Small Biz Mac, Small Biz Mac focuses on using Mac as the foundation of a small business--the operating platform, the market, and more. This blog will discuss both the challenges of operating a business on Mac hardware and software, and the impact of the broader Mac market on business.

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Kevin Walzer and Lori Jareo, publishers, software developers, Mac/iPhone users, and small business owners.

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Wed, 20 Mar 2013

New site feature: Screencasts

We've joined the ranks of developers running promotional screencasts of their apps on their website. The first screencast, for PacketStream, is below.

Screencasts can range in quality from the strictly bare-bones--someone recording a session of an app running on their machine while narrating over an echo into the computer's built-in mike--to highly sophisticated videos with lots of animation, special effects, slick background tracks, and more. It was the latter type, produced by MacUpdate in support of a promotion for FileMorph, which inspired us to give screencasting a try.

The result of our efforts is somewhere between rank amateur and highly slick commercial production--we wanted something with a little polish but don't have the budget for uber-slick--and we're reasonably pleased with it. Our toolset, similar to what we use with our own software, was mainly open-source software (Audacity for mixing the soundtrack, Avidemux for editing the video, and ffmpeg for post-processing for upload to YouTube). We tried a couple of commercial Mac tools on a demo basis; while these tools seemed quite powerful, their learning curve was a bit steep, as was their cost. The open-source toolchain fit both our budget, and our brain, better.

We plan to do screencasts for all our apps over the coming year, and now that we have an idea of how the process works, we think it will be a bit simpler to proceed. We're looking forward to it.

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