Every day some new super hyped web service is born, and every other day some old web service is decommissioned. It’s been going on for so long, that rarely do I pay much attention to these things. I need a few recommendations. I want to hear excitement. I want to hear why and how this can be useful to me. A mere press release doesn’t cut it.
Today, I was recommended a service that is so easy and useful that it blew my mind. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you appear.in . Think of the all the good things Skype is, without all the bad things that come with it. Video, voice, and text chat, screen sharing, free, multiple participants (up to 8), private and public conversations, excellent voice and video quality, and no installation of software necessary – works right out of the browser, even on the mobile.
It’s so easy and fun to use that I’ve spent most of the day chatting to my colleagues even when they were in the same room. We had two and three way conversations with screen sharing and text messages (handy for the URLs) and it worked really well.
Come to think of it, the only thing that I didn’t see (maybe it’s there and maybe it’s not) is file transfer. But there are so many different ways these days to send a file that I don’t worry about that too much. A quality video chat with screen sharing is a different ball game altogether.
This is mighty useful for people who have a YouTube channel with plenty of videos, which they want integrated with their website. Here is just one of the example screenshots, that demonstrates that you can use thumbnails, titles, and descriptions together.
I came across an excellent tutorial on how to do screencasts in Linux. The original article is in Russian, so I just grabbed the important bits and translated them below.
Install screencast recording application. recordmydekstop is available via yum install recordmydesktop and comes with a simple and straight-forward interface for both KDE and Gnome.
Record a screencast.
If you want to edit the screencast (cut out mistakes, add music, etc), install a video editor. These came recommended: Pitivi, Kino, Kdenlive.
Edit your screencast.
Convert to AVI if needed (recommended before uploading to video hosting services, such as YouTube, as they don’t always work well with Ogg). ffmpeg -i screencast.ogv screencast.avi should do it. ffmpeg is also available in most distributions. You can play more with parameters, or prepare the video during the editing stage.
Upload the video and share.
This is the kind of a guide that I need once in a while, but which I can’t seem to find when I need it. Hopefully now that I have it blogged, it’ll come handy.