Thursday, February 23, 2012

Catasia Studio : Screencast Software Review

If you are looking to create computer based video tutorials or demos to promote your products and applications then the easiest way to go about it is by using a screencast software which captures all the actions going on on your computer screen and directly renders it to popular video formats which can be used in just about any which way you want.

Though there are a large number of free online and offline screencasting options available on the internet, it is quite likely that if you are trying to produce a video with any degree of professionalism then you would want to use a paid screencast software, and sooner rather than later. Here is a look at one of the more popular paid screencasting software, Catasia Studio.

Features I Like About Camtasia Studio 6
Intuitive User Interface
Camtasia Studio uses a very user friendly interface which is so intuitive that you hardly ever need to consult the help files, which themselves are are pretty comprehensive albeit compact. But to help you master the software better you can also download or stream short tutorial videos from their website.

The Zoom-n-pan feature gives you great control over the camera angles (such zooming in to a particular section of your screen) and is very handy in just about any tutorial as it allows you to focus in on the relevant part of your screen in every single shot.

Caption is a very basic feature and present in most screencast software. It basically allows you to add subtitles to your video and is a very handy feature as it will almost invariably increase your audience.

The Call Out feature allows you to add various kinds of "boxes" inside your video during post processing and maybe used for a variety of purposes such as highlighting text, drawing special attention to a part of the screen  or to simply blur out sensitive information from the screencast.

Drawback of Camtasia Studio 6
I had just two issues with my Camtasia Studio 6 software:
  1. It is slightly difficult to get the aspect ratio right in order to get the maximum possible screen area for your video. Further, if you are using captions they too tend to eat up quite a bit of screen space.
  2. The Youtube version of the rendered videos often turn out to be of a slightly lower quality than expected as per the preview.
 Pricing of Camtasia Studio 7
The latest version of Camtasia Studio available is Camtasia Studio 7 and it is priced at a marginally expensive $50 for the individual license and also offer a host of different licensing options.  

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