Review: Record your screen and more with BB FlashBack Express

Capture screen, mic, cam, and more with this super-easy freeware.

If you'd like to be able to whip up short videos and post them online but don't quite know where to start, Blueberry's BB FlashBack Express might be the tool for you. It records your screen activity, with sound, and posts finished videos to YouTube and other sites. BB FlashBack Express lets you create instructional videos that record every onscreen step, or narrate a slideshow or series of clips to create your own documentaries and short films. It's designed to be as easy to use as possible without sacrificing the capabilities you're looking for. It's a "best-of" version of Blueberry's FlashBack Standard and Pro tools, offering basic but most-needed features such as recording screen and Webcam images and computer and microphone sounds and saving flies in AVI or FLV format. BB FlashBack Express is freeware that comes with a 30-day evaluation period and free registration. That's a bit different, but it lets you try the tool without sharing info. until you're ready, so we approve.

BB FlashBack Express installed two icons on our desktop; one for BB Flashback Express Player and another for BB FlashBack Express Recorder, a simplified tool for quick recording. The Recorder is fully integrated with the Player but can run simultaneously or separately, as we learned when we opened both. FlashBack Express opened with a browser-style user interface with reassuring toolbar entries like Upload to YouTube and Export, but better still was the Welcome screen with large buttons labeled "Record your screen" and "Open a recordings," opposite a series of Getting Started tutorials and a link to the program's Help Manual. The FlashBack Express Recorder is the tool that lets you quickly decide which region of your screen to record and whether to record sound or Webcam activity.

But new users could do a lot worse than simply clicking the Record button and letting the program's wizards tell you what to do (that's a wizard's job, after all). Our quick test video proved the point: Many free screen recorders are more basic than BB FlashBack Express, but very few are so easy to use yet so capable.

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