Mac Stuff

 

   Last updated: February 19, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Capturing Software for Mac


When you create a video tutorial for computer software, a screen capture application is a must to have.  We do use screen capture applications to make ours.  And there are many of them just for Macs.  So which is the best?  After comparing three of them, we conclude that none of them is far from being perfect.

We compare three screen capture applications.  One of the old screen capture titles for Macs is Snapz Pro X.  The current version is 2.0.3.  It's not as old as Snapz Pro X, but ScreenRecord is relatively old.  Screenography from Vertical Moon is quite new and is the only software title here that is in Universal Binary.

 

Software title Developer Price
         
Snapz Pro X 2.0.3   Ambrosia   $69.00
ScreenRecord 1.6.2   Mien Software   $20.00
Screenography 1.010   Vertical Moon   $39.95

 

Snapz Pro X

Snapz Pro X's performance is not completely stable, but if you develop your own way of avoiding problems, it can perhaps be the best of all.

 

Snapz Pro X

Figure 1-1

 

Snapz Pro X

Figure 1-2

 

  • A known issue that it's incompatible with Final Cut Pro has not been solved.
  • After being updated to 2.0.3, Snapz Pro X gets hung up occasionally.  In such event, you will be forced to restart your computer.
  • Ambrosia did not release a Universal version when they updated Snapz Pro X from 2.0.2 to 2.0.3 in August, 2006.
  • It is possible that it will become inoperatable after installing Apple's Security Update 2006-007.  In such even, you will be forced to reinstall Snapz Pro X.
  • If you set the keyframe to some number, say, 300, Snapz Pro X may not compress video properly.  Therefore, it is advisable that you leave the number blank.  (Figure 1-4)
  • You can only save the recorded video to the desktop or inside the system folder.

 

Snapz Pro X

Figure 1-3

 

Snapz Pro X

Figure 1-4

 

It has long been known that the frame rate will be incorrectly recognized with Final Cut Pro.  For example, suppose that you set the frame rate to 24 and record screen movements.  If you import this video to Final Cut Pro, the frame rate will be recognized as 10.  (See Figure 1-3.)  The lowest frame rate that Final Cut Pro accepts is 23.98.  Ambrosia knew the problem and noted in their forum that they had contacted Apple to resolve the issue.  One year or longer passed, and Ambrosia upgraded Snapz Pro X to 2.0.3 in August, 2006.  But the same issue still persists.  So what did they really fix?  And they didn't even release a Universal version.

 

ScreenRecord

ScreenRecord is somewhat different from other two titles.  While Snapz Pro X and Screenography run behind the system, ScreenRecord runs as an application independent of the system.  And there are a few unique functions like changing the Mouse pointer to one that you choose.  (Figure 2-1)

Unfortunately, ScreenRecord has a few flaws.  The most serious one is that the application quits itself while recording.  There existed this problem when we first reviewed it some 14 months ago.  And it still exists under OS 10.4.8 Tiger.

 

  • ScreenRecord quits itself while recording.
  • It's compatible with Final Cut Pro.
  • ScreenRecord may not capture audio with line-in or microphone.
  • Video can be compressed in multimedia formats other than MOV like AVI, FLV and WMV.
  • It hasn't been updated since September, 2005.

 

screenrecord

Figure 2-1

 

ScreenRecord

Figure 2-2

 

Screenography

Screenography is a relatively new comer to this area.  Its performance seems more stable than Snapz Pro X.  There are a few minor issues, though.  One thing that we have noticed is that some of the capture settings need to be made every time you use it.  For example, suppose that you set the screen capture size to 1,200 x 900 and record screen movements.  If you quit Screenography once and relaunch it again to use it, you have to set the screen size again.  If you want to scale down the screen size to, say, 60%, you have to do it every time you use Screenography.

 

  • It's compatible with Final Cut Pro.
  • The screen capture settings (screen size, keyframe...) cannot be saved.
  • Its recording process is a bit slow.
  • You can save the recorded video to any partition.
  • It's in Universal Binary.
  • A customized hot key combination may not override the existing one used by the system.

 

Screenography

Figure 3-1

 

Screenography

Figure 3-2

 

Another minor issue with Screenography is its hot key combination.  The default combination for activating its screen capture function is Command + Shift + 5.  Suppose that you change it to Command + Shift + 4.  This combination is used by the system to take a screenshot in a customized size.  And if you make this change, since Screenography doesn't override the existing one used by the system, you will never able to activate its screen capture function.  In such even, you must throw out the following file that is stored inside Preferences folders (both System and users): com.verticalmoon.screenography.plist.

 

  • Click here to read MacHouse's Mac Software Review on Screen Mimic 2.1
  • Click here to read MacHouse's Mac Software Review on Mac Software Review: iShowU 1.44
  • Click here to read MacHouse's Mac Software Review on Snapz Pro X 2.1.0