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The Couch-Fort: Noise-Canceling for Screencasts

February 16, 2011

Who doesn’t love a great screencast? They are as popular as ever as a way to keep consumers informed about new products, design enhancements and software updates. We like the recent screencast from Skype, delivered as one would expect — using Skype — to introduce a slick new design and enhanced features.

But producing a quality screencast poses a series of audio and visual challenges, each one more than likely resulting in another time-consuming take. Screen grabs, using products like Jing or Quicktime, can always be improved though techniques like panning, zooming and screen-switching. Then comes sound. We’ve heard audio tracks that come through crystal-clear with the use of fancy microphones and soundproof rooms. As a lean startup, however, we tried something different. Chris (Community Director) and Matt (Research Director) improvised in the BetterLesson office kitchen, creating a fort-like structure out of couch pillows to block out any external sounds and absorb any potential echo:

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The screen grabs in our most recent screencast (seen below) on our new home page could always be improved, but we think the sound is great, given the setup. Tell us what kinds of tricks your startup uses to produce the perfect screencast.

An Introduction to BetterLesson from BetterLesson on Vimeo.

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