Appletell reviews Voila 3 for Mac OS X

Sections: Audio / Video, Home and Personal, Mac Software, Miscellaneous / Other, Reviews

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Provides: Screen image/video capture
Format: Download
Developer: Global Delight
Minimum System Requirements: Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later, iPhoto v6.0.1 or later (For exporting captured/annotated images), 1.83GHz and above, 1 GB RAM
Review Computer:2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB DDR3 RAM
Processor Compatibility: Universal Binary (Intel or PPC)
Price: $29.95 (or $18.00 upgrade)
Availability: Out now

If you’re looking for a way to capture your screen using either images or video, there are plenty of options on the market for Mac OS X software. In fact, Apple’s OS X actually has some pretty great built-in support for image captures. However, for those who need a little more functionality or the ability to take videos of their screens for tutorials, etc., Voila 3 is a great option. With great interface and stable functionality, I’d definitely recommend it.

Voila Interface

Voila 3 is capable of taking video and pictures of your screen. In terms of video capture, this application can record your screen as a whole or just a portion of it using their built-in tools. The video capture can be done at three different qualities/frame rates so you can record what’s best for your use—whether it be a quick, small video to upload to the internet or a high quality screencast. The qualities available are low at 15fps, medium at 20fps, and high at 25fps. Using the settings, you are able to decide if you want Voila to capture audio from the computer and/or from the built in microphone.

Voila Preference Panes

When it comes to video editing, Voila 3 doesn’t really have anything to offer. You can basically choose what to take the video of, and then Voila will store it in the app’s database. Some screen recording tools offer full fledged editing capabilities, so Voila isn’t for you if that’s what you’re looking for. That said, it does offer some amazing features for taking better screen captures (images).

Voila makes taking a screen capture with Apple’s built-in tools look like nothing special. With Voila, users are able to take images of the full screen, a specific window, or a specifically shaped region (rectangle, circular, or even freehand!). While this alone improves upon the functionality of Apple’s built-in screen capture, Voila also allows you to choose which type of image file you want created on export. It even has features directly within it for uploading images or video via FTP, sending them with a mail client, importing them into iPhoto, or quickly printing.

Voila Editing Options

However, before you worry about exporting your image, you’re going to want to edit it with Voila. This is one of the areas where Voila shines. You can see an image I created with these tools below. Obviously, it is more for showing you what abilities you have than to be a piece of art (in fact, it’s quite ugly).

Once you’ve taken an image of the portion of the screen you wanted, Voila offers a slew of options in terms of editing. As seen in the image above, users can use tools to mark up the image or add effects to change the overall look. Voila offers 13 different ways to mark up your image. However, each of these tools also has its own settings and options that can be changed for ultimate customization.

When it comes to the tools, my favorites include the stamp and blur abilities. There have been numerous times when I’ve wanted a quick way to blur something out in a screenshot I’ve taken and have had no easy way to do it. The blur feature not only gives you that option, it even allows you to change alter which portion of the image you choose to blur, which is awesome. The stamp feature allows users to add large stamps such as “Private” or “Confidential” to the image, which could be used as a nice reminder in those cases when you are, for instance, sending a screenshot around with some private information. Unfortunately, you can’t make one with your own text, though.

Voila Edited Document

In terms of effects, Voila allows users to add borders, adjust color levels in the image, or even add filters such as sepia and other creative ones. One of the neatest effects in my opinion is “Skew.” This allows you to angle the image so that it looks like it is standing in 3D on your screen…sort of. The various pages of filters Voila offers are interesting…although I’m not sure when you would ever use some of them.

Overall, Voila 3 is a very solid application. The interface is laid out in a way such that you have access to some pretty great features, but they don’t get in your way if you don’t use or want them. It also allows you to better keep track of your screenshots and videos, which is helpful for people who take a lot of them throughout their use of the computer.

That said, I found it weird that Voila allows users to put it in the menu bar and dock or just the dock but there is no option to have it just in the menu bar. It’d be nice to have quick access to its screen grab features without having it clutter up my dock. Fortunately, though, Voila has a slew of shortcuts available for quick access to starting a video recording or taking a screenshot. At first they are set to override Apple’s built in shortcuts (Cmd + Shift + 3 or 4) which can be a pain if you do need to use Apple’s. However, Voila allows you to record your own in their preferences menu so that you can have theirs and Apple’s working side by side.

All in all, I’d recommend this app to someone who either a.) wants to create awesome screenshots or b.) needs quick screen videos. If you want to make videos and edit them with on program, then Voila isn’t for you.

Appletell Rating:

Buy Voila 3

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  • Felix

    Can you capture video using the circle template shown under tools tab?