Ready to create your own screencast? The first step is to select which software you want to use.
There are a number of different screen capture programs out there to choose from. This checklist will help determine which is right for you.
#1 – Your Price Range
Screen capture programs can range from free (CamStudio) to as much as $799 (Adobe Captivate) with most being somewhere in between.
#2 – Editing Capabilities
Do you have video editing experience? Do you have your own software?
If you already know how to edit video in third party software, then the built-in editing components aren’t that important. Most video editing software will be more powerful than built-in systems anyway.
However, if you don’t have video editing experience, the built-in editors can really help make things easier. You’ll be able to cut video, add annotations and subtitles and edit sound tracks without too much difficulty.
#3 – Output Quality & Formats
If you intend on burning these screencasts to DVD, you’ll probably want to use software that can save to a high resolution format. Many of the lower end programs only export to Flash, which is compressed and difficult to edit.
On the other hand, if you just intend on using it to create YouTube files, then having Flash formats will work just fine.
Take into consideration who the audience is when you’re determining what output quality you need.
If your video is going to an audience that’s paying for your screencast, you might want to put out a higher quality video. On the other hand, if it’s for free videos, then it’s probably okay to use a lower resolution video and save the money on the software.
#4 – Operating System
What operating system are you using? Some software only works on Windows, others on only Macs and some work on both.
Once you take the price point, the editing capabilities, the video quality and the operating system into account, you’ll have a pretty good sense of what kind of software you need.