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Desktop Screen Recorder VS. Browser Plugin, Who's Better?

Screencasting tools scatter here and there to serve video creators, be it YouTuber, educator, gamer, worker or the general public.. As the main forces of screen video capture, desktop screen recording application vs browser extension, what’s the difference of they two and who is even better than the other one? This article will compare them side by side with features, performance, simplicity etc.? I believe after finishing this post, you will get your own answer according to your real needs.

A Glace at Desktop Screen Recorder and Browser Extension

Definition first. A desktop application is actually a piece of packaged software that’s installed and performs the specific task on (laptop or desktop) computer, while an extension refers to a browser, usually Chrome, based software module which also requires a quick download and installation on browser before initiating the mission from toolbar.

Speaking of screen recorder desktop app and extension, they two share the same meanings as mentioned above and their “specific task” is simply “recording on-screen activity or content“, which may include the entire desktop movements, app actions, game sessions, online browser tab (streaming/operations), webcam face, system sound, microphone voice etc.

In short, regardless of the screen recording reason, desktop app provides more flexible and precise recording to meet various requirements while the browser extension is more to serve as a lightweight and instant solution to create, save and share screencasts on the web.

Common & Advanced Features

Trough investigation or real trial, it’s easy to find that nearly all screen recording apps and extensions have the following features in common:
● Record the whole desktop
● Record a single app or browser tab
● Record the (selected) screen with camera and microphone voice

That’s to say, making efforts to judge a tool by checking these features will let you totally in vain. Instead of such basic functions, many other capabilities that may vary from recorder names should be the key factors you should take into consideration, just like:
● Full control on target area you’d like to record on display, even allowing the screen overlay
● Ability to capture system audio and mouse cursor alongside
● Access to the recording’s parameters to adjust, e.g. format, codec, bite rate/quality, frame rate, resolution, duration etc.
● Internal annotation & whiteboard tool to highlight, draw marks, write notes and so forth.
● Bundled video editor to do more fundamental or advanced edits, including cutting/merging, adding filter/transition/watermark effects, changing playback speed, transcoding etc.
● Entrance to share or upload the recorded file to cloud space or social sites, and share the recording immediately with an URL.

After finishing these detailed feature statements, you must know better about what functionalities a screen recorder may be equipped with. Usually a full-fledged screen recording utility offers one-stop solution from video capturing, editing, and further sharing. And whether the program provides its own cloud storage or not, it depends on its development strategy.

Screen recorder desktop app vs. extension, as to their features, the former one often pay more attention to the recording’s controllability on local hard drive by giving more recording options and a series of advanced settings, while the latter one, in most cases, requires a registration and accomplishes the whole recording process online with only several most basic options to pre-set. To help you get the key points better, we’ve picked 2 pieces of desktop software and 2 other Chrome add-ons to make a brief comparison. Since

Loom
Screencastify
RecMaster
OBS
Type
Easy Screen Recorder Extension
Advanced Screen Recorder Extension
Easy Desktop Screen Recorder App
Advanced Desktop Screen Recorder App
OS
Mac, Windows, iOS
Chrome-based OS
Windows, Mac
Windows, Mac, Linux
Sign up for usage
Y (with Internet connection)
Y (with Internet connection)
N
N
Recording Mode
Screen + Cam
Screen Only
Cam Only
Browser Tab
Desktop
Webcam Only
Game Mode
Full Screen
Custom Area
Webcam
Audio Only
Unlimited  scenes and sources that need you to add manually, like Browser, Display Capture, Game Capture, Window Capture etc.
Saving file to
Loom’s free cloud storage (up to 25 clips)
Google Drive
Local hard disk
Local hard disk
System Audio
Y (Only support tap audio)
Y
Y
Y
Microphone
Y
Y
Y
Y
Webcam
Y
Y
Y
Y
Parameters Setting
N
Y (Available setting options: Screencastify < RecMaster < OBS)
Auto-start/stop
N
Y (only auto-stop)
Y
N
Real-time Annotation
N
Y
Y
N
Free bundled editor
Only Trim tool
N
Y
N
Share
URL sharing or download the file to send physically.
URL sharing or download the file to send physically.
One-click share to Google Drive and YouTube.
N

Verdict

Regardless of the screen recorder’s type,  each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Then it’s your turn to think about the key point(s) to your recording: What content will you record on PC most? Do you want to do more settings? Whether the internal editor a must-have? Where will you initiate the video producing, is there a stable and fast internet connection? How about the hardware configuration of your machine? And what price do you accept? As long as you make them clear, you will find your way to pick out the screen recorder as you like.

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Written by Sunshying Waung

Story MakerYears Of Membership
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