With CamStudio – Free
Streaming Video Desktop Recording Software for MS Windows, you can create screen captured videos, ideal to produce video tutorials because it records everything you do on the screen of your computer. There are actually loads of things you can do with this kind of software if you are a bit creative. The commercial applications are relatively expensive, so Camstudio, which is free software with no catch, offers a great opportunity as an introduction into the world of video tutorials.
I must say, for a free tool, this is a really nice application and I do have great sympathy for this project, although it doesn’t have the full power of the commercial giant Camtasia from TechSmith, for instance. The reason I mention this is that the Open Source Community always suffers from a lack of funds. Updates on free software often depend entirely on volunteers.
Since the video landscape is ever changing, regular updates are really important because new codecs (video compression methods) pop up all the time. Sometimes, those codecs are copyright protected and expensive license fees need to be paid by the software producers. To avoid these costs, open source tools like CamStudio are forced to have limit their export options. Therefore, at the time of writing, with CamStudio you only can save to SWF (Flash) and AVI.
I’m personally not very fond of the AVI format, which is certainly not an industrial standard like the guys from CamStudio seem to think, but it will not stop you from creating great video tutorials and AVI is accepted by many video channels, while SWF is good to play directly from your own site. Note that Brightcove and YouTube prefer .MOV (Quicktime) but that should not stop you. If you want, you can buy the QuickTime Pro extension. It only costs $30 USD and it can easily convert your AVI files to .MOV.
CamStudio has also a couple of really great features, like one of them is the possibility to place a small webcam-movie within the screen capture, showing your own face while you demonstrate the workings of an application. This definitely creates very interesting opportunities. You can do this with Camtasia as well by using some workarounds, but CamStudio makes it much easier. That is why this software get a 4 star rating from me!
Hopefully, camstudio.org gets some help from C++ programming volunteers because this application has big potential. So, if you know some programmers who love to make themselves useful, send them to www.camstudio.org
Here is the download address again: CamStudio – Free
Streaming Video Desktop Recording Software
Note: The word “streaming” is used in the link above is incorrect. This software does not create streaming videos. Lately, this term is wrongly used by many small software vendors to impress customers. For streaming video you need server software, like they have on video channels like YouTube and others.