Apparently the work and discussions around the imminent K-12 Online Conference have energized several (Darren and Chris in Winnipeg, for two) to begin screencasting. Several free and commercial screencasting tools are listed on the K-12 Online Conference tools page.

Darren commented today in a skype discussion that his 8 minute screencast made with SmartBoard Recorder software (available free btw) was over 200 MB in size, and he needed help getting it smaller. I suggested using QuickTime Pro, which I have, but it costs $30 and Darren doesn’t have it already. As an alternative, I suggested the free (but unfortunately Linux and Macintosh-only) program FFmpegX. FFmpegX is open source (free) and will basically encode any video format into any other format, even to Flash.

Does anyone know of a similar open source program that has a Windows-port, or if there is a Windows port of FFmpegX? Darren is wanting to significantly reduce the filesize of a QuickTime movie screencast. When I used QuickTime Pro earlier this week to convert a file to MPEG-4 with QuickTime Pro, it cut the file to a tenth of its original size! The uploaded version to YouTube was poor quality, however, so I’m thinking YouTube must like uploaded Quicktime (.mov) files rather than MPEG-4.

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4 Responses to Compress and convert video

  1. So is it safe to assume all of the podcasts and vodcasts/screencasts will be subscribable via iTunes and feedburner for download? This would ensure the latest is done automatically.

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    The conveners of K-12 Online just discusssed this idea last week, and yes, we are working to setup a feed that will include all the enclosure-based content in a subscribable feedburner feed.

  3. Kurt Paccio says:

    There is an open source project available for Windows users that is Camtasia-like. It’s called CamStudio and is available at

    I gave it a try and was fairly pleased. I worked as part of a team and for consistency we used Camtasia. The 30-day trial is completely functional.

    CamStudio was not as comprehesive with editing your screencast elements.
    For me the method of screen annotation wasn’t very intuitive. The screen recording worked flawlessly. Record to .avi or directly to flash.

    For what it’s worth…

  4. Chris says:

    I still enjoy the newness of screencasting YOu will see the results of students work soon at All the benifits of having a student make a movie without their face or body being in the movie (permission headaches galore). It is going to go over big with my grade 8’s.

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