With the increasing popularity of video blogs and video tutorials (and video reviews too) you might wonder how you can make your own? This review will walk you through how to do that – and provide a little demonstration at the end so you can see the end result.
This review is the first in our series of video screen recording reviews for macOS, so at this stage it won’t highlight any differences between Apowersoft Video Screen Recorder and other products, but as I review more I will try to remember to come back to this review and update it accordingly. With that in mind, I highly recommend subscribing to our e-mail feed (it’s free) so you get alerted as this is updated. The form is to the right and we won’t send you any spam!
Apowersoft Video Screen Recorder is a relatively simple screen recording utility that seems to work very well. Initial impressions are good, although at this point I only have the trial version so I’m limited to a 3 minute demonstration. However, what I have seen so far works extremely well and with excellent results, including Minecraft for Mac (thus you can clearly record 3D games too). Installation is simply a case of clicking the install package and following a few prompts (one of which is to enter your password, as I suspect this installs some device drivers to enable it’s functionality). Then open Finder and double click on the Apowersoft Mac Recorder icon.
As you can see above left, the main application window is extremely simple (some might say bland even) – but functional. The software is ridiculously easy to use. I discovered when creating my first demo however that there is one area you need to select before beginning if you’re using a USB headset and/or microphone to do voiceovers while you’re recording… Click the Audio Input label and make sure you have the tick next to System Sound and Microphone – otherwise you’ll find your voice doesn’t work.
Clicking the record button does exactly as you’d expect and starts a recording, first giving you prompts that show you which hotkeys will do what. The biggest one to remember is likely to be ALT-E to hide the recording toolbar and ALT-T to stop the recording (ALT-S being to start). The use of hotkeys here is good because you want to concentrate on your screencast, not on the casting software itself. Clicking the Record button drops down the option of recording a region of the screen (as seen in the screenshot to the left), the whole screen, or the built in iSight webcam. If you’re using Region or Full Screen, you can choose to pop up a ‘Picture In Picture’ which will show you the contents of the webcam overlaid on the screen. I like this feature, although I hate appearing on camera, it does add a much more personal touch to your screencasts and can be useful for showing the viewer additional information where necessary. (Apologies for the image quality here, I had to use my phone for these ones!)
Clicks with the cursor are highlighted with a small round red circle so that attention is drawn to where you’re clicking, for example if you’re demonstrating how to use some particular piece of software. The colour and size of this circle can be adjusted by clicking the Options label and then clicking the ‘More Mouse Cursor Settings’.
When you’re done you can click the Convert label to convert the video to a format that is suitable for the device on which you wish to play, or you have to the option to Burn To DVD. I haven’t tried to burn it to DVD as my MacBook Pro has no DVD burner. The conversion screen opens and advises you to ‘Drag Files Here’. Unfortunately dragging the file from the main screen doesn’t work (a bit of an oversight I think since that’s the logical place you’d drag from) but you can right click on the main screen, choose Show In Finder and drag from there. Alternatively, right click over the video in the main window and clicking Convert from there automatically loads into the Convert window. The advertising blurb on the website says ‘Upload to YouTube’ but this isn’t done internally within the application, so you’ll need to work out how to do that yourself – which is a bit of a shame, particularly when Apowersoft have other software that interfaces neatly with YouTube. That said, there’s a whole range of video sites you might want to upload to and I suspect if they supported one site, people would want all the others too. Uploading shouldn’t be hard anyway. The conversion on my 3 minute demo was extremely quick and painless.
I’ve also had a play with the demo and can confirm that screen recording works with Minecraft for Mac (both in window and full screen mode) and Eve Online. I did notice some odd happenings with Eve Online, such as the screen resolution being a bit off and I’m not sure if that’s something that Apowersoft Recorder for Mac has altered or whether something else has changed it.
Once recorded you may wish to edit your video, perhaps to clip bits out, add annotations after the fact, or blur out sensitive information. The package does not allow this natively, and right clicking over your screencast and clicking edit will redirect you to the Apowersoft Video Editor, which appears at the time of writing to be a free download and will be the subject of an additional review which I’ll write later.
Apowersoft Screen Recorder for Mac is a simple tool but seems very effective and works well. At the time of writing it’s priced at US$39.95 which seems to be quite a bit cheaper than many of its competitors. Some of those competitors appear more polished and have additional features built in (such as the editing and uploading facilities) but without doing a proper review I can’t say for sure (check back regularly for updates as I get more information). However, the price point for the ability to record your screens for demonstrations, tutorials, videoblogs and even just to keep things for posterity is good and the software does everything I think I’d need it to.
You may find nowadays that something like Wondershare Filmora 9 offers better value for money though. The Windows version of Filmora 9 is just $59.99 as is the Mac version. That’s a one of payment which gives you screen recording AND video editing all in one package. If you prefer the subscription model it’s around $45 per year for the Mac version. I’ve done a review of Wondershare Filmora 9 for Mac over here…
But thus far, Apowersoft support has been very good, so this product gets a decent thumbs up from us. It could use a little more design flair on the interface perhaps, and some of the typography on buttons and drop down menus is a little odd (for example, every single macOS application I’ve seen uses File->Preferences notation for preferences, whereas Apowersoft have decided to opt for File->Options instead). But these are minor things for a product that you just want to work and this is by far the easiest screencast recorder I’ve seen so far (I have used a couple of others but not in enough depth to review yet).
- Design - 7/107/10
- Features - 8/108/10
- Cost - 9/109/10
- Ease Of Use - 10/1010/10
- Customer Support - 10/1010/10
- Overall Value - 9/109/10
Positives: Easy to use, cheaper than alternatives, great results.
Negatives: Bland design, no easy Upload button, Editing not included.