Re: Camtasia, Captivate, and other commercial or freebies

Subject: Re: Camtasia, Captivate, and other commercial or freebies
From: Jan Cohen <najnehoc -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Rob Hudson <caveatrob -at- gmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 23:47:31 -0700 (PDT)


I'm assuming you're concerned about file sizes because you want to make the course-ware available via the Internet. If that's the case, file size is going to be an issue whether you use Camtasia or Captivate, and from where I sit, it's a moot point. Different tricks can be used with either tool to help minimize file sizes and bandwidth usage. IMHO, your real limitations are going to be determined by:

1. how you want to go about making your presentations;
2. how much you're willing to spend on software tools;
3. availability of knowledgeable/experienced resources that
can use those software tools to create elearning packages.

If you already own a licensed version of Camtasia and know how to use it, you might want to stick with it, especially if you plan on incorporating separate streaming video (e.g., like a real live teacher leading the way) into your course-ware. Half your battle would probably be done then. If I had to make the decision though, based on the goal to produce short five to ten-minute tutorials supporting your web-based software, I'd select Captivate. It's more geared toward that sort of work. I've also a preference for it, as I know Flash & Actionscript, and have been using Captivate and its predecessors since the tool was known as Flash Cam. That's not to say that Camtasia isn't a good tool and that course-ware produced using Camtasia can't be wrapped into a larger package and be made to look and feel like a Flash-based presentation. It's just that I am more comfortable (meaning efficient) working with Captivate.

Btw, don't know if you're aware of it or not, but Microsoft is developing a tool called Silverlight, Microsoft's answer to Flash-based movies. I'm not sure how long off a stable version is, but I do know that beta testing has been going on for some time now and that when it finally is released in stable form, it, too, may eventually have some sort of impact on course-ware development. That's probably a ways off though.

jan cohen

----- Original Message ----
From: Rob Hudson <caveatrob -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, September 6, 2007 12:24:10 AM
Subject: Re: Camtasia, Captivate, and other commercial or freebies

Hmm. I guess the idea that Camtasia can save as Flash is kind of moot,
since it probably just saves the video with Flash compression. Or
something. I don't understand Flash well enough to know how either
Camtasia or Captivate creates Flash output.

Are the resulting file sizes comparable, or does one package create a
file that's overwhelmingly larger in the same format (e.g. Flash)?




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