I attended and took notes at the presentation “Screencasting @ Your Library” by Becky Rathgeber and Linda Uchida at the November 2006 Hawaii Library Association conference, and ran across the handout today which included the following recommended settings for Flash formatted screencasts. These were apparently suggested to them by Greg Notess:

  1. Lower quality for smaller files.
  2. Colors: 16 bit
  3. JPEG compression: 65%
  4. Frame rate: 1 or 5/sec
  5. Audio: MP3, 11.025kHz, mono, 16kBits/s
  6. Experiment and keep notes on lowest possible acceptable resolution

The products they demonstrated included Camtasia Studio, Captivate and Wink, all on the Windows platform. I have these three tools and some others linked to my social bookmarks for screencasting. I haven’t yet found a screencasting tool I really like on the Mac side which outputs flash-based screencasts.

Posting notes like this is an example of digitizing materials to preserve them for future relevancy. I still find myself leaving workshops and educational technology conferences with lots of analog notes (on paper) which have a very small potential to influence my own educational practices and technology uses as long as they remain paper-based. Digitizing them: Adding referenced websites to my social bookmarks and posting notes like these to my blog is my own attempt at both remixing my learning from those sessions (so the knowledge becomes more “sticky” and actually remains in my long term memory) and preserving the ideas in an online, searchable database that I can refer to later if I want to see those ideas again. It has the ancillary benefit of sharing these resources with others like you, who might also find them useful/of interest!

I continue to believe that in order to be relevant to me, ideas increasingly need to be digitized at some point.

The PowerPoint presentation from that HLA2006 presentation is still available online. I think I have a recording of that preso that I never published as a podcast, I’ll try and revisit that soon and if I have it release it! (I got permission from the presenters at the conference.)

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2 Responses to Flash format screencasts

  1. I feel the same way about notes needing to be digitalized in order for me to re-visit them. That is one reason I bought a Palm Lifedrive this year. I had figured that I would use it to take notes (and use it as a video/mp3 player). I still don’t take notes in it. I either don’t want to feel like “that guy with the toy” or I tell myself I need to go buy one of the palm keyboards to actually make it effective. I still write in notebooks and look back at them sometimes (when I’m taking notes for something else) and say “Wow, that was a good idea. Why didn’t I remember that?” Sooner or later I’ll break down and spend the money on the keyboard or just realize how much I am under utilizing an expensive tool.

  2. Conficio says:

    Note taking is really an issue. I just spent ~$500 extra on a tablet PC from Gateway. It is not really there yet. Given, my hand writing is terrible. But even if I print it starts out to recognize the characters well and once it gets past three or four it tries to form a word and messes up what it already did recognize.

    Then the user interface for editing the mistakes out is terrible and to cumbersome.

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