5 Free or Open Source Screencasting Applications to Create Your Next Video

Sony HD Video Camera

Screencasting and live video streaming may be the next big thing in marketing for your small business, but it is hardly worth diving into if your budget is already squeezed tight and you can’t make room for expensive software and video tools.

However, not to worry there are a few robust and free applications out there, that you can at least begin to use in order to get familiar with the technology and get “your feet wet” with video marketing without a financial outlay.  You will have to invest some time to get familiar with the products but that shouldn’t be too difficult as most of the website provide short video tutorials on how to get started.

You can use these free tools to:

  • Create a short video tutorial.
  • Explain a process to a client.
  • Collaborate on a design process.
  • Communicate with your customers.
  • Embed Video tutorials on sites and blogs.

1)  Camstudio

Camstudio Site

Camstudio is an open source software that allows you to create a screencast easily.  It allows you to add audio, some callouts, etc.  However, it seems to have some issues and bugs with some browsers  other than Internet Explorer such as Firefox.

Platform: Windows Only

Type:  Software

Price:  FREE

2)  Jing

Jing Site

Jing is provided by the software vendor of Camtasia for MAC and Windows and is a great application if your small business needs don’t require videos that are no longer than a few minutes.  With their annual Pro fee, you can set up and record videos that you can share with your customers via their hosting account.

Platform:  MAC and Windows

Type:  Software and Hosted (requires registration)

Price: FREE and a low-cost $14.95 per yr. (Jing Pro)

3)  Screenr

Screenr Site

Screenr is a web-based video recorder that allows you to record a video up to five minutes in length.  You can create an account with an existing Twitter, Linked In, Facebook or Windows Live ID account.  Once you have created your video it shows up on a public stream.  Screenr provides the ability to share your video on twitter or upload to Youtube with their logo.

Platform: Browser (Windows and Linux)

Type:  Hosted

Price: FREE

4)  Screencast-O-Matic

ScreencastOMatic Site

Screencast-O-Matic allows you to create a very basic video with audio and provides basic editing in their free account.  With the pro account you have the ability to record a screencast up to 15 minutes in length, have the Screencast-O-Matic logo removed, have access to editing tools and advanced recorder functions.

Platform: Windows and Linux

Type:  Hosted

Price: FREE with watermark ( Go PRO for $12.00 USD per year)

5)  Ustream

Ustream Site

Ustream enables beginners and newbies to use their built-in  webcam (or USB connected webcam) on their laptop or  computer to create a livestream video.  They can add graphics, videoclips and music to their livestreaming broadcast; however, with the free account you are limited to a few but powerful functions.  You can also update fans regarding your broadcast using Social Media networks such as Twitter and Facebook.  The Ustream site provides several helpful video tutorials in order to help get you started.

Platform: MAC and Windows

Type:  Software (Requires registration)

Price: FREE (PRO gets a little pricey at $199)

All these applications above will be a great resource to help get you started right away creating video content for your small business marketing needs and allowing you to get comfortable with the medium with a nominal investment.

When you have a little more room in your budget, I would suggest that you invest in a good external microphone rather than use your laptop’s or computer’s internal microphone.  A good product at a reasonable price is the Snowball microphone by Blue microphones available on Amazon.com for under $100  and since it is small and portable you can carry it with you in your business travels.  Good luck with your broadcasting!

Photo Credit: Sony Video Pic designed by Itzik Gur

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Related Posts:

How to Use Screencasting Software to Create Your Marketing Video

About richmediadp

I'm a freelance graphic designer working out of Orange County, CA - USA. I work with small and mid sized companies to develop creative solutions for their design problems from print collateral to online graphics.

Posted on August 26, 2011, in Screencasts, Software & Tools, Video Marketing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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