Software that allows you to capture the contents of your screen (in the form if image and video) is a relatively new landscape and extremely valuable. This type of software provides a higher level of productivity by making collaboration around digital content easy. Having early exposure to the power, and utility, of screen capturing software still leaves me in disbelief how wide it has NOT yet spread along with the amount of people that are surprised when I use it in communication with them.
However, as with a lot of workflows in the startup space, the general public of small business owners are often lacking in knowledge and exposure of such tools that increase productivity. In addition, it has been one of the strongest collaborative tools I’ve had in my toolbox, and I want to use this Marketing Automation Report to help you select the best software to increase your productivity.
Loom was not my first screen capturing software (it was actually a platform called Jing). Loom has come onto the scene and really picked up momentum as a solution to record the contents on your screen easily and share quickly. It started as a Chrome extension, which most of these types of software do, and is now available as standalone software for your desktop and mobile devices.
Of all software solutions I find Loom to be the most user friendly and easy to use in conjunction with your workflow as you are documenting your steps, sending a request to a team member, or overall getting things done.
Things I like:
- Availability. They have a Chrome plugin, downloadable software, and mobile apps (iOs and Android)
- Comments. They are posted under the video with a timestamp relative to the part of the video they were watching
- Share-ability. It’s easy to share your content with the link they provide and via a handful of integrations
Thing(s) I don’t like:
- Reliability. Simply put, this software just isn’t reliable. In fact, it is the most unpredictable platform in the terms of stability. You never know when your recording is going to throw an error and you never know if they’re going to record in a consistent video quality
The lack of reliability and stability of the platform alone makes me continually search for a better alternative. However, Loom is such good software (when it works) that I will continue to use it until I find a software suitable to replace it.
In fact, I took to LinkedIn and asked my collective network to provide alternatives and the rest of this report is a combination of their feedback along with some software I found doing my own research.
CloudApp was software that I learned about during my time at ActiveCampaign. What caught my attention is that the urls provided after taking a screenshot could be branded to your company’s domain. Initially, I used it exclusively for screenshots (and Loom for screen recordings). However, they continued to develop their software and it can now take screenshots, annotate screenshots, record your desktop and create a GIF .
The annotation functionality was huge for me because I was looking for a replacement for Skitch at the time as they discontinued the software and later sold it to Evernote. Therefore, CloudApp really filled in the need to capture screenshots and quickly share them with a provided url.
Unfortunately, CloudApp is a little more clunky than Loom because of how they handle the sharing and the renaming of files post capture but overall is still a good platform. It is this clunkiness, specific to video creation, file renaming, and watching, that prevents me from using them over Loom.
Things I like:
- Annotation. The ease of use for capturing a screenshot and quickly marking it up
- Custom Domain. You can map your domain and share via a branded url
- GIF Creation. Doesn’t get any easier than CloudApp for GIF creation
Things I don’t like:
- Collaboration. Or lack thereof…is nowhere near as interactive and good as Loom’s
- User Interface. Though they do allow somewhat of a branded experience on the shared url pages, it still leaves a little to be desired
- User Experience. As much as I use it, it just doesn’t feel as easy and smooth as it could (and should)
I have to mention reliability. For the record, I have never run into an issue where a video recording didn’t render or a screen capture threw an error. It is pretty stable software which keeps it in a close second to replace Loom.
Snagit offers the most features of them all. Not only can you annotate images and includes a full video editor. It is owned by TechSmith, the same company that created Jing, which was the first type of screen capture software I ever used.
One may think with my long standing history with the company and the robust features that it’s a no brainer for me to use it. Unfortunately, the user experience isn’t up to par of average software solutions available. The interface gives off a Windows 2000-ish feel. It doesn’t compare at all with the software standards of today concerning UI/UX, but it has all of the features of both Loom and CloudApp all in one.
Again, one may think I would give it the green light, while it shares a lot of the pros of Loom and CloudApp, for whatever reason, it just didn’t win me over.
Things I like:
- Amount of Features. The most robust of all software mentioned above.
- Annotation. You can annotate both images and videos
- Video editing. It provides you with a full video editor for videos recorded
Things I don’t like:
- Installation process was not straightforward and a bit clunky
- Interface is outdated and user experience can be improved greatly in comparison to alternatives
A special mention along with Snagit, is Screencast-O-Matic. They appear, from their website, to target and serve the same audience. Screencast-O-Matic doesn’t have as many features in terms of a full video editor, but if you look at the interface and the overall look and feel, these two feel very much matched.
Screen Recording with Video Hosting Software
Lastly, I was pleasantly surprised with a couple new options for screen recording within video hosting software. Soapbox by Wistia and Vimeo Record by Vimeo are fairly new solutions that allow you to upload your recorded videos directly to your account.
Of the two, Soapbox definitely offers more features.
The main benefit of using video hosting software to record your screen is the ability to upload directly to your account. This is really useful for eliminating the requirement of downloading and uploading your videos when you use any of the software mentioned above for screen recording.
The reason why this is intriguing to me at the moment is because I just completed recording a new course (called “List Resurrection” for re-engaging a dead email list) and I recorded all the videos using Loom. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, I experienced inconsistency in both audio volume and video quality.
Next time around I’m looking forward to giving Vimeo Record a shot to see if it improves my workflow and quality of output.
Hopefully this report makes it easier for you to choose which software you can use for your screen capturing needs. In the collaborative and remote state of small business today these tools provide you with a much needed asset to increase your collective productivity.
Which screen recording software do you use? Let us know in the comments. If you have had a great experience or other experiences, leave that in the comments below as well.
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