0

Recording iOS: ScreenFlow vs Other Options

When Apple invited App developers to include 15-30 second screencasts of their apps in the App Store for iOS called App Previews, they also added features to QuickTime Player enabling video and audio capture of iOS screens

ScreenFlow added a similar capability shortly thereafter but quickly discovered that this feature was of interest to a much wider audience than just app developers. Thus, a lot of people who are not app developers are trying to make good use of a feature designed for app developers. 

Compared to QuickTime Player, ScreenFlow adds Touch Callouts and Snapback (see the User Manual for details). Because it is not currently possible to get iOS to expose touch events, Touch Callouts have to be done post hoc. Still, it offers something not available in QuickTime Player. Those who have used the iOS simulator in XCode might point out that touch events are exposed there but this is a simulation and quite different from native iOS behavior.

Are thee any other important differences between QuickTime Player and ScreenFlow in recording iOS audio and video?

Unfortunately, ScreenFlow is not the king  of this particular hill. That distinction currently belongs to Reflector 2 in my opinion. If you follow this link, you'll see a few big advantages right away such as the inclusion of a device-appropriate frame in one of its available colors or no frame at all (good for App Previews).  It works via AirPlay so no tethering is needed. It does its own recording but also reflects everything  to the screen so could be used in conjunction with ScreenFlow as well. There are many other features, some specific to educational applications, other to business and so on. Use the provided link to explore for yourself.

My purpose in bringing this all up is to ask the questions, "Should ScreenFlow compete with Reflector in any way? If so, why so and if not, why not?"

17replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 6 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Pointing out that unlike Quicktime's recording feature. ScreenFlow records in a high  quality codec and can output Apple ProRes whereas Quicktime goes straight to a heavily compressed H.264.


    Being able to add frames is interesting.

    Of course if you mirrored to your Desktop, ScreenFlow could record that. Otherwise I think Reflector is using different technology than ScreenFlow which relies on Apple's feature set, whether iOS capture or desktop capture. Of course perhaps you feel ScreenFlow should pursue that avenue as well.

    Like
  • Re QuickTime screen capture of iOS devices, it does offer two output options, High and Maximum. Although Maximum is not ProRes, it does use a very high frame rate (c. 19 MBs) and, so, is quite suitable for use as part of a ScreenFlow project. 

    Reflector, unlike QuickTime Player, uses AirPlay. This is a nice approach except for the case of showing Home Movies. Apparently, there is a bug related to HDCP that causes a crash in this case.

    I do use Reflector in conjunction with ScreenFlow in order to get the device appropriate frame synchronized with the screen content. This works out fine for me but others might prefer that ScreenFlow incorporate ways to obtain this effect on capture. They should slog through the form to suggest that.

    Of course, one can get a decent frame in post using transparency but the animated transitions between portrait and landscape will be difficult to create and synchronize with content.

    Like
    • Mikael Quere
    • Solution Engineer Mobile Packet Core
    • Mikael_Quere
    • 5 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Reflector seems to enable recording of several iOS devices simultaneously. Is that the case in Screenflow too?
    I prefer Screenflow on paper because my devices won't likely be on the same network as the Mac, meaning Airplay is a no-go.

    Like
    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 5 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Mikael Quere ScreenFlow only records one iOS device at a time. Is there a reason why you'd need to do this?

    Like
    • C Hunter
    • C_Hunter
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    I, also, use Reflector and Quicktime in conjunction with Screenflow. When doing iOS presentations, while Screenflow is recording, Reflector allows me to have both iPad and iPhone connected and displayed on my computer screen. Why would I want this? These iOS devices will have different feature sets for the same app due to the size of the screen/technology. With Reflector, I can see what is displayed on my desktop while I am doing the demo from the iOS device. A great feature because computers have a mind of their own and screens can/will freeze in one location while running smoothly in another.

    Which brings me to request...If Screenflow allows one to directly record an iOS device, it would be nice to see what is being recorded. Much like it displays the iSight recording separate from the desktop recording. I'd hate to have recorded a demo of any length, only to find out after I press the Stop button, that something went awry. While Screenflow is very stable for me,  I continue to work with Reflector/Quicktime for this type of application, but would love to see it implemented in Screenflow. Sometimes the fewer programs running at one time, the better things work. If this is already implemented, please point me in the right direction.

    Best

    —CHunter

    Like
    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view
    C Hunter said:
    f Screenflow allows one to directly record an iOS device, it would be nice to see what is being recorded. Much like it displays the iSight recording

     Do keep in mind that such "confidence" display is also recorded if you're capturing the screen. With a webcam you don't know what the camera is seeing. With iOS what you see on the screen is what is being recorded so displaying it on the desktop to confirm might be redundant.

    That said, LP  can document the request.

    Like
    • Mikael Quere
    • Solution Engineer Mobile Packet Core
    • Mikael_Quere
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    CraigS This is to record 2 iOS devices "talking" to each other.

    Like
    • C Hunter
    • C_Hunter
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view
    CraigS said:
    With iOS what you see on the screen is what is being recorded so displaying it on the desktop to confirm might be redundant.

     Redundant, not at all. Screen freezes on the display device (projector), but not on the device you are displaying from (iPhone connected to computer, connected to projector) do occasionally happen (especially when in front of a large group of people). I need to see what my audience is seeing. Which is why Screenflow, Reflector and QuickTime work well in combination. 

    While I know that Screenflow (awesome) is not “presentation software”, displaying that video layer of the iOS device while it’s recording would be a great help in real-time and in post editing.

    Just a notion. Thanks for submitting the feature request. 

     

    “Life Rewards Action”

    —CHunter

    Like
    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Mikael Quere 

    Mikael Quere said:
    CraigS This is to record 2 iOS devices "talking" to each other.

    That sounds interesting. Perhaps include an example where two devices are talking to each other.

    C Hunter said:
    While I know that Screenflow (awesome) is not “presentation software”, displaying that video layer of the iOS device while it’s recording would be a great help in real-time and in post editing.

    I'm aware of Reflector but it seems your use case is outside the intended function given that ScreenFlow is not presentation software as you note. You'd want to convince the developers that your use case is in demand and wouldn't compromise ScreenFlow's core functionality.

    Like
    • C Hunter
    • C_Hunter
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view
    CraigS said:
    but it seems your use case is outside the intended function 

     (I can only speak from experience of using these software combinations since Screenflow 3 or 4, and watching Screenflow software features progress...)

    It really isn’t.

    Maybe in Screenflow 10...

     

    “Life Rewards Action”

    —CHunter

    Like
    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    C Hunter The feature set is always expanding. The developers need to understand the use case though.  How to expand such features is very much influenced by user input. It's also influenced by Apple hardware, macOS, iOS improvements as well.

    Like
    • C Hunter
    • C_Hunter
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    CraigS 

    Then to go a little deeper...

    Many years ago I used a software product titled “BoinxTV”. It has since changed its name, consumer model, and pricing went thru the roof. 

    But, an ingenious and feature-rich piece of software at consumer level, at the time. 

    I could record my main desktop while using an app, a selected portion of, or external monitor desktop and 2-3 three connected video devices. The UI  displayed all of this, so I could see what was happening in real-time from all sources being captured. These captures were initiated in separate Timeline layers, similar to Screenflow, from the very start of the recording, not after the recording had ended.

    This was probably instrumental in my choosing of Screenflow, it felt very familiar from the start. 

    The use case would primarily be the ability to see in real-time all capture sources.

     

    ”Life Rewards Action”

    —CHunter

    Like
    • Mikael Quere
    • Solution Engineer Mobile Packet Core
    • Mikael_Quere
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    CraigS Use case in more details:
    1. share my screen with people remotely or start recording; show 2 idle iOS devices.
    2. start a FaceTime or WiFi call, or any relevant application implying communication between the 2 devices over the network.
    3. do my thing on the network, see how it impacts the user experience on the devices

    Thanks

    Like
    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view
    C Hunter said:
    Many years ago I used a software product titled “BoinxTV”.

     Have you had a look at our Wirecast product? It can handle multiple sources including multiple portions of the desktop and everything can be shown in preview and live out to a monitor or projector as well. Any shot can have multiple live layers and they can be transitioned on and off somewhat similar to BoinxTV.
     

    Like
    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Mikael Quere you may want to look at Wirecast as well.

    Wirecast is meant to handle multiple simultaneous layers live. 

    Like
    • C Hunter
    • C_Hunter
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    CraigS Yes, I have viewed the feature set of Wirecast. Looks like a wonderful product, but not a product that I am interested in pursuing at this time. 

    ”Life Rewards Action”

    —CHunter

    Like
    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    C Hunter You mention BoinxTV though which I think was closer to Wirecast than ScreenFlow in that it was commonly used for live streaming and/or local recording. If memory serves me I don't remember it as a multitrack NLE. 

    I do believe others have expressed interest in ScreenFlow handling multiple sources though. 

    Like
Like Follow
  • 4 yrs agoLast active
  • 17Replies
  • 2008Views
  • 4 Following