Free Screencast Tool – Jing!

As recommended to me by a client, David Congreave, via Twitter, there is a great free screen capture and screencast tool called Jing.

Created by the makers of the paid-for Camstasia (TechSmith) Jing is a simple free application that lets you easily capture screenshots or videos on your desktop.

jing-before-after

Its simplicity is brilliant, simply select the area you wish to capture, choose video or image and then go. If you select image you can then easily annotate the image with arrows and text. If video, you can choose whether to record audio or not. Once complete you simply hit the share button and it will upload the image or video to screencast.com and give you a URL to share with whoever you want to. It’s so easy and fast.

Of course, with simplicity come downsides. You cannot do everything you want when editing an image. You cannot edit a video at all, it’s a one take wonder. Videos are limited at 5 minutes, and your screencast account has an upload limit and monthly bandwidth limit, both of which can be increased by paying for a Pro account.

After failing to get the browser based Screentoaster working (damn you Flash!), Jing actually seems to be almost everything I was looking for. Now, when a client wants to know how to solve an issue I can send a quick video of how to do it without having to waste time editing it, producing it in the correct format, figuring out where to upload it to and host it. If you need to visually show people what you’ve done or how to do things, then take a look at Jing.