I've recently bought ScreenFlow, but I noticed that the recording quality is horrible, and even worse when uploaded to Youtube.

After some research I have to the conclusion that it records using Mac OSX Mountain Lion's screen capturing script that most programs use to record the screen.

So my question is, how do I change the quality at which this script records? I don't mind hacking stuff.

If this is not possible, what would be a good stand-alone program that can record by it's own account, not depending on this screen capturing script.

Thanks for your help!

  • Are you using your Mac's built-in microphone? That's more likely to be the source of quality issues than the codecs involved. Test by recording a track in Garageband, and see if that quality is what you expect. – robmathers Nov 21 '12 at 16:51
  • I am using my headset's mic, but the problem is not the audio, it's the video. It's like it records at half the amount of pixels, at low quality (like watching fullscreen at 360p). – greduan Nov 21 '12 at 17:00
  • Sorry, my brain seems to have inserted audio before "recording quality". – robmathers Nov 21 '12 at 18:19
  • No problem. :) So I guess you don't have a working answer then correct? – greduan Nov 21 '12 at 18:32

I downloaded a trial version of ScreenFlow, and it looks like there are a few ways to improve the video quality.

YouTube Export

If you're using the YouTube publishing option, be sure to check the Publish in 720p/1080p option: YouTube quality options

If you don't have that selected, the video will be downscaled by YouTube to 360p. You may also want to check the Letterbox option to maintain the aspect ratio on YouTube.

Custom Export

You can gain more control over the export options by using the Export option, in the File menu (or ⌘E). There are various presets, I would suggest trying the Web - High option first, and see if that's to your taste. You'll also want to be sure to change the Dimensions settings, which by default are set to scale to 50%.

If you're wanting to put stuff on YouTube, I suggest exporting at your default resolution (i.e. 100% scaling) — YouTube will re-encode it anyway, but uploading the best source material is the best way to maintain quality. If you find the quality of the Web - High isn't sufficient, you can click the Customize… button, and increase the Datarate setting.

Lossless Export w/ 3rd Party Tools

Finally, if you're still not satisfied, you could ScreenFlow's lossless recording, and use an external tool to compress it. To enable lossless recording, open Preferences, click Advanced and change the Screen Recording Compression from Adaptive to Lossless. Then when you export, use the Lossless preset (or Lossless - ProRes, although this format is not supported by as many tools). Then use another tool, such as Handbrake to tweak the settings as you desire.

Hopefully you can find something amongst these options that will get you the output you desire.

  • EXCELLENT!! Sorry for all caps, but I've been searching for this for 2 days. It was the Lossless settings which made it low quality at recording. I will be sure to check out Handbrake. Thanks a lot! I can't believe Lossless was the option, well, I guess you should always try everything. – greduan Nov 21 '12 at 19:40

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