Mac Software Review: Screenflick 1.6.2

Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Mac software review






We have reviewed several screen-capture software titles for Macs in the past. We have recently got to know a relatively new one from Araelium Group. Visiting their website and reading its description, we were very much interested in Screenflick. They say






Screenflick can now record “captured” displays. Keynote, slideshows, and video games for example will “capture” the screen, which previously would prevent Screenflick from recording. (See Screenshot 01.)





Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 01
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 02
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 03






So Screenflick can capture game play screens, huh!? That’s cool. Let’s try out Screenflick, then. 

When you launch Screenflick for the first time, a dark icon will appear on the menu bar. (See Screenshot 02.) Let’s click on this menu icon. There are four commands under the menu. If you don’t want this menu icon on the menu bar, you can choose not to display it by clicking on the box that says “Show Screenflick in the menu bar” under Preferences. (See Screenshot 03.) But don’t. Or you need to set up a shortcut key for Activate Screenflick before doing so. (See Screenshot 04.) Otherwise, you will not be able to stop recording desktop movements unless you force-quit Screenflick (pressing Command + Option + ESC) or use Activity Monitor.





Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 04
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 05






Next, let’s click on Screen under Recording Settings. Under Camera Mode, you want to choose Fixed Location. (See Screenshot 05.) Otherwise, however you move your Mouse cursor, the screen-capture region will follow it. Video Options… It should be set to a number equal to or higher than the frame rate for compression. For instance, if I want to compress my final screen-capture video with a frame rate of 24, then I need to set this number to 24 or higher. The closest number available under the drop-down menu is 30. So I should set it to 30.





Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 06
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 07
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 08






Let’s move on to Audio Options. There are two check boxes. (See Screenshot 06.) Let’s only talk about the top one. If I click in the box that says Record System Audio, I will be prompted to enter my administrative password. (See Screenshot 07.) After installing the audio extension, whether or not Screenflick is running, if I try to listen to music, I won’t hear a thing. Because Screenflick has installed something, the system audio function has frozen. So I cannot increase or reduce volume. (See Screenshot 08.) So what I need to do is to open System Preferences and click on the Output tab. Screenflick Audio Device should be selected. I need to switch the output device to Headphones. (See Screenshot 09.) Since the audio output port is being used by headphones, ‘Headphone’ should appear. If the audio output port is not used, you should see Internal Speakers, which you need to select. Now, I can alter the audio output volume freely.





Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 09
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 10
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 11






Umm… Do I need to install the system extension in the first place? In fact, I do. If I proceed without it, then Screenflick will never let me embed an audio track in a screen-capture video. (See Screenshot 10.)

All right. I’m ready to test-record desktop movements. I have a Mac game called Command and Conquer 3 installed on this iMac Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz. So let’s see if Screenflick can record a game play. All I need to do is to click on the Record button. (See Screenshot 11.) This button should appear as long as you are under Recording Settings. In other words, it won’t be available if you are under Preferences or About Screenflick. I can also choose Start Recording under Screenflick’s menu icon, by the way. If I click on the Record button, I will be prompted to define the capture area. (See Screenshot 12.) Finally, if I click on ‘Record,’ Screenflick will start screen-capturing desktop movements. How do I stop recording? I need to use the shortcut key as defined earlier in Screenshot 04 or choose Stop Recording from the menu. (See Screenshot 13.)





Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 12
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 13
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 14






When you stop recording, Screenflick’s window will appear again and ask you to define video & audio compression settings, save or trash temporary recorded files. (See Screenshot 14.) If I click on Choose under Video, I’ll get to choose a video compressor. (See Screenshot 15.) This is where I get to set the frame rate and keyframe for final compression. I also get to set up audio compression by clicking Choose under Audio. (See Screenshot 16.) Finally, if I click on the Save button, I will be prompted to select the location to save the movie file.





Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 15
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 16
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 17






There are a few major problems when you record a game play video with Screenflick 1.6.2. The previous version (1.6.1) was more stable. During compression, Screenflick quit itself. What I ended up with is an unfinished movie file, which I cannot open. (See Screenshot 17-8.) After trying to record a game play video several times, I finally succeeded in saving a video file. If I play back the video… Screenflick displays the menu bar at different locations. (See Screenshot 19.) The game screen is push to the bottom left corner. The worst part is that I get a lot of horizontal lines, which make it unable for me to use the video. (See Screenshot 20.)





Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 18
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 19
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 20






Hold on… Let’s take a good look at Screenshot 14 again. There’s something wrong with this picture. Under Movie Info, the capture frame rate is shown as 17.7. Let’s open the recorded video with QuickTime and see its movie specifications. The frame rate is only 14.99. (See Screenshot 21.) Wait… The file size is only 161.93 MB? That’s impossible. As shown in Screenshot 22, the frame rate is set to 24. The keyframe is set to 1. That means I wanted to record every single frame. Because the resolution (1,440 x 900 pixels) and length of video (1:42;14) are such that my file size should be several hundred mega bytes. A possible answer to this small size is that Screenflick did not fulfill the keyframe. It’s the same problem that iShowU 1.44 had when we reviewed it a year ago. My guess is that the keyframe is automatically set to… Hmm… It’s at least greater than 1.





Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 21
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 22
Mac shareware Araelium Group Screenflick
Screenshot 23






What if I record simple desktop movements? And I did. Screenshot 23 shows the movie specifications of a simple screen-capture video. Again, the frame rate is only 12.99. The video resolution and length are 1,440 x 900 pixels and 1:06;66, respectively. Since the keyframe is set to 1, the file size should be a few hundred mega bytes. But it’s only 66.84 MB. Because the frame rate is less than 24 (or 23.98), I cannot edit these raw screen-capture videos with Final Cut Pro. Let’s also take a good look at Screenshot 16. Screenflick doesn’t support ‘Uncompressed’ AIF. That means the audio track would have to be rendered if I wanted to edit these raw screen-capture videos with Final Cut Pro.

In conclusion, Screenflick has several major problems for those who want to edit screen-capture movies with Final Cut Pro. No matter how you use Screenflick, one is likely to end up with a screen-capture video whose frame rate is way lower than the standard motion picture frame rate. It appears that Screenflick consistently fails to carry out the interframe setting the user makes.

Furthermore, Screenflick may not be good for capturing game play screens. We attempted to capture game screens with both Screenflick 1.6.1 and 1.6.2. Every single screen-capture movie that we recorded contains a lot of horizontal lines. These screen-capture movies are unusable.

The worst part of Screenflick is that the latest version is unstable. Screenflick 1.6.2 quits itself while re-compressing a screen-capture video. We never encounter the same issue with the previous version.






Sample screen-capture files to downloads (Members only)

Click on the button to download Sample Movie 1 with C&C3 (162 MB). VTC
Click on the button to download Sample Movie 2 (66.9 MB). VTC





  • Developer: Araelium Group (www.araelium.com/screenflick/)
  • Developer’s location: (Anaheim Hills, CA, USA, A specific address has recently been removed from the website.)
  • Latest version: Screenflick 1.6.2 (Compatible with PPC, Intel Mac, Compatibility with Leopard)
  • System requirements: OS X 10.4 or higher
  • Prices: US$29
  • MacHouse recommendation: Compared with popular screen-capture application from Ambrosia Software, Screenflick is quite affordable. It’s only $29. But the price speaks itself. It has a lot of problems for both professional and non-professional video editors.

    Since we find no office address and phone number at software developer’s website, we are obliged to give a rating of zero to Screenflick. That means we do not recommend fellow Mac users to buy anything from an identified online merchant. We would give one or two stars even if the identity of the software merchant were fully disclosed on their website. In any case, it’s no offense to the software developer, but we regred to say that we find little use with the latest version of Screenflick.






    Screenflick is a product of Araelium Group.






    References:

    Mac Software Review: Screen Mimic 2.1
    Mac Software Review: iShowU 1.44
    Mac Software Review: Snapz Pro X 2.1.0
    Screen Capturing Software for Mac





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    4 Responses to Mac Software Review: Screenflick 1.6.2

    1. Michael Spjuth says:

      Just read your review of screenflick and wish I had done so before buying the program. A short question I have for you is: You mentioned you had problems with the program shutting down and not being able to view the video file.

      I encountered the same problem on a for me very important video. Is there any chance to somehow be able to rescue that movie or parts of it? Screenflick shuts down approx.half way thru. Size of the file is just over 5GB (yep, big) and I think the reason for the problem was that my mac was running extremly short on HD space when recording.

      Any clues or suggestions?

      Best Regards,
      Michael

    2. Sorry… I don’t quite remember how Screenflick works as I don’t even have it installed any more. I sort of remember that Screenflick has a frame rate problem.

      As for recovering video files, it’s possible that Screenflick creates a temporary file every time you record a desktop movie. Perhaps, you may want to contact the software developer for that.

    3. Jack Kenyon says:

      Did you have any luck with that? I’ve got exactly the same issue

    4. Michael says:

      Nope, no luck. Still have the file but can’t use it 🙁

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