Screencasting solutions have afforded a lot of convenience in online service delivery. Educators, product marketers, designers, instructors, tech support teams, Vloggers among many other people and professionals are leveraging on the robust features of screencasting apps or software to create products, market, collaborate, train and offer technical supports.
What is Screencasting?
Screencasting also known as screen recording, is a digital video recording of what is displayed on your computer. It involves the use of an app or software to record the display of a program, video, or combination of various applications on your computer as you click and run them so you can save it or share with others who may be viewing it at that time. It can also contain audio narration with microphone, and you can also add multiple webcams to create a more visual recording.
Screencasting removes the hassles in text and in-person method of delivering illustration and instructions. It is a fantastic way to provide information or service by recording what is being displayed on your computer as you teach, illustrate or guide your audience into doing what you want them to do. This recorded information could be a demo on how to use a computer software, a training on how to create web-based solution, or a technical guide on how to solve a specific product issue.
Most Screencasting apps provide powerful video editing features which have made it a one-stop video production software tool. As a result almost every video creator makes use of a screencasting app for their video making project.
How Does Screencasting Works?
Let’s take for instance, you want to train your students on how to edit photos using their computer. You start by downloading a screencasting or screen recording application or software, or the app launcher. You launch the screencasting app and now record your guide by demonstrating from your computer how to edit photos. You take your students through the procedures as you click the necessary buttons and adjust slides on your computer screen. This while, the screencasting software is recording everything that displays on your computer, or you can set the screencasting app to record only a specific region of your computer screen.
By using your computer’s mic or an attached microphone you can add voice narration to the video recording. You also have an option to add an external video camera to record your face or whatever you want.
At the end of your tutorial, you can edit out mistakes or unnecessary areas on your video and save your final recording. Screencasting apps save large video files in a compressed format, so it will not be too large to send to your students via online download. You can decide to share your video via your video channel, email or a download link on your website.
Your students can watch your video at their own convenient time and also follow your guide at a pace that is most suitable for their comprehension.
You can use screencasting app to create a video recording of an answer to a frequently asked question of your product or guide. This way you don’t have to answer questions over and over.
Report have it that video recording is more understandable than text.
Also read: Top 9 Video Meeting and Conferencing Apps
Top 7 Screencasting Apps
These top 7 is based on the ones I have used personally and others selected by up to 15 top rated review websites as best screen recording apps. In no particular order:
1. OBS Studio
OBS Studio is a leading free recording and live streaming app that’s packed with lots of resourceful features. It includes a wizard to help you optimized your streaming and video recording setup.
High performance real-time video and audio capturing and mixing that gives you the ability to create scenes made up of multiple sources including window capture, images, text, browser windows, webcams, capture cards and more.
You can setup unlimited number of scenes that you can switch between seamlessly through custom transitions.
It has intuitive audio mixer with per-source filters such as noise gate, noise suppression, and gain. It provides VST plugin support.
It has powerful and easy configuration options that allow you add new sources, duplicate existing ones, and adjust their properties. OBS studio offers streamlined settings panel that gives you access to a wide array of configuration options to tweak every aspect of your broadcast or recording.
The app is a little complex for beginners, but it’s something they can master and enjoy using if they put in the time.
Best for: Gamers, YouTube video making, eLearning.
Supported OS: Windows, Mac OS, Linux.
Plans and Pricing: Completely free.
Screencast-O-Matic is a simple, fast and easy to use screencasting app that allows anyone to create a fabulous video. I use it personally for training and to create how-to videos. Its Android app allows you to connect to the desktop video editor which provides more video editing tools.
With Screencast-o-matic you can record your screen, add a webcam and use narration through your microphone. it provides simple and intuitive video editing features that make it easy to create a video fast. You can zoom in while recording, and also trim your recording.
Screencast-o-matic supports MP4, AVI, and FLV file formats, and you can publish your video records directly to your YouTube channel.
Its free plan allows you to record for up to 15 minutes video, but to enjoy unlimited video recording, and more sharing options such as share to Google and Vimeo, subscribe to the premium plan.
Best for: Educators, Customer support, YouTube video making, product marketing.
Supported OS: Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, Android.
Plans and Pricing: Free plan available, paid plan starting from $1.65 per month.
Camtasia’s easy template to record screens makes it fast and easy to use. It has amazing video editing features and it has been on the screencasting game for a long time.
Camtasia has easy drag and drop objects and effects to help you create an amazing videos. It allows you to record your screen and webcam and also choose from their library of royalty-free music and sound effect, in addition to your microphone in order to create a narration and sound-filled video recording. It offers eye catching titles, annotations, transitions and more.
Camtasia offers so many features, and it’s among the most popularly used screencasting and video editing software.
Best for: Product demo videos, meeting recordings, Training videos, Webinar recordings, YouTube.
Supported OS: Windows, Mac.
Plans and pricing: One-time fee Single licence plan for $249, One-time fee for Educational use is $169.
Screenflow is a desktop application that does video editing and screen recording. It offers quality screen recording, and has an easy to use editing interface. Its built-in stock library allows you to access and use hundreds of thousands of unique media clips directly from within your screenflow projects.
Sreenflow features allows you to record your phone or iPad screen. It’s easy to learn and easy to use. It includes amazing video editing features such as transitions, text and video animations, freehand annotations, multi-channel audio, and more.
It offers styles and templates to make editing quicker and easier. It allows you to organize your projects with nested clips, and provides multi-track editing, markers, color labels and complete access to media files stored on your computer. You can also publish directly to a handful of popular content hosting sites like YouTube, Wista, Vimeo, Imgur, plus others. You can create animated GIFs and APNGs from any videoproject in ScreenFlow.
Best for: online training, marketers, Vloggers, Educators, YouTubers.
Supported OS: Mac only
Plan and pricing: Free trial version has no usage limit, but it adds watermarks on your exported movies. Pricing starts from $129.
Screencastify is a simple and easy to use screen recording and video editing desktop application. It’s a free Chrome extension that that is hosted in your browser. It’s lightweight and you can install it from Chrome Web Store.
Screencastify’s free plan allows you to record up to 5 minutes per video, while the unlimited plan gives you access to unlimited recording length.
Screencastify’s features allows you to record your screen and webcam, trim your video, and capture your tab, whole screen or webcam only. You can also embed your webcam video anywhere in your recording and narrate with your microphone. It provides some annotation tools like mouse spotlight, drawing pen tool and click highlighting, plus other features.
Screencastify recordings are automatically saved to your Google Drive. You can share the Google Drive link, upload directly to YouTube, or Export as a MP4, animated GIF or MP3 video.
Best for: Educators, Business trainings, Presentations, Vloggers.
Supported OS: Chromes OS, Chrome browser.
Plans and pricing: Free, Unlimited plan start from $49 per person per year.
Apowersoft free online Recorder is a web-based screencasting application. You only need to install the web launcher for you to start recording with Apowersoft online recorder.
This screencasting app allows you to record all types of activities on your screen including video stream, self-demonstration, live chat and more, and you can choose what part of your screen to record. It also allows webcam recording.
This free online screen recorder doesn’t limit what or how long you record, letting you save entire TV shows or class lectures for later use. It allows for mic narration and you can record multiple webcam videos side-by-side using popular chat services like Skype, GoToMeeting and others. You can also resize the camera picture to meet your exact requirement.
Apowersoft free online recorder provides you with video editing features like annotations that you can use to edit even while recording your videos. It allows you to export your videos as MP4, WMV, AVI, FLV, MPEG, VOB, ASF, and GIF, and you can either save the video into a local drive, or upload it to cloud space at no cost. You can easily share your completed project by sending a link to a social network or other channels like email.
Best for: Product demo videos, meeting recordings, Training videos, Webinar recordings, YouTube.
Supported OS: Web browsers.
Plan and Pricing: Free.
CamStudio is an open-source screencasting application for Microsoft Windows platform. The software renders videos in an AVI format. It is able to record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create industry standard AVI video file.
Camstudio is a simple screencasting app that has various easy to use features. With its unique video annotation feature you can personalize your video by including a webcam video of yourself “picture-in-picture” over your desktop. It allows you to add high quality screen captions to your recordings in a quick and simple way.
Camstudio gives you control over how your video recording is displayed. For instance, you can choose to use cursors to record the whole screen or just a section of it. Also, you can choose to reduce or increase the quality of your recording; higher quality video usually has larger file size and so, a reduced video quality would have a smaller file size an would be easier to send via email for instance.
Supported OS: Windows
Plans and pricing: Completely free
Best for: Teaching, Customer complains, Product demo for marketing
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