File sizes explained

Problem: My FBR file is larger than 1Gb (or a few hundred Mb) for what doesn't seem like a very long recording.

Solution: Use MPEG record mode. If you record moving video with GDI or capture driver record modes, you can create Gb FBR files quite quickly. Select MPEg record mode on the Record Mode tab of the Recorder Options window - this compresses moving video much better than other modes.
Read on for some more general tips on how to minimise file size of FBR files and exports:
Movie content and running length
Key point to remember: file size is affected more by movie content, not movie running length

Inside your movie, BB FlashBack stores the changes made to the screen. So if there are a lot of on-screen changes, the FBR movie file and your exports will be larger.

The kind of things that produce lots of on-screen changes: moving video, animation, smooth scrolling.

Vista's Aero interface, with its animating effects, can create bigger movies files than you might expect.

Including sound in your movie will also increase the file size, depending upon the amount of audio used and the format.

If you want to add sounds in the BB FlashBack Player, MP3 compressed files will be smaller than uncompressed (.WAV) equivalents.

BB FlashBack Recorder uses MP3 compression by default when recording sound. The “use MP3 compression” setting is found on the Sound step of the Record wizard or the Sound tab of the Options window. You can also select a quality level for MP3 - higher quality means larger files.

Movie format

The format you use for export has a large effect on file size. Some formats are better than others at compression moving video.

In general:

  • EXE and FBR formats can produce very small files if you are recording 'standard' Windows applications that have little or no animation or moving video.
  • QuickTime and WMV will produce the smallest files for movies that contain more animation or moving video.

    You can also get good results from AVI, with codecs like XVid or DivX, but you can run into compatibility problems - these codecs often need to be installed on the PC that is playing back the movie.

Exporter au Format Flash
BB FlashBack exports two types of Flash movie: SWF and FLV (Flash Video). SWF can give high image quality, but FLV is better at compressing motion.

If exporting to SWF, set the JPEG Image Quality slider on the Video Quality tab to a value that gives a good balance of filesize and image quality. If exporting to FLV, use the Quality slider on the Video Quality tab to find that balance.

Exporting to WMV
Settings important for adjusting export file size:
  • Fréquence d'images
  • Codec:
  • Qualité
  • Débit Binaire

Exporter vers Quicktime (H264)
Settings important for adjusting export file size:
  • Fréquence d'images
  • Key frame frequency
  • Qualité
  • Data rate

Exporter au format AVI
The most important factor in AVI file size is the codec you select. On the codec selection window is a "Configure" button. Click this to adjust codec settings, which will also affect file size and quality.

 In depth: AVI and WMV codecs

Windows graphical effects
Windows graphical effects, such as animating or fading menu transitions, make a lot of small on-screen changes that add to the movie file size. 

By default BB FlashBack switches off Windows graphical effects temporarily while recording. To turn them back on, use the "Switch off windows graphic effects" box on Step 1 of the Record wizard or the Display tab of the Recorder Options window.
Screen Resolution
The screen resolution setting on your PC determines the size that objects appear on-screen. A higher resolution means more text and objects fits on the screen at once.

You can change your screen resolution by going to the Windows control panel, opening Display and selecting the Settings tab.

The larger the screen resolution with which you record, the more information is recorded and the bigger your resulting movie size.
Quick tips for reducing your movie size
  • Remember that it’s the type of content (such as if the screen is remaining static or consistently changing, or if items displayed on the screen are simple or complex images) in your movie, not the running length, that primarily determines the file size.
  • Switch off Windows’ graphical effects before recording: they cause a lot of extra things to be drawn on the screen and can boost your file size significantly. You can set BB FlashBack to do this automatically on the Display tab of the Recorder Options window.
  • Use plain desktop wallpaper, as complex wallpapers can add literally megabytes to your final file size. You can set BB FlashBack to show plain wallpaper while recording via the “Set plain desktop wallpaper” option on the Display tab of the Recorder Options window.
  • Record at the lowest screen resolution possible. Higher screen resolutions create larger movie files.
  • If possible, avoid recording pictures, photos or animations as these will boost file size significantly.
  • If recording sound through BB FlashBack, make sure “use MP3 compression” is selected in the sound recording options, or if you’re adding a sound file into your movie in the player, use MP3 files rather than uncompressed formats such as WAV.
  • If exporting to AVI experiment with different codecs to find the best results.