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This post is part of a series where I am compiling lists of various tools for individuals and business, and sharing some of my experiences and examples for each.  Here are links to all the Zestee lists so far:

Screencasting software gives you the ability to record what is happening on your screen, along with a voiceover.  It sometimes also offers the feature of combining it with other video (for example a “talking head” where your face is also visible as well as your screen, but which you would record as a separate video).   Software ranges from free through to many hundreds of euros/dollars.  A few allow you to just record online, while most require you to download the software onto your Mac or PC.  Many offer a free trial before requiring you to buy the screencasting software.

So far, I’m not aware of any that allow you to somehow record what you are doing on your iPad or iPhone (or android phone or tablet) but I’d like to look into this as well.

As a social media trainer and university lecturer, I find that the ability to be able to show students examples is very useful and I’ve only just started to experiment with these possibilities.   One of the things I like most, is that I can do something once, record it, and then show to it as many students as would like to learn that particular skill.  They can watch it several times if necessary and once recorded, you can access it indefinitely.

The way in which you record and share the videos varies…it may become available online with a link provided after you finish recording, or it may save as a video file on your computer, requiring you to then upload to another service, such as YouTube.

I’ll start with just a list of links to the screencasting software I’m aware of.  I’m a Mac user so if there is an option, these links will go to the Mac version, but I think all of them also offer a PC version as well.

I’m working my way through trying these and will update this post as I do with feedback and examples.


Screenflow

This screencasting software was created by Telestream Inc and I believe is only available for Mac.  It was first released in 2008, but the most recent version is mid 2015.  At time of writing, Screenflow 5 is sold for USD99 or 87 Euros.  Screen flow is a favourite for several friends of mine, though I haven’t had much chance to try it out myself yet.  You can buy add on software including Flowtility Motion Graphics Library (transitions, backgrounds etc) and Flowttility Pro Transitions (30+ high quality transitions).

You can download a free trial, which has no time limit, but your movies will be watermarked.

Update: November 2015: I just recorded and uploaded my first video to YouTube!  It was quite easy, and I’m considering buying this.  Meanwhile, here is the watermarked trial version:


Screencast-o-matic

Promoted as “one-click screen capture recording on Windows of Mac computers with no install for FREE”.  I haven’t yet tried this screen casting software.

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Jing

TechSmith created this free screen casting software, which is essentially a more basic version of their Camtasia product (below).  You download this software onto your PC or Mac and can take pictures or videos of you screen.  These are saved to your computer, and you can then upload.  I need to experiment a bit more with this, but it saves your video as an .swf file, and I think you need to upload to their TechSmith Screencast.com website (ie. not compatible with YouTube).  They offer a free account here, with a 2GB storage and 2GB monthly bandwidth (and you can upgrade this for around USD99 per year for 25GB).   This free version of Jing has a 5 minute limit per video.

Here is an example below of a screencast which I did with Jing and uploaded to Screencast.com.  I have then used their embed information to embed it below into this post, but for me, it seems the sound doesn’t work on the embed for some reason – can you hear it?   You can also cut and paste a link like this: http://www.screencast.com/t/OYou8LruM4F


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Camtasia

This is TechSmith’s “big brother” to the more basic Jing (above).  It allows more features for screen recording and video editing.  They offer a 30 day free trial, after which a single user licence is USD99.00, or an upgrade (from previous versions) is USD49.50.  TechSmith also offer more products, including Snagit (Screen Capture), Techsmith Relay (Enterprise Video solution), Morae (User Experience and Market Research) and Coach’s Eye (Mobile Video Analysis & Sharing).


Screenr

“Instant screencasts, just click record”.  I’ve tried this one a few times but seem to have issues with it.  It says that it runs on a Mac or PC but I am having problems with the Java plug in.

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Update: November 2015: This software will not be available after 11 November 2015.

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They do have a great elearning community here, which I hope continues: https://community.articulate.com


If you’re looking for more Screencasting software, Mashable offers this list of 12 screencasting tools.

One tip for screencasting is that you may like to invest in an external microphone.  You can of course use your inbuilt microphone but this can sound “tinny”.

Have you tried any of these or any other screen casting software?  Would love your feedback in a comment below.

Renee