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Snow Leopard to offer screen recording via QuickTime X Player

With the introduction of Snow Leopard, QuickTime Player will assume more of a utilitarian role, with screen recording features reportedly joining the software's exiting repertoire of basic audio and video capture capabilities.

People familiar with the latest betas of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard have been reporting over the past several weeks the addition of a 'Screen recording' option in the File menu of the new Quick Time X Player due to ship with the OS overhaul later this summer.

Similar in many ways to a feature long offered by Ambrosia Software through its Snapz Pro X utility, the option will allow users to capture in motion video their Mac's screen — essentially video screenshots.

Such a feature will be particularly useful for software developers and educators, as it will simplify the process of creating video tutorials, software demonstrations, and anything else best captured in live motion as opposed to still shots.

When selecting the screen recording option under recent pre-release distributions of Snow Leopard, a recording interface prompts the user to begin a video capture then disappears. A small footprint controller in the upper-right hand side of the Mac OS X menubar can be used to end the video capture.

While its unclear if the feature is fully functional in build 10A335 released Thursday, it wasn't in earlier builds, often creating an empty .mov file, those familiar with the software say.

An artist's mockup of the minimal QuickTime X Player window interface with the "trim" tools overlay.

QuickTime X — along with the minimal-interfaced QuickTime X Player (renditions) — leverages media technology pioneered by Apple for the iPhone OS. When it makes its debut on the Mac with Snow Leopard, it'll offer optimize support for modern audio and video formats resulting in extremely efficient media playback, the company has said.