Several reviews noted five minute videos were free, but the web site FAQs state fifteen minute videos (subsequently hosted on YouTube) are free. It is necessary to have java installed with your browser to access the product, but it does not seem to differentiate when using updated versions of either Firefox or IE8; I have used both browsers to create screen casts without issue. I was happy to learn it is possible to export completed projects directly to YouTube as an HD movie, as an MP4 file, or an AVI file for Movie Maker.
"Screencast-O-Matic is the original online screen recorder for creating screen capture video recordings (aka screen casts) with free hosting all from your browser with no install!" -- Welcome page (8/24/10)
The product is easy to use and intuitive; it
- provides opportunity to select video size from a list or adjust the screen to suit your needs
- includes a pause button (or alt+p) during capture
- starts each capture, both fresh video and after pausing, with 3,2,1, go!
- has an option to reset the video and start again
Since I opted to use the free version, there is a Screencast-O-Matic watermark on the bottom, left corner of the video. It is less obvious than the Animoto markings and I found it easily ignored. If you do not want or like the watermark, pro accounts are reasonably priced ($9 per year) and provide editing tools and options of one hour video lengths.
Below are two videos recently created with Screencast-O-Matic. I elected to keep the mouse highlights on both videos; each was exported to my YouTube account, saved as MP4 files, and later embedded in separate project. This is a great product to create free screen cast videos, especially when taking into consideration it is not necessary to download prior to use.
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