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Sunday, June 8, 2008

How to make a screen recording of PC desktop activity.

There are three methods that I use. Note that only Screen Recorder Gold will capture video activity but only with graphics hardware acceleration disabled. I use them for real time recording of windows activity to create tutorials.

1. Screen-cast-o-matic (completely free)
Screen Recorder Gold (free trial)
Adobe Captivate 3 (30 day free trial)

1- Scree-cast-o-matic works just with your browser (firefox, opera 9, IE6, IE7, and Safari are supported) and the latest Java plugin. Supported OS are XP SP2, Vista, and MAC OS X.

Main features:

Real time recording of adjustable area of desk top (max 1024 by 768)
Free hosting of screen recordings, no software install required (apart from Java if you don't already have it).
Export screen recordings in quick time format.
Allows for recording narration/ sound.
Limited annotation facility.
Is completely free.
Very easy to use.
2- Screen Recorder Gold.

Main features:

Real time recording of adjustable area of desk top or snap to window/ application.
Screen recording outputs in avi format.
Can record video from desktop provided graphics hardware acceleration is disabled.
Annotation facility.
Sound recording/ narration.
Free trial is not time limited (small water mark in top left of recordings)
OS supported: Windows versions 98/NT/2000/Me/XP. (Vista not mentioned)
Very easy to use.3- Adobe Captivate 3

Main features.

Many many features, here is a brief summary.

Real time recording of desktop, adjustable area, or snap to window/ application.Automatic annotation.

Recording is converted to slides which can be fully edited, annotated and interactive content added.

Recording is published in flash format.Sound recording/ narration.

30 Day free trial.

The new version of Captivate is much more expensive than in predecessors but has increased interactivity/ multimedia functions. I'm using version 1. If you need a spot on annotated tutorial this is the software to do it. At a price.

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