Record games and tutorials
Fancy becoming the next PewDiePie, showing other people how to play big name games on YouTube? Would you like to make demos to show off your apps, or to teach others how to use specific software? Then you need a screen recorder.
The simplest screen recorders record what you do as you do it, but many offer editing, additional audio, picture in picture and on-screen drawing. These are our favorites.
A free, open source recorder more flexible than many paid-for tools
Many free screen recorders are very limited in what they do, because they’re intended as adverts for paid-for products. Not CamStudio. This open source software is completely free to download and use for whatever purpose you see fit.
The app is designed to record in AVI format, which you can also convert to Flash video, and you can adjust the video quality and choose between capturing the entire screen or just part of it. The app also offers picture-in-picture video and anti-aliased captions.
A good choice for gamers, but the free version is limited
Designed specifically for recording games, FRAPS is free to use if you don’t need your clips to be longer than 30 seconds. That’s not enough for a Minecraft tutorial, of course, but it’s fine for shorter clips – and with a maximum possible resolution of 7,680 x 4,800 it’s capable of recording even the most cutting-edge graphics.
The software’s developers recommend using Windows Live Movie Maker to convert your clips into web-friendly formats, which is an extra step we’d rather avoid.
Record, annotate and upload directly to YouTube
The marketing is a bit excitable – it compares ezvid‘s feature list to expensive paid-for packages without mentioning that free apps such as Windows Live Movie Maker boast the same editing options – but if you’re looking for a straightforward screen recorder then ezvid is very easy to use.
It enables you to edit your recordings, add slides, change the speed and upload directly to YouTube, and you can draw on screen or turn typed text into spoken audio. It’s particularly popular with Minecraft players.
4. Rylstim Screen Recorder
Not one for gamers, but ideal for software tutorials
Screen recording doesn’t get much simpler than this: launch Rylstim Screen Recorder, click ‘Start record’, and press F9 when you’re done. It’s not one for would-be games vloggers – there’s no support for sound recording – and it doesn’t include any editing tools, but there’s a good range of export formats and you can always add audio later in another free app.
Quick and simple to use, but lacking some advanced options
TinyTake makes some big promises: not only is it free, it claims to be the best of its breed. It enables you to capture the whole screen or just a region for up to 120 minutes, to annotate the video and to share the results online – provided you have a MangoApps account.
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