Saturday, January 24, 2009

screencasting software

Well, the news came out last week about Google Video being shut down. I was not exactly happy given my plans for screencasting this coming spring semester. So I've spent the week trying to find some other alternatives. Here I'll put in a few of my findings. TeachTube Teachertube has similar lack of limits to file size and total number of uploads as Google Video. It's optimal resolution is half of Google's (320x240 vs 640x480) but Google actually reduces your videos to 320x240 after some processing anyways. You can mark you files as private and embed videos just like Google too. They have a semi-malfunctioning feature where you can upload support files to go along with the video. Overall it seems like a decent alternative to Google. Btw, the malfunctioning part is that when you click on the support files you're taken to a page with EVERY support file listed. WinFF I don't like the default file size that camstudio produces so I'm starting to use winFF to reduce it by roughly a factor of 2 by converting to .mp4 format from the avi format. The quality once it's on Google seems about the same. Jing Just today I started using Jing on my mac (it works on macs and windoze). It's pretty slick as the screen capture that it does seems to have very small file sizes (3.5MB/minute for full screen) AND they host your screencast for you at for free! You get 2GB of space and 2GB/month bandwidth which is pretty good. What I really like about it is how easy it makes everything. You can keep it running in the background and when you make a video the controls are obvious and then when you're done it immediately puts it on for you. All with one piece of software! There's also no delay between uploading and being able to view it. Plus they don't do any post-processing to reduce the quality. Of course the biggest downside is the 5 minute limit on videos but I'm willing to work with that! Elluminate Live This is software that Hamline has paid an academic license for. It's actually very slick. I used it yesterday during an interview I was a part of and I was very impressed. It's designed for online courses and I'm planning to use it immediately for my ongoing online course. I really like how you can grant microphone privileges to anyone logged in and how students can "raise their hand". It keeps track of who raised their hand first. Very cool. It also lets you share other windows on your screen so it would work very much like a screen cast. Well, we'll see how it goes this week . . .

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