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ScreenFlow 1.5, now with 100% more text annotation


For semi-pro and professional screencasters working on Macs, Screenflow has reigned for a year as the closest thing available to the Windows-only category leader Camtasia Studio. It not only records your screen, your video camera or iSight, your audio input and system audio simultaneously, it provides a full editing suite and allows callouts, edits and cuts to be made in post, within the application.

It's been one year since the initial release, and the development of Screenflow has continued steadily ... despite company acquisitions. On the mutli-talented application's first birthday, parent company Telestream has announced version 1.5 with custom mouse cursors, WMV export, new audio effects, automatic stereo mixing of single-channel microphones and ... titling.

The oft-requested titling feature comes in multiple flavors of awesome. Text titles with customizable fonts and colors can be free-standing or placed on backgrounds consisting of rectangles or rounded rectangles filled with colors, gradients or images, all with variable opacity. The titles or annotations become text layers and can be manipulated just like video layers, with 3-D rotation, scaling, transparency, fades ... the sky seems to be the limit.

I quickly discovered that the background image capability meant I could insert entire screenshots or pictures into an edit, and the text layer becomes a floating image, complete with a title floating above it, which could be zoomed and manipulated onscreen. If you can't make the array of existing tools do what you want ... you can do it in Photoshop and use it in ScreenFlow.

The custom mouse cursors include a fingertip cursor designed specifically for iPhone developers presenting screencasts on the simulator. You can have some fun with the cursors no matter what your game, though; they're treated as events and can be changed at will throughout the edit.

Earlier this year I received a very polite letter from the Camtasia Mac crew, informing me that I had not been entered into the limited beta. Crestfallen though I am, I wouldn't have been able to draw comparisons while it was in private beta anyway, and ScreenFlow is rapidly taking on features which I was hoping for in Camtasia Mac, making it a moot point -- for now. I look forward with great anticipation to the future development of ScreenFlow, and the rising level of coolness in the screecasts it's powered. The upgrade is free for existing users, new users can download a free trial and purchase for $99US.

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