Mac OS X applications can be great tools for business and schools.
Screen Mimic is a perfect utility to create “How To” videos in Flash or QuickTime. Instantly.
There are plenty of utilities that can record your on screen actions in Mac OS X, some are pricey and complicated, others are not really ready for the new Intel Macs.
I’ve used SnapZPro for years to create simple videos on my Mac. Not the kind that require iMovie and editing. The kind that record my screen actions on my Mac.
You know the kind. Create a presentation on your Mac and walk through it step-by-step and record the whole thing to a movie. Screen Mimic, now mature at version 2.4, is ready for Intel Macs.
What I like about Screen Mimic is simplicity. It’s basically a one trick pony, whereas, SnapZPro has all kinds of little tricks for image and screen captures.
Screen Mimic is somewhat similar in that you select a portion of your Mac’s screen.
It can be a selectable Capture Area, or a Capture Window, or Capture Full Screen.
Once started, Screen Mimic simply records your on screen movement; mouse cursor, typed text, web page changes, database entries, menu selections.
Whatever you do on the screen gets recorded to a Flash or QuickTime file.
That’s perfect for creating business presentations, training videos for software, and so on.
It’s great for schools, too, as Macs are used in many schools and teachers love a quick and easy way to create something new and visually stimulating.
Generally speaking, Flash files, both .swf and .flv are more multi-platform friendly—they work fine on most Windows PCs, and on Macs.
QuickTime movies will run fine on Windows, too, provided QuickTime is installed on each machine.
Unlike the complexity of SnapZPro, Screen Mimic keeps preferences to a minimum. Show the mouse. Display Visible Clicks.
For Flash movies, you can modify the movie quality with a slider bar.
Saving files as a QuickTime movie is similar, though with a few more options. QuickTime carries its own level of complexity with encoding formats.
Still, it’s simple and straightforward to use Screen Mimic to record on-screen actions to a movie.
At $65, Decimus Software’s Screen Mimic isn’t the least expensive solution available but it works well, on both PPC and Intel Macs. At $29 Ambrosia’s SnapzProX gives you screen captures. For $69 you get screen captures saved as QuickTime movies, but no Flash files.
As teachers and small business owners, Jack and I tend to go with Mac utilities that are simple, straightforward, regularly updated, and get the job done with little fuss.
Do you use your Mac to create on-screen movies or presentations? What tools have you found to do the job best?