Hi folks,

I just had to share this! Quite often, the challenges of delivering audio/visual instruction include bandwidth, compression, format, and clarity of content – not to mention cost of software. Well, there is a great tool being offered by TechSmith: The Jing Project.

This tool is AWESOME! If you need to create content to deliver via streaming, this is the tool! It is available for multiple platforms – so no more arguments over PC/Mac. It is easily installed and it runs in the background – it’s there when you need it. It’s easy to use, has a quick instruction guide, and it stores your projects on THEIR servers so you’re not eating up your memory or bandwidth. Just click, create, and then link to the file from your site.  They provide you with 200MB of hosting space and 1GB of bandwidth a month.  That’s sufficient for hosting a few short video tutorials accessed by a class of say 20-25 student users a month.

I’ve never seen clearer screen captures and video-captures of my desktop. It’s AMAZING! So, check this out. They have stated that it is FREE for now (with free sign up), but may become a pay-for-use service later. However, they will provide you with a reasonable time window to allow you to make that decision and download all of your files prior to going to a for-fee service.

If you decide to upgrade to their Jing Pro tool, then you can save your files in MPEG 4 AVC (HD .264) format – which is totally awesome!  You can also publish directly to YouTube, the Jing logos are removed from your content, and if you have a Mac running OS X Leopard you can use the webcam with the application.  All this for only $14.95/year.  If you want additional hosting, you can purchase a plan with http://screencast.com.

The only catch:  how to make this accessibility compliant? Hmm…you can use Camtasia to edit your Jing files, but you need to have purchased this program.  You could publish to YouTube, and then YouTube allows you to caption your files.  So, that should solve the problem, no?

It’s worth checking out. Especially if you’ve been running “SnapzPro” or some other fee-based software (I’m on a Mac).

- Mary