Best for Recording Skype? Snagit or Camtasia Studio?

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  • Updated 9 months ago
  • (Edited)
I need a screen recording application for two things (in order of priority):
1. Recording Skype conversations
2. Recording training videos where I am showing how to use an app/website

I do not need really high quality recordings, and I already have the full (expensive) suite of Adobe software to edit. However, I would need to recording cursor position and ideally add annotations.

Which should I look at? Snagit (which I've used years ago and liked), or Camtasia Studio (never used this)?
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2006.junkmail

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Posted 9 months ago

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Luke Griffioen, Employee

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Hi,

Snagit is useful for making simple screen/webcam recordings, but it doesn't support annotations for video. Snagit will record the cursor on screen, but it might be burned into the video, so you wouldn't be able to add cursor effects to it. I would recommend giving Camtasia a try for something like this. It's easy to add annotations and the cursor location is kept so you're able to add effects like a spotlight or highlight if you want.

I hope this helps!

P.S. If you do try Camtasia, you might be delighted by the editing capability it has to offer. If not, we'd love to hear suggestions!
(Edited)
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Karen Mercer

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I like Storyline 360 which is a great tool for creating screen simulations, it is much easier to use than Camtasia.
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Patty Atchison Deutmeyer

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There are many tools out there that fit these needs. I am fond of Camtasia for its ease of use and great editing capabilities.
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Rick Grunwald

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I use Screencast o matic. I do not need the features of a high end video program and I don't do that many screencasts in a year anymore. It seems there is no inbetween it is either the high priced video editing software or something like Snagit which has low end video capabilities. That is not a slam, it is what it is and it has quickly filled a purpose and done it's job  several times including making a quick GIF on the fly without the need to change programs todo it. It is what it is
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Rick Stone

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From my own little perspective being the rowboat on the ocean, I have seen many posts through the years that bemoan things such as SnagIt and Camtasia (and many other recorders) being unable to capture the audio from Skype. If memory serves, there are special apps one has to install that allow piggybacking on the Skype audio stream.

However, it's been a long while since I've looked at this. Perhaps others can advise on whether this is now possible in SnagIt or Camtasia.

Cheers... Rick :)
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Rick's right, that has been a long struggle, and part of the reason that Camtasia for Mac's system audio capture is done the way it is. These days, this should work well. However, that's the beauty of the free trial!
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Rick Stone

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Thanks Paul

Sounds like the Mac version handles things differently. Are you able to expound a bit on that using general and not too techy terms? Personally, I'd love to hear what the differences in approaches are.

Cheers... Rick :)
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Certainly; in order to really get every scrap of audio that comes through your computer on the Mac side, we had to create a "kernel extension". It's kind of like a device driver. This is low level, and does require administrative privileges in order to install it. With this, we can hook into all audio playback to make sure we record it. There are other methods, to be sure, but they have not proved as effective or easy to use for our customers.
We use a more general approach on the Windows side, and I don't even know if this same method (the kernel extension) would be possible on Windows. 
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Rick Stone

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Thanks Paul!
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caz

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I ran into the "Skype audio bump". Turns out that it is an "undocumented feature". Without boring anyone with the details of heartache and frustration of lost demos, if you are recording from Skype, on Windows you need to ensure that Communication and Speakers/Headphones are both set to default. What it can't cope with is a headset set as "default communication device" and speakers set to "default" (for everything else).  Otherwise it has a complete meltdown and will not record the communication stream.
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2006.junkmail

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Thanks everyone for comments so far. I would like it to be made clear whether Camtasia (for PC) or Snag it can successfully record a Skype video call as I have read similar issues regarding audio. What do others use for Skype recording?

Also what are the differences with screen recording on Camtasia and Snagit? I can see on the features list that Camtasia does thinkgs like showing cursor and keypresses. Does Snagit also?
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Rick Stone

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SnagIt is basic screen recording. What you see is what you will get. You cannot change it later or add notes or annotations or zoom it or anything other than chopping bits off the ends or out of the middle. Bare bones. So it's a bit like a Skil saw. You get the basics.

Camtasia is like having a Shop Smith with many different options for making refinements by editing your video after you record.

Cheers... Rick :)
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Joe Morgan

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I wouldn't recommend Camtasia for Skype.It wasn't designed it.Maybe that functionality will be built in some day. 

There are a lot of good ways to record Skype. Just Google it and do some research.

Regards,Joe