A Solution… and a Warning!

I found out what went wrong with my earlier video. I had the “use hardware encoder” box checked. When I un-checked it, the problem went away.


Because I was mis-led by something that boils down to (maybe) a cultural artifact of some kind?? There is a “detect hardware encoder” option next to the “use hardware encoder” box and this is usually explained in the “manual” in the following way:

Run the “detect hardware encoder” and see if you have a hardware encoder. If you do, check the box marked “use hardware encoder” to activate it. 

This is a bit weasley. It implies that if you have some kind of hardware encoder, then you will have no problem using it if it’s detected. But this isn’t true. Shotcut detects a “hardware encoder” on my laptop but when I use it it fouls up the video. So just “having it” isn’t enough. Shotcut can DETECT it, but it can’t tell you if it will work or not.


Yes. In an airplane, your butt would be scattered over several counties due to something like this. Telling me to “go on ahead and let ‘er rip” is dumb. Having a detector that can “find” an option does not imply that it will work. Shotcut should tell me that enabling it may or may not work. The correct procedure should be:

Detect hardware.

Check hardware for correct operation.

If hardware is not available, OR if it fails the ops check, disable it.

Shotcut does not tell me, the ignorant noob, that enabling this may foul up my videos. It implies that if it “detects” hardware acceleration, then it’s “good to go.” This is not true. You have to test it to make sure it works, but with the way it’s presented it seems as if that would be the LAST thing to cause a problem– when it should be the first thing suspected because it was never tested before it was deployed. By me. I’m saying I “deployed” it. Me.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

3 Replies to “A Solution… and a Warning!”

  1. Welcome to the Dark World of computer geekness.
    There’s no doubt that software/hardware geeks, manual writers, in their need to stay employed
    with handsome remuneration, willfully make things, write things in language that is difficult to
    decipher if you’re not one… of THEM.
    I once took a free course intro to Windows and computers. The instructor was a great young woman who was very experienced. She related how she was hired to teach a bunch of junior executive/sales types how to use shiny new laptops, and that they mostly were used as door stops, being the old encyclopedia size, that were thick and heavy, they performed very well, as door stops.
    She also related why Windows took so long to boot up — Windows was so full of bugs, patches, and convoluted arrangements that it took a lot of putting together to function. That legacy persisted for many years, layer upon layer of sketchy code. Which of course only Occult Nerds knew about and understood.
    Good on you for unraveling the Da Vienna sausage code before it ended your world.

    1. I can’t help but think about the movie (and play) “Charlie Victor Romeo.” This is a film that YOU DO NOT WANT TO WATCH if you have to fly anywhere. Ever.

      But a foul-up in the technical writing can doom a plane-full of passengers to a fiery death. I’m happy to report that since watching a portion (I couldn’t watch the whole thing,..) of “Charlie Victor Romeo” I haven’t been on a plane.

  2. Yeh, 737 Max. Max nerdness and design without paper or awareness of all associated factors, like informing the pilots.

    I love to fly, in Piper Cubs and Aeroncas, with a safe pilot. Not so much in Boeing/Airbus devices.

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