Tuesday, August 7

Jing Project - Screen Capture & Share On-the-Fly

URL: http://www.jingproject.com/

What is this thing called Jing?
"The concept of Jing is the always-ready program that instantly captures and shares images and video…from your computer to anywhere."
Main Features:
  • Capture Images - Snap a picture of anything on your desktop.
  • Record Video - Record video of what you do, or what you see.
  • Share Online - Instantly uploaded. Share in email, IM, or blogs.

Jing is no doubt a cool, easy-to-use and convenient free tool to capture any activity happening on the screen (Especially great for IT training and courses) and share it online in a SWOOSH (this is certainly the super feature of this tool compared to others). Although, it has a few weaknesses worth reflecting before getting too excited about it (check out this this article), I believe what ever shortcomings it has it will be dealt with sooner rather than later, because the company behind this tool is none other than TechSmith, which is the mastermind behind Camtasia, SnagIt, and so on.

That is were the real problem starts, if anyone can remember the super tool CamStudio (I recommend a try), which also was ahead of its time until TechSmith took over and that was it (no real progress until recently). It had no choice if it wanted to keep Camtasia alive (Free easy-to-use CamStudio with its Flash conversion capability was certainly a threat at that time to commercial screen capturing software). So, again Jing might go the same way, by enabling us to get a few juicy stones for free, but we would need to pay for the real juice (Coming soon).

However, I do hope it has learnt a bit from Google, which is able to make revenue from free tools in a creative way (indirectly). Otherwise, our joy with the uniqueness of Jing might not be so long-lived.

Having said that, have you ever tried Wink? It is also a great freeware that enables you to capture screenshots, add explanations boxes, buttons, titles, etc. and generate a highly effective tutorials. Features include:

  • Cross-Platform: Available for all flavours of Windows and various versions of Linux (x86 only).
  • Audio: Record voice as you create the tutorial for explaining better.
  • Input formats: Capture screenshots from your PC, or use images in BMP/JPG/PNG/TIFF/GIF formats.
  • Output formats: Macromedia Flash, Standalone EXE, PDF, PostScript, HTML or any of the above image formats. Use Flash/html for the web, EXE for distributing to PC users and PDF for printable manuals.
  • Multilingual support: Works in English, French, German, Italian, Danish, Spanish, Serbian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese and Simplified/Traditional Chinese.
  • Smart Capture Tools: Capture screenshots automatically as you use your PC, based on mouse and keyboard input (great time saver and generates professional captures).
  • Performance/Quality: Creates highly compressed Flash presentations (few kbs to few hundreds of kbs, much smaller than competing commercial products) ideal for using on the web.
Whatever screencapturing tool you decide to use, you certainly have several good options whether free or commercial. If you have the money, I would actually recommend Adobe Captivate over Camtasia on any day :)

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