Screencasting Recorder: Upload, Share, Publish, Embed - FreeScreencast.com Is Here
This is too good to be true! FreeScreencast is a new free web-based service that allows you to record anything taking place on your screen in a simple way. Not only. FreeScreencast takes care of uploading your recorded clip and provides you immediately with an embed code to post the screencast on your site. This is the first easy, and inexpensive screencasting tool that truly empowers online publishers to create and publish high-quality screencasts on their blog sites with the minimum effort.
The only limitations of this new web-based service are the fact that for now the screen recording tool works only on PC Windows machines, the need to download a few components, and a few rough corners in the UI and management features available for now. But it is reasonable to expect that within a short time these issues will be addressed providing to this service the true popularity and attention it deserves.
FreeScreencast creates high quality Flash encoded screencasts with maximum ease and great results.
FreeScreencast is one of the greatest tools to become available this year for online publishers of all kinds.
However primitive in its first interface incarnation FreeScreencast provides so much value right out of the box that it is very difficult to criticize it for its few temporary shortcomings.
FreeScreencast allows you to record and capture anything you want to showcase on your screen while helping you upload the video and providing an immediate embeddable snippet of code to publish the screencast on your site.
This is one of the core components of FreeScreencast and nonetheless the apparently primitive dialog box that controls the Screen Recorder main functions, the tool reveals itself to be very easy, immediate and reliable. Right now the screencast recording software relies on the Microsoft Window Media Encoder engine to do the actual screen capture though the developers behind FreeScreencast are already planning to move out from this tight legacy.
Flexible Screen Recording Area
With FreeScreencast it is possible to either:
a) record the whole screen, as is.
b) record a specific window / application open on your desktop
c) record a specific area of the screen that you define through a resizable frame.
Not only. FreeScreencast is the first screen recording tool that I know of, that allows some nifty extra features to further simplify and make more immediate your role as a screen shooting director. These are:
- Move and size the recording area using the mouse.
- Move and size the recording area to a specific window.
- Move and size any window to the recording area.
- Set recording area to a specific screen size resolution
As soon as you press Esc to pause a recording you are immediately offered to save and upload your video screen recording to the FreeScreencast servers.
Nothing could be easier than a one-click encoding and uploading to FreeScreencast.com.
Screen Recording Quality
With FreeScreencast you can record your screen actions at 15fps, variable rate (only non-duplicate frames are automatically recorded, decreasing significantly final file size of your clips). The color depth during recording is for now limited to what appears to be a 8-bit palette (256 colors). This is particularly noticeable when you are recording screens in which there are photographs, color-rich illustrations or interface elements which utilize color blends fills.
FreeScreencast automatically captures both your computer "system" and your microphone audio inputs with absolutely zero intervention.
Mouse and Cursor Capture
Mouse and cursor are always captured in your screen recording automatically just like you expect.
High-Quality Flash Encoding
The recording quality, outside of some color depth compression, is quite impressive and in many cases indistinguishable from reality. FreeScreencast.com utilizes an high-quality Adobe Flash screen codec.
Recording Size and File Limits
With FreeScreencast you can record your full screen anytime you want to and there are absolutely no file size limitations for your recordings.
One click encoding and saving to a ready to go Flash screen codec .FLV file with all the proper metadata in place (view screencast on saving a .FLV).
Free Screencast Hosting
Host your screencast on FreeScreencast servers, no matter what the size or resolution absolutely free. You will pay in the future only to keep your content private or accessible by a few.
Embedding Option To Republish The Screencast on Any Site
After you've uploaded your screen recording, you can immediately embed your recorded screencast inside any page of your web site or blog with a simple copy and paste operation.
Each and every one of your original screen recordings remains accessible in your FreeScreencast account and it can be fully downloaded as a .FLV file.
Any recorded screencast can be tagged with specific keywords as to make it easy to categorize it and find it via search tools.
Not available yet but in the backburner if not already in the beta testing phase these additional features:
Search: search across all screencasts published on FreeScreencast.com according to title, description, tags and more.
Comments: as for most other media sharing sites comments are a critical component that should soon see the light also on FreeScreencast.com.
How To Use It
To start using FreeScreencast.com you need to pre-install (or make sure these components are already inside your PC) three pieces of software: the screen recorder, Microsoft Windows Media Encoder and Microsoft Net Framework 2. Once these are downloaded and installed on your machine, you are ready to rock.
1) Create an account on FreeScreencast and login.
2) Launch the FreeScreencast recorder and start recording your screen while you explaining with your voice.
3) Press Esc to pause the recording at any time and switch to the control window that allows you to continue recording or to stop and save. Save your recording.
4) Preview your recording with one-click by clicking on the "Preview" link.
5) Click on Upload and see your screencast being uploaded to FreeScreencast servers right in front of your eyes.
6) Sit back and wait to be automatically landed on your just uploaded and encoded screencast.
7) Copy the embed code appearing below your screencast and paste it inside a blog post or a web page on your site for immediate publication.
ScreenCasts Delivery and Distribution Alternatives
While for now you can only upload and publicly share your recorded screencasts via the FreeScreencast.com public servers, in the near future the service will provide you with three alternative methods of publishing/ sharing:
1. Make your screencast hosted and public on FreeScreencast.com, and it can also be embedded on any other website, including your own.
2. Make your screencast hosted and private on freescreencast.com. You'll be able to send people an obfuscated url to view the screencast (just like Jing operates right now). (yet to come)
3. Make your screencast hosted and private on freescreencast.com, and pay a small fee. You can share the screencast via an obfuscated url or host it in your own site. (yet to come)
In essence: if you share your screencast with the world by publicly hosting it on FreeScreencast.com it will be freely hosted for you there, forever.
To Be Improved
Installation issues - I have had a few problems after having installed the required components as the Screen Recorder didn't seem to complete its installation. But having rebooted my PC everything run immediately without a hitch.
Recording controls - The screen recorder dialog box bring in a little ambiguity as it does not appear clear to me how one can override the four main recording modes when using the option to record a specific window in the provided drop down menu. A more streamlined interface dialog box to make these choices even clearer and mutually exclusive would make this even better. Maybe it is just me but I don't find that setup as intuitive as it should be.
This is a godsend.
I really don't have the words to express the excitement that this new service has given me. This is absolutely a major breakthrough for online publishers, educators, trainers, marketers and communication professionals of all kinds. This is a service that anyone of the major Internet companies wanting to get more traction in the social media space should seriously look up to.
Though a bit rough in the interface FreeScreencast really delivers on its promises providing hassle-free screen recording and publishing online with the minimum effort and the maximum results.
Yes, being dependent on a number of downloadable components is not exciting and leaving out all of those on a Mac isn't a great thing either, but if you a Windows machine this is just such a productive tool that I would not hesitate in using the PC booting feature of my Mac to get to use this.
FreeScreencast opens up a new world of opportunities for online publishers which were previously reserved to only to those with the money to buy professional tools like Camtasia or to those willing to patch together different tools and to heavily compromise on the quality of the final published video.
For me this is a breakthrough communication tool that deserves all the attention and support it can get.
Go try it now is my recommendation.
Download the Windows Media Encoder (9.9 MB)
Download Microsoft Net Framework 2 (22.42 MB)
Originally written by Robin Good for Master New Media and first published on February 26th 2008 as "Screencasting Recorder: Upload, Share, Publish, Embed - FreeScreencast.com Is Here"
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