Whether audio or video, good recording software can challenge creativity while providing extremely useful services. The challenge is in locating what you want amidst the miasma of available software. The best recording software is made easier to find with this handy guide.
Music recording software
Avid Pro Tools: This Mac or PC software sets the standard in recording, mixing and creating music. Pro Tools offer an ultra robust tool set that records audio in ridiculously high resolution. This is professional quality award winning software. The entry level foothold gets you using the industry standard. You can upgrade at a later date once you've developed a comfort level. Great Avid hardware can be purchased for use with the software. The entry level Pro Tools is quite inexpensive at around $100. The negatives with Pro Tools are few. In order to launch the software you must have all hardware plugged in first. This can be limiting but for entry level use it shouldn't pose a problem.
Data storage, CD burning software
RoxioR Toast: This software offers simple, intuitive recording with plenty of bells and whistles for data storage, audio storage and coping CDs, and it's a bargain to boot! Online, the software goes for about $100. The screens are very easy to read and user friendly. Options for other formats like MP3 discs and even DVDs can be created with Toast. The CD burner does a great job at burning with full control over burn speed. CNET reviewed Toast as a five star, outstanding product. Create hybrid discs which are compatible with both Mac and PC.
Super easy CD or DVD recording
Nero Burning ROM: This super low cost, simple to use software will have you mastering CDs and DVDs right out of the box. This software offers speed, power and support for the most recent technologies and drives. Audio editing, label making are just a couple extras that more expensive software has. Nero has multiple interfaces depending upon skill level. Image file handling and multiple audio-encoding options are the cherry on the top. Nero Burning ROM 12 sells for $50 on the Nero website.
Real-time video capture
Fraps. This is powerful real-time video capture software for PC at under $40 on the Fraps website. You can record videos of what you're doing on your computer. Use Fraps with games that use DirectX or OpenGL graphics technology. This software allows you to benchmark your video frames per second and measure the frame rate between two points in time. The stats are saved to disk for comparison. The screenshot feature is handy, just the touch of a button. The screenshot is saved for you, named and time stamped. The real-time feature is a stunning and fun way to record games, share them with friends or upload them to the web for sharing. Frame rates can be customized up to 120 per second.
ScreenFlow: If you need video capture for Mac, ScreenFlow will perform similar screencasting functions. You can record the entire contents of your monitor; capture your video camera and microphone, concurrently, according to Apple. Easy interface lets you add creativity to the edit with additional images, text, music and transitions. Screenflow is great for tutorials, demos, presentations and training or anywhere you want simple yet quality software. This software may run around $100 depending upon where you purchase.