Notes for Display Eater

Clumsy to set up record area. The screen goes so dark you can't see the content beneath that you want to record. The nicest interface to QuickTime filters of any of the tools reviewed. Doesn't record audio; developer says he doesn't expect to add audio capture any time soon.

You can continue capturing clips without saving them, and they accumulate in the clip management window. Before you can export the files (compress them), you have to save them. The process of saving is somewhat time-consuming: Probably about twice as long as the clip itself.

Quality of the original capture was stunning, but also stunningly huge: 680mb for a 40-second clip. The smaller clip was 17 seconds, 370mb. The export process didn't take more than a few seconds, and resulted in a big reduction in file size.

It's annoying that Display Eater's QuickTime setting doesn't remember the settings you used previously.

The 25-second clip was exported at medium H264 quality, 15 frames per second, auto bit rate, with light sharpening, and 320x240 QVGA size. This brought the size down to 160kb... very impressive compression, and the quality remains very reasonable for a web screencast. The export is extremely quick... less than 10 seconds for the 25 second clip.

Note: Setting "preserve aspect ratio" with "letterbox" doesn't preserve aspect ratio.

Note: When saving the third test, the software crashed. This seemed to be related to my choosing to view the large preview, because it happened twice the same way. Fortunately, DisplayEater remembered my file status, and relaunching just required me to begin the save process again.

Note: DisplayEater 1.8 wouldn't launch on my system until I moved it to the Applications folder on the boot volume.

Third trial, medium quality file was 128kb, high quality was 200kb, and highest quality using multipass option was 316kb... still smaller than iShowU. However, each change meant I had to manually adjust the settings for video, filters, and size each time.

Quality of DisplayEater at Medium setting is roughly the same as iShowU sample.

7/18/06: Tried new samples, but again had Display Eater crash and then stall on the export step.

Ultimately, Display Eater proved unreliable, its CPU usage is too high, and it needs some UI improvements.