Screencast Tools

Posted by bryanzug - 2008/02/04

Since I get asked a lot, here’s my rundown of screencast tools —

PC – Camstudio: Free and can get you started

PC – Camtasia: $299 but has bells and whistles that most people want after doing it for a while (e.g. pan and scan)

PC – Captivate: $699. Like powerpoint on steroids, lets you capture screen sequences and create demos or interactive simulations — then outputs Flash movies that you can put on the web (.swf) or edit in the Flash IDE when installed on the same machine (.fla).

Mac – iShowU: $20

Mac – Snapz Pro: $69

Mac – Screencast: $29. Here’s a recent review of this third Mac tool in relation to the first two.



Way cool physics engine for the iPhone

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/12/06

A physics engine for the iPhone — just play the vid —



Marching toward release of an open learning system…

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/09/05

I’ve been marching busily during recent months toward release of a 200+ lesson web based training system for the new phase of a clinical information system at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Hope to release details soon on the site so those of you in the elearning space can take a look.

The architecture of the thing should be very interesting to those of you who lament with me how learning management systems (LMS’s) too often function as walled gardens — and cut off discoverability and content re-use as a result.

Stay tuned for the hard launch.



Udell on ‘Video Knowledge’ and my riff on the death of the specialist

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/12/20

Father of screencasting, Jon Udell has great post on the move toward video as a knowledge/rapid-documentation repository. After a few technical points, he hits this gem that completely jives with my experience on getting into the flow of screencasting —

…you have to overcome the same natural reticence that makes dictation such an awkward process for those of us who haven’t formerly incorporated it into our work style. You also have to overcome the notion, which we unconsciously absorb from our entertainment-oriented culture, that video is a form of entertainment. It can be. Depending on the producer, a screencast documenting a disaster recovery scenario could be side-splittingly funny. And if the humor didn’t compromise the message, a funny version would be much more effective than a dry recitation. But even a dry recitation is way, way better than what’s typically available: nothing.

Just another step toward the seamlessness of media where real headway means that this will be less and less of a specialist skill — who is a ‘word processing’ specialist these days?

No one — every one.

There is a point in the future (near? mid? far?) Jon alludes to here where things like screencasting will be a natural repository for business/education/whatever knowledge — a time when this stuff will not be a specialized skillset.


Last night with the wife and kids, I brought YouTube up on the family TV and searched for my wife’s username and my daughter’s name. We all sat mesmerized for 30 minutes while we played the various clips Jen has uploaded over the past 6-8 months.

It’s content that I, as a professional multimedia producer, had little to do with — All video my wife produced on her own through mostly self developed knowledge and a digital camera (not a miniDV camcorder).

What does TV look like to my daughter and my wife? Something much less specialized than I could ever imagine — and I’ve got a good imagination.

On with the flattening of the universe…



Screencasts on Camtasia 4 Flash and Quiz Features

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/11/07

Brooks Andrus has blogged some very nice screencasts on new Flash and Quiz features in Camtasia Studio 4. Brooks works for TechSmith, the company that makes Camtasia.

I am just getting up to speed on the full feature set of this release, but it looks like they’ve got some nice variable output options for ipod and flash video — definitely steps in the right direction — being able to repurpose your screencasts to multiple environments is becoming a standard requirement these days — Camtasia’s pan-and-zoom feature is indefensible indespensible on that front.



Installing WordPress via Dreamhost (Screencast)

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/10/09

Here’s the flash video version of my screencast on installing WordPress via Dreamhost. Enjoy!



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