New Online Applet Lets Users Instantly Create Screencasts

September 30, 2008 by Victor 

Want to capture your screen, create a video of it, post it online, share with your friends, but don’t want to download or buy any software? Want to do all of this with ease yet not pay a cent? Well, now there is a solution! It is called “Screencast-O-Matic” and lets you share and broadcast a recording of your screen for free. This solution is Java-based (requires Java 1.5 installed) and works flawlessly with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera on both Windows and Mac OS. Screencast-O-Matic is also supposed to work with Linux, but it seems like the developers are still working out the final kinks.

Screencast-O-Matic can post screen captures up to 15 minutes in length on their free hosting but it also lets you save the captures as .MOV QuickTime files so you can do whatever you want with your captured content.

Unfortunately, Screencast-O-Matic has some major limitations that make the applet unappealing to some. First of all, it can only capture a maximum resolution of 1024×768 and maintain a capture rate of only 2 frames per second. This is ok for text, but not good if you want to show videos or animations in your screencast. What’s more, Screencast-O-Matic does not have support for dual-monitor systems (it can only capture from your primary monitor). Click here for a sample screencast that we created with Screencast-O-Matic to see for yourself.

Using Screencast-O-Matic

Step 1: Visit and click on “Create”.


Step 2: You will be prompted to start the Java applet. Click on “Start” at the bottom of the page. A security verification might come up, which you must also allow in order for the applet to start.


Step 3: Once you have allowed the applet access to your computer, you will now see a configuration screen. Unfortunately, Screencast-O-Matic only supports resolutions up to 1024×768, so you must select that option for maximum quality. Screencast-O-Matic also lets you add voice to the video. Once you have configured the options, click on “Go!”


Step 4: At this point, you will see a black frame come up on your screen. It cannot be resized. Drag it over the area which you would like to capture and follow the instructions supplied by Screencast-O-Matic:

  1. Drag the black frame so it surrounds the area of the screen that you’d like to capture.
  2. If you are recording audio, make sure the mic level is ok by talking into your mic and watching the Mic level example image icon. You may also need to adjust the mic recording volume for your operating system. See examples for Windows XP and Mac OS X.
  3. Click the record button to start recording the part of your screen inside the black frame (and audio from the mic you chose).
  4. Click the close button when you are done (or if you need to pause click pause button).

If you are working on a dual-screen setup, Screencast-O-Matic won’t allow you to capture from your secondary screen.

Step 5: Once you have completed yor capture, you will be able to either upload the video right away or save it on your computer as an .MOV file. If you are uploading your screencast, Screencast-O-Matic will prompt you to register a username and passoword on their website. Screencast-O-Matic will then give you a URL for your upload.

Step 6: You’re done! Now you can share the link that was given to you previously and have people access your screencast. Here is a sample screen capture that we did in-house:


One Response to “New Online Applet Lets Users Instantly Create Screencasts”

  1. David on May 5th, 2011 5:51 am

    You can also record screencasts with Have2Chat Screencast. it automatically locks to the browser frame. So its great for webpage reviews.

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