Monday, February 25, 2008

12 Screencasting Tools For Creating Video Tutorials

Sean P. Aune collected in his post "12 Screencasting Tools For Creating Video Tutorials" . He lists free and commercial applications.

So if you want to find out, if creating screencasts is something for you, this is a great list to start with. Why he did not list Camtasia Studio from Techsmith I do not know. I always thought it a very easy to use commercial application that does offer me all the functionality I need to create a screencast, podcast, or a video tutorial.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Comprehensive Online Video Industry Index

As I discovered on one of these random walking Delicious  searches Read/WriteWeb  has compiled a very comprehensive index of the online video industry. They are categorizing the different services offered for easy lookup and comparison.

Their categories are:

  • Video Sharing
  • Intermediaries
  • Video Search
  • Video eCommerce
  • Video Editing & Creation
  • Rich Media Advertising
  • P2P (Peer To Peer)
  • Video Streaming
  • Vlogosphere
So for example to find out how the providers for video sharing compare, here is the link:

Online Video Industry Index

Thank you for the compilation


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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Screencasting - List of recording software

Since I started to record my own screencast using Camtasia Studio I have been asked about alternative solutions either running on a different platform or being available as an open source application.

Well I use Camtasia Studio 4 as my Swiss army knife for recording, editing, and producing of screencasts and podcasts. I find it easy to use. There is still (2007-01-27) a glitch in the software  regarding production of several output formats at once. (Description). The reasons I am using Camtasia Studio 4 are:

  • Complete solution - from recording over editing to producing of a screencast
  • Several output formats - hopefully soon in one pass
  • High quality of the flash-based output

If you look for an alternative, be it open source, freeware, shareware or for another platform there is a List of screen recording software on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Netgear SC101 and Microsoft OneCare don't go together

I am currently evaluating Microsoft OneCare. The idea behind it is quite compelling: To offer a combined application that bundles backup, defrag, and security tools. The user interface is designed for users who want to work with a computer but do not want to be bothered with the technical aspects of applications maintaining and securing a pc. OneCare promisses to take care of all that. Doesn't that sound wonderful!?

Now, I also just got the Netgear Storage Center SC101. It is basically a (set of) harddrives attached to the LAN. In principle it can be accessed from any computer in the LAN. So it is the ideal place to store the backups from all computers at home. Since the netdrive can be anywhere in the LAN, it can be physically separated from the computers I am using adding to the security.

Usually the SC101 comes without drives installed and so offers a great way to reuse any old, still sufficiently large IDE harddrives at home. Every SC101 can hold two harddrives.

The drivers supplied with the SC101 make it very easy to install it and make the netdrive available as a 'local' drive on any computer at home. This is what seemingly creates the problem. Since OneCare is smart, it assumes that this is just another drive of the system and as such must be backed up as well. Since OneCare is probably supposed to back up the complete system it does not make sense for OneCare to back up to a 'local' drive. So OneCare does not even offer the netdrive as a possible drive to backup too since it thinks it is a 'local' drive. So it is impossible to use the SC101 as a backup device. Hardware and software don't go together!

What a disappointment! It was such a great idea. But unfortunately OneCare is just another one-stop solution with a part that is not usable. The backup that must be appended with another tool. And what is really anoying is that even if the windows backup utility has just been used OneCare does not even detect that the system has be backed up recently and still reminds the user that he has to run a backup.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Camtasia Studio 4 - Happy, but confused!?

After my previous post about 'How to get an mp3 out of a camtasia screencast' I bought the new version 4 of Camtasia Studio. It offers the possibility to create mp3 and iPod Video files on the fly while creating for example a flash based screencast. Great, it would make things quite a lot easier. Just take a look at the window that will appear once I decided to use 'Recommend my production settings'.

This seems to do exactly what I want. But what does the option 'high', 'low', and 'medium' associated with 'Create iPod file' mean? Bandwidth, file size, or compression rate. Well I just did try it out. I used all three settings. Here is what happened to me:
  1. Setting 'Low': file size of iPod video: 12.2 MB
  2. Setting 'Medium': file size of iPod video: 12.2 MB
  3. Setting 'High': file size of iPod video: 12.2 MB.

It does not change a thing. This is especially confusing, since the original avi file was just 5 MB in size. The resulting iPod video is more than twice as large. I am confused!

The resulting flash presentation with download options for the iPod and the mp3 file looks really good. Just the displayed size of the file is disturbing. Now how to work around it and still keep the nice html file with download options?

Here is my very crude work-around. There must be a better way!

  1. First create the files using the settings above.
  2. Reproduce the iPod file using 'Custom production settings'. Choose only iPod/iTunes. Here you have the option to set bandwidth to 'Low'.
  3. The resulting iPod file is now only 1.3 MB in size! It sounds and looks great.
  4. Replace the original monster file with this new one.
  5. Make sure the new file has the same name as the monster file.
  6. Open the html-file and look for the string with the file size of the monster file. Replace it with the size of the new iPod file.
  7. Done!

I hope there is a better solution somewhere in the documentation, but it all looked so easy so I just went ahead. I must have erred somewhere. I am still confused and looking for a solution. If I can find it, I will post it here.