Best Way to Record Screencasts of a Browser – Screencastify

One thing I love doing for clients is producing video tutorials of myself on their actual website, doing tasks that they are trying to learn. After I upload it to YouTube, they are able to view it over and over again as needed. And with a little help from a plugin I developed called Video Dashboard, I can embed those videos directly to their WordPress dashboard where they’ll never get lost.

But the program I’ve been using to do it is frankly… not great. I’ve been using a free program called “Screen Recorder.” The interface is bad, it has a terrible framerate, and sometimes the audio cuts in and out. It got the job done most of the time, but it really wasn’t cutting it anymore, especially for full-screen screencasts. The final straw was today when I was trying to do a recording for an upcoming review of the Jurassic World website, and half the audio was missing and the video ran at about 0.5 FPS.

So I figured, “some time has passed since I’ve looked… there must be an easier way now!”

And wouldn’t you know it? I was right.

I present to you: Screencastify. Screencastify is part of that new batch of Chrome apps that are just awesome. If you have a Chromecast, and have been following what you can do with Chrome apps on it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Screencastify works with the Chrome browser itself to record screencasts of whatever you are doing. In my tests, it was able to keep up with high framerate video and audio without any problems, even in high resolution. With it, I can easily do video reviews of websites or make video tutorials for my clients. The best part is, you have the choice to save the files directly to your computer OR store them on Google Drive. You can also share them directly to YouTube. Since that was my original process anyway, this will save me tons of time on future tasks.

It’s also extremely easy to do… You just click the icon in the top-right of your browser, select your options, and start recording! The options are also pretty cool. You can choose whether to use sound from your webcam, to include sound from the tab you are on, and also to use the browser, your desktop, or your webcam as the source. You can even embed a webcam feed in to the corner of the video so viewers can see you AND the tab. It’s pretty slick!

So hopefully I’ll be doing a lot more video reviews and tutorials on here from now on, just because it’s so easy!

View the feature demo: (Warning: Audio cuts out because the old program I used was terrible…)


Actual recording from Screencastify: (Much better!)

About Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is a website developer and designer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a passion for code and WordPress. He spends his days building WordPress websites for small businesses, developing new code with the online community, and living life.

3 Comments on “Best Way to Record Screencasts of a Browser – Screencastify”

  1. Screencastify do not stand behind their product. My experience is that it’s terrible software. I spent 4+ hours changing settings and trying to get the right mic configuration to no avail. It would only use the external mic to record video instead of the internal sound recording. I emailed support at least 15 times and eventually they made me feel like it was my problem or my fault and that this was probably the first example of such a failure they had ever ever ever experienced. And then when i said i could no longer justify spending more time trying all the different options to fix the problem the response was “I cannot process your refund since we have a no-refund policy which is detailed in our terms. I’m afraid you’ll get the same response from anyone else in the company. “. LESSON: anyone who reverts immediately to say that the refusal to do the right thing and respond to a genuine complaint is buried in “the terms and conditions” is a BIG red flag. Surely if you have a good product and good support but cannot solve the exceptional occasion when some technical thing causes a failure to use the product then you would be more than happy to refund that customers purchase. But in this case the immediate response was a denial. All that says is that the problem probably isnt unique and that they certainly do not stand behind their product.

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