ScreenFlow 4 review

When ScreenFlow appeared back in 2008, it totally revolutionised its intended market; there was an app that made recording videos of your desktop effortless. The fact that it also came with powerful editing features that allowed you to not only trim clips and apply transitions, but also to zoom in, pan, and even focus on specific elements, like the cursor or a window, sealed its as best in class status.

So what do you do for an encore? You make steady improvement and version 4 brings a lot of those to the party. The most obvious one is a strong emphasis on your timeline. You can now make frame-accurate changes easily and when you trim or move a clip around, a floating menu pops up showing you how many frames you’re losing or gaining as you drag. There’s also a permanent timecode displayed right next to your playback controls, and veteran editors will greatly appreciate the welcomed introduction of the industry-standard J-K-L keyboard shortcuts.

The media section has had some welcomed improvement as well: there’s finally a search field to locate the clip you want in an instant, and you can also organise your clips as a list, alphabetically, by duration, or by type.

In fact, everything has been made to simplify the creation process of complex projects: you can now, for instance, nest clips together; this allows you to make it easier to navigate through your project, but you can then also apply a single transition to a complex construct, or add some of the new filters to an entire group of clips in one go. Captioning is also built-in so you can now add your subtitles as you edit your project.

All this, without sacrificing on ScreenFlow legendary capture quality. 

OUR VERDICT

ScreenFlow is obviously a niche product as not everyone needs to record video of what’s going on on their screen, and if you have basic needs, QuickTime Player X’s built-in screen recording capabilities would surely suffice. But for anyone who makes a living making complex screencasts on a Mac, there’s no doubt that this new version’s a must-buy.

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