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Export times have gotten even slower on M1 Pro systems

A few weeks ago I was able to export a 4K resolution project and the time to complete a render for YouTube was roughly half the video length.

Now (Screenflow 10.0.5 and macOS 12.3) it's about 1:1. Sometimes an export even takes more time to export than the source material's length.

What is going on? Same hardware on my part... an M1 Pro-based MacBook Pro... but export times are slower.

Strangely, if I open a 4K project made with an earlier version of Screenflow 10, and an earlier version of macOS 12, but the same computer hardware and video resolution – that project will export in the usual time (about half of project length).

Any ideas? The current export time makes my workflow (recording and publishing lessons from multiple daily computer science classes) nearly untenable in the long run. I just don't have that much time on my hands...

Help / input would be appreciated. I can provide project files for debugging purposes.

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  • Is there anyone at Telestream reading this who is willing to take my project files to investigate this issue with?

    I understand that there were existing threads about M1 vs. M1 Pro performance with Screenflow, but to me this is a new issue.

    I was (more or less) satisfied with the earlier performance of my M1 Pro system and Screenflow. As mentioned, for a project of "x" minutes in length, I could publish the project to YouTube with the export taking about "x/2" minutes to complete, not including uploading time.

    Literally all that's happened is I had a couple of weeks off from teaching for March Break. During March Break I upgraded Screenflow, from 10.0.4 to 10.0.5, and macOS 12.2 to 12.3.

    Now I am in a situation where a project of "x" minutes in length takes > "x" minutes to export.

    Any thoughts?

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Russell Gordon There's an issue with M1Pro/Max chips and Apple's Video Toolbox which impacts Hardware Accelerated (Fastest) encoding. If you use Normal encoding it should be faster. Apple has to fix the Video Toolbox issue. In the meantime do not use Fastest mode.

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  • Hi Craig,

    Thank-you, I appreciate the time you've taken to provide this reply.

    However, when using the "File > Publish to ... > YouTube ..." menu sequence, there is no option to select an encoding option (Fastest vs. Normal).

    Are you suggesting I export to a local file then upload to YouTube through the browser?

    If so, I have just tried that. Choosing "Fastest" when exporting to a local file resulted in the usual "x/2" timeframe that I had previously seen when using the "File > Publish to ... > YouTube ..." menu sequence.

    For example, I had a short 9 minute video today from a class, and it exported in about 4-5 minutes to a local file when using the "Fastest" option at 4K resolution.

    When I exported to a local file at 4K and chose the "Normal" encoding option, today's 9 minute video took about 3-4 minutes, so roughly "x/3" where x is the project length in minutes. A bit faster than the "Fastest" option, so, presumably, this is the problem with the Apple Video Toolbox that you mentioned.

    Exporting to a local file – at either "Fastest" or "Normal" for the encoding quality – these are good workarounds that I will use. Thank-you. I will note that 9 minutes is a short video for me – lessons are usually 45 minutes to an hour, so the encoding speed is much more relevant then.

    My point, though – when I choose the "File > Publish to ... > YouTube ..." menu sequence, the video rendering / export phase takes 5+ minutes on a 9 minute video. It starts off predicting about 3 minutes and then seems to get bogged down about halfway through encoding.

    This phenomenon is amplified with a longer project, to the point where a 35 minute video I recorded earlier today took 40 minutes to encode at 4K resolution when publishing straight to YouTube.

    So my question is – what encoding option is being set automatically with the "File > Publish to ... > YouTube ..." menu sequence? And, has that changed from Screenflow 10.0.4 to 10.0.5?

    It still seems to me like there is an new issue with Screenflow here – using "File > Publish to ... > YouTube ..." is now significantly slower than it was for me a few weeks ago, and nothing has changed other than my upgrading to Screenflow 10.0.5 and macOS 12.3.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Thank-you again for your time.

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 10 mths ago
    • Reported - view
    Russell Gordon said:
    Are you suggesting I export to a local file then upload to YouTube through the browser?

     Please do try that. Any time you use Publish, internet upload speeds are involved and may impact timing. That makes it hard to judge whether there's an actual speed change.

    Again, we know there's an issue with Fastest/Hardware Accelerated and know this is an Apple Video Toolbox issue as other apps have been impacted by this as well. 

    Although one test you could perform is to screen record in 9.0.7 and make a copy of the document in 10.0.5 on the same computer. Then Publish to YouTube in 9.0.7 and then 10.0.5 back to back on the same computer. While internet speed can vary even in short periods it could give a much closer comparison. You'd still want to check your upload speed before each upload to verify that hasn't changed between the uploads.

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  • Hi Craig,

    Will do, happy to try that out, but – the Screenflow interface makes it clear when the video rendering is happening and when the actual upload to YouTube is happening. The rendering is when there is the grey horizontal progress bar. The upload is when there is a circular progress bar around the "upwards arrow" button (shows after the horizontal progress bar completes).

    I am certain the delay I am seeing is not a slow internet connection, but during the video rendering portion of this process.

    For example, see attached screenshot.

    This publish to YouTube of a 53 minute video from my class today started out estimating a 20 minute or so render time. The estimate has slowly creeped up and after 10+ minutes of rendering it is still showing an estimate for completion of 40 minutes.

    This is why I am fairly certain this is a new issue – the same steps and process on Screenflow 10.0.4 and macOS 12.2 about a month ago before March Break took roughly half the time it's taking me now.

    Thanks for your thoughts,

    Russ

    P.S.: I will try what you've suggested at some point and report back.

    P.P.S.: I have a half-gigabit fiberoptic Internet connection for my upstream connection – it's very fast and that portion of the export process – when the circular progress bar is operating – remains as speedy as it was a few weeks ago.

      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Russell Gordon I can only comment on the information provided. You've added information not offered in your previous posts. Without that, I have to make assumptions. For the fastest, most accurate troubleshooting help you'd need to include complete reproducible details. 
       

      Russell Gordon said:
      File > Publish to ... > YouTube ..." is now significantly slower than it was for me a few weeks ago, and nothing has changed other than my upgrading to Screenflow 10.0.5 and macOS 12.3.

       The only way to verify on your hardware is to compare the two versions using the same document. If there's no difference, then the next step would be to compare the two macOS versions otherwise the assumption would be Apple changed something if there's no difference in ScreenFlow versions.

      Publish to YouTube doesn't include any controls beyond frame size. The only way to do a real test is using an encode to desktop using specific settings as that determines if a specific setting is involved. To compare encode times in version changes in ScreenFlow you must use the exact same document in both versions with the same settings.

      Use the same document in ScreenFlow 10.0.4 and 10.0.5 on macOS 12.3. Then do the same on 12.2 on the same computer.

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  • Hi Craig,

    Thank-you – I do understand the need for reproducible details.

    I'm not sure what additional information I have provided that wasn't given earlier.

    I do apologize if I was not clear in my original post. I have always been referring to the "video export" portion of the Publish to YouTube feature; of course I'm aware that internet speeds will vary and affect upload times. It is the video export portion of the Publish to YouTube feature that is significantly slower.

    As my time permits, I will run some tests with the same document on different versions of Screenflow and the underlying OS, using the Publish to YouTube feature, and report back here.

    To close out, I'm not sure that I agree that using "Publish to YouTube" is not a "real test". This is a supported feature of Screenflow, right? While the video export settings are not exposed to the user, there is clearly video encoding happening. What I'm telling you as a customer is that whatever is happening under the hood with the video encoding options that Screenflow chooses on behalf of the user – the video encoding/export portion of the "Publish to YouTube" feature is now significantly slower.

    Put another way, "Publish to YouTube" exists as a feature in your product, it's convenient to use, I want to use it.

    I'd really like to figure out why that feature isn't performing as it used to.

    Am I in the right place for that, or should I be reaching out somewhere else within Telestream?

    Thanks in advance for your time,

    Russ

    Like
    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 10 mths ago
    • Reported - view
    Russell Gordon said:
    To close out, I'm not sure that I agree that using "Publish to YouTube" is not a "real test".

     The settings, other than frame size, aren't visible to the user.
    The setting that needs to be investigated is Faster vs Normal. Faster is hardware accelerated and there's a known issue on Apple's side (we've reported it). So you'd need to test whether that is the cause of the slowdown. Given it's Apple's issue, the macOS version may well be a factor in any change in speed. 

    Like
    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 10 mths ago
    • Reported - view
    Russell Gordon said:
    I'd really like to figure out why that feature isn't performing as it used to.

     We have no other reports from users about that. So we'd have to rely on your testing if others aren't reproducing it. I'd report the results of your test to the developers. You must use the same document because different documents with different sources or effects may have dramatically different encoding times. So we'd need 1) test from you 2) document from you for us to test if it's more than a screen recording 3) possibly a system config report (I'd show you how to gather that). 4) possibly a screenshot of Activity Monitor showing CPU and/or RAM resource use since other apps running might impact encoding time.

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    • CraigS Understood – I'll work on this and report back. Thank-you.

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Russell Gordon 👍

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