Interesting that I'm more excited about Jing being Techsmith's first foray into OSX than I am about the product itself, but there you go! It's available for Windows too, but only XP and Vista, not 2K, which is what I run at the office, so I haven't played with it on the Windows side. Techsmith makes SnagIt and Camtasia Studio, two screen capture products I use regularly (pretty much every day for SnagIt). Jing is a different twist on those products.
Jing is like a stripped-down version of SnagIt and Camtasia in one small package. The idea is to be able to quickly capture either an image (with annotations if you like) or a short video screencast (5 minutes or less, can include audio) and then immediately upload that puppy to Techsmith's Screencast.com site (account included with the software) and have a URL pasted to your clipboard ready to paste into a blog comment field or an email. That's it.
Doesn't sound revolutionary, but it could really come in handy - it's almost impossible to leave any rich media in a blog comment field, but it's usually possible to leave a URL, so if you want to illustrate something (picture or video) to go along with your comment, this is a really easy way to do that.
This is beta software so expect a glitch or two, but it does seem to work pretty well. There's no documentation on how it works that I can find, but it's simple enough that you don't really need it.
How will I use it to support my distance students? I often use a series of screen captures to illustrate how to search for a particular subject in one of our databases. A screencast might be a more effective way to illustrate a simple concept, but firing up Camtasia Studio and then rendering and uploading the finished product is too much of a hassle. Jing is always on in the background, ready to capture what you're doing - I could capture the few steps I took for the student along with audio, immediately have it uploaded and then just pop that URL into the email to the student.
A history of previous captures (image and video) is always available as well, so if you make that first video generic enough, you can send it over and over again to as many students as necessary (and remember you're just sending the URL, so no email filesize limits to worry about).
So here's a quick video capture for you.
And here's an image capture.
Doesn't make a lot of sense in this context where I could just as easily embed an image, but again imagine a blog comment field, or a Facebook Wall post, or anywhere bandwidth is an issue and you'll start to see some possibilities.
I'm really hoping that this means a full-fledged version of SnagIt and Captivate are on the way for OSX! Jing is free to download, and there's a blog for the project as well.
Technorati Tags: Jing, Techsmith, OSX, Screencasting