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Snagit 2.0 for Mac adds video capture, sharing

Your Mac comes with some handy options for taking a quick screen grab, but sometimes you need a bit more. Most Mac users will recognize the Command-Shift-3 keystroke to take a screenshot of the whole screen or Command-Shift-4 to capture a selected area of your screen. But often you'll want to tell a story with that screenshot, and that's where popular image capture app Snagit comes in.

Snagit for Mac just had a major upgrade to version 2.0, and while it still hasn't reached feature parity with the Windows version, it's clear the folks at … Read more

Simple but not oversimplified

What began as a freeware project to easily share basic screen captures and screen recordings has grown into a solid application and capture distribution system with a premium component. Jing's attractive application takes a sound, simple approach to capturing; begin by dragging the crosshairs to define your capture field and then take a still or start a recording. When you're done, save it to your computer or upload it to Screencast.com (operated by Jing's publisher), an FTP site, Flickr, or YouTube (for a premium). If you've got Snagit or Camtasia Studio, TechSmith's premium programs … Read more

TechSmith's screencast service Jing goes pro

On Tuesday, TechSmith released Jing Pro, a paid premium version of its free screen capture and casting software. The new service, which runs $14.95 a year, upgrades videos to H.264 encoding, takes off the Jing watermark in the bottom corner of recorded clips, and gives users the option to upload directly to several popular video hosting sites including Facebook, YouTube, Viddler, and Vimeo.

Of the news, one of the biggest changes is the move to the MPEG-4 AVC video format. It's the go-to format for iPods and iPhones, as well as set-top boxes like the Apple TV … Read more

Always-on screen capture

The straightforward, sunny Jing Project is one of the easiest ways to grab and share screenshots and videos straight from your PC. The interface, half a lemon yellow sphere, sits at the top of your screen, waiting for you to hover over it to begin capturing the image or screencast in a crosshair.

You'll be able to annotating images and review videos, but copying, saving, and sharing them is what Jing is really about. Version 2.0 adds a useful Help Center and lets you configure new buttons that will upload your creations to Flickr, an FTP account, or … Read more

uTipu's new screencasting tool takes on TechSmith's Jing Project

Screencasting is not for everyone. Most of the options out there are fairly full featured, but it's hard to find a good, free solution that can do as much as some of the pricey professional tools such as TechSmith's Camtasia Studio (download) or Adobe's Captivate (download). A new service that launched this week called uTipu (download TipCam for Windows) is stepping into the ring and offering up a Windows-only (for now) one-stop screencasting service that combines both a software tool to grab your onscreen action, along with an uploader that will send it off to uTipu's server farm for YouTube-like Web hosting. The hope is that anyone who wants to make a screencast or two will be able to download the app and get going without too much of a hassle, similar to what TechSmith's been up to with its Jing Project (download for Windows or Mac).

Like other software-based screencasting tools, uTipu's got a few tricks to get your screencasts looking right. You can set it to record your entire screen, or just a small section. It can also follow your cursor, and highlight what you're doing with a little translucent yellow circle. There are recording controls to pause and stop the action, as well as an annotation shortcut in case you feel like drawing on the screen John Madden-style. For audio and voiceovers, there's no post-production workspace, so you have to record your narration at the same time as the video and hope you don't make any mistakes.

Advanced users get some nice tweaks, such as VNC server setup to record screens on remote computers, and frame-rate quality controls to bump up how smooth your videos look. The one caveat is that higher frame rates also increase your file size, and uTipu's only serving up 250MB of free hosting for the time being, but about a minute of medium size video at 15 frames per second runs at about 3MB, which means you'll be able to create and send about 16 videos at the five-minute time cap. If you're close to running out of space, you can also skip the option to upload to uTipu's servers entirely by uploading them to any video hosting service that accepts the FLV Flash format.

On the whole, uTipu's off to a good start, but by not providing some post-processing tools to clean up your work, it's not offering a whole lot more than what you can get from its formidable competition, such as the zero-install Screencast-o-matic, and the cross-platform Jing from TechSmith.

I've embedded a sample of a user-created uTipu video after the break. As you can see, it's nice and big, and you can actually read the onscreen text. My less informative one can be found here.

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Hands-on: Robust Camtasia Studio impresses

With five applications bundled into one, Camtasia Studio truly is a full-fledged screen recording workshop. It's what I use to record and edit screencasts for my day job, and for my needs, it far surpasses free competitors.

That's not to say it's the best toolbox for your job. For many casual users, that honor could belong to freeware like CamStudio (reviewed 9/17/07,) and Hollywood producer types may swear by Apple's Final Cut Pro. But for Windows users in need of strong capturing, editing, and production features, particularly PowerPoint crossfunctionality, Camtasia has quite a lot to offer.… Read more

Clip2Net takes your clipboard, files online

I use TechSmith's Snagit screen-capturing tool (review) on a daily basis to gather all sorts of shots for posts and archival purposes. It works great at getting those pixel-precise sizes you might be going for, along with taking a step or two out Windows' less-than-stellar built-in print screen function. Today I've been playing with a small download called Clip2Net. It's a free and simple screenshot program with built-in Web uploading for screenshots AND image files. It's not at all as advanced as Snagit, but if you're in the market for a relatively easy way to take and host screenshots, or share a roll of pictures with friends, Clip2Net is a promising hybrid solution.

Setup is simple: Just download and install the less-than-1MB file and you're good to go. You can start capturing right away, either in regions or the entire screen at a time. Registering and plugging in your login credentials lets you upload your shots to a Web folder that saves all your shots. Likewise, if you'd like to stay anonymous, Clip2Net will provide you with a URL where your shot is being hosted--although keep in mind that if you lose that URL, you won't be able to track it down again. … Read more

Screen grabs and screencasts made easy, with Jing

The team behind the screen recording utility Camtasia have released a simplified, experimental version of the technology, packaged into a nice downloadable application called the Jing Project (download).

Jing makes it very easy to grab screenshots and videos straight from your PC, and then save them or share them on the Web. For me, the coolest part of this experiment--in theory--is Jing's integration with Screencast.com, a hosting service for videos recorded off your computer. Once you've recorded a video, you can save it to your Screencast account, and from there you can get an embed code to … Read more