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willofmaine

Quicktime Screen Recordings

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Sometimes I'll make screen recordings using Quicktime, and the files generated are huge.  Things like 300 MB for a minute or two of screen time.  Let's call it 150 MB per minute.  I have found that I can then export them at a smaller size and reduce their file sizes, but, the quality seems to drop off quit fast, especially with respect to the new file size.

 

Meanwhile, a 90 minute movie on a DVD, while not HD or Blu-Ray or whatever, is typically at a very decent resolution.  But I think a DVD is something like 4.7 GB, which translates to something like 50 MB per minute of screen time.

 

So, I was just wondering if anyone might be able to explain this difference and, especially, is there anything I can do to significantly compress Quicktime screen recordings without losing so much image quality?...

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I work with compression related tasks like this all the time! Say hello to my little friend:

https://handbrake.fr/downloads.php

Handbrake is a compression application that can, even if you have very little idea what all the settings it offers are talking about, significantly reduce filesize of recordings without compromising on quality. It's totally free and updated regularly. You can usually just pick one of the presets on the right (Like Fast1080p30 for 1920x1080 resolution at 30 frames per second) and slap Start and it'll shave your files down from any recording source significantly. Once you pick a format you like you can save it as the default, or tweak it slightly for things like keeping a 4K recording at that resolution.

 

I use it even on the tech tip videos I export from Screenflow which are already somewhat compressed, and it can usually save me an average of 30-50% on file size with no noticeable quality issues.

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Excellent, I will look into that!  (When Quicktime isn't producing entirely black video, as it seems to be doing today...).  Thanks Jim!

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Hi, I use Powerpoint (Which usually comes with Office package) for all my videos. Just go insert video and screen recording.

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Also for a fairly static/slow moving presentation like a screen movie, consider setting your frame rate way down.  8 FPS or even 5 FPS might be enough to get you the information you want to convey without the overhead of a full 30 or 60 FPS capture. Also, if you don't really need full 1080p, consider capturing at 720P. This will cut the number of pixels by over 50%. Or even going to a tool like ScreenFlow ($$) and only capturing the part of the screen you need rather than you whole 4K monitor.

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@Pat Stanford That makes sense, except that in Quicktime I can't seem to find any way to control the frame rate.  I can however use a marquee to reduce how much of the screen I'm recording, but usually I want to record most of it anyway so that all of the Vectorworks palettes & tolls that I'm using are visible....

 

@Alan Woodwell In Powerpoint, I could only find an option to insert a movie; nothing about screen recordings.  And I'm not sure how getting a video file into Powerpoint helps reduce its file size?...

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Ah!  I'm still using Office 2011 (I hadn't read good things about more recent versions...).  So, given all the "update this" and "update that" warnings in those instructions, I'm guessing I probably can't do it...

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15 hours ago, willofmaine said:

@Pat Stanford That makes sense, except that in Quicktime I can't seem to find any way to control the frame rate.  I can however use a marquee to reduce how much of the screen I'm recording, but usually I want to record most of it anyway so that all of the Vectorworks palettes & tolls that I'm using are visible....

 

@Alan Woodwell In Powerpoint, I could only find an option to insert a movie; nothing about screen recordings.  And I'm not sure how getting a video file into Powerpoint helps reduce its file size?...

Unfortunately Quicktime Player (10) does not have most of the options that the old Quicktime 7 did. Jim's recommendation of Handbrake I think will change the frame rate as an option also.

 

If you are going to do this very often, I highly recommend ScreenFlow. $130, but it offers a lot of benefits in what it captures and how.

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On 4/4/2018 at 1:46 PM, JimW said:

I work with compression related tasks like this all the time! Say hello to my little friend:

https://handbrake.fr/downloads.php
 

 

An easy-to-use fantastic tool. I don't use it every day, but it works easily quickly flawlessly every time I do.

 

And—it's free

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On 4/4/2018 at 4:46 PM, JimW said:

I work with compression related tasks like this all the time! Say hello to my little friend:

https://handbrake.fr/downloads.php

 

Okay!  So I'm finally getting around to checking out Handbrake, but after clicking on the link and going to the Handbrake website, there are all kinds of warnings about verifying the authenticity and integrity of Handbrake with checksums and whosums and whatsitsums, and even GPG... whatever any of all that is...  I went to the Handbrake Installation Guide and got as far as opening Terminal and typing in "shasum" (huh?), but nothing happened.  And I'm pretty sure I don't want to be messing around with Terminal.  So, I'm afraid to double-click on the dmg file, and generally not sure how to proceed...   

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Like Jim, I've used handbrake for years, really easy and quick to use. If you aren't  sure about the check sums and whatnot, just make sure you download only from the handbrake.fr website and only the current version

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Okay, thanks.  I assume that if I just click on Jim's link, and download whatever's there, I'll be both downloading from the correct website and that it'll be the most current version.  Why would anyone download from any but the handbrake.fr website anyway, if doing so can avoid the additional steps of checksums and whatnot?...

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So far, a couple of quick experiments, and this is Fantastic!!  Just a couple of short .mov files were reduced to 28% & 19% of their original sizes.  Image quality not quite as good as the originals, but, just as good as Quicktime 1080 exports, and, only half the file size!  I've recently discovered uploading to YouTube, where I was getting bogged down in all their recommendations, but it looks like Handbrake takes care of all that MP4 container and H.264 codec stuff, especially with its "Vimeo YouTube" presets!  So... thanks again for this!

Edited by willofmaine

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So... over the course of a 15 minute video, after compression with Handbrake, the video and the audio did not remain synchronized.  The compressed video is about 4 seconds longer than the original, which is about how much the audio trails the video by (at the end).  I'm not sure why the audio and video wouldn't stay together in the first place, but, is there a solution?...

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In handbrake try setting the frame rate to constant in the video tab before doing the conversion

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@ColinW Thanks.  Unfortunately, changing the frame rate to "constant" didn't seem to make a difference.

 

@mike m oz I'm looking at the shinywhitebox website, and just realized that for this particular project, because I've already done the recordings and assembled the final video with Quicktime, ishowU Instant won't really help me at this point?  Unless maybe I play my Quicktime movie and record that... which I guess would be an effective way to introduce an "analog" step into an otherwise digital process...

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Ha.  I just tried a quick experiment recording my Quicktime video with Quicktime, but of course the audio is then the result of my computer's microphone recording sound from my computer's speakers and, as expected, that's super lousy...  And of course it would be no different if I similarly used iShowU Instant to re-record my video.

 

Any other suggestions as to how to convince Handbrake to keep the video and audio synchronized?... 

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22 hours ago, willofmaine said:

Any other suggestions as to how to convince Handbrake to keep the video and audio synchronized?... 


I've had that once or twice, sometimes i simply had to compress the video again and it was fine, but others I had to uncheck "Align A/V start" on the bottom left of the Summary tab (little counterintuitive?) as well as enable Web Optimized.

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Hmm... that didn't help.  I've compressed the original video at least ten times at this point.  Regardless of how I change the settings, the compressed video is always the same four seconds longer, with the audio always out of sync by the same amount.  I finally gave up and uploaded my entire 1.8 Gb file to YouTube.  Maybe next time I'll try using iShowU Instant right from the get go.  In the meantime, thanks!

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