One of the most celebrated features in Snow Leopard’s QuickTime X, at least initially, was the promise of integrated video screen capture. Well, everyone was happy until we realized Apple left out simultaneous audio capture, which is probably a sop to the Hollywood movie studios, but there is a way around this “omission” and it’s free.
For the purpose of this “how to,” I chose to capture a dual banner Get a Mac that was running on Wired Monday morning (see YouTube video below). For obvious reasons, you can’t just download or capture it using VideoBox or another Flash video utility.
Here’s how you get it done with audio, which QuickTime X doesn’t support with a little help from SoundFlower (downloads page), which adds to two and 16 channel input and output options to System Preferences, as well as the apps (ie QT X) that leverage this media layer in the OS.
1.) So, download and install SoundFlower, and have a quick restart.
2.) Go to System Preferences -> Sound -> Output -> click SoundFlower (2ch)
— This setting effectively mutes audio, so you will need to go back after you’re done recording and restore your original settings
3.) Set up your shot, open QuickTime X and from the File menu select New Screen Recording (⌃ + ⌘ + N)
— Position the record button (doesn’t get recorded) near the point where you trigger your shot
4.) Click the red button to record, set your shot in motion (you won’t hear anything) and then click the red button again to stop recording.
See also: Sample the Web for a more complete, longer winded tutorial.
By default, your capture will be saved to the Movies folder, though you can choose any location on your Mac.
QuickTime X plus SoundFlowever is quick, dirty and free. The drawbacks here are that you can’t choose to record a specific part of the screen or crop your video after-the-fact using any of the standard tools that ship with your Mac (iMovie, QuickTime).
That said, if you just wanna capture one of Apple’s double-banner Get a Mac ad spots or a short segment of a TV show (full screen works well under Hulu Desktop). But, here again, because the capture quality is quite low, QuickTime X plus SoundFlower really isn’t a best of class solution, one designed for optimal video quality — it’s free, fast and easy.
So, if you want to capture a specific part of the screen, quickly zoom to capture detailed operations, tweak capture quality, etc, then there’s really no substitute for Snapz Pro X (Ambrosia, $69), which you can try for 15 days free of charge. And, aside from watermarking video, it’s a full-featured version of app.
Have a better free method for screen capture or app that you think is better than Snapz? Share an anecdote and link in the comments below…
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