Iris Screen Recorder: A fast way to grab Mac screen videos

Iris: Screen Recorder

Whether you're teaching others about how to use their Macs or creating podcasts, you may find that capturing a video of what you're doing with your machine is the best way to show people what's going on. Iris Screen Recorder (free, with US$19.99 in-app purchase to remove watermark) does the job perfectly, making screen video captures easy and fast.

Once you've installed Iris from the Mac App Store, launching the app puts a tiny camera iris in your menu bar. That's your only indication that Iris is ready to go. When you're ready to capture video, you can either select the recording option from the menu or use a keyboard hot key that you've set up in the preferences.

You can choose whether or not to have a countdown before the recording starts -- for doing screencasts, I find that this is a great way to get prepared to start speaking. You can hide all but the active application before recording by checking a box in the app preferences, and the app uses hardware acceleration by default.

If you'd like to hide your desktop (perhaps it's littered with folders and files), you can select an image or a color to hide your desktop with. During your recording, you'll probably want to call out your mouse clicks and drags, so you can select a highlight type and a highlight color to make sure your viewers see what's going on.

You don't have to record the entire screen; if you're trying to focus on a specific window or app, you can shrink the capture area down to its size. Recordings can be set to start and end on a timer, perfect if you're trying to capture something that's being streamed to your Mac at a particular time.

You can also set up Iris to capture a "talking head". That's usually the person behind the keyboard, and it's a great way to let people who are watching the video actually see who's doing the narration. Once again, you can toggle the talking head on and off, so the face doesn't need to be on the screen constantly.

As I say in the screen capture/review embedded above, I like Iris a lot and found it to be a smooth, fast, and non-disruptive app for doing screen videos. However, I think the price might be a bit high and would suggest to the developer that he look into cutting that price in half. You can see that Iris works well with the current beta version (GM) of OS X 10.10 Yosemite, so I have the funny feeling TUAW readers might be seeing a lot of the fruits of this app in the near future.