Imagine going back to a time when gigantic encyclopedias were required to understand how to use any new hardware you purchased. Even they fell short of fully explaining how something worked. Fast forward to these modern times where we can condense the entire experience into a short video, eliminating room for human error. Being technologists, we are always in dire need of the right tools for the job, since there is only so much you can do with a hand held camera. That is why we have tools like Video Screen Recorder, SCR, Screencast and Recorder and Acala. However, they all seem to pale in comparison when the market has something like the free Screen Replay for Mac. I love it, let me walk you through why.
The first thing you notice about using Screen Replay is the miserly approach to layout. There are no loud windows, or intrusive pop-ups, no unintelligible menus. Just a pauperly icon sitting in the menu bar, awaiting your order on when to commence recording. Tech tips and guides rely desperately on screenshots to help specify a point, but I was genuinely worried about how I’d go about it. I have the icon, I have the menubar button and that covers everything. This is as simple as pointing with your finger.
Speaking of absurdly simple, the above paragraph features a succinct guide to operate the app. However in service of simplicity, let’s just talk about it. Launch the app and click on the menu bar icon to start recording. Now, everything you do will be part of the video, including sound. The app uses the internal mic to record the audio in real time, so this is about as perfect a home based video guide solution as you can imagine wanting. Stop recording exactly the way you started it and it will launch the video via Quicktime. The default location for saved files is in the Movies folder. If you want to quit the app, the default ⌘+q won’t work, you will have to do it from the menubar icon.
You can create entire video tutorials using this app, if you are familiar with basic editing techniques, you can even swap in audio if you want. The best part of it was that the app recorded with the exact resolution that I was viewing in. On my MBPr, it recorded at a stable 2560 x 1600 resolution, nary a lag, no jumps and no framerate drops/spikes. The app claims to be able to record as high a resolution as the screen supports, so if you are running 4k resolutions, your guides are probably going to be the highest resolution on Youtube, all the while you end up with very manageable file sizes – depending on runtime of course. A sample is attached below (make sure you click on blue “Download” button in the upper right corner for the full quality, the playback version is highly compressed).
As far as apps go, you would be hard pressed to find a better alternative, you really would. I am genuinely considering using this instead of writing about content in the future. It would make things so much simpler wouldn’t it?
Download sample here [43.9MB]
Get Screen Replay here [Free]