Web Working Tools: I’m In Love With Jing

What is Jing, you ask?

Jing is the rad software featured in the Jing Project, a new offering from Tech Smith, the makers of Camtasia Studio. Camtasia is a video screen capture software that costs like, $400. It’s great for professional tutorials of things you do on your computer screen. I use Camtasia a lot to make how-tos for free and for sale.

Since Camtasia runs on Windows, I can only use it to capture video within my XP screen when I’m running Windows on my Mac. Yes, there is software out there that will do something similar on the Mac. No, none of them is worth mentioning in the same breath as Camtasia.

Then Tech Smith went and create this totally free tool that does video screen capture. It’s sweet, doesn’t take up a whole of resources and pretty much kicks ass. It’ll do a really clean static screen capture of anything on your screen, and allow you to add arrows, text captioning or a colored frame. In video, it will also do screen captures and output either on their site or on your comptuer in SWF format. Of course, they put their branding at the beginning and end, but for a free tool you really can’t beat it.

To top it off, they’ll also host the media for you free (for the 60 days that your account is free) at their Screencast.com site too.

Drawbacks: The only format it exports to is SWF. It would be cool if they also did .mov like Screen-o-matic. That gives you enough formats for a small-timer, but if you want to be able to translate to many formats, you really need AVI, so you’d have to step up to Camtasia.

Also, it’s kind of weird saving to Screencast.com – the program just sits there for a second, with no notification that it’s actually doing something. I almost closed it down until I noted the application (which, in a very cool fashion, tucks itself in the upper right hand corner of your screen like sunshine. There’s an option to turn that off if it freaks you out.) Screencast.com is also kind of clunky too, as far as the interface. For example, it doesn’t give you good screen cues to tell you which item from your Jing folder of stuff you’re uploading. You can tell from the icon that it’s a video, but that’s it.

And what’s with a 2 month free trial – up to a certain amount, it should be free, with the branding all over it. It shouldn’t be both – what stops me from using Screen-omatic instead?

Here’s 2 sample screenshots so you can see what they looks like, and where the branding is:

As you can see, it’s actually pretty unobtrusive, enough if you’re just sharing something in a blog, but not great if you’re creating a professional product. Which is why they should make some kind of Jing Pro for Mac – I’d pay to take out the branding, or better yet, insert my own so anywhere the video was embedded, they’d have to come back to me.

Here’s one of the Jing site – you can click the Get it Now button at the end to go there if you like.

[tags]jing, screencast, screencasting, publish screencast, record your screen, mac, mac software, macintosh, windows software, freewre, screen capture, video screen capture, the jing project, screencast.com[/tags]