With online video taking-off, you may have noticed that many folks are using screencasting tools to create videos rather than actual videos. If you do a search on Youtube for "SEO" videos, you will find that at least half of them are actually screencasts walking users through various lessons and techniques. Clearly we know about Camstasia which is an absolutely excellent software to have for screencasts. In addition, I have used Adobe's Captivate software and found that it is also an excellent program for creating demonstration videos and screencasts.
Here are a few good examples of ways that you can use screencast videos:
- You can use it to create demonstration videos for any software program
- Or how about creating a set of videos answering your most frequently asked questions?
- You can create video tutorials for school or college class
- You can use it to record a recurring problem with your computer so you can show technical support people
- You can use it to create video-based information products you can sell
- You can even use it to record new tricks and techniques you discover on your favorite software program, before you forget them
I thought I'd share a few screencasting tools for those of you looking for free alternatives to Camstasia and Captivate. There are both tools for PC and Mac users as well as a few Java applications.
We published a post a few months back to a free Camtasia download for version 3 which is fully-functional and still a great tool for creating screencast videos. With this fully functional version, you can also upgrade to version 5 license for only $149. However, version 3 is still a very robust and excellent product.
CamStudio is a nice capture program that records all screen and audio activity and creates standard .avi files. CamStudio has its own built-in SWF Producer and can turn those .avi files you converted into stream-friendly Flash video .swf files. CamStudio uses their own lossless codec that produces nice, clear results all the while at a smaller file size than most other popular codecs (so we're told).
CamStudio is able to record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create industry-standard AVI video files and using its built-in SWF Producer can turn those AVIs into lean, mean, bandwidth-friendly Streaming Flash videos (SWFs)
OS: Windows only
Copernicus is for you Mac people out there. It prides itself on being very fast allowing the program to record directly to your RAM for super fast access. Use it to easily create screenshots or simple how-to movies. Copernicus is perfect for taking several screenshots. A special feature allows you to save directly to RAM, increasing movie frame rates significantly for shorter movies. Copernicus only captures pictures and video. Unfortunately, there is no support for recording audio.
OS: Mac only
Screencast-o-Matic is an online application that creates video recordings all from your browser. Currently the product is in Beta.
This really is a simple tool to use with options of creating titles, descriptions, notes at certain times in the video, and even allowing comments and making the screencast searchable. Or, if you're not feeling like sharing just yet, export it to a .mov file for viewing later.OS: Doesnt Matter – it is JAVA