Once you are logged in, all you have to do is click the “Start Recording” button. A java applet will load and you are presented with a simple control panel. From this panel you select whether you want to record the whole screen or just a portion of it. You can also select to record audio using the microphone or have it capture the PC’s audio. But it doesn’t stop there – you can even embed video from your web cam. If enabled, it places the video from the web cam in the lower right hand corner. This is useful if you want to include video of yourself narrating the action on the screen. While Jing also offers this feature, it is not included with a free account.
You would think that would be it for a free service. But, there is a little option you can select from the control panel that is titled, “Enable geek setting.” When this is selected, you have the option of changing the playback speed and recording from a VNC server. This is the feature that I think is the coolest. You enter the IP address of a VNC server and it records the video of that server. I can think of a number of uses for this feature. Since VNC allows multiple connections, you could VNC into a server using VNC Veiwer and record everything you are doing using ScreenToaster. And, you can do this without installing any software on the VNC sever or your PC.
Once the recording is done, you can save it locally as a MOV or SWF file. You can also choose to have it sent directly to YouTube or host it on the ScreenToaster site. When you save it to ScreenToaster.com., you can set it as public, which allows anyone to view it, or you can set it as private, which only allows access if the person knows the URL.
I have to say, the more I play with this service, the more I like it. Take a few minutes and check it out. I think you will be impressed with what it has to offer.]]>
Jing is one of these services. There is a paid and a free version of this service. The free one is adequate for most personal needs. Jing not only let’s you capture screen shots, but you can record a video of your screen and even include narration.
Jing is pretty intuitive. When you run it, a small yellow dome appears at the top of the screen (Figure 1).
When you mouse over this dome, it expands to show three options (Figure 2).
The one furthest to the left is the one you will use the most. This allows you to start capturing. When you click it, cross-hairs appear on your screen which you use to select the portion of the screen you wish to capture. Once you select the area to capture, a tool bar appears (Figure 3) which allows you to choose whether you want to capture a screen shot or video.
Once the capture is complete, you can do minor editing and then choose to save it locally or “Share via Screencast.com” (Figure 4). If you choose to share it via Screencast, a URL will be place in the clipboard and you can paste it to any application such as an email or IM client.
So, what could be better than being able to capture a screenshot or video of an application in order to show someone how to do something? How about being able to share you screen in real time? I am sure you have heard of at least one product that does this, such as WebEx or GoToMeeting. These are great, but they aren’t free. If you are willing to forgo some of the bells and whistles, there are some free products that offer this service. The one I am going to mention today may already be installed on your PC. Have you ever heard of Skype? That’s right. Skype allows you to share your screen with another Skype user. I guess if there is any catch that would be it; both parties need to have it installed. Beyond that, it pretty much just works. Once you have setup the Skype call, just click the Call menu and select “Share Your Screen” (Figure 5).
So there you have it, a few more tools that may come in handy next time you are trying to help someone remotely.]]>