[Solved] Audio hiccup in MOV-based screensaver project

I’m creating a screensaver based on a short, seamlessly looping .mov video file that includes audio. I have it set to loop forever, and on the first cycle the audio plays just fine, but for every subsequent loop it’s like half a second is missing from the beginning of the audio part (creating a ‘hiccup’), whereas the video loops without any such hiccups.

Any advice?

iScreensaver on Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

There are two settings that controls looping behavior:

  • Global Sequence Settings (that affect the entire Sequence of Items)

  • Item Behavior Settings (that affect only a single Item’s play behavior).

It sounds like you may have it set as follows:

Global Sequence Options: Loop
Item Behavior: Play Once

When set this way, it will play the movie once and let it finish. Then it will go on to the next item in the sequence (which, if you only have one item, will be the same item) and start playing the movie again from the beginning. This will naturally cause a break in continuity.

See https://iscreensaver.com/help/help07.shtml#globalSettings

You’d want to make sure that it’s set as follows:

Global Sequence Options: Loop
Item Behavior: Play Forever

Also, since you note that you are using the old version of iScreensaver (4.5) with a MOV (QuickTime) movie file. Note that Apple has discontinued the QuickTime plugin support as of version 7.7.9 - if you upgrade to that version iScreensaver 4.5 may no longer work with QuickTime based content.

The solution is to upgrade to iScreensaver version 5 which has much better support for modern video formats, and instead of MOV use a regular H.264/MP4 movie file.

Global > “Sequence Options” is set to “Loop”
Behavior > “Play” is set to “Forever”

The video is set up to allow a seamless loop (i.e. the last frame connects to the first frame). Currently, this works well for the video part, but there’s a hiccup in the audio (even though that’s part of the video) when played in iScreensaver Designer.

I will consider upgrading to version 5, but cannot afford it at this time.

“but there’s a hiccup in the audio (even though that’s part of the video) when played in iScreensaver Designer.” – interesting, that shouldn’t be happening.

Try playing the video file inside QuickTime Player on Windows 7 - set it to loop - do you have the same audio hiccup problem?

If so, I would try re-encoding the movie again using different audio/video formats, and I would also recommend you do the re-encoding from within QuickTime Player Pro itself - we have seen lots of cases where a poorly-encoded video file can cause playback issues when made in other apps. Encoding the video within QuickTime for playback by QuickTime usually gives best results.

As an alternative: since iScreensaver gives you the option of a background audio track, you could make a silent video file and put the audio in the background as an MP3 or AAC file. Doing this, there is no guarantee that the movie and audio files would stay in sync, but that might be fine if it’s just an ambient audio track that doesn’t go along with the video thematically…

As for upgrading to version 5, we offer substantial discounts for existing customers and if you have a special situation please don’t hesitate to email us about your needs.

It happens in the QuickTime Player, too. We’ll try re-encoding the file, but currently I can’t even get the video to play inside iScreensaver Designer anymore (opened a separate thread for this issue).

Unfortunately, the audio needs to sync with the video, so a background track is not an option for this screensaver.

Same problem with iScreensaver 5.0 (on OS X), so I’m not sure it’s a QuickTime thing after all. The loop looks fine in the video editing tools, even when re-importing the rendered file (whether .mov, .mp4 or any other format), but not in any of the video players or iScreensaver. We’re pretty much out of ideas. For now I’ll just use the last working version without audio (not sure the audio is to blame, though).

Hi mmrob - if you’d like to contact us via email with a way to download the file, we can check it out on our end.

I’ve sent an e-mail with several different versions (file formats mostly).