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One of the best ways to explain something computer-based is through a screencast. It’s easier to learn how to do something when you’re being shown where to move your mouse, where to click, and walks you through every step of a potentially complicated process.

The only problem is that screencasts aren’t necessarily something everyone knows how to create. They need special software, can take tons of time, and are really hard to do, right?

Wrong. With ScreenCastle, a free and simple Web application, taking and sharing screencasts has never been so easy. In only a few clicks, you can start recording all the actions you take on your computer. In only a few more, you can share them with the world.

When you get to the ScreenCastle website, you’ll see the homepage with a large “Record” button. Once you click the button, ScreenCastle uses Java to launch a recorder (if you don’t have Java, it’s a free download). The first thing you’ll do is choose, in pixels, the size of the screen to be recorded – a nice touch, because you may not want to capture your toolbar, or a particular window on your desktop.

sizer

Choose your size, and click OK. At the top of your screen, you’ll see a red arrow, and a toolbar that says “Start recording.” Click it, and you’re off!

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Once you start recording, ScreenCastle captures everything happening on your computer screen, from your mouse to your keyboard strokes, to videos playing on-screen. You can run the screencast for as long as you need to; when you’re finished, drag your mouse over the red line that appears at the top of your screen. That’s how ScreenCastle knows to stop recording.

Once you’ve stopped, you can either start recording again, or finish the screencast. Once you click “Finish this Screencast” ScreenCastle puts it together for you. This part takes a little while, but is still relatively quick: I took a 30 second screencast, and it only took ScreenCastle about three minutes to get it ready for sharing and viewing.

saved

Once the screencast is ready, ScreenCastle gives you a number of options for sharing and viewing the screencast, along with a helpful little guide, telling you which link you would use for which purpose – you’ll know which link is for embedding in forums, which is for sharing over email, as well as which are images of the screencast, which serve as a perfect placeholder for the screencast link.

The link to your screencast will always be there, so you can share it with anyone you please. ScreenCastle doesn’t require a login or an account, instead opting to give you the simplest and fastest way possible to create individual screencasts.

Screencasts are a great way to share how to do something on the computer or on the Web, particularly with someone who might not understand the necessary lingo to figure out exactly what they need to do. Using Screencastle, you can walk them through it, step by step, in a simple and easy way. I’ve never been a screencast user, but thanks to ScreenCastle, I just became one.

How do you take and/or use screencasts?

Photo Credit: Capt Kodak

  1. Alex
    April 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I use ScreenToaster http://www.screentoaster.com/
    It is like ScreenCastle, it has more options (you can also upload screencasts to youtube), but it requires registration.

    • Rob
      April 8, 2009 at 3:54 pm

      I second ScreenToaster. Great video quality. Screencastle seems to be very bare bones. I like that you don't need an account, but I just tried to record a video and it's not coming up for viewing.

  2. marl
    April 3, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Nice simple tips on using screencastle. i use camstudio, and maybe i'll give it a try with this product.

  3. Barcony
    April 3, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Now I am using sameshow.com/demo-creator.html#10 to make my screencast. It is an esay-to-use screen recorder but with powerful edting feature. A good tool to make demo videos.

  4. John
    April 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Wink has a slightly higher learning curve than CamStudio or Jing (both of which I like), but runs very nicely, once you read through the controls.

  5. Jack
    April 2, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I've been using Jing from http://www.jingproject.com with good results, but this one also seems very good. It doesn't require registering for anything, I wonder if there's any limit on size or length of video.

  6. Versatile Ninja
    April 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    I right now use Camstudio, the freeware version. It works well, and I use it for my youtube video tutorials.

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