Thing 13: Screen capture tools & making and sharing podcasts and videos

A photograph of Learning Environments self-service video recording studio, Baillieu Library
Learning Environments self-service video recording studio,
Baillieu Library

This week, we continue to look at different ways in which you can present your research to the world at large. Thing 13 was written by Andrea Hurt (Client Services & Liaison Librarian, Arts), Silvia Paparozzi (University Digitisation Centre) and Ben Loveridge (Communications & Media Production Specialist, Learning Environments).

In this week’s post we’re exploring audio and video production.  There are an increasing number of tools available, both desktop and app based, enabling you to record, edit, capture and share your research. Whether you’re looking at promoting your findings, sharing information between colleagues or looking at the simplest way of capturing data, there will be something to meet your needs. As with all tools, remember to consider the copyright implications of sharing your data, particularly if you are recording other people.  And always read the fine print when publishing online.


Screen capturing

There are a number of screen capture tools available on the market and choosing the one most appropriate depends on your needs, budget and computer platform. The ITS research blog has compiled a list of common free and low-cost applications.



Audio may seem ‘old school’, but it can be useful to researchers in a number of ways.  As a dictation tool for quick note-taking and capturing ideas, or for recording interviews that can be transcribed later. Podcasts are also a popular method of sharing and promoting information to a wider audience.


You may already have some basic sound recording software on your computer. It is recommended you use an external microphone (preferably a USB mic) to give you better quality sound and to get rid of any background noise.  Consider the following software packages:

Most smartphones come with an inbuilt sound recorder for voice memos.  If you don’t have one or are looking for something more professional, there is something to suit you platform and budget via  Android or Apple.


Most of the sound recording software will also come with editing functionality. However, here are a couple that you might want to have a play with:

Sharing and hosting

Basic audio files can be shared between colleagues very easily using tools such as Dropbox, which were covered in Thing 3. However, if you want to promote your research widely, perhaps you should consider creating a podcast.

iTunes U: The University of Melbourne, as well as many other Australian and international universities, are putting public lectures and interviews online. The Copyright Office has information for anyone creating a podcast.

Audioboo is both a desktop- and app-friendly podcast host. Covering a wide range of subjects, including education, entertainment, business, news, radio, film and television, it is worth browsing. Open University and This American Life both have channels and their podcasts can be easily shared through social media, and playlists can be embedded into websites. It also highlights the growing audience of visually impaired listeners who use Audioboo as a social network.

Podbean: Another podcast hosting platform, Podbean is again both desktop- and app-friendly and is designed to be shared through a number of the major social media channels. Subjects include technology, science & medicine, health, business, arts, music, news and politics. Its top stations include the BBC, CNN, ESPN, NASA, CNET and Showtime.

Stitcher allows you to listen to radio and podcasts on demand. Desktop- and app-friendly, it allows you to create your own playlists in subject areas you’re interested in.



YouTube is the second highest-used social media platform in Australia, which gives a clear indication of the power and outreach of video. Consider the popularity of TED talks, which have now branched out into TEDx and TED-Ed talks. The Khan Academy has also changed how we learn online. However, MOOCs continues to be the biggest influence on higher education and teaching, sharing content online through the medium of video. Even if you simply want to record a performance, lab experiment or interview as part of your research, there are several low cost ways of capturing video, including web cam, portable device or even your trusty digital camera.

If you film your video in one take – congratulations to you!  Most of us will need to edit what we’ve recorded. This also allows you to add introductory images, overlay audio and music and use more professional transitions between scenes. Your computer will already come with some software programs you can use.

YouTube allows you to record and upload directly to their website as well as perform basic editing and effects.

With the quality of mobile devises and smart phones on the increase, there are also a number of free and low-cost Apps which can help you record and edit videos.  Investigate these:

But these really are the tip of the iceberg.  For more, check out this post on

Within the specific context of research at the University of Melbourne,  Learning Environments has recently launched a self-service video recording studio located on the first floor of the Baillieu Library. The studio enables academic staff to produce professional-quality video recordings, and incorporate lecture-slides and whiteboard-style annotations. This studio uses Screenflow running on an iMac to capture presentations.

Hosting and sharing

Once you’ve recorded and edited your video, the next step is publishing online. There are a number of different delivery platforms available depending on the intended audience and budget. The ITS research blog has compiled a list of video hosting platforms for situations where you own full copyright of the video.

Saving your data

If you have used audio or video to capture data for your own research, you will also need to think about long-term storage. The library can help you with its Research Data Management Plan.


Andrea Hurt (Client Services & Liaison Librarian, Arts), Silvia Paparozzi (University Digitisation Centre) and Ben Loveridge (Communications & Media Production Specialist, Learning Environments).

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