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What are Screencasts Useful For?

Screencasting – The New “Hammer”

I imagine way, way back when the hammer was first invented, that it was a hard sell. After all, rocks and heavy sticks had been doing well enough for centuries at performing the tasks needed for constructing huts and various items around one’s yard.

Eventually the hammer came to become appreciated for its versatility and for how much faster it could get the job done. Now entire cities have been built using them. Nobody uses the old rocks and heavy sticks for much anymore.

Screencasting — creating screen recordings with audio — has come along now, and at the moment it is still a hard sell. After all, email and pictures have been doing well enough for two entire decades at performing the tasks needed for communicating people’s needs and ideas around one’s digital domain.

Eventually, Screencasts will come to be appreciated for their versatility and for how much faster they can get the job done – at communicating people’s needs and ideas! Soon, entire knowledge centers will be built using them. Nobody will rely upon only email and still pictures that much anymore!

Screencasts are useful for:

  • Teaching people things
  • Sharing what you’re doing with friends and family
  • Sending quick explanations of how to do things
  • Sending quick explanations of what seems to be going wrong
  • Creating a series of videos that you can market as a course, workshop or training program
  • Sharing what you have happening on your desktop or in a program you’re working in at any time.
  • Capturing slide shows of favorite pictures, with music and/or an audio commentary added in while it is playing.
  • Showing what you’ve been doing as a time-lapse recording.
  • Creating commentary on websites you’ve been visiting lately.
  • Grabbing bits from the web on current events that you can assemble later into a scripted program using editing software.
  • Creating software reviews with audio commentary added-in live as you run through the software’s features.
  • Creating software tutorials with audio commentary added-in live as you run through the software’s techniques.

Etc – Etc! I’m certain this much has started your creative juices flowing!

I’m a huge fan of Screencasts, so I’ll be helping you to make them! Read on!

2 Responses to What are Screencasts Useful For?

  1. Hi Terry,

    Is it possible to use CamStudio to capture a digital camera feed that is being sent to the computer? If yes, do you recommend changing any of the audio/video settings to enhance the final product?


  2. Yes, and I’ve seen the technique of using a webcam’s preview window visible on the screen as a “picture-in-picture” effect pretty often, especially in Linux videos. Keep in mind that the larger the display window the more CPU resources are being hogged by the video display software leaving fewer CPU resources for CamStudio, so it is a balancing act. I’d start with “Capture Frames Every” at 40 and “Playback Rate” at 25, but you could reverse those numbers if the video isn’t smooth enough, or reduce CamStudio’s CPU demands by lowering “Capture Frames Every” to 50 and “Playback Rate” to 20. (The above-mentioned numbers will keep video and audio in sync, as they sum to 1000 as needed by the software for sync to be successful.)

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