The folks at Netbriefings asked me twice to review their newest product called Proclaim, so I finally gave in. It is primarily intended for creating recorded on-demand presentations that combine slides, video clips, and a camera feed of the presenter. I decided to use the product itself to record a review that you can watch online. It ended up lasting about 20 minutes. Sorry about that!
You can watch the review at this address: http://proclaim.netbriefings.com/flv/trial/4w26m/trial4w26m100018/
After reviewing the recording myself, I want to mention a few things that act as good cautionary statements about doing any recording with any technology.
1) Webcams are still not business-quality tools. I was using a pretty good webcam and it gave me a feed that I wouldn't want to show in a real life business setting. Proclaim accepts a high quality firewire professional camera feed and I would say it's a necessity for anything other than home family use.
2) There is no substitute for a proper physical location setup. I made this recording at night in my office at home. While I went to the trouble of setting up a cheap fabric backdrop so you don't see my bookcases, the lighting is terrible, I have reflections off my glasses, the sound is a little echoey (although not bad for a remote built-in camera mike), and it is seriously cheesy. If you want to look good on camera, get yourself into a controlled setting with proper lighting, sound, background, and a well-framed and well-focused camera. And guys, a little makeup for the camera pays off in big dividends. I look like a zombie in this recording.
3) Trying to talk for an extended period without looking at notes and without an opportunity for edits or retakes is "arduous" at best. Proclaim doesn't have the ability to pause and continue your recording or to edit over any of your production. That means if you make a flub deep into the program (as I did when I couldn't remember Mira's name) you either have to plow ahead and let the audience see your errors or start over from the top. I chose to keep going, and it temporarily distracts from my content and my message.
4) PC-based recording is still susceptible to technical glitches. You'll see that the camera feed and sound match up nicely at the beginning of the recording. At 7:30 into the process, I used a Proclaim feature to turn off the camera while still recording and then turn it on again. The entire remainder of the recording has unsynchronized audio and video, with uneven video motion. There are a million things that could have caused the problem. I'm not even going to try to diagnose it. I had turned off all other applications on my PC to try to give maximum resources to the recording. But the problem is there and I elected to leave it in as an illustrative lesson.
Anyway, watch and enjoy!