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A screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, often containing audio narration. Although the term screencast dates from 2004, products such as Lotus ScreenCam were used as early as 1993. Early products produced large files and had limited editing features. More recent products support more compact file formats such as Macromedia Flash and have more sophisticated editing features allowing changes in sequence, mouse movement, and audio.

Just as a screenshot is a picture of a user's screen, a screencast is essentially a movie of what a user sees on their monitor.


[edit] Uses

Screencasts are useful for demonstrating software features. Creating a screencast helps software developers show off their work. It is a useful skill for ordinary software users as well, to help report bugs (the movie takes the place of potentially unclear written explanations) or to show others how a given task is accomplished in a specific software environment. Screencasts are excellent tools for learning how to use computers, and several podcasts have started to teach computer users how to use software through screencasts.

Considering the high cost of instructor / faculty led training and the relative ineffectiveness of typical computer based training (CBT) systems, screencasting is likely to become a very popular technique for imparting high-quality knowledge at a low cost.

For example, organizers of computer related seminars may choose to routinely record complete seminars and make them available on DVDs to all attendees for future reference and/or sell these recordings to people who cannot afford the fee of the live seminar or don't have time to attend it. This will generate an additional revenue stream for organizers of seminars and make the knowledge available to a broader audience, so generating a win-win situation for everybody.

This strategy of recording seminars is already widely used in fields where using a simple video camera or audio recorder is sufficient to make a useful recording of a seminar. Computer-related seminars need high quality and easily readable recordings of screen contents which is usually not achievable by using a video camera to film the desktop which is usually projected onto the wall by a beamer.

A drawback of most commercial screencasting programs for the PC is their inability to make videos of OpenGL applications, though Demo Builder, Fraps, and Growler Guncam can cope with this.

[edit] Origin of the term

In 2004, columnist Jon Udell invited[1] readers of his blog to propose names for the emerging genre. Udell selected[2] the term screencast, which was proposed by both Joseph McDonald and Deeje Cooley. His "Heavy metal umlaut" screencast is a well-known example - which explains how Wikipedia works.

Since then, the term has gained widespread use, and the use of screencasts has itself become more popular.

[edit] Software for Screencasting

See List of screen recording software

[edit] Screen Recording Articles, howtos, references and examples

[edit] See also

de:Screencast fr:Screencast it:Screencast nl:Screencast ja:スクリーンキャスト pl:Screencast pt:Screencast


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