Among the tools that function well, are user-friendly and some FREE – Camtasia, Screenr, Screen-Cast-O-Matic and Active Presenter (my favorite free option). These tools that can make your videos purr all have similar features and help you create dynamic videos that can transform your online business from mediocre to fabulous. These tools have many similarities, but are also different in ways that will either appeal to you – or not. For example, you can’t directly edit Screen-Cast-O-Matic videos unless you upgrade to a Pro-account costing $12 per year. The other video-making tools don’t have that caveat which may or may not be important to you.
Here is a brief rundown on the features of each of the most popular screen capturing and video-making tools. Knowing more about each can help you make a more educated decision about which is best for you.
Tools That Can Make Your Videos Purr
This app lets you capture any visual or audio element that appears on your screen during the recording process. It’s really simple. All you do to record a screencast from your desktop or the web is to click the ‘record’ button on your site’s Screenr Business page.
Here are some features of Screenr you’ll want to consider when making a decision about which application fits your needs:
- Choose who sees your screencast – You may only want one person to see the screencast – or anyone and everyone. It’s your choice.
- Analyze the impact of your screencast – Know how much impact your screencast is having by using the analytics feature to zero in on viewers’ length of viewing and where they’re located.
- Embed a recorder – Your followers and customers will find it easy to create their own screencasts with the embeddable recorder. Simply embed it on a support sight or other areas of the site.
- Send screencasts to email and tracking systems. You can streamline your business by using Screenr to directly send screencasts to tracking systems such as FogBugz and YouTrack.
You can link Screenr through Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Live, Hotmail or LinkedIn with any of the approved providers easily and swiftly, but you must already have accounts with those platforms.
You can try out Screenr free for 15 days and then download the “Lite” version for under $20 per month.
Camtasia offers applications for both creating video tutorials and editing them as you choose for various audiences. Camtasia is published by TechSmith and it’s a powerful tool that helps you create professional videos without knowing all the technical issues involved.
Out of the list of tools that can make your videos purr, this is my favorite paid option! I use it all the time to edit my videos and make them enjoyable to watch.
Below are some features of Camtasia:
- Record – You can capture anything you see on your screen or import enhancements such as photos, music and videos to ultimately customize your recordings.
- Edit – It means so much to be able to edit your videos and enhance them with animations, callouts, graphics and themes. Camtasia comes with a powerful editor that lets you perform video miracles.
- Make your videos interactive — Audiences engage more with interactive videos and Camtasia lets you provide links to click, search features, tables of content and more.
Many marketers love the easy to understand, step-by-step tutorials that Camtasia provides and they also offer free tech support if you’re having trouble. Camtasia is popular and easy and a version is also offered for Mac computers, but there have been complaints about bugs that need to be fixed.
With Camtasia, you have a 30-day free trial and then have to purchase it and it’s quite expensive. My recommendation is to shop around and attempt to find a video creating app that’s really good and less expensive – or free!
Java-based, Screencast-o-matic also helps you create screencasts on your Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems. Highlighted cursors and indicators make it easy to use and you don’t need to download an application for this one.There is a free version of Screencast-o-matic, but you get many more features with the “Pro” version which only costs $15 per year. Some special features of the Pro version of Screencast-o-matic include:
- No time limit on recordings – The free version has a 15 minute limit, but you can make long tutorial videos with the extended version.
- Publish screen shots – Take screen shots you want to include and narrate as you work (or use the computer’s system audio device).
- Editing, scripts and screen-shot tools – All of these tools will make your video productions even easier to achieve perfection.
One of the downsides of the free version of Screencast-o-matic is that the videos can’t be directly edited in the application in which they were created. You must have a Pro account for that. Also, you must have Java installed on your computer in order to use Screencast-o-matic.
The ActivePresenter is interactive and is especially great for teaching and demonstrating. You can both record and create videos easily and use such methods of enhancements as graphics, other videos, voice-overs and callouts.
Camtasia is a popular screen-recording software, but expensive (for the PC it’s higher, I only paid $97 for my MacBook Pro) – so, ActivePresenter is a viable option if you’ve been wanting to use Camtasia, but can’t afford it.
ActivePresenter is loaded with the following options:
- Three versions: Free, Standard and Professional – The free version contains the same edit, capture and audiovisual features as the Standard and Professional, but the latter two are more interactive and allow export to more formats.
- Record and publish – You can simply record the screen and publish to an output without editing because of the “smart capture” technology.
- Add PiP-style videos – Then, edit screen shots of videos with the image editor, crop, and add text and lines and more to fit your vision.
There are so many great features with just the free version of ActivePresenter. You can produce your own awesome videos and satisfy your desire to create tutorials to teach others what you know.
Adding videos creates an online environment where you can brand your name and your sites, and establish yourself as a person of knowledge in your field. Although ActivePresenter is my “free video solution of choice,” check out the other popular apps to see which works for you.
Compare these tools that can make your videos purr for yourselves according to what you can get for the price and how easy it is to use and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.