Camtasia, Best of Breed in Screencasting

In the past, I’ve dabbled a bit in screencasting. I liked the result and always wanted to do a few more screencasts. I have a bunch of ideas that would really benefit from a video walkthrough. However, I never got around to it. The most important reason was the amount of time and work that was required to get a presentable result. Now it seems I have found a solution: Camtasia Studio, an all-in-one screencasting program. Recording, editing, cutting, mixing, and publishing.

If you clicked on the Camtasia link, you’ll have noticed that it’s not a free or open source product, but a paying software package, programmed by TechSmith. It isn’t even a cheap product. At $299, it’s fairly expensive, but it does a lot for that money:

  • There’s screen and audio capture. Functionally it’s fairly similar to CamStudio, although it seems a little more stable. If this is the only thing you’re going to do with the software, I’d suggest you go for CamStudio.
  • Camtasia Studio also has an incredibly easy to use and very powerfull non-linear movie editor. I can’t stress enough how good this editor is. In many products of this kind, the editor is an afterthought. Here it is fully functioning and has all the options you’re going to need (for instance, easily add text bubbles). If you buy something similar from Adobe, you’ll be paying a lot more.
  • Publishing tools allow you to export to many preset and custom formats and even directly upload to YouTube.
  • A bunch of tools that I didn’t really need (presentation software, powerpoint integration, and many more)

My previous DosBox screencast required a bunch of different tools and was a pain to produce properly. For instance the video/audio synching gave me some serious headaches. Camtasia Studio makes this truly intuitive and easy.

If any one know free alternatives, please let me know. Otherwise, by the end of the month, TechSmith will have a new and happy customer.