About a week ago I made a post about how you can record Google Hangouts (and more) with tools that come with your Mac or that you can download for free. In that post Ronnie Bincer left a comment pointing out to me that using Quicktime to record Google Hangouts can have audio problems, specifically with not recording the audio from the other people in the Hangout. After more testing I confirmed that indeed when recording a Google Hangout with Quicktime, the audio of the other people is not captured. (I was wrong!)
Ronnie Bincer recommended that I use SoundFlower for capturing both sides of the Google Hangout audio. I tested recording several Hangouts with Soundflower and found it to be not only very confusing to configure, but I also concluded that you cannot record both sides of the Hangout audio without also installing another plugin such as “LineIn” – from there it gets even more complicated.
All of this tinkering, configuring and frustration led me to look at products known to work for recording Google Hangouts, free or not. Brian Meagher and I tested Snapz Pro X from Ambrosia Software ($69). Snapz Pro X was able to record both sides of audio in a Google Hangout, but it suffered from some major audio sync issues, and Brian also complained that 3 minutes of recorded Google Hangout video took over 40 minutes to render and output.
We then moved on to testing ScreenFlow by Telestream ($99). ScreenFlow is a full-fledged screen capture program and video editor for Mac. Screenflow was able to easily record both sides of the audio from our Google Hangouts with virtually zero issues and zero frustration.
Screenflow also has advanced features such as the ability to capture your audio and camera video (in addition to the screen capture video) as separate channels or layers, making it easy to edit and intercut them. Short version of a long story: If you want to record Google Hangouts on a Mac, or high quality screen capture videos for tutorials, etc, then ScreenFlow is hands-down the program to use and well-worth the $99.
Example of a Recorded Google Hangout
Below is our first Google Hangout recorded with ScreenFlow. It was originally intended as only a test, but it came out so much better than expected for a first run we went ahead and published it as the first in a series of similar videos we will be doing.
This was recorded as a Google Hangout “On Air” to take advantage of the automatic video-window switching, which does not occur in standard hangouts. Even though it was a Hangout On Air, we never pressed the “Broadcast” button, so nothing was uploaded to Youtube.
My video was done against a green-screen, using CamTwist to add the background and I used my Blue Yeti for sound. Jesse (the Google fan doing all of the talking) used his built-in mic for sound.
You will notice that my video is more clear than Jesse’s because my video was recorded locally and was not subject to the Hangout compression that Jesse’s was.How To Record Google Hangouts On A Mac by Randy Brown "Wilson"