After being inspired by the Rails screencast long ago, I thought it would be fun to make a screencast for my free wedding registry site. It takes a bit of work.

I checked out a few different screencast recording packages and ended up going with CamStudio. It is a fairly basic product but free and good enough for my needs. It lets you choose a window to record and also lets you include an audio track. I think the easiest way to use it is by recording to AVI (very quick) and then converting to Flash SWF (slow), when you are happy with the movie. In terms of SWF settings, I found the best combination was 16 bit colour, Playback rate and Keyframe rate at 20 frames / second. It is also a good idea to set the ‘Percent of movie to preload’ to something like 15%, to get things rolling quickly for your viewers.

I’m reasonably happy with the resulting wedding registry screencast, although there is certainly room for improvement. CamStudio unfortunately doesn’t let you set the look and feel of the playback controls, so they feel a bit out of place. When I get time, I might also split the screencast into two – one from the bridal couple’s perspective, and one from a guest’s perspective.