Yesterday X-Mirage added the ability to record not only your iPad screen and audio via Airplay, but also your voice narration. I’ve been waiting for someone to implement this for ages.
First, Before we get to the details, here’s a little video I made to demonstrate how good the result is.
I’m a fan of iPad screencasting apps like Educreations, Collaaj and Explain Everything, but the limitation on all these apps is that they can only record within the app itself, due to Apple’s sandboxing policy. In other words you can’t use Explain Everything to make a video tutorial about how to change settings in the Settings app, or how to create an eBook in Book Creator or how to write a formula in Numbers or Excel. Nor can you use them in combination with a content-based app to make a screencast explaining a topic.
X-Mirage is not the first computer application to allow video mirroring from an iOS device. It’s not even the first to provide a video recording function. In fact, both AirServer and Reflector have made this possible for some time now. But X-Mirage does something these others don’t. [Edit: actually AirServer has recently added this functionality too]. It allows you, via your computer’s microphone, to simultaneously record your voice. Now you can simply work on your iPad and describe what you are doing, and X-Mirage captures it all!. When you are finished, the video and two audio tracks are mixed down into an MP4 video and saved to your computer. [It seems that this is only possible on a Mac at this stage. The PC version of both X-Mirage and AirServer will record iPad video and audio, but not your voice – sorry PC users].
X-Mirage is remarkably simple to use. With your iPad and computer connected to the same WiFi network, Launch X-Mirage on your computer, then swipe up from the bottom bezel of your iPad to bring up the Control Centre. Tap the AirPlay button at the bottom of the Control Centre, and choose the X-Mirage option and toggle mirroring to ‘on’. You will then see your iPad screen mirrored to your computer.
To start recording, click the (quite obvious) red ‘Record’ button at the right edge of the window. To record your microphone as well, you also need to click the smaller microphone button immediately to it’s left. That’s in fact the only part of this process that is anything less than child’s play – you have to click both those buttons when you start recording. First you need to start the video recording, and then once that is going, click the microphone button to start recording your voice.
Because X-Mirage uses your Mac’s microphone (not the microphone in your iPad) you do need to be aware of your computer’s proximity (Ie. you can’t be walking around with your iPad while recording). The upside of this, however is that if you have a good external microphone attached to your Mac, your screencast’s audio will benefit from better sound quality than if X-Mirage recorded from the iPad’s microphone directly.
X-Mirage is $16 with discounted educational pricing available from the website.
Even at the full price, It’s well worth the money (in my opinion).
PS. I do know that it’s possible to use Reflector (or AirServer) to mirror an iPad screen to a computer, then simultaneously use some other screencasting software on the computer to record what Reflector was displaying – I’ve done that myself a number of times. It’s a lot of mucking around, though, and for all that effort you have to really want to make a screencast for it to be worth the effort!
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Interesting post – didn’t know about X-Mirage. However I’m fairly sure I can do this in Air Server by clicking the little Mic button – unless I’m missing the point?
Hey Mike – thanks for pointing that out! I hadn’t noticed that in AirServer – I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there before (because I’ve looked for it! – mind you, my wife would say that me having unsuccessfully looked for something doesn’t mean it wasn’t there! Lol) I’m not sure when that was added to AirServer – but you are quite right! It’s essentially the same functionality.
Oh thank goodness!! I have been searching constantly for something like this, and cannot believe it took so long for someone to develop.
Now, if other developers could just jump on the bandwagon so that the $$ could come down… that would be great!!
I’d also like to have this capability launched from single app – without needing to access airplay and settings. THAT would be a godsend for teachers and students worldwide!
Hi andrew. thanks for letting us know about this. only problem is that for windows users, the audio recording feature doesn’t seem to have been enabled yet. I’ve left a question on the forum, but looks like something they’re still working on which is a bugger.
I’m not seeing the little Mic button in AirServer. Where should I be looking? or is it only enabled once I buy?
It’s right beside the red record button. It only appears once you have clicked the record button, though. Like X-Mirage – it seems you have to already be recording the video when you start the audio recording. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there in the past, so if that doesn’t work check to see if there is an update available to you. Also I have only tried this on a Mac – and Tim Topham (above) says that X-mirage won’t do this on a Windows PC. I wonder if that is the same with AirServer. (???)
I think its the same with AirServer. I have to right click to start recording & there is no record button or mic button. I guess I’ll see which program updates 1st for windows before I purchase.
Great blog. Thanks.
Thanks for the tip. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the voiceover update for PC.
FYI, it is actually possible to record a screen cast within the Reflector app without using another program. You just have to right click on the image of your iPad and hit ‘Start Recording’. Maybe the Mac version is different, though.
But I don’t think it’s possible to record your voice – is it? – just the video and audio from the iPad.
xxxxxx it dosent work
works fine – as long as you are using a Mac.
how you download?
Super helpful. Been having major problems with Reflector crashing while trying to save recording. Downloaded X-Mirage and it worked like you said. Thanks!
Thanks for the great and detailled article!
Hi I was wondering if u could do a review on an app that records the ipad from the ipad ( screen casting itself ) that would be extremely useful
Thanks for this article, Andrew! I’d been looking for something easily like this for quite some time as I frequently provide app support for iOS devices. I have a couple of quick questions:
1. Is X-Mirage completely compatible with Yosemite?
2. Is there any advantage to using X-Mirage versus Yosemite’s ability to record an iOS device’s screen via QuickTime?
For example, I know the Yosemite method requires the mobile device to use iOS 8, and you must connect the iOS device to the Mac via USB/Lightning cable. But I do not know if you can produce voiceover during the recording.
Thanks for any advice you have.
I answered some of those questions in this post: https://andrewdouch.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/how-to-record-or-present-your-ipad-screen-without-using-wifi/
X-Mirage seems to work fine with Yosemite. I’ve had no issues.
I think it’s better to use QuickTime in Yosemite if you don’t need to record audio from both the microphone and iOS. QuickTime only records one or the other. X-Mirage records both simultaneously. (on a Mac)
Ahhh, thank you very much for the feedback AND for the additional article. I haven’t yet upgraded to Yosemite, but have been considering it for the near future. For now, my Mac (with Mavericks 10.9.5) is a nicely tuned machine with very few bugs. I like a nice stable system and may stay there for quite a while. So X-Mirage is exactly what I’ve been searching for for quite a while now. But it’s good to know that Yosemite has built-in features to accomplish the same thing.
Nice post, thank you for a great article. I really just love your blog. I will bookmark it and come back for more.!! recording app
Andrew? I wonder if recording your voice is already posible with air server or x-mirage and a Windows PC using the PC’s mic
I don’t think so yet. I’d be happy to be proven wrong. 🙂