One of my favorite types of software/application is screen capture software. It’s immensely useful for creating training videos, product reviews and more.
A simple screen cap video can save a whole lot of hassle when trying to explain a task to a freelancer, client or colleague.
There are loads of different screen recording software options out there. Some of the most famous (which I plan to review in due course) are Camtasia and Screenflow.
However, both Camtasia and Screenflow are relatively expensive. Screenflow is also for Macs only. Both require the installation of software.
There are also free options out there – such as OBS or Camstudio – but they can often be clunky to use.
What if there was a better option for someone looking to make basic screen recordings? Something like a Chrome browser extension? Well, luckily there is!
What Is Screencastify?
It’s a Chrome browser extension that allows you to record your screen. You install the extension, and then you can get started making recordings!
Basically, you can make a video that shows what you are doing on your screen, as well as record an accompanying audio track (useful if you’re narrating a tutorial or something) or you can use system audio.
How Much Does It Cost?
Screencastify offers two pricing plans:
- Premium – $2 per month (paid annually)
The free version allows you to record the screen, record audio etc. However, you have fewer export options, and your videos will also have quite a prominent watermark in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
I used the free version for about half a day to test it out. I was impressed enough to purchased the premium version, and am very glad I did. I’ve already produced a number of videos using Screencastify premium, and the extra features and lack of watermark make it well worthwhile, especially when you consider the competitive price.
- Automatic saving to Google Drive
- No software install required
- Export as MP4 (premium version)
- Competitive pricing
- Easy to use
- Record desktop
- Overlay webcam
- Works on Chromebook
- Basic editing features
- Can be a bit fiddly
- Not the smoothest framerates
- No lifetime pricing option
Overall, I’m a massive fan of Screencastify. It’s helped me turn my Chromebook into a machine that I can use for ~90% of all work I need to do on a daily basis (in fact, only intensive Excel work and video editing is off the cards now). It’s very impressive how much you can do with a basic browser extension.
As a solution for recording my screen, and overlaying narration or system audio, it’s so easy and effective.
Is Screencastify as powerful or fully-featured as something like Camtasia? No – of course not. It’s probably going to be a long time before a browser extension can really do the “heavy lifting” that an installable software can. However, for what it is, Screencastify is incredibly impressive.
If you’ve got any desire to make screen recording videos (for training, business, or pleasure) then I strongly recommend that you install Screencastify and give it a try.
Use the free version first to get a feel for how it works, and I think you’ll find yourself upgrading to the premium edition in no time. At just overt $20 per year, it really is exceptionally good value.
Ease Of Use
Value For Money
If you're looking to record your screen (including audio narration or system audio) then I strongly suggest you take a look at Screencastify. It's a powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use Chrome browser extension that makes screen recording oh-so-easy. It isn't as comprehensive as offline software, such as Camtasia, but for the low price and simplicity of using it, I would say that Screencastify is good enough for most users. Combine it with a video editing program, and you've got a powerful software stack for creating high quality screen capture videos!