Desktop Screen Recorder App vs. Browser Extension, Who’s Better?

Bianca Willis Bianca Willis Updated on Sep 9 , 2020 Tag:

There are quite many screen recording tools in the market, among which desktop application and browser extension are top two types enjoyed by a large number of video creators, be it YouTuber, educator, gamer, worker or the general public. Then screen recorder desktop app vs. extension (aka browser plug-in/add-on), what’s the difference between them, who is superior to the other one as of features, performance, easy-of-use, and so forth? After walking through this article, you will get your own answer according to your actual needs.

A General Look at Screen Recorder App and Extension

Screen Recorder Desktop App vs. 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
Webcam Only
Game Mode
Full Screen
Custom Area
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

From the table, it’s fair to conclude that RecMaster app is a nice choice for both noob and tech savvy thanks to its entry-level design and diversified features. If you are still in a dilemma on which program to choose, you can free download RecMaster here to start your easy recording immediately hands down.

free download RecMaster for Windows free download RecMaster for Mac

RecMaster gives one-click recording solutions once you’ve chosen the proper recording mode and confirm the related settings. Even you are running multiple monitors, want to record or stop at any certain period of time, you are endowed to do so effortlessly.

Main UI of RecMaster desktop screen recorder

What’re You Looking For?

Deciding which one or two screen recorders to use is simple, but whether it or they help you ensure the simplicity and productivity is determined by many factors, such as the user-oriented interface, perfect software compability with your machine and recording content, ease-to-handle settings & edits, smooth capture process, high security on the recorded file, as well as the convenience of messaging or sharing.

Screen recorder desktop app vs extension, which is more suitable for you? It depends on your computing skill, demands on the video capture, and file usage. Below are some tips for your selection.

  1. For newbies who simply create screencasts for communication or feedback purpose, screen recorder browser extension is recommended, such as the 5 best screen recorder add-ons for Chrome.
  1. For senior users who want to make pro-looking video footages for vlog, training, promotion, or other goals, desktop screen recorder application is the first choice. With this kind of software, you are able to control video quality, apply various effects and do easy edits afterwords.
  1. For avid gamers who need to save fantastic gaming moments from maybe LOL, Minecraft, Overwatch and similar, dedicated game recording software is undoubtedly the go-to resource. Still, since both gameplay and screencasting are source-intensive tasks, hardware encoding like 264 screen recording is badly needed to guarantee the efficiency.
  1. If you need to grab many screen videos under offline environment, standalone app is a wise pick.
  1. For those who want to record screen on low-end PCs, try light extensions firstly to see if it’s laggy and stuttering. If it is, get some fast desktop screen recorder with less or no lag.
  2. ….

Screen Recorder Desktop App vs Extension, Our Final Words

App or extension, each screen recording program of such categories has its own pros and cons. As you’ve finished the reading, consider what’s crucial to your recording and ask yourself about: What content will you typically record on PC? Do you want to do more settings or realize more visual effects? 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.

RecMaster – Record Every Moment on Your Computer Screen

RecMaster – Record Every Moment on Your Computer Screen

Multiple recording modes make it easy to capture anything on screen.

Record 1080p or even 4K clips at 60fps to maintain the high quality still.

Flexible settings for mouse cursor effects, watermark and annotations.

Preloaded with recording scheduler, video editor. Allow one-click sharing.

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Bianca Willis

Bianca Willis

Bianca Willis started her copywriting career since 2014. As a tech editor with over 6 years writing experience, she has worked out hundreds of posts on multi-media solutions (video recording included), hot gadgets and troubleshooting tips.

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