Feature: Audio Input Change Warning

I record many clips a day with ScreenFlow, but sometimes some other program messes with the system's audio input settings, and then the next time I record with ScreenFlow, it changes its input choice to match. I never want it to. If I set it to use my USB microphone, I always want it to use the USB microphone—even if the system input changes.

My feature request is that if it must honor changes to the system input—and I'm sure some people rely on that—it either makes that a configuration option (use system audio input / always use chosen input) or present a warning when starting to record in big red letters that the audio input (or any of the other settings for that matter) has changed since last the recording.

I write this after spending four hours recording off and on and discovering that the hour and a half of footage was all recorded with the laptop's mic and is useless.

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  • Chris Innanen said:
    I record many clips a day with ScreenFlow, but sometimes some other program messes with the system's audio input settings,

     Can you give a specific example?

    Chris Innanen said:
    My feature request is that if it must honor changes to the system input

     Others may want ScreenFlow to keep the input you designate for in in Configure Recording. I'm not sure someone would want ScreenFlow to follow changes one might make for another program.

    Chris Innanen said:
    I write this after spending four hours recording off and on and discovering that the hour and a half of footage was all recorded with the laptop's mic and is useless.

     You always control this in the Configure Recording and shouldn't change without your input.

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  • CraigS 

    I know now what the cause was, and would still like to find a solution.

    I had ScreenFlow running, but with no open windows—it was waiting for me to hit the hotkey and start the day’s recording, the previous day’s session already having been edited, uploaded to YouTube, and closed.

    Sometime between the end of the last session and the start of this one, the USB hub the microphone is plugged into was disconnected (a USB-C to USB-A hub). It was immediately plugged back in, but it was during that period that I think ScreenFlow switched to the laptop’s microphone since the current option wasn’t online. It didn’t switch back, however, when the microphone was plugged back in.

    Several hours later, I hit the hotkey to record and the wrong microphone was used.

    So I guess the issue is that ScreenFlow will, understandably, switch inputs when the selected one is no longer available. But it won’t switch back to the manually chosen one when it comes back, nor does it notify the user that it made the change at all.

    I think it should always try to find the most recently selected input. If it can’t, it should remain in a non-recording error state until the user mannually selects a new one.

    Example: “The selected audio input ‘Yeti Blue USB’ is not available. Hit ‘Continue’ to record with ‘Built-In Microphone’ or hit ‘Cancel’ to open recording preferences and select a new one.”

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  • Chris Innanen If an input source is no longer found it may well switch as might be the case when using a hub or an audio interface. It has no way of knowing intent so I'm not sure how one would force it to "re-remember" a disconnected device once it was reattached.

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  • CraigS 

    Well, if there isn’t a unique identifier for a given audio input, then it does at least have the name string. I’m not sure what happens if, say, you plug in two Yeti Blues. It must be able to tell them apart somehow.

    But if all else fails when trying to recover the user’s chosen microphone, it should still give an alert like the one at the end of my last post when trying to record with a missing input, instead of arbitrarily and “secretly” changing to a different audio input.

    In short, if it can’t honor my specifically requested Yeti Blue microphone, it should tell me so instead of doing something I don’t want like suddenly using a microphone located in another room.

    Does that make sense/sound reasonable? :)

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  • Chris Innanen It wouldn't know there's a "missing input" because it changes after losing the input. Losing the input can happen when ScreenFlow is not in use. It simply sees what's there, doesn't know what's missing. Device identification may change so that two of the same device may actually not be consistent between uses.

    You're welcome to ask for it but my hunch is this isn't something that would be easy to implement.

    ScreenFlow Feature Request Form

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  • CraigS 

    Hmmm...

    If I choose a microphone, quit, reopen ScreenFlow, the same microphone is still selected. Of all the microphones available, it’s remembered my selection. Somewhere in its preferences, it’s saved the same string “Yeti Blue USB” that I expect to see there. When it starts up, it must look for that string among the connected microphones.

    If it can’t find it... right now it picks a different microphone. Thar be da problem. :)

    If I set that drop down menu to “Yeti Blue USB” I want to to stay that way. If there is no microphone with that name when the program starts up, or if the peripheral goes offline while the program is running, ScreenFlow should alert me of that fact.

    Think of it like having a USB drive mounted. If the program has been told to save to that drive, and the drive gets ejected, I expected to be told of the problem so I can deal with it intelligently. I don’t expect the program to pick some new location at random to save the files to on the sly.

    Do you think this is clear enough for a feature request now? (Though I’d rather call this a bug—or at least a design flaw.)

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  • Chris Innanen said:
    If I choose a microphone, quit, reopen ScreenFlow, the same microphone is still selected. Of all the microphones available, it’s remembered my selection

     It only "knows" from what is currently available in hardware. This is common in many programs. Not specific to ScreenFlow. I find this in any number of audio programs I use. It will "remember" only if currently available.

    Chris Innanen said:
    if the peripheral goes offline while the program is running, ScreenFlow should alert me of that fact.

     If ScreenFlow were currently open when the device was disconnected that could be viable. Just as if you remove a hard drive without unmounting it first, you will get an improperly ejected warning.

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  • Chris Innanen
    Example:

    I open up Quicktime > New Movie Recording and select Logitech C920 webcam.
    Quit Quicktime.
    Remove Webcam from computer
    Open Quicktime > New Movie Recording.
    It defaults to another video device.
    This is how Mac Apps works. This is also how my other programs work as well. ScreenFlow works this way as well.

     

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  • CraigS 

    Quicktime, the height of usuability. ;)

    I’m sure QuickTime, and other audio apps, would have the same problem in my scenario of having the USB mic unplugged for a moment while the program was running. They’d switch to something else and not switch back.

    I’m just suggesting that ScreenFlow could be better than that. :)

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  • Chris Innanen said:
    I’m just suggesting that ScreenFlow could be better than that. :)

     I think there's a limitation in the OS. Quicktime is just a universal example of what I see it in every other program as well.

    Free free to make feature request with the previously posted form but I'm not sure it's technically possible.

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