In my last post, Camtasia, Jing & Snagit – Great tools for educators from TechSmith I talked about some great screen capture / recording tools from TechSmith. I love these tools, but some of you may be saying you always talk about free, where are the free versions of these tools?
Here are five alternatives for screen capture / recording tools that you can use right from the web. No downloads needed (except for a java applet).
ScreenCastle is very easy to use. You don’t even need to register. Click the big red button, adjust the screen capture area and start recording. You can use a microphone to add voiceovers. When finished ScreenCastle gives you lots of options (see below). The disadvantages are you will not be able to go back later to watch the video if you don’t have the link because you do not have an account. I would recommend saving the link and possibly downloading the video file.
- Link to watch the video
- HTML embed code
- BBCode -Big
- BBCode – Small
- Direct link to the file
- The Pure video ID
- Address – Big image
- Address – Small image
ScreenToaster is also easy to use. You can set up an account with ScreenToaster that will give you lots of options, including adding audio and a webcam. You can publish your videos on the ScreenToaster website, download your videos, embed them on your website, mail it, and even edit your video. ScreenToaster is probabely the most advanced of the tools here.
Screencast-O-Matic is the next most robust tool but it also gives you the option to GoPro and pay for more features. With Screencast-O-Matic you can create an account, which will give you the options to Record a 15 minute video; free hosting of your video; upload to Youtube HD; Export to MP4, AVI, & FLV (with watermark); and record from a web cam.
Screenjelly is again easy to start with a big red button similar to ScreenCastle. Screenjelly will save your videos online with your account. It is designed to instantly share your captures with a link, through an email, with a tweet, or through Facebook. Screenjelly will even give you the ability to put a screen capture button on your website and has a bookmarklet feature to let you quickly grab a screen capture from a website. I have to admit, out of the five tools listed here, it is the only one I could not get to work with my Macbook. I am not sure if it was user error or a problem with Screenjelly.
The last tool which is the simplest in nature is Screenr. Screenr allows you to choose the area to record, voiceover your recordings, and save the videos to your account. The main idea behind Screenr is to provide “Instant screencasts for Twitter.” You even authenticate your account through Twitter.