Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

On Snow Leopard (10.6), the screen recorder on QuickTime Player worked just fine. However, since I have upgraded to Mountain Lion (10.8) QuickTime screen recorder has been making my 2010 MacBook Air extremely slow/laggy while recording the screen but once I stop recording my computer is no longer slow/laggy.

Is there a way to fix this annoying problem? My computer is pratically unusable while recording so I can't use QuickTime to record the screen until it is fixed.

share|improve this question
1  
Could you check if it indeed is Skype slowing down your computer with Activity Monitor? –  qegal Aug 1 '12 at 6:42
    
@qegal I didn't say anything about Skype, and I don't have it running. Do you think it could be a bug with QuickTime? –  Nathan Aug 1 '12 at 7:11
    
Sorry. I typed Skype for some reason but meant QuickTime. I haven't heard anything about QuickTime making computers slow. –  qegal Aug 1 '12 at 7:13
    
@qegal While recording, at some points it takes up over 90% of the CPU and usually stays between 30% and 70%. I don't see why it's doing that. –  Nathan Aug 1 '12 at 7:27
    
@qegal Here's a screen shot of Activity Monitor while recording on QuickTime: dl.dropbox.com/u/25819920/Screenshots/… –  Nathan Aug 15 '12 at 5:24
show 2 more comments

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Not exactly a solution, but some observations that might provide a clue:

  • Issue also seen on my Mac mini (Mid 2011 - 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 + 8 GB DDR3) after upgrading from Lion to Mountain Lion
  • QuickTime no longer saves the recording to ~/Movies/Screen Recording.mov, but instead saves it to some temp location and when done recording, you need to save/export it.
  • Downgrading quality to medium quality didn't help

[Update 11/17]

Even my new Macbook Pro Retina 15" has this issue.

I happened upon a tutorial that showed someone using VLC to screen capture on a Mac and decided to give it a try. It turns out that functionality was removed from VLC on Lion and Mountain Lion and the reason was provided in this this thread: Mac OS Lion, VLC screen capture does not work:

Apple completely removed the API to capture the screen and replaced it with something totally different. Until anyone steps up and implements the new one, this feature is not available to Lion users. It remains accessible to Snow Leopard and Leopard users of course.

I'm not sure if this is also what's causing QuickTime on Lion+ to be super slow.

I did find an alternative which is working out really well for me: Voila

Available on the App store for $10 and records w/o performance issues. I was skeptical at first, so I downloaded its trial, and was extremely happy with the performance. $10 is definitely more than free, but depending on how often you need to record your screen, this is well worth the money in my opinion.

It supports both JPEG and H.264 encoding, but only records up to 25fps. For audio, it allows you to select which input and even allows you to use the computer audio (something QuickTime didn't allow and you had to use a separate utility like Soundflower).

share|improve this answer
    
Yeah, I set it to medium as well but it didn't help. Quicktime's screen recorder is a piece of junk in its current state. Apple needs to fix it. –  Nathan Aug 15 '12 at 5:23
add comment

I recommend changing the setting "Automatic Graphics switching" in your system preferences to off. It helped me.

share|improve this answer
3  
Could you explain this setting? MacBook Air have one graphics card so it's not clear what switch is possible unless you are referring to some hidden preference or third party software perhaps. –  bmike Aug 29 '12 at 16:07
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.