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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
"William Hudson (ACM)" <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 16 Dec 2003 10:33:52 -0000
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"William Hudson (ACM)" <[log in to unmask]>
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Thanks to all who responded. I asked if anyone knew of low-cost
alternatives to Camtasia and ScreenCam. The responses are
self-explanatory and are listed below.


William Hudson
Syntagm Ltd
Design for Usability
US Toll Free 1-866-SYNTAGM
UK 01235-522859
World +44-1235-522859
mailto:[log in to unmask]


Yeah, you can use an iSight ( camera
$129-149 plus iRecordNow ( $14.95. Point the
camera at the screen, it has auto focus and does a fabulous job, and
record (both audio and video). 

Todd R. Warfel [[log in to unmask]]


Check out RoboDemo from eHelp. It creates Flash movies of screen

[log in to unmask]


Look for HyperCam in Google. I put a similar question to CHI-METHODS and
it was the second most favorite program, much cheaper than Camtasia.
Regards, Joachim

summary posted at chi-methods:


thanks to all who responded. It was a nice experience to receive full
answers so quickly.

For literature, I was pointed to the article
usability_testing.php by Karl Fast, who did some testing about suited
software, thus already answering my questions best.

Most contributions were made for Windows, with Camtasia being the most
favored program. All Camtasia users expressed their satisfaction with
that program, no limitations were reported. Audio tracking and user
support were also reported to be good. One report, also satisfied, was
about CamStudio. Some minor problem about display of the pip is said to
become solved in the future. I was also pointed to The Observer Video
Pro (Noldus) having a screen capture module which would satisfy
usability testing needs.

With Macintosh, I was erroneous since there is the version Snapz Pro X
available for MacOS X. One response was satisfied about it, another was
dissatisfied with the version for MacOS classic as compared to Camtasia.
I've tried the X version meanwhile myself, and with the first priority
option turned off, colors limited to the system palette, and a 1024 x
800 screen reduced to 90% size taking  15 frames/ second on a 1 GHz G4
performance was good (I could not try audio or micro tracking yet). With
the first priority option turned on (I don't know what this is for, it
all works well without), or thousands or millions of colors recorded,
the system was inacceptably slowed down. Somewhat  slow is the
convertion into QuickTime movie during storage immediately after the
recording. One has to plan considerable time for it after long sessions
(I tried only 10 minutes). ScreenTool was not liked much by one report,
compared to Camtasia.

No program was mentioned for Linux/ Unix. One response said one could
follow other systems screens (Mac, Unix) using Camtasia through sending
the video signal to a PC in parallel. A friend of mine also reported
they used a video splitter for capturing Linux screens. If booting is
not the main interest (-> drivers already running) one could use the
TV-port of a graphics card also. In both cases they would use a video
device (tape) for recording.-  On a quick Internet search I found there
is free Linux software for tv recording through screen capturing (usable
for usability testing??).

There was no response about handhelds or Palm. Perhaps screen capturing
takes too much memory there.

JoachimHarloff [[log in to unmask]]


I tool I have used a while ago (cost was then about $100) is demobuilder
(now version 2.0.11 I think). I found very straightforward but
functional it is not the top of the bill. It is capable to record
movement on the screen (and the mousepointer is still
visible) - this is based on my use a few years ago.

The tool can be downloaded from

[log in to unmask]


Wincam is half the price of Camtasia and does most of the things.

Manu Sharma [[log in to unmask]]


I've been using HyperCam (for static screen shots) for years.  It is a
cheap but very valuable tool.  The company (
also has a video capture tool which I have not used, but can be
downloaded for free evaluation.

Mick Couper [[log in to unmask]]


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