By Deane Barker on February 11, 2005

Movies of Software: On the heels of Jon Udell’s Wikipedia screencast, I got to wondering how to make my own. I found this O’Reilly article by…Jon Udell, where he talks about the concept of screencasts, and links to several examples.

In the software world, we spend a lot of time describing how things work. To echo Michael Kinsley’s lament about music and film, why should those descriptions use only text, possibly augmented with screenshots? Why don’t we present, and quote from, live experiences?

So how do you do it on Windows? Windows Media Encoder 9. I’ve been having a blast creating some of my own of the same quality as Jon’s. They’re WMV only, but still very cool to make and they obviate hundreds — if not thousands — of words of documentation each.

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  1. Yes indeed – a very cool feature of WME9, to be able to record the screen and an audio input at the same time (it can even be music tracks from your hard drive – so you can make a little visual radio station – if you use the mixer and cut between the sources).

    Better still, you can stream all of it online too – live, or on-demand, if you want – WME9 makes it really easy to stream from your PC and home internet connection (you might have to open a port on your router though, and you’ll be limited by the outgoing bandwidth of your connection).

    WME9 only allows five simultaneous streams, but there’s a registry hack to take it up to 50 – which is handy for a LAN – without having to purchase Windows Media Server.

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