Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Screencasts on Macs

I've found myself doing a lot of screencasts recently. Screencasts are great for demonstrating software or techniques when you can't show the user directly. In some ways, a good screencast is even better than a good live demonstration because the user can go back and watch the screencast any time they want.

For creating screencasts on my Mac, I use iShowU. iShowU is one of the first pieces of software I purchased for my Mac. It's nice looking and easy to use. And it has a plethora of options to create videos in many formats and quality levels. At $20, it's a steal. I only wish it had an option to make me sound more intelligent and confident. I usually end up doing several takes before I'm not appalled with how I sound on video.

iShowU doesn't encode to Flash videos for the web, so that may be a non-starter for you. I usually just end up distributing the video file directly.


Ken Mankoff said...

Check out MouseLocator and/or MousePosé to enhance your screencast. The best Mac screencast I've ever seen are done on http://murphymac.com/ but with custom software that he hasn't released.

If you ever need a Windows screencast nothing can compare with Wink. It lets you (easily) do interactive casts, where you can even have the user take choices and skip sections and almost do a choose-your-own-adventure type screencast

Josh Reed said...

Thanks for the tips, Ken. Both of those utilities look quite useful for my screencasts.

Those screencasts you did with Wink looked pretty cool. Did you break down and use a Windows machine or were you running in Parallels?

Ken Mankoff said...

I used Parallels. Unfortunately Wink cannot "see" outside of it, so even in Coherence mode it is Windows-only.