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FREE THINGS ONLINE: How to create screencasts for free

Saturday, November 17, 2007

How to create screencasts for free

Sometimes getting a point across can be quite difficult, or it may even be frustrating, having to re-explain a point over and over again. Especially in words which can be prone to miss interpretations. Words sometimes can never explain the intricacies of a certain concept clearly; we need visual aids to understand better. Imagine having to guide a user (friends, granny and relatives) remotely via a call on how to use a software or how to fix a computer problem yea click button a then b no sorry I click c lol. This can be time consuming and a serious pain. Having screen caps may help in illustrating your point to a certain extent, but having a video makes it all the better and more efficient.
With the advent of screencasting a process of capturing the actions you perform on your desktop screen, with optional audio narratives accompanied with the video, creating video tutorials for educational or product demos has never been easier. Screencasts are an excellent and simple way of getting your point across in a pertinent and effective way.

Screencasts are not something new and have been around for decades, but it’s only now that freely available services and tools are popping up online, making the whole process easier for the non computer literate or savvy users. Such services now enable you to create videos of your desktop with small file seizes ranging from size 3, 10, 20MB or more.

Here are some of the benefits of having a screen cast.
  1. Creation of live video demonstrations of products or steps by step guides of HowTo’s.
  2. Can be used as a means of promoting your blog. by providing an alternative means of content delivery to your readers.
  3. A very effective learning tool.
  4. Offers the capability of relaying complex instructions easily
  5. Allows viewer to understand context
  6. Allows viewer to focus on subject
  7. A good source for monetization, screen casts allow you to create another source of making some extra cash depending on your niche choice. For example creating a series of video tutorials on how to go about buying online for newbie’s, or instructional materials for educational purposes, this can be a lucrative endeavor.
So how do you actually go about creating one?, The best place to start of with your screen cast creation with out having to dish out any bucks and with out having to download 3rd party software would be to try out screencast-o-matic an online web based service desktop screen recording service that can record your computer screen via your day to day web browser such as internet explorer or firefox hassle free. All you will need is to have pre-installed on your computer is sun Java’s runtime environment which can be found here most likely your computer might already have this.

One of the good features of screencast-o-matic is that your recorded video results can be hosted on the site for free, or they can be exported to quicktime, additionally
It’s amazingly simple to use, within less than 2mins I had created my very first screencast.

How about the bad things I don’t like about screen-o-matic the audio quality is substandard. After having gotten my self a copy of TechSmiths Camtasia Studio screen recorder 30-day free trial, I was amazed with the quality and clarity of the video compared to screen-omatic, but of cause that has a price tag, and you can hardly compare the two.

Another disappointment is the screencast-o-matic website is a bit of an eye soar not one of the pretties sites I have seen and doesn’t have any one must have options of publishing your video content to your blog or video services like google or youtube, having that would be definitely a plus.

Overall screen-o-matic is quite good and a fast way to get your very on screen cast up with in a few minutes practically anywhere provided theirs an internet connection.

Are they any better services like screen-o-matic? Post your comments.

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