Thursday, June 19, 2008

Video Screen Capture Software

They say a picture paints a thousand words. So to find out how many words video paints, do we multiply that by the frames per second multiplied by the number of seconds the video runs?

I think we will all agree that seeing a video of something done on the computer with a narrator is much more efficient than looking at static images with a few strings of text attached. I wanted to pass on some free tools that I have found that will allow you to capture your PC screen while your using it and create a playable movie from it.

The first tool is Window Media Encoder (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/encoder/default.mspx). Works OK, but settings are confusing and best screen capture quality still leaves shaded surfaces banded. Output is a WMV file. This tool has a lot of other capabilities besides just screen capture so if your into encoding other video sources such as from a camera, you might want to check this out.

The other tool is Jing from TechSmith (http://www.jingproject.com/). Exceptionally easy to use and excellent quality, but I have not yet really got into all the posting options. The file output appears to be a Flash file. They say it is a temporary project, so it may stop working someday, but it's ease of use and good quality make it an acceptable risk. Still trying to figure out how to efficiently view the output file stored on a fileshare though. I've been pulling them up in a web browser.

Hope this helps someone out. I'll post more on Jing when I get it all figured out.

Ken

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