In addition to web designing, I teach a few college courses online. One thing that I wanted to offer my students this semester was some lectures in audio. Although I have a webcam, I am not too comfortable recording myself in front of a camera. I bet most of you are the same. So I went in search of some software that I could download for free to use for my online classes where it would capture what I was doing on my computer and my voice rather than me.
Of course, there are many good ones to purchase, but finding a good one that’s free takes a little more time.
One of the professors at my campus recommends Jing. This can be downloaded at http://download.cnet.com/Jing/3000-13633_4-10744274.html . It is pretty good software that’s very easy to use. It’s intuitive and simple. It’s easy to record and delete until you get it right. The free version records everything in Shockwave (SWF). In addition, you are limited to five minute clips – in most instances, you would not want to record long clips anyway. The professional version allows many other formats including WAV and MP3. They charge $14.95 per year which isn’t bad and allows you to discontinue. Since there was the time and format limit for Jing Free, I kept searching.
One I found that I like a lot is Debut Video Capture Software by NCH Software at http://www.nchsoftware.com/capture/index.html. This gave me automatically the format choices that work best for me. If I choose to purchase the software is a flat $39.95(for Jan 2012 – then $60) . Jing Pro would equal that cost in a little more than 2.5 years (4 years for regular price). Although I haven’t done it yet, I wanted the ability to edit clips in Windows Movie Maker, and Debut allows that with the formats it offers. Although it’s a little more complicated to use, it’s still relatively simple, and the ability to re-record is as easy as it is for Jing.
I stopped searching once I found Debut because it does all that I want. So far, I have used it as a tutorial for different portions of online class. The professor who inspired me to download and try the software, recommended having online video/audio tutorials. He said that for him it reduced student questions from twenty per class at the beginning of the semester to about two. That was a good enough reason for me to try!
If my skill level and use go up, I plan to purchase the full version.
Let me know if you have searched and found any free video capture software that you would or would not recommend.