Not sure if it's updates to VLC or to OS X itself, but VLC playback is less smooth
than it once was using the default preferences.
For quite a few months now, there's a few seconds of frozen video while audio
plays when starting a new movie and anytime I skip forward or back through
the video. After the video unfreezes, first it's very blocky and has trails and
then after a few seconds eventually smoothes out.
This is playing typical .avi files.
What's most frustrating is the fact that up until a few months ago skipping around
never caused these lags.
As for .mkv files, no tips I've found have helped playback to a watchable degree.
A few things I've tried in various combinations:
- Checking the "hurry up" option.
- Increasing the caching value under input/codecs > access modules > file
- Changed "Skip the Loop Filter for H.264 from "none" to "all", "non-ref", and "non-key".
Some helped a bit, but playback was still choppy at best.
Mind you, all of the above are things I have no understanding of, they just came from
various tips I found when googling choppy os x mkv playback.
So can anyone help a complete video layman out with some specific settings to try for:
1) general playback of avi files to help with the lag time when skipping around
2) smooth playback (on my 17" computer screen, not streaming to tv) of mkv files
Thanks in advance for your help.
For reference I'm using a 17" PPC iMac 1.8GHz w/ GeForce FX 5200, 2GB of RAM
Thanks in advance for your time and wisdom!
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just an explanation about "loop"
loop is a post-processing (for a better display).
So "loop none" use less CPU than "loop"(for example: I cannot display correctly 1080i/p video with "loop enabled" on my MacMini)
your problem is CPU, video use a lot of CPU and your computer is not fast enough
Thanks for taking the time to explain a bit about "loop".
Originally Posted by Herve
For the low quality .avi files that just doesn't make any sense.
I've been watching movies on this exact system for years now and could always jump back and forth without any lag.
My computer certainly hasn't gotten slower... so I can only imagine something in the default settings of VLC or OS X itself has changed in one of the many updates?
Whatever the case may be, any tips on things I can change in the preferences to lower system demand during playback would be appreciated.
As I'm watching everything on my 17" screen, I imagine that there's plenty which is overkill and geared towards higher resolution playback on larger screens. Almost all the files I'm watching are 1CD size encodes (700mb).
Okay, so out of curiosity I just went and found an older version of VLC... 0.86i (current version is 0.9.6) and the lag problems are gone when using it!
So it's definitely either a change in the software itself, or perhaps just the default preferences.
If anyone has any suggestions for tweaking prefs in the latest version to work well on my slower system please let me know. I very much prefer the updated GUI and controls in the latest VLC, but not at the cost of basic playback quality!
I have to agree with ffooky. VLC has gotten fatter and fatter (and buggier), taxing CPUs more than ever before. Your computer is just not fast enough to do everything it is being asked to do. That is why rolling back to a simpler version of VLC helped.
Well many thanks to you ffooky, tomlee59, and herve for taking the time to share your perspectives on this.
Looks like I'll be sticking with the older release until I upgrade to a new system. At least it's all running smoothly again!
Well unfortunately it looks like you are quite right, and things are not likely to get better if this is the prevailing attitude...
Just read this post in the longest thread currently running at the official VLC OS X support forum:
The DJ on Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:00 am
It's quite simple though. x264 encoded video is simply CPU intensive to decode. If you cannot, don't whine, but buy a faster computer or don't play the videos (/seek alternative versions).
Videolan - VLC media player
So yes, ultimately a system upgrade will solve the problem, but clearly VLC is sliding to the back of the pack as far as optimization and handling of identical files on the exact same system when compared with other players.
Shame really, as I've been a loud and vocal evangelist of VLC over the years. Hopefully with enough people posting they may recognize that tightening up system performance really does need to be a bigger priority than it currently seems to be.