Free Alternative Friday: CamStudio

Free Alternative Friday explores various free (or very cheap) tools, apps, and utilities you can use instead of the expensive, mainstream alternative. Think Google Docs instead of Microsoft Office, and you’ll be on the right track.  This week we’re looking at CamStudio, a free, open source screen recording software.

When it comes to screen recording / screencasting software, Camtasia Studio is the big dog on the market, but it also comes with a big price tag: about $300.00. It’s a nice program when you need a feature-packed program and can afford it, but if you just need to create a quick tutorial video to share with a client, why shell out the cash? That’s what makes CamStudio such a nice alternative. It might not have all the features of its big brother, but it have the core functionality you need.

CamStudio - a free screencasting program

Where to Use It

So why do you need a screencasting program? Well…

  • Creating video tutorials
  • Reviewing software
  • Feature demonstrations
  • Record and share seminars and presentations
  • Bug tracking and recording

CamStudio Features

  • Export to AVI
  • Includes an AVI to Flash converter for easy sharing
  • You can record the full screen, certain regions, or a custom defined area
  • Record audio from a microphone or speakers
  • Autopan feature will follow the cursor around during the screencast, making sure it only records what’s relevant
  • Annotate your screencast
  • Various cursor options so your view can easily follow your mouse
  • Fairly robust export settings allow you to control framerate, compression, etc.
CamStudio - open source screen recording

What About Mac Users?

Unfortunately, CamStudio is only available on the PC at this time. I did some searching for alternatives for Mac users, but wasn’t able to find anything that offered the same features at no cost.

Take CamStudio With You

Just like Audacity, CamStudio is available on PortableApps, which mean you can install it on your thumb drive and take it with you anywhere! You can get more information here.

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