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Issue 7.2



Issue: 7.2 (January/February 2009)
Author: Dave Mancuso
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,824
Starting Page Number: 12
Article Number: 7207
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Choices for screen capture applications are more numerous than ever, but some titles tend to command mindshare. SnapzPro has been a standard in the Mac OS world for years, but IShowU, Skitch, Jing, Screenium, Screenflow, and other utilities have appeared to challenge the old standby. Screenium is a new application from Synium Software that's just out of beta. At $29 US dollars, it's well priced for video recording consideration.

Screenium launches as a Mac OS application with a configuration window. You choose one of four modes of recording capture: a fixed area of the screen (Fixed Area), the entire screen (Fullscreen), a marqueed area that you drag to select (Mouse Area), or an open document window that you choose (Single Window). Screenium gives you a short countdown and then records both video and audio. After you stop recording (its Control-Option-C hot key is the quickest way to stop), Screenium places your recording in its Library. From there you can export the captured movie in most of the usual video formats. Screenium captures video in high defnition and can export accordingly using several compression settings choices.

A quick video/audio capture is Screenium at its simplest, but the program offers a number of options to enhance your video. An iSight preference panel lets you record iSight video along with your main screen video. The iSight video is placed in a small picture in picture window in a corner of the main video. Screenium features multichannel recording, including external USB microphones and system sounds from other applications.

To help annotate your videos, Screenium can capture your mouse pointer and visualize your mouse clicks with a small bullseye animation.

Even more useful is Screenium's HotText feature. Type your desired text in a window and then make it appear (and then disappear) on screen with hot keys (timed or instantly with the trigger keys you define). This does require some coordination, since you're managing mouse actions, HotText and iSight video while you're recording your main video. You can make multiple snippets of HotText, each with unique user-defined hotkeys to appear at your command during various parts of your recording.

Screenium's options give you a decent amount of flexibility with your video capturing, but its post production options are slim to nonexistent. All of your configuration must be made in advance and then executed live during your video recording. If you make a mistake, you must start over. This is the one large drawback of Screenium. However, for its price, it's a very good option for starting your video recording needs. If your budget is small, this thirty dollar application will certainly do the job for you.

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