Talking tech since 2003

Screencasting has become a very popular form of sharing information and knowledge. Many people are now using them for How To’s and other types of tutorials. They’re probably one of the most common types of videos you will find on video upload sites such as YouTube and for good reason. Not only are there several great applications that make screencasting easy, some of them are even free. You can even do iPhone screen mirroring these days because of its rise in popularity.

Here are five (5) of my favorite screencasting applications. Many of them work on both Windows and Mac. So no matter which platform you use, one of these will work for you. On a side note, I’m not sure of any good Linux screencasting applications so if you know of one, feel free to leave a comment with a link to it.

1. Screenflow (Mac only) – Priced at $99 it may seem a bit expensive but Screenflow is one of the premier screencast applications.  It features fully functional screen recording with the ability to integrate video from a webcam into your production.  In addition, Screenflow offers several effects such as different cursors and click tracking.  However, Screenflow isn’t just a recorder, it also has an editor – built right into the application; allowing you to edit your video and upload it directly to YouTube.

2. Camtasia (Windows & Mac) – Priced in at $299 for the Windows version and $99 for the Mac version, Camtasia by TechSmith is probably considered the top contender in the screencast software category.  Camtasia allows users to easily record, edit, and upload videos to services like YouTube and Screencast.com.  One of the nice features Camtasia offers is SmartFocus, a proprietary technology created by TechSmith which automatically will zoom in and focus on the part of the screen that is being utilized without any manual editing.

3. iShowU (Mac only) – Starting at $29.95, iShowU HD provides similar functionality to other screencast applications including webcam integration, however, provides the ability to easily upload your screencasts to several video upload sites including YouTube.

4. Jing (Windows & Mac) – The Jing project is free, however, does offer a Pro version for $14.95/year which allows you to upload straight to YouTube and also uses a better recording format.  However, the free version works very well and allows you to instantly share screencasts on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr as well as TechSmith’s own Screencasts.com.  Jing also provides the ability to take screenshots (images) in addition to screencasts.

5. CamStudio (Windows only) – Free and Open Source project CamStudio is one of the first screencasting applications I knew about.  I heard about it several years ago and have been recommending it ever since.  The easy and straightforward to use program can create high quality screencasts that are comparable to the applications I listed above.  It doesn’t come with any of the other nifty features though.  It’s just a screen recording application.

Do you have any other screencast applications worthy of a mention?  Let us know in the comments!


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