ManyCam: Multiply your webcam and add amazing effects

Avatar

Devoted webcam users will always want to get more out of their webcams and this can be achieved in lots of different ways with ManyCam, a very interesting and useful program designed to make webcams more functional but also more fun.

ManyCam is a free application that allows you to use your webcam with multiple applications simultaneously. It basically supports any application that uses a webcam or a microphone, plus it offers a wide variety of cool video and audio effects and other nice features.

Installation & Requirements

The first dialog window contains language selection, license agreement and the installation settings under the Options button. If the user proceeds to the next step without performing any modifications, the default settings are applied.

Had there not been two additional windows containing adware that popped up while the program was getting installed, the install process would have been almost effortless. However, the offered toolbars, search engines and applications are optional and can be skipped.

ManyCam for Windows runs on the following operating systems: 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, 7 and 8, and requires at least 512 MB of Ram and an Intel Celeron 2GHz or faster CPU.

A version of ManyCam for Mac is also available supporting only Intel based Macs with Mac OS X 10.5 or newer.

Interface

ManyCam’s interface is incredibly well-organized considering the large number of effects and other features it bundles. The four tabs at the top list the main categories: Video, Audio, Studio Pro and Get ManyCam Pro. The last tab is placed there with commercial purposes as it links to the web page where you can purchase the paid version of the program.

The Video category contains two sub-tabs, one for Effects and one for Sources. There are dozens of effects available for your videos from image distortions to hats, wigs and freehand drawing and all of them are nicely organized into their own categories. The program supports many types of sources allowing the user to broadcast connected cameras, IP cameras, previously recorded videos, images, the desktop and others.

The image or video displayed in the preview area can be optimized via a set of essential tools but you can also change its position, size and fps.

The Audio tab allows you to use any connected microphone as a source but also play audio files from a playlist. A few equalizer, environment and audio calibration settings are provided in the free version of the application. Audio effects are also offered, and while there aren’t many inside the program, ManyCam has made plenty of them available for download which you can access through the “Add more effects” button.

The Studio Pro tab lets you view and switch between multiple video and audio sources as well as record videos, set transitions and add text over your live videos. ManyCam only allows you to set and use two video sources, since the rest of them are only available in ManyCam Pro. Nonetheless, even with limitations the free version offers plenty of useful features.

Pros

– Supports multiple types of sources and lets you quickly switch between them.

– Broadcasting can be performed from any of the supported sources on multiple applications simultaneously.

– Offers an extended collection of video and audio effects, with more of them available for download on the official website.

– Clean and easy to use interface.

– Allows you to take and save snapshots.

– Video recording option is available.

Cons

– The adware bundled with the installation can make the setup process confusing.

– Some video effects are not properly positioned on the screen.

Conclusion

ManyCam is an interesting piece of software as it was designed for two specific purposes: On one hand, you can use it to broadcast your webcam on multiple applications, such as Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM and other IM clients, use its ability to quickly switch between sources as well as its basic set of video editing tools. On the other hand, you can use it to have fun with its audio and video effects and even create your own. Or you can mix business with pleasure and benefit from both sides of ManyCam.