If you are looking for a way to record your screen, you have maybe heard about the Screencast-O-Matic screen recorder.
I have tested this tool, and it definitely has some great advantages, BUT it also has some shortcomings, you need to be aware of.
In this Screencast-O-Matic review you will learn, what you can and what you cannot do with this tool, so you can easily find out, if it fits your needs or not.
Screencast-O-Matic at a Glance
Screencast-O-Matic is easy to use, but it also has some shortcomings. Especially if you are looking for a free screen recorder – in my opinion Screencast-O-Matic should not advertise itself as being free, as it is very limited what you can use the free version for.
What is Screencast-O-Matic and what does it offer?
Screencast-O-Matic is an easy-to-use screen recorder. It has both a free and a paid version (I will get to the differences between these versions later).
It has most of what you need to do screen recordings whether it is for tutorials, recorded reviews, etc.
But let’s go over the main features it offers, so you can see for yourself, if it offers what you need. Be aware that some of these features are only available in the paid version, as I will explain later:
Regular screen recordings with sound:
As the name suggest, Screencast-O-Matic can be used to record your screen for whatever purpose, adn you can recird your voice at the same time. I first heard about it, when I was looking for a good tool for this a while ago.
Compared to some other options, I find that it is very easy to use and get started, which I really like. Once you have it downloaded, it is very intuitive to find out how to do a recording.
You just select the part of your screen you want to record, and then press record. Very simple. However, even though it is very easy to use, I recommend you to read the rest of this review, before running off to download it. After testing it, I have found some shortcomings, you need to be aware of.
Recordings with webcam:
You can use Screencast-O-Matic to record with your webcam. You can just record with your webcam, just record the screen, or a combination where you record your screen, while the webcam records you in the corner of the screen.
This is a very useful tool. I use the combination of webcam and screen recordings a lot myself, when I do product reviews or tutorials. It makes it more personal, when your visitors can see your face and see who is talking.
So definitely a feature that in my opinion is a must in any screen recorder.
Draw, zoom, and text in your recordings:
While you are recording in Screencast-O-Matic, you can zoom in or out, you can draw, or you can write text.
These features can be very handy – especially if you are doing tutorials. The zoom function can be great to show parts of your screen that might otherwise be a bit small, which can be very user-friendly to do. Especially when you consider that many of your visitors will probably watch your videos on a mobile device.
The drawing and text writing functions are great ways to emphasize on important parts of the screen. For example, if you do a tutorial and want to show where you need to click etc.
Scripted recordings are a very interesting option that Screencast-O-Matic has. It can be handy, if you prefer preparing and writing down scripts for videos in advance.
You can then upload and record your script first. After that, you can have the script on the screen and do your screen recording while listening to the sound.
It is a way to be sure to make professional recordings, where you do not make any mistakes. But it will of course also take some extra time to write down the exact script. Personally, I prefer just writing down a rough idea of a script, but not an exact script.
I think exact scripts that are read out loud often sounds mechanic and not natural. It of course depends on how you do it, and the scripted recording function can be a great way to make very precise videos. It is not a feature I like to use, as I like to keep my videos more conversational, but it might be exactly what you are looking for.
Screencast-O-Matic also has a video editing tool. After you have made recordings, you often need to do a little editing after, so you need some kind of tool for this, if you are making videos regularly.
The video editing tool that is a part of Screencast-O-Matic is not something you can get to test without paying for it, so it will be hard for you to find out, if it is a good tool for you, before you buy. This is a shame, and a bit strange that you do not have this option.
These are the main features Screencast-O-Matic offers. When you first get to the website, you will however see that you can also sign up for an account.
What is a Screencast-O-Matic account?
On Screencast-O-Matic’s website you are able to sign up for an account. Be aware that you do not have to sign up for this account to be able to use the recorder.
It is an account that is mostly relevant, if you want to upgrade to the paid version. You will just get access to a dashboard, where you can see your products and info about how to upgrade.
So do not worry about signing up for the account, if you just want to test Screencast-O-Matic for free to see, if it is a tool for you.
How to start using Screencast-O-Matic?
There are two ways you can start using Screencast-O-Matic. You can either launch the recorder in your web browser, or you can download it is a program on your computer and launch it from here.
It seems like Screencast-O-Matic prefer, if people are using the web browser option, as this is the default option, when you go to the website. When you click the “start recording” button, a web browser application will be installed and launched. It takes a little while the first time, but will be faster next time you use it, as it is then already installed.
You can however also download Screencast-O-Matic as a program. It is not easy to find this option, but I found it by going to the support section => common issues => recorder won’t launch from web browser. Here you will find a link to the download option.
Personally, I think it is great to have it downloaded. If you use the web browser option, you have to go to Screencast-O-Matic’s website every time you want to launch it, which is a bit annoying. Furthermore, with the downloaded option, you can also do recordings, even when you are not online.
Once you have found the option you want to use, the recorder is very straight forward to use. Screencast-O-Matic also has many video tutorials on their website that can show you the details, if you need further help to get started. So it will not be a problem for you to figure out how to use it.
Who can use it?
I have not been able to find out, if the web browser recorder can only be used for certain browsers. I could not find any information about this. So since there is no information about it, I assume that it is because it can be used for more or less any browser.
If not, it would be strange that the web browser option is the default option, when you try to start a recording.
If you want to download Screencast-O-Matic, you can do it for Windows and Mac.
Paid vs. free version
As I already mentioned in the beginning of this review, Screencast-O-Matic has both a free version and a paid version.
It is important to know the differences between these two versions.
The free version has a lot of restrictions, and most of the features I described above are only available in the paid version. You can do a normal recording and use your webcam, but the rest of the features are only available in the paid version.
An important restriction for the free version you need to know is the time and watermark. In the free version, you can only record 15 minutes per recording. This is still long enough for many needs, but be aware there will be a watermark, when you use the free version:
As you can see on the image above, there will be a Screencast-O-Matic logo in the bottom corner of your recording. It might not look very big on the image, but it is quite visible, if you watch a video where it is, and it attracts a lot of attention.
In my opinion, this makes the free version more or less useless. It looks very unprofessional to have a watermark like that in the corner. I therefore only recommend you to use the free version to test the tool – if you are using recordings for your business or website, you should not have a watermark from another brand on them.
If you want a free screen recorder without watermark, I would instead suggest you to check out Icecream Screen Recorder. Here you will have access to all the features and no watermark even in the free version.
If you want the paid version of Screencast-O-Matic, it cost $1.5 per month, but you have to pay annually, so it will cost you $18, and you will then have a license for 1 year.
Refer friends to get a discount
Screencast-O-Matic gives you the option to get a discount, if you invite friends to use the tool. To get access to this, you need to create an account on the website.
You will then see the link you need to share with people, and how many people that have joined through that link. Every time a person joins and pays for the tool (be aware that the person has to pay for you to get a discount), you will get 20% discount on your upgrade.
So if 5 people join and pay, you will be able to get a free upgrade. You will not be able to get anything paid out in cash, in case more than 5 people join. Not really that great of a deal in my opinion.
You probably need to put quite a lot of work and effort into referring 5 people, and you will only get a discount of $3.6 per person that joins. If you want to get the pro version of Screencast-O-Matic, you should consider this, and consider if it is not better to just pay.
And if you want to make money by referring people to products, you should instead look into affiliate marketing, as there are products with a lot better commissions that will be worth the effort compared to the commissions Screencast-O-Matic will give you.
Screencast-O-Matic definitely has some opportunities, and it is a great tool in many ways. It does however also have some shortcomings – it very much depends on your needs, but you need to consider the pros and cons before joining.
So let’s sum up the pros and cons to get a better overview:
- Easy to use
- Has a free version, so you can test some of the features
- Fairly cheap pro version
- Free version is useless for professional use
- You cannot test most of the features before paying
- Difficult to find out where to download the program
If you are looking for a free tool to do screen recordings, I would NOT suggest you to use Screencast-O-Matic. The free version has too many restrictions, and it also has a watermark that makes your recordings look unprofessional.
So if you want a free recorder without any restrictions, I would suggest you to look into Icecream screen recorder instead. That is the recorder I am using myself, and I am very happy with it.
If you do not mind paying for Screencast-O-Matic, then it can be a good tool. So whether Screencast-O-Matic is the right tool for you, all depends on your preferences and your needs.
If you have any comments, questions, or have any experiences with Screencast-O-Matic yourself, feel free to leave a comment below.