As a classroom teacher, I’m always looking for ways to save time. My husband is in sales and marketing and needs a way to create customized leave-behind presentations.
We both use Profcast to get the job done because it’s a better way to record and publish live presentations.
It’s one thing to use your Mac to create a presentation. There’s plenty of tools for that, ranging from PowerPoint and Keynote, to simple slide presentations using iPhoto.
In fact, creating presentations at nearly every possible level is one of the Mac’s strong points. Not only is it easy, presentations can be created umpteen gazillion different ways, and most will look great.
Along comes the iPod and Podcasting. For the uninitiated, Podcasting is an audio or video program produced for the iPod and iTunes. Many are produced regularly, just like TV shows or radio programs.
Thousands of Podcasting programs are available from the iTunes Music Store. Apple sanctioned Podcasting early on and has included the ability to create an audio or video Podcast right inside Garageband for years.
It’s just so easy to create a Podcast presentation these days, that I’m surprised ProfCasting didn’t catch on back when Windows Vista was Longhorn.
Profcasting, via ProfCast is remarkably easy for Mac users. Profcast is a straightforward but unique tool designed to make it easy for you to record and publish live presentations on your Mac, even using your built-in iSight camera.
That’s the difference. “Live” presentations. I’m a teacher. It’s what I do. Presentations are my life. On the side, I do new media design and development. More presentations. That includes helping my husband create presentations for his business.
I’m familiar with every tool on Mac that can produce a presentation, and the Mac is a superb locale for making it happen; from a simple slideshow, to a full-on Keynote keynote with QuickTime movies, and everything in between.
What is ProfCast? At first, it seems to be a perfect tool for the modern teacher. Create a presentation in PowerPoint or Keynote with whatever effects you want. Drag it to Profcast. Click Record, run through your presentation then publish as a Podcast, save as a QuickTime movie, share it to iWeb, export to Garageband for sweetening.
That’s the simple view. ProfCast has more than a few features which enhance the whole process, and improve the quality of the output. When a ProfCast presentation is exported to Garageband, additional sound tracks can be added.
Think of it this way. You use the Mac to create your presentation materials, right? Now there’s a way to record your voice while giving the presentation, yet keeping the materials (slides, graphics, movies, audio, etc.) in the show.
It’s a bit like having a small audio visual production company inside your Mac. Add an iSight camera (or, a better quality camera with a lapel microphone), load up your visual materials into Keynote or PowerPoint, click Record.
When you’re done recording the audio portion, click Stop Recording. How hard is that?
One of the biggest complaints for creating presentations for the Podcasting crowd is file size and settings. It’s getting easier, but there’s far too many options when recording something to be dumped as a QuickTime file.
ProfCast simplifies the process by providing pre-configured size selections, then an option to roll your own the way you want.
Of course, there’s more to a Podcast than just getting audio and video into a QuickTime file.
ProfCast also provides features so you can move the finished presentation to the web, including integration with iLife’s iWeb.
Profcast comes with an integrated Podcast Manager which generates and publishes RSS files. Even better is the Screen Capture Support which lets you take screen snapshots and integrate them into your presentation.
The target for Profcast appears to be teachers, instructors, lecturers, or anyone with something to say, a presentation, and in need of a quick and easy way to distribute.
Sales and marketing people will love what Profcast can do for their presentations without investing a huge sum in audio visual equipment. The finished product can be a QuickTime movie which plays just fine on Macs and Windows PCs. After all, there’s nearly 150-million iPod users and most of them are Windows owners.
Click Here for a classy demonstration of ProfCast, a full feature list, and the download link to try before you buy.
Do you create presentations on your Mac? What Mac applications or utilities do you use? What improvements would you like to see in presentation tools? As always, share if you dare—comments welcome in the Comments section below.