Screencast videos have become the staple of internet marketing and making a living online. Using a tidy piece of software you can record your computer screen and voiceover in real time. It’s ideal for presenting slide shows and recording over-the-shoulder tutorials.
Stay anonymous if you want
You don’t even have to appear in the video. Instead the software records the view of your screen as you narrate over the top. For example, you could record a video that shows you browsing websites that offer deals. Or you could do a video posts commenting on the best blogs published that day.
You can use screencast videos to record webinars, blog posts, courses and FAQ sections. You can create training programmes, or just raise your profile by posting on YouTube.
I love making screencast videos and ScreenFlow is one of the leading pieces of software at the moment.
So what’s my beef about ScreenFlow?
Well, this is a money issue. I don’t want you to take that as an endorsement that cheapest is always best. When you are running a business, you should be use the tools that give you the best value to fit your budget. This is not because I’m a cheapskate, I’m comparing one company’s strategy against others.
What I’ve noticed is that whenever ScreenFlow produce an update the upgrade is only as a paid option. Their bug fixes and new features come with a price tag. We are not talking huge amounts here, $34 for the latest ScreenFlow 6 for previous users. And of course it’s tax deductible so no problem there.
Yet with each of their regular updates they are expecting customers to pay for the upgrades. I don’t think that this is particularly clear when you buy the product for the first time.
Why the recommend then?
The funny thing is that it’s I one if the few products that I updated without a second thought. I love it that much. And that is a great sign of success that the developer Telestream has managed. No need for me to check out the features, within 5 minutes I’m logged on and handing over my PayPal details.
I guess it’s a question of perspective. For the features you get and the ease of use I find ScreenFlow is a joy to use. Other options are available but I find that ScreenFlow to be the most intuitive to use for my needs.
Bells and whistles
You can also use it as a versatile video and audio editor. I use it most days to compile clips and edit videos for clients. I’m recently making use if the ability to extract audio from a video clip and or replace it with a new soundtrack. I’ve struggled with iMovie (yes, really!) and Final Cut. They just have too many features for what I need.
If you do branch into talking head videos then the chroma feature is great. Set up green screen backdrop behind you as you present. Through ScreenFlow you can remove that colour and replace it with a background of your choice. Just like the movies.
ScreenFlow is a doddle to use and after recording you can export export a .mov or .mp4 without much fuss. The export times do vary but that’s a common side effect of working with any kind of video project.
Where’s the lifetime option?
But still the paid update thing is a gripe for me. Many of the software and theme developers that I use fix their bugs and update their products for free. I guess it’s easy to feel a bit spoiled.
With other types of software you get the option. Graphics programmes, animation creators, logo apps all usually offer a lifetime price. ScreenFlow seems to almost be operating as a subscription service by default.
Of course every should get paid for their value but this is just something to be aware of with ScreenFlow. They don’t have a lifetime option with unlimited updates, each new version costs. Just like our smartphones I suppose.
I still think it’s the bee’s knees and I’m happy to recommend it, it’s more than worth the money. Just be aware that for an occasional user the lack of guaranteed updates might be a deal breaker.
You can see an overview of the new version ScreenFlow 6 here.