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I’m confused and frustrated

Painfully slow render time?

Is it just us or does Silverback render _painfully_ slowly? We recorded an hour-long sesson, and output the video at the lowest possible settings, and it _still_ took around seven hours to render (on a brand new iMac). Seven hours?? That kind of render time will *ahem* render Silverback useless to us. Any suggestions?
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  • I’m confident
    Hi davidc, and thanks for the feedback.

    You should actually find the export time will be reduced if you export at the highest quality settings, as it's the compression that is extending the processing time. We realise that this is counter-intuitive, and in a future update we're looking at a way to make it clearer that the trade-off is smaller file size and longer export time vs. larger file size and shorter export.

    Another way to reduce export time is not to use semi-transparent video overlay. Processing time will be less with no video at all (obviously), or with video 'on' rather than semi-transparent. The trade-off there is the ability to see activity 'under' the video vs. a shorter export. You might also want to record at a lower resolution if you have a huge screen.

    In terms of general export times, we will continue to try to improve performance in future updates, but our tests show that Silverback's export times are faster than other software which compiles screen activity with video, under similar conditions.

    When we've used Silverback for long sessions, we've left it exporting overnight. We're also looking into a batch-export feature as a priority, so that you can start exporting several long sessions and leave all of them going at once.

    Please try re-exporting the same session at a higher quality and with no semi-transparent video, and if the export time is still as long could you email me (paul@clearleft dot com) and I'll ask you to send me some tech specs about your Mac to see if this is a bug.

    Hope that helps!
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  • I’m pleased with the quick response and hopeful
    Thanks for the quick response, Paul. We'll give that a shot and get back to you.
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  • I’m much happier
    That seems to have done the trick. We exported it at the highest quality, with video, and it only took three hours. We're trying it now without the video. Thanks for the tip!
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  • I’m happy
    Yup -- Took an hour-and-a-half at highest quality with no video. Much better than seven hours. Thanks!
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  • I’m mellonballed
    Wow, you guys have way old computers! ;-) Okay so technically while the video is recorded is stored somewhere. I believe it's inside a temp directory.. I swear I saw it somewhere, you could just take that video and not re-compress it.

    You might do well to use h.264 turbo USB stick, but it doesn't look like silverback lets you select customized quicktime encoding..It doesn't seem to expose that API.
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  • I’m happy
    Thanks for reporting back, David, and glad that got your export time down to 1.5 hours for a one-hour session with no video, or - more usefully - 3 hours with video. That's far closer to what I'd expect!
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  • I’m happy
    Woot! When I took out video and rendered at highest settings, took all of 15 minutes. (2.8ghz, 4gb of memory)
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  • I’m impatient
    Even on my reasonably modern Mac the render times make using Silverback problematic. I appreciate that nothing much else can be done within the program. However, could, or does, Silverback support external hardware to turbo-boost the process?

    What about....
    Elgato Turbo.264 ?

    I have included a screen grab showing the progress after 40 minutes on the following settings.

    Silverback settings
    Video Recording at 1440 x 900
    1 hour 18 mins session
    iSight capture 320 x 240
    Export semi-transparent
    iSight output size 640 x 480

    Export settings
    Export, 100% no compression (fastest)

    Computer

    MacbookPro 2.2 Ghz - 2Gig ram
    29 Gig Hard disk available
    OS 10.5.5
    No other apps running. Main power with no energy saving interruptions
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  • I’m Wild for Clerleft
    Have you guys looked into suppporting the Elgato Turbo.264 HD yet? I am doing some testing for Madgex and wanted to hammer out the export using my new dongle!
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  • So far we've been working on reducing the native render time and have managed to get it down by around 200% which we're pretty chuffed at. Once we can't get any more native speed increases we'll probably look at adding support for hardware optimisation like the Elgato Turbo.264 HD. However this will probably only improve performance by around 30%, so it'll only be useful for a small number of people who have the hardware and are doing a lot of video rendering.
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  • I’m Zonked
    What if those small number of people were super important and good looking and knew Harry B? It's time to break out the whips and leg manacles for the code writers.
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