What applications are best for mac screencasts?
August 26, 2010 7:23 PM   Subscribe

What application(s) should I use to make a quality screencast on a mac?

I'd like to get into making some screencasts on my mac. I've seen many quality mac screencasts on Youtube including this video and another example. I would like to achieve this kind of quality, I just don't know what applications people are using.

A few people have asked about this on MF, but this post is from 2006, and even a more recent post from 2009 only mentions Screenflow and iShowU HD.
posted by mtphoto to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Quicktime in Snow Leopard does screencasts perfectly.
posted by xmutex at 7:32 PM on August 26, 2010

I used screencastomatic on my MB Pro and it came out fine.
posted by special-k at 7:38 PM on August 26, 2010

From what I understand Snapz Pro X is the pro-level choice.
posted by danb at 7:56 PM on August 26, 2010

Screenflow is exactly what you want and is still the most common top end choice. That said, Camtasia has made a splash on OS X in the last few months although of all the screencasters I know (I work in a field where screencasting is common) only a couple have made the switch to it. In terms of quality and editing features, Screenflow and Camtasia seem to be neck and neck. I've stuck with Screenflow as I'd already paid for it ;-)

Apps like Snapz Pro X and iShowU have, in my field, been entirely kicked in the ass by Screenflow and Camtasia. Their editing features and general level of quality are hard to beat unless you want to drag everything in to Final Cut Pro and do your editing work there in which case any recorder will be OK.

If switching cameras and editing live is necessary, though, BoinxTV works great (but isn't so good on the screencasting part, particularly in the editing phase).
posted by wackybrit at 8:06 PM on August 26, 2010

Further, I can heartily recommend these screencasts if you want to learn more about professional quality screencasting: Screencasting on the Mac and Screencasting with Final Cut Pro. Despite what I was saying before, they do not use Screenflow but they follow a record in iShowU and then edit in iMovie or FCP approach.
posted by wackybrit at 8:08 PM on August 26, 2010

Thanks everybody, I like the variety of suggestions.
posted by mtphoto at 8:14 PM on August 26, 2010

I use Grab.
Its name is as simple as it is to use.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 8:20 PM on August 26, 2010

I like IShowU HD because you can include a little window in the corner with a feed from your camera and it's simple enough that I could figure it out knowing nothing about this sort of thing generally.
posted by jessamyn at 8:31 PM on August 26, 2010

I recently tried the new Mac version of Camtasia and have to say I was very impressed.
posted by spilon at 8:56 PM on August 26, 2010

ScreenFlow is the way to go, I've used them all (except Camtasia), and it's the one I keep going back to. An example, on Youtube, so it's compressed.
posted by dbiedny at 6:38 AM on August 27, 2010

And, it might seem like a minor point, but using a laptop's built-in mic is going to make everything seem a bit more hollow, consider investing in a decent USB microphone (I use a Samson CL8 going through a Native Instruments Kontrol 1 interface, but you can get similar quality with the Samson CO1U or Blue Snowball).
posted by dbiedny at 6:46 AM on August 27, 2010

Camtasia is the only software I've paid for in at least 7 years. It's awesome for recording AND editing, and super easy to add in effects and other media. I've used it just to put together quick videos over iMovie or MovieMaker.
posted by jander03 at 7:00 AM on August 27, 2010

I have used, and really like, ScreenFlick. I used this (admittedly outdated) TUAW article to select it. I wanted something that would show keyboard input onscreen, and not be quite as expensive as ScreenFlow.
posted by supercres at 7:48 AM on August 27, 2010

I tried out Screencast-o-matic and it was great for making quick, spontaneous screencasts. If I messed up or said to many ummms or uhhhhs in one take, I could record that portion again.

The encoding for a 5 minute clip took forever, like a half hour, probably because of the nice mouse effects to highlight the cursor. A one minute clip encoded very quickly, in about a minute.

Screenflow is incredible.

I used Screenflow to record and edit a simple mac tutorial and the zooming/panning/mouse highlight effects are exactly what I need to make a well-polished screencast.

The only big difficulty I had was in removing sections of video & audio at the same time, which the app automatically leaves empty gaps in between after areas are deleted (they need to change this). Use the in/out points and the Ripple Delete to trim out unwanted sections. I was very frustrated until I figured this out, but I could have avoided all of that by reading the documentation.
posted by mtphoto at 6:39 PM on September 2, 2010

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