TechSmith is undoubtedly known for their screencast and screenshot software, dubbed Camtasia Studio and SnagIt. They’ve now started a free project called Jing that provides an alternative for making a screencast or taking screenshots.
They don’t really provide screenshots on their site and curiosity was getting the best of me. I downloaded the Windows version (also available for Mac’s) and had it installed in about 30-seconds.
So how well does it work? It was surprisingly nice although it lacks any advanced functionality. Here is a quick tour of what you can expect after setting up the software:
After I started Jing I was a little confused because there was no window that popped up. After looking around the desktop I noticed a small yellow orb protruding from the top of my monitor. When I clicked on it there were three options that became visible: capture, history, and preferences.
–Select the Region–
Choosing the "Capture" option brings up some yellow crosshairs on the screen. You use these to select the region of the screen that you want to either record, or take a screenshot of. After selecting the area you will be asked what you want to do:
–Save as a Screenshot–
If you choose the "Image" option you can add certain things to it, such as text or arrows:
–Record a Video (a.k.a. Screencast)–
If you go the route of recording a video it will instantly start recording:
–Saving a Video or Uploading it–
Obviously the point of making a screencast is to share it with someone else. So TechSmith lets you upload the screencast to Screencast.com which
costs some money to do a commenter below says is free. Alternatively you can save the screencast as a SWF file, but sites like YouTube, Google Video, and DivShare don’t support that filetype in their video players. You would have to use something like ZippyVideos to host the SWF video or Media Convert to save it as another format.
I really think that this project can turn into something big, but I have a feeling that they will be keeping the feature-set quite limited to ensure that Jing doesn’t compete with their other products. The thing that I would like to see the most is the ability to save the screencast in another format, but that isn’t going to happen because they want to limit users to what services they can use.
For the casual user the software is quite nice, but power users will notice it lacks options like framerate adjustments, file format choices, and advanced editing capabilities.
For more free screencast software checkout this post we wrote.