Saturday, September 20, 2008

Camtasia: Recording Desktop made easy

There are many tools that you can use to record your desktop, and some can be really complicating and at the same time, expensive. Camtasia is one good tool out there, which is reasonably expensive ($300), but provides a free 30-day trial version, as well. What you find at the Techsmith site is the latest version, 5.1, which has quite a lot more features than what you see in here (version 3.1, released in June 2006), which I apparently downloaded based on a link I saw in here, several months ago. The version 3, is now not supported, but link still works, if you want to give it a try.

The application provides you with a great deal of capability including:
  1. Selecting various areas in your screen.
  2. Recording/Pausing as you wish.
  3. Editing and Removing un-wanted content.
  4. Publishing in many popular video formats.

The video seen above explains how Camtasia can be used to easily record your desktop (you can find a tutorial here). The .wmv version produced is however not so good on the eye, and Windows Media Player is having it's problems even with the .avi version. However, I managed to make use of a professional video editting software, Adobe Premiere Pro (free tryout version available), which preserved the original formatting. I generated a .avi file, which I then converted back to a .wmv version with the help of Windows Movie Maker. Windows Media Player and Windows Movie Maker are a part of your Windows OS, assuming you have a version equal or greater than Windows XP.

Please note that the .avi file generated by Adobe Premiere Pro is around 100MB for a mere 100 seconds, and this means that if you need a good quality output for what you've done, you will need to have an equal amount

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