[Solved] Screensaver plays smooth on Mac, slow on Windows PC.

Hey there iScreensaver,

Here I am with a new question this time around. Built out a screensaver this time using an .mp4 video like the last one I did that you helped troubleshoot with me here. The video and resulting screensaver file is much smaller this time. Final installer is about 14.1 MB instead of 48.4 MB like the first one. Despite the 48.4 MB one playing smoothly on the PC, the 14.1 MB one is considerably slower and playback is choppy as if a lot of frames are missing. I would think that if the same PC could handle the 48.4 MB screensaver, it could handle the 14.1 MB like a piece of cake. What do you think is tripping it up this time?

QuickTime and iScreensaver software is the latest and I built out the animation using After Effects, same as last time.

What app are you using for the video conversion? Since the playback is using Apple’s QuickTime, we have found the best results are often obtained when using an Apple product to do the final conversion (e.g. QuickTime Player Pro’s Movie Export feature).

We’ve seen cases where Adobe Media Encoder makes movie files that are small, but have very poor playback performance.

Although you might think “All H264 is the same” there are actually a bunch of different versions and settings - some settings might allow a computer to use hardware decompression, whereas other settings might cause a computer to use software decompression which would be slower.

If you can, please run some tests by converting your final movie file with Apple QuickTime Player Pro and see if you get different results…

Thank you! That did the trick. What I did before was I exported from After Effects as a lossless .mov and then converted it into .mp4 in HandBrake to make the movie size smaller. But it was just better to take the lossless .mov from After Effects then straight into QuickTime and export it from there and use the 48-ish MB movie file instead of the 6 MB .mp4 from HandBrake. Overall screensaver file is bigger but that’s okay in this case. Thanks again. I didn’t even think about that QT step. Totally overlooked it this time.

Although I do recall using HandBrake without issues for my last screensaver (after it was exported from AE > QuickTime > HandBrake). Just something to note for next time.