Screencasts are recordings of computer screens, and increasingly, mobile device screens. Screencasts are an effective way to scale knowledge delivery because you can record once, but deliver the content an unlimited of times.
For potential clients, screencasts can be used to deliver product demos, sales presentations or instructional videos. Internally, screencasts can be used as sales enablement tools to educate reps on company products or for sales tips/tricks.
Recording screencasts are surprisingly easy to record, if you have the right tools. Here are 5 user-friendly tools for Mac and Windows you can use today to record your first screencast.
1. QuickTime (Mac)
QuickTime Player is mostly known as the free movie player that comes with Mac computers. However, QuickTime Player can also record your desktop, from your computer camera, or even the screen of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. It can also record audio from a microphone, your iPhone or you computer.
QuickTime doesn’t include video editing tools, so you’ll need a separate tool if you want to edit your recording after. If you’re using a Mac, you can use Apple’s free iMovie app, which lets you add text, sound, transitions or combine multiple movie clips or audio tracks.
2. Screencast-O-Matic (Mac & Windows)
Screencast-O-Matic is a basic screen capture and editing app for both Mac and Windows.
The free version allows recordings of up to 15 minutes, or you can upgrade to the pro version for $15/year and remove the watermark, get access to editing tools, capture audio and create longer recordings. The app allows both screen and webcam recordings, but even the pro version only captures computer audio on Windows computers only.
3. Screenflow (Mac)
Screenflow by Telestream is both screencast recording and editing software for Mac. In addition to being able to record your desktop screen, you can also capture your iPhone or iPad screen, which is particularly useful if you’re creating videos of mobile app demos.
This app comes with it’s own editing tools, such as text overlays, transitions between clips and audio level adjustments, so there’s no need to find a separate app or software package to put together the finished video. The app has won a number of awards including the Macworld Editor’s Choice Award and Apple Design Award winner, so this app is worth looking into if you plan on making multiple screencasts.
The free trial comes all functionality but exported videos will be watermarked, or purchase the app for $99.
4. Camtasia (Mac & Windows)
Similar to Screenflow, Camtasia allows you to both record your screen and also provides editing tools to produce the finished video. Camtasia also has features that let you create videos other than screencasts; for example, you can import other video clips, photos or music.
If you’re planning on creating videos in addition to screencasts, Camtasia could be a good choice for a multi-tasking video recording/editing app. Camtasia offers a free 30-day trial, or you can purchase the software for a one-time fee of $99 for Mac or $299 for Windows.
5. GoToMeeting (Mac & Windows)
If you want to record a webinar you’re hosting, many webinar apps/tools have a function to allow you to do so. For example, in GoToMeeting, one of the most popular webinar apps, you can start recording as follows:
- Windows – At the bottom of the Control Panel, click Record this meeting.
- Mac – At the bottom of the Screen Sharing pane, click Record.
Other webinar software/apps such as join.me and ClickWebinar also allow you to record the webinars you’re hosting.
If you want to add or edit your recorded webinar, such as by adding an introduction or overlaying text, you will need to use a separate editing tool because most webinar hosting tools don’t include video editing tools.
For tools to edit your screencasts, stay tuned for next week’s blog post on options for video editing tools.