That whooshing sound you hear is knowledge escaping your organization. I hear this noise all the time at the University of Hawaii whenever a great lecturer does a one-of-a-kind masterpiece on free electron lasers, undersea observatories, modern art or any of the subjects offered at a modern university. InfoWorld has been using screencasting technology for years (heck one of our editors is even credited with coining the term) However, at around $300 a pop most folks can't really afford to spread this wonderful technology around (especially students). However, all that will change now that Camtasia Relay Server has emerged from the NDA Veil after a well populated beta test.
I lurked in the beta program for a bit, listening to others tinkering, making suggestions and in general diving in with both feet. With academia heavily represented I saw the product morph and shimmer as the beta program folks at TechSmith were informed of what did and didn't work; what folks liked and what they hated. I've been involved with lots of beta programs, but this was by far one of the most vocal groups posting notes about being hip deep in tinkering and finding a glitch.
I'm predicting that Camtasia Relay Server is going to be a paradigm shift because it's dead easy to use, works equally well on PC's or Mac's and shifts the cost from the client to the server. Licensing is being done by how many simultaneous video render jobs it will handle at a time with the single job version starting at $7,995.00 ($4,995 for education). What really makes this scalable is that you can setup a cluster of Relay servers that will load share the rendering function. So for instance, if my IT group decides to adopt this tech (I'm crossing my fingers), they could setup perhaps 3 physical servers, each with a 3 render job at a time license, and be able to handle 9 jobs at a time. Inexpensive enough that clients could be made for faculty, staff and students!
System Requirements and Availability
The Camtasia Relay presenter recorders runs on Windows XP and Vista, and Mac OS X 10.4 and higher. Camtasia Relay server runs on Windows Server 2003. The suggested retail price of Camtasia Relay starts at $7,995.00; the suggested academic price is $4,995.00 for a single server license. The presenter recorders can be installed free of charge. A 30-day trial of Camtasia Relay is available. For additional information visit: www.techsmith.com/camtasiarelay.asp
The key features are: