Blurring sensitive data in Screencasts!

Warning: Rant!

Screencasts have taken off in a big way recently and is one of the best ways to learn or explain “stuff” ( yeah, really technical wording there!). On the Mac side of things numerous tools are available for screencasting like iShowU, Screenflow, Camtasia (for the Mac), Screnium etc. You’ve got to wonder, if so many applications are coming up then screencasting must really be a big thing. Its actually the boom in podcasting that has brought about the explosion of screencasts and its become a norm to now provide not only screenshots of a new application but also a screencast video showing how your app works!Youtube has also been a major factor in this phenomena, you can find everything from Photoshop post-processing screencasts to really niche screencasting sites like Bioscreencast which specializes exclusively in screencasts related to bioinformatics.

I have been playing around with Google wave for some time now and wanted to make a screencast of a few tricks that I learnt along the way. The problem is that casual screencasters like me don’t have dedicated machines for just screencasting – so when I use my personal machine/account for the job I do not prefer to share my contacts to the world. I quickly thought that applications like Screenflow and Camtasia should have a feature to selectively blur content (in this case email addresses & profile images) on a screencast.

After about fumbling around for more than hour I realised the fact that almost none of the currently available screencasting applications on the Mac provide this feature. Camtasia from Techsmith which has been one of the most popular screencasting apps has this feature in the Windows version of their Camtasia suite but not on the Mac! Seriously, is this such a tough feature to implement in a screencasting app? I mean all the apps support screencasting at HD resolution! but do not feature an essential requirement like blurring sensitive data on a screencast..come on!

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