Record screen events with Total Screen Recorder

Evert now and again, I find I need to record events on my computer screen.  It’s usually related to some kind of training or troubleshooting operation.  When I need an app like that, I tend to lean heavily towards Total Screen Recorder Standard. It’s one of the best Windows screen recording apps available today.

Capturing video from your screen just got easier.  Total Screen Recorder is an easy-to-use video recording application with a clean interface that starts recording in just two steps. To start recording, click the red start button, and then define the screen area you wish to record. Recording starts immediately.

The app is light. It’s easy on CPU cycles and RAM usage when it’s recording. Skipped frames and choppy video are a thing of the past with Total Screen Recorder. Other applications also won’t suffer a performance hit when the app is running.

Total Screen Recorder supports five different recording types.  You can define a custom region, record vide from a specific program window, record full screen, or a fix size or fixed region. The app records audio from your PC as well as your PC’s microphone, so you can narrate what you’re recording.  This is especially helpful when recording demos, training videos or troubleshooting videos.

Aside from recording video of your PC desktop, you can also record video from your webcam.  All incoming AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger and Skype video can be captured.  You can record online video, from YouTube, for example, and save it for viewing later.  You can also record active video game play and share it with others.

Download Total Screen Recorder

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Capture, burn, convert, copy and share digital media with Toast Titanium

Having a Mac usually means having a lot of multimedia on your PC. Having a lot of multimedia on your PC usually means you’re going to need a tool to help you capture and preserve it. That’s one of the reasons why I really like Toast Titanium. It’s one of the premier multimedia tools available for your Mac.

Toast is the fastest way to capture video from your AVCHD camcorder, with no lengthy imports. You can use just about any HD video source. With it, you can create stunning Blu-ray video or HD DVD discs for playback on compatible set top players as well as your PC.

Toast allows you to edit video clips. You can trim start and end points, remove unwanted segments in the middle of video clips before export, or even apply audio effects. You can capture any streaming Internet audio on your Mac, without interference from other apps or system sounds. Toast’s MusicID automatically adds artist and title tags to captured music for easy syncing to your iTunes library.

Capturing streaming web video is just as easy with Toast. You can save streaming video from your favorite web sites and then burn the content to DVD for viewing on your big-screen TV. Toast can even send it automatically to iTunes for syncing with your favorite iDevice.

You can digitize and restore your LP’s and tapes, without the pops, clicks and hisses. Toast’s audio filters and tools help you clean up your audio and then burn it to CD or DVD, or send to iTunes for syncing with your iDevice. Ripping audiobook CDs to iTunes, with chapters, pause/resume support and variable playback speeds is also easy with Toast. You can convert for enjoyment on iPad, iPhone, or your favorite on-the-go-device with just a few clicks.

Toast Titanium is THE audio and video editing and capture application for your PC or Mac. There are very few apps out there, in my opinion that are better at these tasks than Toast. It’s that good. The biggest problem, however with this app, is its price. At $79.99 as of this writing, it’s a bit on the pricey side unless you do a lot of audio-video editing on a regular basis or have a large project ahead of you, like converting your VHS-based home movies to DVD.

Download Toast Titanium for Mac

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Create professional-looking movies and demos from your computer screen with Camtasia Studio

I create training materials all the time. Part of what I do for my day job occasionally requires me to train end users in some kind of computer based process or procedure. It doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does, I’m glad I have tools like Camtasia Studio. It’s a screencast tool for Windows.

Creating a great screencast happens in three simple steps: Record, Edit and Share.

Camtasia Studio’s flexible recording options allow you to capture a full screen or a window or region. You can add in music tracks, a spoken, vocal track, or your computer’s audio.  You can also include picture-in-picture video with your web camera. If you’re using PowerPoint to give a presentation that you want to record for use by invitees who couldn’t attend the initial presentation, Camtasia’s toolbar inside PowerPoint makes it easy to record your presentations, either live or from your desk.  TechSmith’s exclusive SmartFocus technology keeps track of where the action happens on your computer screen during your recording. It then produces a video that zooms in on the parts you need to show.

Once you have your content recorded, Camtasia Studio allows you to spruce it up.  You can easily create callouts by adding a graphic over your video to direct the attention of your viewers. You can also link to an external webpage or jump to a part of the video.  If you’re stuck for the right graphic to use, Camtasia Studio comes stocked with professionally-designed assets you can drag-and-drop into your video. You can also the store your callouts, title slides, and other assets for re-use and sharing later.

After you have your screencast created, the final step is sharing it with your audience.  You can share to YouTube and Screencast.com, TechSmith’s video hosting service.  You can also produce videos in a variety of formats including, MP4, FLV/SWF, M4V, AVI, WMV, MOV, RM, Animated GIF and MP3 (for audio only).

Read full review | Download Camtasia Studio

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Quickly capture, edit, and color with PicPick

As a technology journalist, I am CONSTANTLY grabbing screenshots or taking and tweaking pictures of both software and hardware products I’m reviewing or writing articles about. As a software QA director and tester, I’m always taking screen shots of software defects and anomalies, annotating them and including them in emails and defect reports for developers and project managers.  This is why I like PicPick. It’s a graphics tool and system tray utility for Windows.

PicPick is a user friendly, full featured graphics and painting app  suitable for software developers, graphic designers as well as the home user. It is an all-in-one program that provides a screen capturing tool, image editor, color picker and palette, and even a whiteboard. It has just about everything that you’d find and need in a shareware or commercial application; but it loads quickly, sitting quietly in the system tray until needed.

PicPick is an interesting application. It does most everything that a commercial application would do and a bit more; but is offered as freeware. It’s a decent application but reminds me a great deal of an enhanced version of Windows Paint. While this isn’t a huge issue for consumer users, commercial users, who are required to purchase a license, may object, despite the reasonable price point.

download PicPick

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Make and share screenshots with Ashampoo Snap 5

Making screenshots is one of the tasks that can be part of your everyday computer activity. Whether at work, school, or at home, you might need a tool that can take screenshots for you. While there is a huge range of products that can do the same thing (for example SnagIt, PicPick, Quick Screenshot Maker) Ashampoo Snap 5 comes as the optimum solution for taking and sharing screenshots.

This program allows you to easily take screenshots of various regions, websites, or even specific windows on your desktop with just a few clicks. Within the same interface you can use several tools for editing. In this way you can easily add images, notes, texts, markings, and watermarks to your screenshots. Even for saving or exporting the screenshots you’ll get a complete set of tools. You can share your screenshots within the program by email, by saving them to the clipboard or a file or just print them. Moreover, you can now upload your result directly to Facebook or YouTube.

The list of new editing tools goes even further with gradient fill support, text notes that can be added with a single click, support for text effects including gradients, outlines, mirror effects and other complex text objects, numbering support and BlurPen support for pixelate areas. There is an obvious change regarding the interface design. It has that touchy feeling that goes very well with the touchscreen support for Windows 7.

For the first time in its line of products, version 5 of Ashampoo Snap provides tools for recording videos. Whether is your desktop that must be captured or even your webcam with audio, Ashampoo Snap can do this easily. Now video greetings have never been so easy to be done and uploaded to YouTube within the program.

download Ashampoo Snap 5

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Capture screens and text with one the best screen capturing utilities available

If you’re a techwriter creating help files, a training creating manuals or anyone who needs to capture portions of your screen or text you can’t necessarily copy and paste, then you need to take a serious look at HyperSnap. It’s a screen and text capturing utility for Windows.

HyperSnap is the fastest and easiest way to take screen and editable text captures from any part of your Windows screen. HyperSnap combines the power of a first-class screen capture application with an advanced image editing utility.

Read the full review | Download HyperSnap

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Record from Webcam HD digital video

Records shots up to 30 shots per second from any video device including USB and Analog webcams, TV cards, Camcorders and Network Internet cameras.

The program streams online high-quality MPEG-4 picture from your computer or uploads JPEG images to your FTP server. Streaming can be watched using any Internet browser; no plug-ins or downloads required. You can produce simultaneous recording and streaming from limitless number of cameras.

Your webcam / cameras can be used as security system. When the program senses activity in the watched spot, it sounds siren, emails you captured shots, launches broadcasting, or records video.

Online streaming as well as recording can be password protected that all video and audio are scrambled and cannot be watched without valid secret word.

The program has features to display image overlays and time captions, modify video size / quality, and Pan/Tilt/Zoom control.

download Dynamic Webcam System

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