Sometimes you find a Mac utility, a tool that not everyone uses, but should, and it just works.
Record your screen actions to a movie. With sound. How hard can it be? iShowU makes the difficult seem like child’s play.
There are times when I want to record something I’m doing on my Mac. It’s not just a screen capture, though they come in handy.
It’s not just a movie of some sequence of clicks and drags that I perform on my Mac. Recording a movie of what you do isn’t difficult.
Recording what you’re doing on your Mac, including your own audio narration, saving it as a small QuickTime file, and doing it in real time, real easy is the challenge.
I’m using iShowU more and more these days, because it’s one of those rare Mac applications that just does what I want without a lot of configuring. I start it. I click. It works. I’m done.
This isn’t your father’s screen capture tool. Screen capture on the Mac is easy. Just remember the key stroke combination and any portion of the Mac’s screen can be captured and saved as a file.
Sometimes you need to show someone how to do something on the Mac, only they’re not in the room with you, not looking over your shoulder. Easier than describing your actions in an email is a movie.
Yes, a movie of what you’re doing on your Mac. Click on a menu, selection an item, open an application, find the right configuration or setting, walk through all the menu selections, and so on.
Those are all items we know how to do, so how do you get that knowledge to someone else.
I’ve been using iShowU as a live tutorial, except that it’s a movie. It was only “live” when I recorded it.
iShowU is an elegant Mac tool that lets you capture and record anything you see on your Mac’s screen, including audio.
For example, I want to walk through a number of set up menus for someone else to set up on their Mac. They’re in Chicago, I’m in St. Louis. I can talk on the phone for 10 minutes and maybe get it right.
I could set up Apple Remote Desktop and log in to their machine and just do it, but that’s messy, takes awhile to set up, and they may not learn exactly what I want them to learn (teach a man to fish vs. give a man a fish).
iShowU lets me walk through whatever I need to do on my Mac—set up a configuration, point out a problem, show someone how to do something on the Mac—in real time, while I’m recording both my voice narration and the actual screen movements.
Everything gets stored in a movie which I can send to whomever, whenever, and they have a permanent record of my instructions. It’s the perfect tool.
Something this complicated, recording audio and video in real time, is done in typical Mac fashion. Just click and do it.
The problem with most tools that record audio and video on the Mac is that there are umpteen different settings in audio and video and who knows what they all mean. iShowU makes that confusion go away.
Open iShowU. Test the audio level (using iSight, built-in iSight, or your Mac’s built-in microphone). In the left column select a Preset, such as Medium, Good Quality, Small File. That’s easy enough, right?
Then select the area on your Mac’s screen that you want to record. I use the one quarter screen area because it covers about everything I need. Then, click the Record button.
Start talking, start walking through the menus, and narrate what you’re doing as you do it. It’s that simple. Yes, you’ll screw up the audio the first couple of times, but it gets better.
When you’re done, click the Finish button and the movie gets saved on your Mac’s desktop; audio and video recorded in real time. Depending on the Preset, and the length of the movie, the movie files are remarkably small and can be emailed.
There are other Mac tools which record your Mac’s screen as a movie, including audio, but some cost three times the iShowU price tag, and this is easier to use. It just works.
If you’ve ever wanted to create some simple instructions on the Mac and record your screen movements while recording an audio narration, iShowU does exactly that.
Yes, there are plenty of preferences and adjustments, and different encoding settings, and screen capture sizes. But once you’re set up, iShowU just works. What’s not to like for $20?