I saw a post on TechCrunch last week about this software, and I’ve finally got around to testing Screencast-o-matic, and I’m glad I did. Not only is the software free to use, but it is very easy and intuitive to use. In fact it is so easy that I’ve used the software to create a screen cast (or visual tutorial) to show you how it works.
As a systems administrator who also supports a number of end users on PC’s, I see how a tool like Screencast-o-matic could make my life easier by allowing me to quickly create a tutorial (like how to add a new printer). I can then post it on Google video, and the next time someone asks me how to add a printer, I simply send them a link to the video. You also have the option of hosting the screen cast on the Screencast-o-matic web site if you sign up for an account (no account is necessary to do screen casts though).
You also have the option of recording audio with your screen casts (or not). This can make the process of creating a screen cast much quicker, which is what is probably the most important feature for me. For people looking for full featured screen cast software, you’ll probably want to keep looking. Here are some of the things that Screencast-o-matic cannot currently do:
- Add labels to the screen cast.
- Visibly indicate when a button has been pressed.
- Bookmark different points in the screencast for fast forwarding
While not for everyone, Screencast-o-matic is great for people who want to try out screen casting. Commercial screen cast software pricing starts at about $400, so you can’t beat the price / performance ratio of Screencast-o-matic. The software is also cross platform, and will run on all Windows, Mac and Linux computers that have Java (or JVM) installed. One other good opensource option is CamStudio, but unfortunately it is windows only software.