I recently tried to report a bug in a web app to their support helpdesk, but unfortunately they could not easily recreate it. In times like these, nothing can beat the immense utility of screencasts. I simply had to perform the steps that created the problem, and tweet the screencast to their helpdesk. Even if you have never created a screencast before, you will find that it is dead-easy using Screenr.
Of course, that is just one scenario where screencasts are useful. Some other popular examples where screencasts are used include:
- Showing off your skills at using Photoshop or some other complex app
- Creating “How To” videos for use in your blog posts
- Creating e-Learning tutorials
How to Create Screencasts With Screenr
Screenr makes creating and sharing screencasts very simple. You need to have the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed on your system and the Java plugin enabled in your browser, but Screenr itself is a web app so you don’t need to install it. Screenr will prompt you to automatically install Java if you don’t have it, hence there is no need to install it separately beforehand.
Screenr works on both PCs and Macs. Screencasts are created in high-definition Flash format so they can be played everywhere on the web, including on iPhones. You can also use your microphone to record your voice during the screencast. Screenr is used exclusively with Twitter and all screencasts are public. For other options, you should check out 5 Free Screencasting Apps for Creating Video Tutorials.
Create Your Screencast
For the sake of this article, let’s say I want to create a screencast of a walkthrough of the new Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus software.
Go to Screenr and login directly with Twitter using OAuth. Clicking the Record your screencast now! button loads the recorder. You can record screencasts of up to 5 minutes length.
In the recorder, you can select the audio option for your screencast. For our example, I minimized the browser window, and loaded the Security Essentials window. I then resized the recorder window to fit the Security Essentials window. This optimizes the screencast for clarity as well as download size.
After clicking the red Record button, I viewed all the tabs in the Security Essentials app, as if I were performing a walkthrough. All my actions are automatically recorded. When I was finished, I clicked Done.
Publish and Share Your Screencast
When you are finished, you are automatically taken to the Screenr website, where you can preview, describe, publish, and share your screencast. You have the option of tweeting your screencast automatically or do it separately. Once you publish, you can see Screenr making web and iPhone versions of your screencast and uploading them.
The Share section on the right lets you embed your screencast on a blog, upload it to YouTube, download an mp4 version, or delete it from your profile. Here is the sample screencast I created using Screenr:
When you share screencasts on Twitter via Screenr, users who view your screencast can share and comment on them. They can ReTweet your screencast to share it with others, and their comments are sent to you as Twitter @Replies.
Will you use Screenr for your screencasting needs? Did you find it easy to use? Tell us in the comments!