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How to: Capturing iPad video with audio narration

Recently, Mike Rose asked me to check out an ongoing discussion over at the Telestream forums to see if I could assist one of the posters. Mike knew that Steve Sande and I were working on testing out a variety of iPad-to-computer screen capture solutions. He thought I might be able to help out Dr. J, host of the "Lighting the Lamp" podcast.

Dr. J was looking for a solution that allowed him not only to capture the iPad screen in video format, which we have discussed in earlier posts, but be able to add audio narration in real time as well. On top of that, we decided to throw in a little extra razzle dazzle in the form of callout effects layered on top of the live iPad feed.

After a little investigation, the TUAW team decided on using a Telestream solution, namely the well-regarded ScreenFlow application. Although many other screen capture apps are available on the Mac, we liked how the $99 ScreenFlow software lent itself to podcast preparation, allowing separate audio and video tracks that are coordinated through a central editing window, shown above.

For serious screencasters, ScreenFlow offers a central review and editing facility, letting you coordinate various elements of your presentation. It ably captured both live audio from my Logitech USB microphone, as well as letting me select which monitor to record. I choose my secondary display, which presented the iPad video in EyeTV's full-screen mode. The resulting video, which follows below, leverages this full-screen mode to create a seamless look without Macintosh artifacts.

You can easily augment your video presentations using a simple free tool from the Omni Group. OmniDazzle offers real-time screen highlighting including the flashlight and screen scribble effects demonstrated here. It's a great tool not just for screencasting but for any real-time demonstration tasks.

This demonstration uses the same hardware set-up discussed in our previous write-up. The iPad is connected to a standard $29 Apple VGA-out cable. From there, the cable connects through a Sewell SW-4280 converter box to an Elgato EyeTV HD tuner.

The signal is played back in full-screen mode (Command-0 in EyeTV), and captured using ScreenFlow. Editing can then be performed from within ScreenFlow's editor or the movie can be exported for further processing, titling, and effects in iMovie.

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