Byzanz is a Linux desktop recorder that also doubles as a command line tool. With it, you will be able to record your current desktop screen or specific regions of the same in a wide range of formats. Byzanz has been recognized to be particularly useful when sharing screen captures on the web. To those of us who have been used to graphical user interface applications, you will need to learn about using the Linux terminal in order to get started with this tool.
Why do I say this? It is because all processes are triggered by writing commands with no menus and options to interact with. Luckily enough, there is a panel applet for Byzanz that can be used to escape the terminal. The support and development of this app may have stopped years ago but still works in the majority of the Linux distributions.
Even if Byzanz uses the command line, it does not mean that getting started with the app is something out of this world. All you need to do is understand the commands, the syntax and what each component is used for. I can assure you that the learning curve is not that steep if at all you have knowledge on how to get around the Linux terminal. This review article seeks to find out what features you get with Byzanz. Do not let the terminal scare you as this tool comes with handy features for your screencasting activities. Read on to learn more.
Byzanz mainly records the screen in animated GIF format by default. This is usually after you have indicated the mode you are recording the screen in. Is it in full screen, window or an arbitrary region mode? You just need to decide on the most appropriate mode to use and then get started. For the screencast, you have to set the duration with the default being 10 seconds.
When recording the screen, a range of saving formats is provided by Byzanz including animated GIF, Ogg Theora, byzanz, and Flash (FLV)/WebM. Just select the one that you prefer and get started with it within no time. The animated GIF is mostly useful if you want to record mostly a static screen that does not have many colors.
It also results in a small file that is pretty fast and convenient when sharing to the target audience. Byzanz is an internal debugging format that is handy when benchmarking this app or when you need to convert the recording to other formats later. The Ogg format is best suited when you need to make dynamic captures that include audio. FLV format is normally lossless and mostly used when you need to post-process files in other applications.
Depending on the format you choose to record your screencast in, audio can be enabled and captured together with the screen recording. Apart from the animated GIF format, all other supported file format can have audio recorded together with the video. Do not make a mistake of selecting a format that does not include audio while in actual sense you must have audio as part of the final video. An error will be generated when you try to record audio with a format that does not support it.
Record Mouse Cursor
When it comes to screencasts that carry tutorials, walkthroughs and any other content that requires interaction with the mouse, recording the cursor becomes a must-have option. Byzanz does not let you down here in case you need to do exactly this. This Linux application will let you capture the mouse cursor conveniently as the need may arise. This is a feature that is not available in most of the other tools.
Choose Display To Record
Most of us like connecting out Linux computers to other external displays and depending on the number you have connected, Byzanz is able to record from the exact screen you specify. Normally, displays will be named with numbers so you just have to pick the one with the content of interest.
To make sure you are actually ready by the time the screen recording process starts, a customizable delay option is available that can be likened to the countdown feature in other GUI and similar functioning apps. Set the value of choice making it neither too low nor too high to avoid long waits and not waits at all.
Customizable with Bash Script
The capability of Byzanz can be extended using bash scripts created by other Linux users which can be obtained from the AskUbuntu forum. These scripts bring a GUI (Graphical User Interface) tool to you making it less tedious writing long commands on the terminal. You just need to make modifications to the scripts to fit what you need in terms of screencasting. There are different scripts based on what mode you are intending to record in; full screen, window or specific region mode.
It is with no doubt that Byzanz has features to bring to the table for the user. Except for the scaring terminal interaction, you are sure of getting wonderful features to help you make the most out of your screen recordings. It may luck other useful features available on other similar functioning apps but will not fail you in the core function of being able to capture the screen. The terminal command line is in fact usually very powerful in regard to the options you can have access to. Do you agree with me?