Here is a very short demo of some of the features of Screencast-O-Matic.
I’ve used at least 8 or 9 different screencasting tools. Some of the very expensive services are quite good, but if you’re looking for free – start with Screencast-O-Matic (SOM).
Some of the features of the free service:
- Unlimited hosting at SOM
- 15 minute max recording time
- Can record web cam
- Publish directly to YouTube
- Save locally as MP4, AVI, FLV
- SOM watermark on video
For Pro users, I think you get much more than your money’s worth. Besides what’s shown in the video above, other features for a Pro account ($12/yr) include:
- Unlimited max recording time
- Publish directly to Google Docs (YouTube, SOM, & download)
- Publish screen shots (stills)
- No SOM watermark
- Can password protect videos
- Use offline
- Add scripts easily
- Capture computer audio (if desired)
- Adjust maximum frame rate
- Insert more video into saved recording
- Resize the video
- Cut out parts of recordings
- Trim around parts of recordings
- Add transitions
- Change speed up or down
It’s incredibly simple to use. Lots of educators like Jing, but I’d choose SOM over Jing based on functionality.
It’s a web-based tool, but it does give you the option to download an applet that will allow you to make screencasts even when offline (both PC and Mac).
They have been rather prolific at introducing new features to the service. At this rate, they are well positioned to continue to be the leader in web-based screencasting.
NOTE: I’m a big fan of web-based tools in general, where there is no software download or install. This is a major benefit when working with students and having them capture screencasts of what they’re doing. I’m not saying it’s better than the expensive programs that are out there – but I am saying that it is a great, inexpensive, and easy-to-use screencasting tool.