For speakers at Perl conferences...


Please record your own presentations...

What do I mean by this? - Over the last 10 years I've given half a dozen or so presentations at conferences, each time someone sets up a video recorder and I think 'great lots of people will hear me present this' (I upload the slides, but it's never the same). Unfortunately each time the work it takes to organise and sort these videos mean they never get uploaded anywhere (have you tried video editing? - it's REALLY slow & hard work).

So, this year (in addition to anything others have organised) I'm going to record my own presentation... and I'm going to use software! (Mac only - 30 day free trial - this will cover YAPC::EU if you download now! sounds similar for Windows) lets you record not only what's happening on your screen, but also your audio, and optionally uses the laptops built in camera to record your face (this can be turned off).

I noticed Miyagawa do this for his Plack and PSGI talk several months ago. The screen is clear (as it should be, this is a screen cast) and you can hear the audio (even comments from the audience). There is no zooming in/out - flipping from speaker to sides and back again, you just get to hear the talk being presented in real time - here with live demos (something you don't get from slides).

I guess if your a speaker who runs around the stage this isn't going to work for you, but I thought I'd mention this idea, and see if it works.

I'll then be uploading to youtube/vimeo and sending to and

Update: Adam Kennedy has posted For people running Perl conferences
a follow up to this. I would like to stress I am in no way having a go at past organisers, and I did not say "organisers cannot be trusted", I know how painful video editing is, as I alude to above. If I really cared about past videos I'd ask around to find who has the origionals. This post was intended to help produce screen casts of presentations going forward, and maybe augment any other videos being created (or take the weight off the organisers who could focus on videos where the speaker could/did not create a screen cast).


FYI. Snow Leopard user can simply use Quicktime to record full screen.

If you're using OS X 10.6, just use Quicktime's screen recording function instead - and make sure you have enough disk space for it, I get maybe 3Mb/minute.

Any recommendations for Linux by any chance?

I tried recording myself at OSCON with mixed results. I set up an extra microphone (the built-in mic gets too much laptop noise) and used "recordMyDesktop" for Linux. Everything worked great for about 25 minutes, until I tried to open a Firefox window in the presentation and my machine crashed hard and rebooted itself. My notebook has never rebooted itself in this way. So, I had to do the rest of the presentation without recording the screen (plus I lost some time in restarting my presentation).

I don't know exactly where the problem was -- Firefox, recordmydesktop, Linux, or even my notebook, which has been acting a little odd this past week anyway. The screencast I did obtain (of the first 25 minutes) came out fairly nicely though -- and I'd probably publish it if the entire session were there.

Anyway, if I get time this week I'm going to try out the setup again at home to see if I still get a hard crash, and if that works out okay I'll try recording my YAPC::EU talks. But at this point it's still a bit of a challenge in my setup at least.

I also concur with the disappointment that conferences go to the trouble of setting up video cameras and obtaining releases, but never actually making the video footage available in any format.


P.S.: I do recommend "recordMyDesktop", although I can't tell yet if it's likely to cause a system to crash. YMMV.

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About Ranguard

user-pic London Perl developer