By Dave Greenbaum
Camtasia is an application for recording and annotating audio and video captured from your Mac commonly known as screencasting. I’ve used other programs in the past to do raw captures from my Mac and then did the painful editing in iMovie and GarageBand but Camtasia does everything with an intuitive and easy to use Mac interface.
I’m an extreme novice when it comes to audio and video editing and still was able to get the functionality I needed from this program. It treats audio and video like Pages treats words. Simple and easy editing. The help screen combined with online tutorials (screencasts in and of themselves) gave me the skills I needed to get up to speed. After I got down these basics, the hardest part wasn’t using the Camtasia tool, but the direct aspects of my presentation such as timing and my script. When a tool gets out of the way and let’s you do the work that’s a win in my book.
Besides audio and video editing, Camtasia provides tools for highlighting and annotating the screen with features like greying out passwords or dimming part of the screen as well as a huge list of features of which I’ve only scratched the surface. Getting down the basics of a presentation is easy, and the toolbox provides transitions and effects that are designed to be used with scalpel-like precision rather than strewn about the video-similar to Keynote or Powerpoint.
After you’ve tweaked the screencast just right, Camtasia makes it easy to export it depending on what device you are showing the screencast on and directly exporting it to youtube.
Nicely priced at $99 this is an ideal program for anyone that has to train or market towards others. User groups will love this program being able to walk their members through a short training session. A demo is available for download and requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher.