Quick and Easy Screencasts with Screenr

imageScreenr (http://www.screenr.com) is a free web-based tool for creating short (limited to 5 minutes in length) screencasts (video recording of a computer screen that can be accompanied by audio narration). There is no software to install on your computer (you may be asked to allow a Java applet to run however) which means it can run on both PC and Mac and can also be accessed from any computer with internet access.

Recording a screencast with Screenr is easy. First, visit the site and then click the Record button at the top of the screen. A dotted-line frame will then appear on the screen which you can move and resize to suit the needs of what you are recording (if you’re recording something other than what is currently in your web-browser, just minimise your browser and position the frame over whatever it is you wish to record). When you are happy that you have the recording frame sized and positioned to suit your needs, click the record button (red circle) attached to the bottom of this frame. You’ll then see a countdown from 3 to ‘Go!’, at which time everything withing the record frame will be video captured along with the audio input from your microphone. The clock will also begin to run on your screencast and you’ll see clearly how much of your 5 minutes have been used so far. When you’re finished, click the ‘Done’ button (the recording will stop automatically once the 5 minute limit is reached).

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imageYou need to have a Screenr account to process your recording, but this is free and you can log straight in using any of the social media services shown here. Once your screencast has been uploaded and processed, you can view it directly on the Screenr site, share it via social media services such as Twitter and Facebook, generate embed code for your own website or blog, publish it directly to YouTube, or download it back to your PC or Mac as an MP4 file (Screenr screencasts can also be viewed on iPhone and iPad). You can also delete your screencast from the Screenr site at any stage. Screenr also creates a ‘channel’ for each user account, so you can direct users to all of your screencasts in one location or you can choose to direct them to one individual one.

Screenr is a really nice service for a number of reasons. It’s easy to use, doesn’t require any specialised software to be installed on your computer, integrates directly with the most popular social media services as well as allowing you to embed into your blog or website, allows for commenting and discussion, and of course has a great price tag. Two factors to be aware of with Screenr however is that the website has a public stream which all new Screenr screencasts appear in and also that this stream allows for commenting (neither feature can be disabled).

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