How To Fix Glitchy QuickTime Screen Recordings on a Mac

Are your Quicktime screen recordings glitching and skipping frames in your video editing program?

I recently recorded a video tutorial showing how to assign shortcuts in software called Melodyne, making use of several screen recordings via QuickTime on Big Sur (convenience was the biggest factor). After spending a lot of time editing and then exporting a draft of the video, the screen recordings we're extremely glitchy and distracting.

After doing some research, I learned that screen recordings on QuickTime are recorded with a variable frame rate, which yields undesirable results on export. A variable frame rate means that the frame rate changes over the course of the video based upon the availability of hardware processing in order to reduce file sizes.

I needed a way solve the issue without re-recording the entire video. The answer is to transcode the VFR footage with an open source, 3rd party app called HandBrake. We use this to convert the videos from variable frame rate to constant frame rate.

1. Select "Open Source" at the top left corner of the HandBrake window

2. Click the Dimensions tab and make sure the "Final Dimensions" match the native settings on your videos

3. Then click the Video tab and adjust the Quality slider to the desired level.

4. Here are the recommendations on quality from the HandBrake website:

5. Next, select the frame rate that matches the sequence settings for your video and just below that, change the setting from Peak Framerate (VFR) to Constant Framerate.

6. Finally, click the Audio tab and change the Bitrate from 160 to 320 (if you plan to use the screen recording audio for anything).

7. Click "Save New Preset" and give it a name so you don't have to do this all over again

8. To transcode every video at once, click the caret to the right of Add To Queue and select "Add All Titles To Queue"

9. Before you hit Start Queue, go to the bottom of the window and click the "Browse..." button to select where you want HandBrake to place the newly transcoded files.

10. Once the process completes, move the original screen recordings into a new folder and then re-link the files in your video editing program to the transcoded versions. That's it!

Let me know if you have any questions about this process!


Music Producer | Audio Engineer | YouTuber