Create Free Screencasts With ScreenToaster

One of my favorite basic computer functions is the “Print Screen” button. I can’t even begin to count how many times a day I rely on the button to work in Photoshop, illustrate existing ideas to friends and colleagues, and keep an archive of sites/functionality that I like.

I’ve often wished there was an additional button on my keyboard that would allow me not just to take an image – but to record the screen.

While there is no single key command for this, there is an amazing – and free – Website that does the task, and does it well.

ScreenToaster can be used to record what is on your screen, anywhere, anytime. There is no download and it is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It’s a great way to record screencasts, tutorials, demos, training, lectures and more.

Once your video is complete, they can be shared online, embedded on Websites or sent by e-mail. There’s an option to save as either a .mov or .swf file and upload to either the ScreenToaster servers or YouTube.

You’ll need to give a Java applet permission to access your screen. You’ll then have to decide if you want to record the full desktop and whether or not you want the audio on or off. As a general rule, I have found it better to keep the audio off and add that layer after the video has been recorded.

Videos can be set to private, accessible only by a unique URL.

A simple keyboard command of ALT+S will start/pause recording. A dialogue box indicating the length and size of your video runs in the background.

There are “Geek settings” that allow you to adjust the playback speed of the video and change the bitrate (coming soon).

At only eight months old, ScreenToaster has just been purchased by Veodia, an enterprise video solution aimed towards businesses.

You can read more about the acquisition at TechCrunch.