If like us, you often need to create screen casts (in our case for our YouTube video reviews) you’ll want a solid, reliable and easy to use screen recording app.

We’ve recently been using IShowU HD, but another app has come along – the fantastic Screenflow.

The Screenflow start-up screen offers up quick recording options, and allows for quick changes. Yes that is a Steve Jobs style black polo neck ­čÖé

We first tried Screenflow several months ago and loved it! It works somewhat differently to IshowU in that it lets you adjust and manipulate the recording via a super simple editor after recording. Screenflow’s built in editor works literally by dragging and dropping, and offers up the ability to mute audio, split videos and add clever transitions between videos – making it one of the most worthy competitors in this field. You can quite happily record and edit a video in Screenflow without using any other app!

The Simple UI is refreshing and intuitive to use!

When you hit record in Screenflow, you are given several options of what to record. ScreenFlow supports recording from the inbuilt mac cameras and mics, as well as application sound and obviously the screen. This is pretty handy as don’t always wish to record everything. Once you’ve chosen your selection, you’ll be taken to the recording, and be given a count down from 5 seconds. You can skip that by clicking and then you’re free to get going.

Once your done, simply hit CMD, SHIFT and 2. Then Screenflow opens up the fantastic in built editor. Here you can sounds, additional media (such as a title graphic), text boxes and transitions. I love the Screenflow interface, it makes editing and publishing videos very quick. Speaking of publishing, you can hit the publish to YouTube button, and your video will load directly from ScreenFlow to YouTube, with the app asking for video titles and description. This is a very plush and speedy way to upload to YouTube, doing away with the need to then visit YouTube to upload your exported movie.

ScreenFlow movie projects can be saved as raw project files too, so you can return at a later date and alter the video.

Noteworthy features

Powerful & Flexible recording

ScreenFlow makes use of a custom multi threaded SSE & Altivec accelerated, 64-bit enabled compression systems, meaning ScreenFlow can handle everything from capturing DVD’s, screen casts & YouTube videos to keynote presentations, which is incredibly versatile!

Record Everything

You don’t need to pick an area of the screen for capture, ScreenFlow has advanced algorithms that only encode areas of change on your screen. Screenflow also has the ability to differentiate between the foreground window and background apps, and can dim / blur out the background accordingly.

Highlight

During your screen capture, ScreenFlow tracks where the mouse cursor is, when you click and when you press a key. later you can then add effects to the cursor, even adding your own custom cursor. You can zoom into the mouse, or add mouse click effects to highlight the mouse location. You can also display┬á keystrokes. This works well in practice and adds an extra edge to your videos – plus these features allow you to create accessible videos.

Edit

Once your screen capture is complete, you’re transported to the ScreenFlow editor. Using a familiar timeline interface, ScreenFlow lets you easily add zoom & pan effects, trim clips, add drop shadow & reflection, adjust audio levels etc. You can even combine existing media into your screencast. That means you can quite easily import logo overlays, title cards, extra videos, sound and simply drag them into place. Creating videos this way is very quick and easy. Highly recommended!

Adding additional media, such as voiceovers and additional videos is a cinch!

ScreenFlow also supports actions. These add extra elements and alterations. For example, adding a video action lets you put zoom & pan effects on your clips or dim the background to highlight the foreground window. You can also alter audio in a similar way part-way through clips to fade out music to vocals for example.

Powerful titling

ScreenFlow supports titling and text objects, including multiple fonts and styles that enables you to add striking titles to your screencasts. These look professional and are very easy to create.

Pause Screen Recordings:

Ever need to take a break in a lengthy screen cast? Screenflow allows for this with unlimited freezing and resuming of the screencast.

Audio Edits

Separate audio and video in the editor, then edit the audio, remove it, or apply it to another project.

Optimized for Mac OS X

ScreenFlow makes use of: Core Animation, QuickLook, Spotlight, QTKit, Quartz Composer, OpenGL, Core Image, Automator, Core Data and many others. ScreenFlow also supports Apple’s latest OS Snow Leopard – ensuring the app performs with no noticeable lag or random crashing.

Demo

Our YouTube channel is filling up with awesome video reviews, most of them recorded via ScreenFlow, such as this one (incorporating multiple videos and sound recordings was a no-brainer)

Conclusion

ScreenFlow is brilliant app. It’s easy to use, quick to set-up and very simple – anyone can record professional looking screencasts and videos. The in-built editing features even make ScreenFlow a basic video editor, possibly even better than iMovie 09 which lacks some of the features ScreenFlow packs – noticeably screen recording and audio editing. In built publishing to YouTube makes uploading videos painless and a breeze.

ScreenFlow costs $99 for a single user licence and is available from:

http://www.telestream.net/screen-flow/overview.htm.