Update October 2010: ScreenToaster is back, ignore text below that says otherwise

I’ve just finished testing various free web-based screen recording tools. I’ve been looking at them for a new course at the LSE run by the LSE Careers Service & the Language Centre called English for Career Success. As part of the course students have to give a 5-minute presentation to the class.  As a practice exercise before the live event they have to record themselves doing the presentation using a screen recording tool.  They then receive feedback on it from the tutors before delivering the real thing.

Here is an example of a screen recording I just made using Screenr and below it you will find notes on it and my other two best finds ScreenToaster (no longer available) & Screenjelly. I recommend watching in full-screen mode.

All 3 tools are web-based, free & require an account.  They publish with a unique URLs & can also be embedded elsewhere as I have done above. The quality of the output is good for all three and they can all be viewed full-screen.  However there are some important differences between them which may affect which you choose.

  • Recording LengthScreenToaster has no limit, Screenr 5-mins max, Screenjelly 3-mins max.
  • Ease-of-use – they are all easy but Screentoaster comes third on this (and its interface isn’t as modern!)
  • Privacy ScreenToaster & Screenjelly allows for private recordings, Screenr does not.
  • Navigation – Only Screenr allows your audience to navigate to any point in the recording. The others only allow you to pause or return to the start.
  • Publishing time – Screenr is slower to publish, taking over 5-10mins for a 5-min recording.  The other two publish in seconds.
  • Screen capture size – Screenjelly is restricted to full-screen capture, the others allow any size.
  • Number of views – shown by Screenjelly & ScreenToaster but not Screenr. Update: Both show views, thanks @sboneham
  • Extras – Screenr simultaneously publishes an iPhone/iPod version, has .mp4 download & YouTube upload options; ScreenToaster allows you to add subtitles, to capture a webcam view in addition to the screen & has .mov download.

For English for Careers Success we have opted for ScreenToaster based primarily on privacy but my overall favourite is Screenr with the lack of navigation letting the others down. Update: bad choice!