screencasting tools are available both as desktop applications and web-based services. The good news is that there are a growing number of screencasting tools that are completely free to use; some do not even require a registration to let you get started.
Screencasting tools are also, in general, very easy to use. Once you have launched your favorite screencasting application, just select whether to record a specific area or your entire computer screen, then hit the record button or the appropriate shortcut key and start acting as if you were actually showing your computer screen to someone. Once you stop the recording, you can save your screencast to your computer hard disk.
Screencasting tools generally record your screencasts to popular video formats like AVI, WMV, FLV, .MOV, SWF, etc. Some screencasting tools allow you to download your recording to your computer, and some also integrate a function to upload the screencast to a video-sharing site. A few even allow you to embed your recorded screencast on your site, without uploading to YouTube first.
How can you identify the best screencasting tool for your needs?
Here below is a set of comparative tables and individual reviews to help you compare and identify your ideal free screencasting tool. Here are the specific selection criteria used to compare these different services
- Operating system OS needed to run selected tool.
- Screen region capture Recording of a specific area of the screen.
- Audio recording Voice-over narration to complement your video recording.
- Webcam recording Webcam video embedded inside your screencast.
- Shortcut key for stop Key combination to start and stop your screencast.
- Output format Supported video formats to export your screencast.
- Direct upload to YouTube Built-in facility to upload your screencast to YouTube.
Free Screencasting Tools Comparative Table
Free Screencasting Tools
ScreenToaster is a free web-based screencasting tool that lets you record your screen activities without downloading any software to your computer. ScreenToaster requires just a registration process to get you started. You can either record your full screen or a selected region by clicking on "start recording" or by pressing a key combination. Both audio and webcam recording features are available as well. When you finish, you can download your recorded screencast as a MOV video file or grab a generated SWF video that you can upload to YouTube, other destinations or embed on your own blog.
Jing is a free screencasting software tool available for Windows and Mac operating systems. You can either record (or take screenshots) of your entire screen or any screen region you select. You can also record your audio along your video to create video tutorials. The output format of your screencast will be a Flash (SWF) file that you can upload to any video-sharing site like YouTube, Flickr or Screencast.com. Jing can be operated either using your mouse or via keyboard shortcuts. No webcam recording facility is available.
CamStudio is a free screencasting software for Windows that allows you to record every screen activity and audio on your computer. You can either record the whole screen or a particular region, and also create a video tutorial by recording both your screen and your webcam video. To start / stop recording you can press a button or use keyboard shortcuts. Screencasts produced with CamStudio are saved to AVI or Flash (SWF) video file formats. No direct upload to YouTube or other video-sharing sites is available.
GoView is a free Windows software tool that records your screen and creates video tutorials with audio. GoView creates Flash-based (FLV) video files that you can easily share to YouTube or other video-sharing sites, but you cannot upload your screencasts directly using GoView. Webcam recording and the ability to record a specific screen region are not supported. Also not available are the keyboard shortcuts to start or stop the recording of your screen.
uTipu is a free screen recording software for Windows. uTipu allows you to record your full screen (or a selected area) and also your computer audio to create a video tutorial, demo or product showcase. uTipu allows you to save your recordings to both AVI or FLV video formats. Keyboard shortcuts are supported to start and stop the recording without interfering with your on-screen activities. Using the "TipCam to YouTube" feature you can also directly upload your screencasts to YouTube. Webcam recording is not supported.
ISU is a free screencasting software for Windows operating systems that lets you record a series of activities as you perform them on your computer screen. No region capture is available, which means you can only record the entire screen. When done, you can edit your recording by drawing, inserting notes or adding a voice-over narration. You can also send your screencast (which is saved in WMV format) via e-mail, IM or any other application, but a direct upload facility to send your clips to YouTube is not available. Keyboard shortcuts and webcam recording are not supported.
Screencast-o-Matic is a free web-based screencasting tool you can use to capture your screen without downloading any software. Without even registering, you can record your screen just by setting the screen area to be captured (fullscreen or a selected region) and choose if you want your computer audio to be recorded as well. Then either click "Go" or utilize a keyboard shortcut to start (and then stop) the recording. When done, you can directly upload your screencast to YouTube or download your recording in .MOV or .WMV video formats. No webcam recording is available.
FreeScreencast is a screencasting software that allows you to record your screen for free on your Windows machine. Just register to the service, download FreeScreencast to your PC and you can immediately start recording your screen. You can record your entire screen or select a specific region to capture. Audio recording is also fully supported. To start or stop the recording you can use your mouse or dedicated keyboard shortcuts. When your screencast is done, you can either save the output video file (FLV) to your computer or embed your screencast on your blog using a standard snippet of embed code. Webcam recording is not available.
Copernicus is a free Mac screencasting software that allows you to record your screen activities. You can either record your whole screen or just a selected region, but without audio. Screencasts are saved in .MOV format. You can also take multiple screenshots to create a movie-effect video. To start recording with Copernicus, you can use your mouse or hit a selected combination of keys on your keyboard. Webcam recording and direct upload to YouTube are not available.
AviScreen Classic ***DEAD
AviScreen Classic is a free Windows software tool to capture your screen. You can set the software to record your whole screen or only a selected region. The "follow the cursor" function automatically sets the recording to follow your mouse pointer as you move. To start / stop the recording, you can use both your mouse or a keyboard shortcut. When you are finished, your screencast is exported and saved by default to an AVI video or to a sequence of BMP images. Webcam and audio recording are not supported.
Wink is a free screencasting software for Windows machines. Wink takes multiple screenshots of your full screen that you can edit, annotate, combine into a video sequence with a voice-over narration and then export to a Flash (FLV) video. To invoke Wink you can either use your mouse or hit a combination of keys on your keyboard. No screen region capture, nor webcam recording are available. Direct upload to YouTube is not available either.
Daniele Bazzano -
Originally prepared by Daniele Bazzano for MasterNewMedia, and first published on December 14th, 2009 as "Free Screencasting Tools: Guide To The Best Tools To Record Your Screen".