Screencast Software Options

snapz pro xAfter almost every screencast that I post here on The Apple Blog, someone asks about the software that I’m using. (Also about the wallpaper on my desktop…) Without hesitation I reply, Snapz Pro X. It’s screen capturing software on steroids, and makes the process of recording your screen movements absolutely a breeze.

Though I’ll give a word of caution on Snapz Pro X: It’s not yet Universal, but Intel Compatible, as Ambrosia Software puts it. This means it runs under Rosetta without consistently dying a horrible death. If there’s one app I’ve been anxiously awaiting a Universal binary for, it is this one. At $69, it’s a rather hefty price tag. So if you’re considering purchasing this app, I may recommend holding off until the Intel Native version comes along, so you don’t feel any buyer’s remorse in the interim.

iShowUHowever, in the past year, other options have become available. You can also give iShowU a try. I used it briefly while awaiting Ambrosia’s Intel Compatibility. While I felt spoiled by Snapz Pro X, iShowU was definitely a nice little app for motion screen captures. It’s been some time since I last used iShowU, so I briefly gave it another try while writing this post. It has several quality presets that make it extremely simple to use, and then processes the movie file blazingly fast for viewing (not a strong point in the Intel Compatible Snapz Pro X’s column). At only $20 this is definitely a worthwile piece of software to try out.

CopernicusAnd recently I heard about Copernicus. Unlike the 2 software options I’ve already mentioned, Copernicus is freeware. It looks like it’s got some potential, but will still need some spit and polish to give the others a run for their money – but then of course, it doesn’t actually cost any money, so the developer has nothing to lose at this point. Copernicus does something a bit different, and gives the user the option to record the movie into RAM, which supposedly gives a shorter processing time. Interesting idea, but on my 2Ghz/2GB MacBook, it seemed to hang and give me more trouble than it was worth. Perhaps I had too many other things running at the time. But it is free software, so it’s worth a try if you’re on a budget and would like to grace the world with your own screencasts.