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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more... Pick of the Week
SnapzPro imageThe macosxhints Rating:
10 of 10
[Score: 10 out of 10]
Although Snapz Pro X already has a spot in our Hall of Fame (see the top of the Pick of the Week table), I felt the recently released version 2.0 is worth a repeat mention. Why? Basically because version 2.0 is a total rewrite of the program, and it offers improvements in user interface, features, and (most notably) movie recording performance.

In the first release of Snapz Pro X, the interface for controlling the various options was quite confusing. With version 2.0, Ambrosia has taken huge steps in simplifying the interface, as seen below:

On this new palette (which floats and scoots out of the way when needed), the Preview button is extremely useful -- set your options for color change, border, watermark, etc., then click Preview, and you'll get an on-screen peek at what your final image will look like. This feature alone will save hours of work when produces the hundreds of screenshots required for any good-sized book or documentation project.

Read the rest of the hint for the remainder of the review, including a number of movie grabs...

But the real power of Snapz Pro X 2.0 lies in its movie capture skills. While the first version could capture movies, version 2.0 takes it to another level. On any level of machine, the captured frame rates have increased greatly, and on faster hardware, it's pretty easy to get 30fps on just about anything. I spent a bit of time this weekend making a few demo loops to demonstrate the power of the movie capture tool ... click on the link below any of the following images for the full movie in a new window (a friend pointed out that some of these clips do a good job of demonstrating the power of OS X as well!).


[Bonus points for the first poster who names the movie in the DVD Capture clip!]...

Any artifacts you see in the above movies are a result of the size reduction and MPEG4 conversion for web posting; SnapzPro captured the originals at 30fps in full resolution -- up to 1920x1200 for the desktop capture. It's hard to describe the quality of the originals, other than to say that they perfectly represent what you saw on your screen while they were recording.

Downsides are few: captured movies can take quite a while to encode, and you'll use a ton of hard drive space for larger movies (the raw capture of the surfing clip was over 1gb before I trimmed it down and reduced the size). Some people may choke on the $69 price for a movie capture tool, but if you rely on captured movies and professional image captures for books or training materials, you'll find the new Snapz Pro X 2.0 a true bargain.
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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more... | 41 comments | Create New Account
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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: AKS9 on Feb 16, '04 11:54:07AM

I tried it and liked it, although its a shame that after recording a movie, you can only save one copy of it, with one specific encoding and compression: after creating my movie, I have no idea whether to choose "Apple Pixlet Video" or "MPEG4" or any other of those, and I don't know what the movie will look like at different qualities. After choosing one and saving it, you can't save the same movie in another format, you'd have to make it again. Which sucks. If I could save 10 copies of the same movie with different file sizes and quality, to get the right balance, I'd like it more.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: robg on Feb 16, '04 12:17:25PM

This came up on the mailing list during the beta, and it's a planned feature for a future release.

For now, I save them all at the highest setting, and then use QT Pro to re-export them at differing rates to see what they look like. Animation works nicely for most screen movies...

-rob.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: bici on Feb 16, '04 03:21:40PM

I like Snap Pro and use it frequently... but what i want to know is what need Folder Action is happening in the iTunes movie clip.... ie what are the tabs in the folder at the top of the screen ( folder with green background)

Gotta know!

---
sempre in giro



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: robg on Feb 16, '04 03:45:32PM
DragThing 5.0

Simply indispensible to me :)

-rob.

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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: syko on Feb 16, '04 12:24:20PM

how do you capture a game?

i was trying to capture WC3 but it wouldn't do it..

they need hotkeys to capture movies while you're playing



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: hekal on Feb 17, '04 01:13:24AM

Don't need to get all uptight. I am not bagging Snapz. Let me rephrase. FreeSnap does much of what the most recent version of Snapz Pro that I have used was able to do.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: matsimpsk on Feb 16, '04 12:42:57PM

I was very tempted to buy this, but whenever I tried capturing video footage of games being played on MacMAME using the demo of Snapz Pro X 2, I'd either just get a little black movie or, at best, a largely blank movie with just a character block or two animated. Not very useful :/

Has anyone had any joy capturing from MAME? Was I doing something stupid?



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: moki on Feb 16, '04 12:50:42PM

matsimpsk, for games and things like MacMame, you need to check the "Smoother (but more CPU-intensive) video capture" checkbox. It's on the Movie Settings palette, if you don't see it, click the disclosure triangle.

This is because some games (and MacMame) access VRAM directly.

---
Andrew Welch / el Presidente / Ambrosia Software, Inc.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: matsimpsk on Feb 16, '04 12:54:22PM

Ah, thanks! So I *was* doing something stupid :)

*reinstalls demo for another playaround*



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: syko on Feb 16, '04 12:57:46PM

but how do you capture games that will launch at a different resolution?

for example-- no way am i going to capture WC3 @ 1280 res, maybe 800.. but you have to start the capture BEFORE you launch WC3 but then it never captures anything.. you have to marquee your desktop window but it doens't get the game since the game is in full screen

does that make sense?



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: robg on Feb 16, '04 06:29:30PM

I believe I have the answer to that, but I'll have to test it at home tonight and then post back...

-rob.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: hekal on Feb 16, '04 01:43:15PM

FreeSnap does much of what this does.. For free. Although it's not as fancy, I can't see spending $69 for screenshots.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: moki on Feb 16, '04 02:02:01PM

If all you want is static screen capture, that costs $29, not $69 -- and I think you may well find features like the live preview, multitude of image formats, the various selection tools, borders, window isolation tools, etc. well worth it.

---
Andrew Welch / el Presidente / Ambrosia Software, Inc.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: oxnard_montalvo on Feb 16, '04 04:18:49PM

I'll second the vote for freesnap. Paid for snapzpro about a month before panther shipped, worked fine. Panther shipped and along with many, many other folks, snapzpro would not work corectly under panther. Now they want more $ to upgrade to 2.0. Lousy (as in no) suport on the Ambrosia site. I still have a copy of 1.0.9 sitting on my hard drive that I paid my hard earned money for that still freezes my powerbook. Lesson learned: Use freesnap. Hope I save someone else the hassle and expense by posting my experience.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: aranor on Feb 17, '04 01:05:35AM

You're saying you want a free upgrade to Snapz Pro 2.0 because you bought 1.0, even though 2.0 is a complete rewrite and is effectively a new product? Don't you think that's just a *tad* bit unreasonable?



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: oxnard_montalvo on Feb 17, '04 12:22:15PM

No. I was saying that I prefer freesnap. Mostly due to the fact that snapzpro never worked for me under panther and because of the lack of support from ambrosia. Just passing along that information.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: kirkmc on Feb 17, '04 03:56:23AM

In spite of what Ambrosia says in the doc included with SnapzPro X 2, the upgrade (for static screen shots only) is free.

Frankly, I was very irked by the conflicting info on their site, in the installer, and in the doc. It seemed to me, at first, that for static pics the upgrade was $69, so I hesitated. Then I found, in some nether corner of their site, that it's free for registered users of 1.x. Just install the new version and you don't even need to reregister, or reenter your serial number.

This said, I use SnapzPro X for all the books, manuals and articles I write, and it's the easiest screen shot program to use for Mac. There are some features that really need to be added (such as keyboard shortcuts for specific shots, such as one for a full screen, another for an object, etc., and the ability to save selection areas), but all in all it's saved me lots of time.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: Tigrero on Feb 18, '04 02:58:29PM

Hello-
What problems have you been having with the 1.0.9 version of Snapz Pro X under Panther?

Things got a bit backed up immediately after the release of Snapz Pro X 2, but I should be just about caught up now...

Shoot me an email at Help@AmbrosiaSW.com, and I'll be glad to help you out.

David Dunham, Technical Support Ambrosia Software, Inc.



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FreeSnap scripting support
Authored by: haighy on Feb 16, '04 04:41:22PM

And just for you scripting aficionados: another plus for FreeSnap is its comprehensive AppleScript support, which Snapz Pro - even version 2.0 - lacks.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: fritz102 on Feb 17, '04 07:35:46PM

Hi!

I develop FreeSnap, and it's great to see people still use it as a screen capture tool. I am still developing FreeSnap, and I'm hard at work at adding custom borders and shadows, watermarks, and possibly (no promises yet!) video capture now that I have somebody on my team who is better with QuickTime video.

Any feature requests, I'm completely open and I'll actually respond. Send them to gnome at spymac dot com. Thanks.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: moki on Feb 16, '04 01:49:47PM

hekal, you have clearly never used Snapz Pro X 2.0. FreeSnap does *not* do even close to what Snapz Pro X 2.0 does. FreeSnap doesn't even capture QuickTime movie's **at all**, for god's sake.

FreeSnap also lacks numerous options that Snapz Pro X offers for static captures as well.

---
Andrew Welch / el Presidente / Ambrosia Software, Inc.



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Too powerful for me.
Authored by: fpaulj on Feb 16, '04 02:48:33PM
A month ago I needed something to capture animation from a java program, so I tried Snapz Pro. It's powerful, but it was a CPU hog on my 500Mhz G4. Trying to capture the animation of a program that is already sensitive to CPU usage just didn't work with SnapzPro. Of course, YMMV.

In the end I purchased ScreenRecorder. It's not fancy, but it's light on the CPU and the quality of the resulting video, even at high capture rates, was excellent.

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Too powerful for me.
Authored by: robg on Feb 16, '04 03:09:12PM

If it was a month ago, I don't think it was Snapz Pro 2.0 -- version 2.0 was just released on February 3rd....

-rob.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: moki on Feb 16, '04 04:19:00PM
fpaulj, you're talking about the old version of Snapz Pro X (btw, if you had unchecked a checkbox in that old version of Snapz Pro X, it would have performed identically to ScreenRecord).

The new version of Snapz Pro X 2.0 has a totally revamped video capture engine that will not bog down your CPU, and capture video fast and steady. Have a look at a comparison between Snapz Pro X 2.0 and ScreenRecord:

http://www.ambrosiasw.com/webboard/Forum70/HTML/000217.html

Snapz Pro X 2.0 merits another look.

---
Andrew Welch / el Presidente / Ambrosia Software, Inc.

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Capturing Screen Motion
Authored by: mccallister on Feb 17, '04 10:53:35PM

I've been creating OSX tutorials/troubleshooting movies for my customers and found the previous version to be a CPU hog also. The background process would cause my mouse to move very slow and erratic. If I moved the mouse too fast I would overshoot the target and have to edit out that "mistake" portion with quicktime pro.

I faxed them a purchase order today for the new version with movie capture. I'll post what I find after playing with it.



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I'm goin' for the extra points...
Authored by: Bellboy9000 on Feb 16, '04 06:02:20PM

I really like Snapz Pro and I hope that there is a functional demo available because I don't want to dump $70 for a program that doesn't do what I'm looking for (in capturing video).

Oh, and (drum roll) the movie is The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. ;-)

Tell him what he's won Johnny...



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I'm goin' for the extra points...
Authored by: robg on Feb 16, '04 06:14:27PM

We have a WINNER! You've won an all-expenses paid trip to the Caribbean ... unfortunately, after taxes, what you're left with is just the pleasant feeling of having won something.

There is a demo available, it's on the site linked at the top of the article. I believe it will demo the movies as well as still images, stamping "demo" across the images or somesuch...

-rob.



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Great for web folks
Authored by: mahuti on Feb 17, '04 12:40:01AM

This new version has already MADE me money. I'm a web designer with REALLY big sites... they can't be represented very well with screenshots, or flash animations, or locally, or with a case study... a succession of the best pages need to be displayed to properly put the work in its best light.

I've been dying DYING to have something that would take full browser window caps at 30 FPS or better for about a year now. Snapz x2 finally does this, and does it VERY well. Now, in addition to delivering working HTML comps to my clients, I can deliver a working movie so that they know what they SHOULD be seeing. It has been invaluable, and will only become more indespensible as time wears on.

I'm excited to finally get my portfolio in order.

Thanks Ambrosia.

---
-mahuti



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I'm goin' for the extra points...
Authored by: aranor on Feb 17, '04 01:07:28AM

Dude! I knew I'd seen that somewhere, but I couldn't remember. That movie ROCKS!

BTW, the newsgroup server here at WPI is called bigboote.wpi.edu :D



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I'm goin' for the extra points...
Authored by: schneb on Feb 17, '04 10:14:17AM

I was very pleased that Bonzai was available on DVD. And it is a really good version. It has many scenes that were cut out that show real paranoia in the characters regarding an arch enemy of Buckaroo. There is also another opening scene showing the death of his parents (if I remember correctly, his mother was played by Jamie Lee Curtiss, but it has been some time since I had seen the footage.)



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot but not the browser?
Authored by: Mr Clicky on Feb 17, '04 04:17:04AM

I've a need to capture web pages as single images (preferably jpegs) but previous versions of this irritating product wouldn't do it preferring to defer to Apple's appalling 'Print>Save as PDF' function which segments every active, scrollable browser window of any length into multiple pages (this comments page alone covers 6 pages in a PDF file).

Can anyone find this feature in the new version? Perhaps I'm missing something. It can do regions etc but not seemingly scrolling web pages as single images. PC programs such as SnagIt have been doing it for years. Harumph.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot but not the browser?
Authored by: bluehz on Feb 17, '04 08:13:02AM

Saft 6.0 < http://haoli.dnsalias.com/Saft/index.html > will take full page screenshots of web sites. Works great! Click on page, contextual menu - "Save as PDF" - no pagebreaks, etc.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot but not the browser?
Authored by: Mr Clicky on Feb 18, '04 04:38:01AM

Thanks to you both, I wasn't aware of Saft. Cheap as chips and also has 'Full Screen' mode when browsing websites. Now I can see more of MacOSXhints.com and capture it as a single page albeit a PDF only (c'mon Apple pull your finger, er, plug-in out).



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot but not the browser?
Authored by: robg on Feb 17, '04 09:24:57AM

Snapz discussed adding the feature, and may do so in a future version ... but at present, the tool mentioned in the above reply does a great job of it.

-rob.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot but not the browser?
Authored by: Mr Clicky on Feb 19, '04 06:01:40AM

Thanks to you both, I wasn't aware of Saft. Cheap as chips and also has 'Full Screen' mode when browsing websites. Now I can see more of MacOSXhints.com and capture it as a single page albeit a PDF only (c'mon Apple pull your finger, er, plug-in out).



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capture method
Authored by: martinx on Feb 17, '04 09:59:24AM

I'm interested in knowing how this program actually captures the data in movie mode. Does it periodically poll the current contents of the screen? The reason I am asking is that I am envisioning a product that captures screen contents by intercepting drawing requests, so instead of saving a movie as a series of bitmaps it would save a stream of drawing requests. Does Snapz Pro do something like this? It seems like it would take up much less space and be much quicker to capture and play back raw drawing requests, but since Snapz doesn't mention being able to save in this format I am guessing that isn't the way it's being done?



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Movie Guess
Authored by: dave_rogers on Feb 17, '04 10:27:41AM

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Movie Guess
Authored by: dave_rogers on Feb 17, '04 10:29:55AM

Oh. Crap. Never mind.



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So close to first ...
Authored by: robg on Feb 17, '04 01:06:57PM

... but no points for second answer :)

-rob.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Movie Guess
Authored by: dogboy on Feb 17, '04 12:03:53PM

That's a great movie.



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Snapz Pro X 2.0: Master of the screenshot and more...
Authored by: david-bo on May 10, '04 06:14:46PM

For static screen shots Constrictor is a far better choice than Snapz Pro - as well as it is cheaper.

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http://www.google.com/search?as_q=%22Authored+by%3A+david-bo%22&num=10&hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&btnG=



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