Five screencast programs tested

Summary

The next page of the dialog lets you set a recording hotkey and displays information about the current screencast, which begins when you press the Start recording button at the top of the screen. SimpleScreenRecorder also offers a preview function with the Start preview button that displays a scaled-down screen in the application window.

Below the preview monitor, you will find a meter for the microphone input. The signal level of the recording is already displayed in idle mode, thus helping you avoid excessively loud or quiet recordings. You can use the sound system preferences to adjust the input sensitivity of the microphone to suit your requirements if the needle fails to deflect or jumps off the scale.

While recording, the software shows the current data and status messages at the bottom of the program window (Figure 7). To avoid the dialog getting in the way when recording starts, click its icon in the system tray; right-clicking on the icon opens a context menu where you can start, cancel, or save the recording, even when the program window is minimized. The Show window option restores the program window to the desktop. When you are done with the screencast, press the Save recording button to store the encoded file at the defined location. Encoding is extremely fast.

Figure 7: SimpleScreenRecorder displays a plethora of information while recording, if desired.

Profiles

For professional use, the application also lets you create and load settings profiles, which eliminates the need for manual configuration work. It should be noted that the program stores the profiles screen by screen for the configuration dialogs. While working on the first screen of the dialog, click New in the Profile section at the top of the window, specify a name for the profile, and configure the desired settings. On the second page, click Save; you can also create another profile on this page by clicking New.

Once the profiles are stored as desired, you can retrieve them separately on each settings page from the selection list in the Profile section. Confusingly, each time you save a new profile you are asked whether you want to overwrite it. Just say Yes here, because it does not affect the save operation. You can access preset profiles on the second page (e.g., for Livestream and YouTube), as well as delete unused profiles.

In Practice

SimpleScreenRecorder showed no weaknesses in the lab. The software created space-saving screencasts that impressed with good video and audio quality. The configuration dialogs can be bypassed with the use of preconfigured profiles. SimpleScreenRecorder is therefore primarily for those who frequently make screencasts and rely on tried and tested settings. Because of the variety of formats offered, the software is also suitable for heterogeneous environments, where not all playback systems will support all formats.

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