The only thing that normally stands between you and a really great screencast app for your Mac is possible the really large price tag that some of the best screen casting tools come with. It’s rather disappointing if you look at the situation; many apps in the Mac App store have paid light versions which have you pay anywhere between $1 – $5 for limited time recording of your screen. Ripcorder Screen is a free Mac App available in the Mac App Store that not only provides you unlimited recording time, but also supports multiple screens, highlights mouse clicks and allows you stop recording automatically when the custom time (set by the user, of course) runs out. The only catch here is that it doesn’t support audio recording. That might render it useless if you plan to do a voice over but if you’re just going to add music to the video later, this app is all you need. It runs in the Menu Bar and shows the entire recording in a small screen that can be hidden as per your preference.
The app has an impressive and minimalistic non-interfering interface though the Dock icon is unnecessary. Once launched, it sits in the Menu Bar and that’s where you start a recording from. When you click its Menu Bar icon, a small screen pops up with controls for recording, pausing or stopping the app, accessing its options and your previously recorded screen casts, and a tiny screen that shows whatever is being recording. If you click the app’s icon after initiating a recording, the screen will disappear.
One of the best features of this app is that it supports multiple screens and allows you to choose which one you want to record. From the app’s little Menu Bar window, click the cog wheel button and go to the ‘Settings’ tab. Here you can select a screen to record from, record the full screen or limit it to a particular area and select the video quality.
To highlight the clicks you make or to auto-stop the recording after a specific time period, head over to the ‘Advanced’ tab and check the ‘Highlight Mouse Click in Video’ option and the ‘Automatically stop recording…’ option.
Once you’ve made these settings, click the little red record button and then click the app icon again to hide the window. Once you’re done recording, stop recording from the app’s Menu bar window and from the button next to the cog wheel one, access your recording. The recording can be deleted, played, and exported. By default, the app plays the videos itself but when you export it, it saves the video to MOV format which you can play in QuickTime. The list of recordings can be sorted by date of creation when viewed in the app.
Ripcorder Screen adds no watermark whatsoever to the recording and is, truly amazing. You might think that it not supporting audio is a slight disadvantage but there aren’t that many people who add a live voice over to their screencasts. Although the app is about as feature rich as a free app can get and it might be a bit unfair to ask the developer to add more, we’d still like to see a keyboard shortcut for starting / stopping the recording so that the app’s Menu Bar window does not appear at the start and end of all videos.
Ripcorder Screen is free and lets hope it stays that way, but just in case, download and install it for no apparent reason and bequeath it to your kids if you have to because the app is amazing.