Wow, I like Jing (http://www.jingproject.com).

We have 12 student employees and 7 intern/practicum students. Turn-over in this area is high (since they are only students for a limited amount of time and we must at some point send them out into the world of work) so I am constantly training at the start of each semester. We currently use Camtasia on two computers, one a laptop for portability, the other a workstation for editing. I didn’t install it on my office computer because of cost, but was beginning to run into scheduling problems as well as the limited installs of specialized software. The computers with Camtasia didn’t have all the software we use up here. Installing all software we use on the Camtasia computers (just for training purposes) would be overkill and drive up cost.

So, I inquired about additional installs of screen capture software from our IT department. One for the Mac, and one for my office PC. Our software purchasing guy (Tom O.) got back to me with prices but also recommended trying out Jing. Not only is it available for the PC and Mac, it is FREE.

I like free.

Jing was a small download and had a quick install. A short 2 minute tutorial later, I felt like a master, and I already knew this would solve many more problems than just creating carefully scripted screen captures of complex departmental tasks.

I played with it a little (found out my office is bugged, but that’s a story for another day), went off to a meeting, and when I came back I had an email from a staff member asking about creating a PDF in PPT. In our office we all have PDF Creator on our machines (also free, also recommended by Tom O.) so I started typing an email with all the steps and then stopped. Jing!

2 minutes later I verbally narrated a screen capture and with a click, Jing! it was viewable online at screencast.com with a link I could send her via email. I sent the email… and was done! Sweet!

I think the screencast site option makes this a HIGHLY recommended install for my computer rather than Camtasia as the ability to just whip on the headphones w/ mic, record, and post a link is quicker than explaining it in a text email for these short tech support questions.

Five thumbs up on your recommendation Tom O! I think this is the greatest find since the Flip. I must find more 4 letter products with names that don’t describe what the product actually does.

Here’s the link to the 2 minute video screencast provided me after my 1-click upload:

I only tried the free version, and Jing Pro seems to offer some nice features, but I am content. Jing is distributed by TechSmith, the same company that also produces Camtasia. Jing is basically the consumer grade version of Camtasia. I think our install of Camtasia is still a valid option for any editing we need to do, but for deploying self-service-on-location screen capture, Jing seems to be the way to go, especially for home users (yeah, there are a few home users who would drool over this). Would be a great option for creating videos when working from home (or creating tutorials on HOW to work from home).

Features: video capture output to Flash which can be locally saved or “one-clicked” to screencast.com. (You do need to create a screencast account). You can then distribute the URL via email instantly. Screen shot capture – a still image if you don’t want video. Ability to edit in Camtasia, if installed.

Please note: Security issues may arise after this article was written or there may be issues not known to me as I post. Check the date. If any issues are made known to me forcing me to lose favor with a particular product I will post such information in a separate blog post. Please do your own research (outside of my research) and check the tag(s) “Jing” on this site for any recent posts about products mentioned in this post. If you have any ideas or concerns, please post a comment and I will take it into consideration. Also note, I am not a security expert, just a security minded power user–the best kind of user there is!

About Chad Leigh Kluck

I enjoy technology development and management by following new trends, change and disruption, and security. I have a Master of Science in Software Engineering and my hobbies include railroads, history, do-it-yourself projects, writing, and ham radio (K0RRX). More...

One Comment

  1. Posted April 15, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    The videos are limited to 5 minutes in length, which shouldn’t be a problem as it needs to be done in one take anyway and people’s attention spans are short. So if you are doing short explanations, or a series of short explanations, as well as on-the-fly training, this is still viable. Just know that you are limited to recording no more than 5 minutes, you can’t edit, and if you royally mess up you need to start over.

    I’ve found this kind of “live” pressure keeps you on the game anyway. When I do stuff on a live broadcast, I correct myself and go on. When I do recordings i can mess up, restart, mess up, etc, etc and find myself worsening the situation than if I just moved on.

I enjoy comments and feedback. Let me know if you have anything to share with me like stories, pictures, or other media. You can also contact me directly via the contact form. I'd love to hear from you!

Leave comments or feedback