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Monday, July 06, 2020

Easy and Free Screen Recording Programs

Do you need to record a video presentation to upload for a course, training purposes, or participation in a virtual conference? Here are three screen recording programs that have a free version, and are very low-cost. 

Screencast-o-matic ( Screencast-o-matic is a personal favorite. I like it because it is easy to use, and it has a built-in video editor so I’m not having to edit the video in YouTube Studio after I’ve uploaded, or having to use the video-editing software I have on my laptop. Screencast-o-matic enables you to record your presentation in just a part of the screen, and it lets you choose your display size. It also give you the option to save to Screencast-o-matic or to save the video file to then upload to YouTube, or further edit. 

Screencast-o-matic has a free version, but it’s pretty limited.  You are limited to 15 minutes (actually probably a good idea to keep you from rambling too much), and it has a watermark. Unfortunately, with the free version, you do not get any editing tools.  I have signed for the top-of-the line version (the “Premier”) which costs me $4 per month. It comes with a stock photo and video library, which is really useful.  Also, I get their new video editing tools. I’ve never tried them out, and am eager to try!  Having the ability to import videos and mix them in the recording is extremely useful, and you can animate overlays and use a Green Screen filter.  Nice! Hours of fun! 

EZVID (  How easy is EZVID?  If you’re looking for a cloud-based solution, EZVID is not as easy to use as a program like Screencast-o-matic or Zoom.  However, there are some advantages to having your software on premise, rather than in the cloud. 
It’s very easy to use.  Just click “screen capture” and you will instantly record your computer screen. You can also create synthesized speech from a text slide.  You, too, can make a voice synthesized video just like the ones you hate watching on YouTube. Download here:

TechSmith Capture (the tool, formerly known as Jing). You can create create webcam-based and system audio-based recordings for your video. You can output in .mp4. You can upload and share through a Screencast or a TechSmith Knowmia account. You can capture full screen and regional images, and then share them or save them to your local drive. 

There are also simple annotation tools, including an arrow, rectangle, highlighter and a callout with font face and size control. This may sound minor, but it’s actually a very important feature. 

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