How to make a video of what’s on your screen

I’ve had a few people ask me how I did the  screen casts for Dragon Dictate.  I used a program called iShowU HD.  It costs $29 and you can get it from here. You can also use it to turn a keynote presentation into a Quicktime movie and avoid the sync problems of Keynote’s built in export movie command.

There are a number of screen capture programs for the Macintosh, some of them are free, some of  then you pay for. I   trialled out a few including Snapzpro but ended up settling on iShowU HD as my favourite. You may want to try them both out – they have a free demo period.  I like iSHowU HD because it captures from Keynote, it captures movies from Apple’s DVD player, it captures sound as well as audio, you can set it to capture the full screen or just a part of it or a window, and it’s only $29.

One way that it can be quite useful is that it can convert a keynote presentation to a QuickTime movie.  For those of you who have tried to do this from within Keynote using the ‘export movie’  command you will know that when you export a keynote presentation the timing can be different from when you play it live, so if you have lots of transitions sequenced to a soundtrack, and you try to export from keynote, it can get out of sync. A way round this is to capture the output from keynote with iShowU HD  and then save it as a QuickTime movie. (I assume you could do this with PowerPoint as well)

How to capture a Keynote presentation to a Quicktime movie

To capture the audio from a program such as QuickTime, you need an extra program to use with iShowU HD.  This program is called Soundflower, and here is how to use sound flower with iShowU HD  to capture the output from an application such as keynote.

1.  Download Sound flower from here and install it.

2. Select Soundflower as your main audio output  in your sound system preferences so that all  sound output from your computer will go to soundflower.

Select Soundflower as the audio output

3. By default,  iShowU  records what is coming into your computer, for example from an external microphone.   If you are recording from an application like Keynote you need to tell it that that’s what you want to do. In iShowU HD select Record audio from applications. Also  select  Monitor audio  so that you can hear  what is being recorded.

Tell iShowU HD to record audio from an application

4.  Now you can choose which screen you want to record from,  open your keynote presentation, start iShowU recording, then  start your keynote presentation. When  the keynote presentation is finished,   press escape to exit,  find your way into iShowU HD  and tell it to stop recording. You  can then open your recording in QuickTime player X  and trim the start and end to give you your video.

You don’t need soundflower if you are just capturing audio from a microphone input like I was for the Dragon Dictate videos.


4 responses to “How to make a video of what’s on your screen”

  1. I appreciate your work , thankyou for all the great posts .

  2. sva1994

    Is there any way I can record only the sound that’s coming from the video I’m recording on the Net, and not the sounds I’m making? It sucks to have to tip-toe around the computer or even leave the room when I want to record something without the video picking up the sounds of my rummaging through my room, dropping my keys into its box, exhaling, etc.

  3. Yes iShowU HD records audio direct from the computer output without picking up the room sounds.

  4. Cloaked

    Uncheck the box that says “Record sound from input device”

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