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Frequently Asked Questions

Hot Questions:
Is iScreensaver compatible with Windows Vista?
Flash playback fails in QuickTime 7.1.3?
White lines appear on playback

Basic Questions:
Where can I find iScreensaver Designer?
What's new in version 3.5?
What is the difference between iScreensaver Classic and iScreensaver Designer?
What License level do I need?
Where do I start?

OS Questions:
What operating systems are compatible?
Do I need a Mac to build a Mac Screensaver?
Do I need a Windows PC to build a Windows Screensaver?
What about the Intel-based Macs?
Is iScreensaver compatible with Windows Vista?
How can I conserve energy?

Screensaver User Questions:
What does the error 'Can't load screen saver' mean?
Removing Installed Screensavers: The Easy Way (automatically)
Removing Installed Screensavers: The Hard Way (manually, also easy)

QuickTime Questions:
Why does iScreensaver require QuickTime?
What if the end user doesn't have QuickTime installed?
For Windows XP, do I have to download iTunes?
What about Flash support in QuickTime 7.3.1?
What about Flash ActionScript support in QuickTime?
How do I make an interactive QuickTime movie, without using Flash?
What about Flash MX?
What about The Ken Burns Effect?

Production Questions:
Why can't I hear my audio?
Can I create a photo-album screensaver for Windows?
What's the best way to work with images?
How many images can you add to a screensaver?
What's the best way to work with movies?
Does your software support Mac OSX?
How do I make my screensaver available for Download from my Home Page?
How do I make my screensaver available on a CD-ROM for Macintosh, Windows or Both?

Licensing Questions:
What are the differences in Licenses?
Where are the Non-Profit licenses?
Is a University eligible for the Non-Profit license?
What is a Site License?
What does '10,000 units' mean?
What is the definition of Non-Profit/Non-Commercial?
What about just giving them away for free?
Can businesses just use them locally?
How long does it take to get License Codes?
How would we pay by Purchase Order?

Top FAQs

  1. Creating H.264 Video Assets
  2. Some Information About QuickTime
  3. Troubleshooting QuickTime for Windows
  4. Working with Flash
  5. Staying Green - Saving Energy
  6. Differences in iScreensaver Licenses
  7. That Annoying Wake-up Message
  8. Using the Web for Distribution
  9. Using CD-Roms for Distribution
  10. Creating Debug Information



After upgrading to QuickTime 7.1.3, Flash playback no longer works.

Apple has disabled Flash from playing within QuickTime after version 7.3, details about this change can be found here.

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Where can I find iScreensaver Designer?

Available for immediate download!

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What's new in version 3.5?

Click Here for the latest updates on the 3.5 upgrade.

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What is the difference between iScreensaver Classic and iScreensaver Designer?

We highly recommend using the brand-new iScreensaver Designer 3 for all your cross-platform screensaver creation needs. If you are looking to build screensavers for both Windows and Macintosh, or you want to build fully branded screensavers for Macintosh only, then choose iScreensaver Designer.

However, if you are using an earlier version of Macintosh (OS 8.6 to 9.2.2) and are looking for a personal screensaver or to build for professional screensavers for pre-OSX machines only, then iScreensaver Classic includes plenty of modules, including the ability to play 3-D OpenGL modules and Director Projectors.

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What are the differences between the different License Levels (Unlimited, Limited, Non-Commercial, and Personal)?

There are three main differences: Distribution amounts, Alternate content, and Complete branding. Further information can be found here.

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How you start. . .

Your goal is to build a custom Screensaver for Mac and Windows that plays a Flash or QuickTime movie. Let's assume you already have your movie or images prepared. Go ahead and download iScreensaver Designer. This is a free download of our complete Build System, so that you can see how the final screensaver will look.

What will be different? In the unregistered version, all features in the Screensaver will perform correctly, but you will get a copyright message occasionally interrupting the module during play. To play screensavers without interruption, visit our website's Secure Store and sign up for your distribution license. Once you receive your license code - you can distribute the screensaver!

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What operating systems are compatible with iScreensaver?

All from the past nine years! Click Here for system requirements. We are working on minor compatibility issues both with the new Microsoft Windows Vista and the Intel-based Apple computers, and will have further news soon.

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Do I need a Mac to build a Mac Screensaver?
Do I need a Windows PC to build a Windows Screensaver?

No! Some programs require that you actually own different machines for the different screensaver platforms - this is crazy! iScreensaver Designer will build both Macintosh and Windows Screensaver from a single computer - no matter if it is Windows or Mac OS! You only need one computer. Of course, we recommend that you test the finished product on both Mac and Windows to be sure that it meets your needs.

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What about the Intel-based Macs?

Version 3.4 added Universal binary code to the Mac OSX screensavers, for compatibility with the new Intel-based Macintosh computers. iScreensaver Designer automatically runs under Rosetta on the new machines.

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What about Windows Vista?

Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system includes numerous changes which can cause compatibility issues with some software products. Now, with version 3.5, iScreensaver and Vista are compatible. If you have questions, please follow these instructions for best results with Vista.

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How can I conserve energy?

Click Here for the best ways to save energy with your screensavers.

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What does the Mac OS X error 'Can't load screen saver' after install mean?

If you see ''You cannot use the screen saver XYZ on this computer. Contact the developer of this software for a newer version.'', then that older screensaver was built before Intel-based Universal Binaries were released, and needs to be re-built by the author using iScreensaver Designer 3.5 or later.

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How to remove a screensaver the easy way (automatically):

  • Windows:
    1. Using the right mouse button, click the desktop. From the popup menu, choose "Properties".
    2. Click the "Screen Saver" tab.
    3. Click the "Settings..." button.
    4. Click the "Uninstall..." button.
  • Mac OS X:
    1. From the Apple menu (at the top left of your screen) choose "System Preferences".
    2. Select "Desktop & Screen Saver" (10.3 and 10.4), or "Display Effects" (10.2) or "Screen Saver" (10.1).
    3. Click the "Options" button.
    4. Click the "Uninstall..." button.
  • Mac OS 9:
    1. From the Applications menu (on the top right of your screen), choose the screensaver (whatever it's name is).
    2. Click the "Uninstall..." button.

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How to remove a screensaver the hard way (manually):

    Use these methods if you are having troubles with the easy way.

  • Windows:
    1. Using the right mouse button, click the desktop. From the popup menu, choose "Properties".
    2. Click the "Screen Saver" tab.
    3. From the popup menu, choose "(None)" for the screensaver.
    4. Reboot your computer.
    5. Open your C: drive and look in the WINDOWS (or WIN32) folder.
    6. Find the SCR file that you want to delete, and drag it to the Recycle bin.
    7. Reboot your computer.
  • Mac OS X:
    1. In the Finder, from the "Go" menu choose "Home".
    2. Open the Library folder.
    3. Open the Screen Savers folder.
    4. Drag the screensaver to the trash.
  • Mac OS 9:
    1. Open the Control Panels folder (inside the System folder).
    2. Drag the screensaver to the trash.

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Why does iScreensaver require QuickTime?

In order to make the iScreensaver software truly cross-platform, we chose to use Apple's QuickTime as the file format basis. QuickTime is a cross-platform file format that supports over 200 different audio and video file formats, including MPEG, Flash, and others. QuickTime handles all the details, which means that the video (and audio) will look (and sound) the same on both Macintosh and Windows.

QuickTime comes standard on all Macintosh computers, is pre-installed on many Windows PCs right out of the box, and has been installed on many more by the end users. If iTunes and/or an iPod has been used on that machine, it already has QuickTime. Please read more about QuickTime.

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What if the end user doesn't have QuickTime installed?

QuickTime is always installed on a Macintosh. On a PC running Windows, if the user tries to install an iScreensaver that you created, and they do not have QuickTime installed, they will see a message with a button that takes them directly to the QuickTime website for download. Once the (free) QuickTime software is installed, they can continue installing the screensaver.

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For Windows, do I have to install iTunes with my QuickTime?

No, you can choose the smaller Quicktime-only install package, which doesn't install iTunes.

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What about Flash support in QuickTime 7.3.1?

Detailed answer can be found here.

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Does QuickTime support Flash ActionScript commands?

Detailed answer can be found here.
QuickTime 7 supports most Flash 5 ActionScripting. Flash versions of ActionScripts can be found within the Flash application. Adobe/Macromedia has issued a TechNote concerning Flash features in exported QuickTime movies. Also, please check Apple's QuickTime Website for more information. After upgrading to Quicktime 7.1.3, the Flash preferences must be re-enabled.

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How do I make an interactive QuickTime movie, without using Flash?

This web page provides a list of resources used to create interactive QuickTime movies.

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What about Flash MX?

Just as soon as QuickTime supports Flash MX features. Check with Apple's website for more details.

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What about The Ken Burns Effect?

It sure does look pretty, doesn't it? The ''Ken Burns Effect'' is Apple's beautiful transition effect under OSX with slowly zooming and panning images. You wouldn't believe the system requirements to make it multi-platform. Unfortunately, it's not likely to happen while iScreensaver still supports Mac OS 9 and pre-XP Windows. Until the time that all computers can cope, we recommend trying Photo to Movie to make a QuickTime movie to use in your own personal 'Ken-like' screensaver. Other solutions include Adobe's After Effects or Apple's Final Cut Studio suite with Motion.

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Why can't I hear my audio?

Make sure that your external speakers (if applicable) are plugged in and turned on and that your system and speaker volumes are turned up. Verify that on the Options panel of iScreensaver that ''Smoother Video'' and ''Mute Audio'' are both unchecked.

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How should I prepare my movie?

When preparing a movie, it's very important that the width is a multiple of four. For example, 800 is a good size, but 737 is not. It turns out that odd-sizes, such as 633x480, can, on some computers, cause playback problems when used in Proportional stretch mode. To fix this, just Export your movie from QuickTime Player, choose the "movie to quicktime move" option, click "Options", then click "Size" and use a standard size from the popup menu. See this for more information.

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Can I create a photo-album screensaver for Windows?

Yes! iScreensaver Designer 3 creates Slide Shows for Windows and Macintosh. If you are using iScreensaver Designer version 2.0, however, you will need to make a Flash or QuickTime movie with your images instead. See our Slideshow page for more information.

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What's the best way to work with images?

The easiest way is to let iScreensaver Designer size and save them automatically. Mac OS X has the best resizing algorithms; therefore, if you are doing a lot of resizing, for best results we recommend you build your screensaver on a Macintosh running Mac OS X. However, for the best results on either platform, pre-size them in an external image editing program (Adobe Photoshop, etc.). Care should be taken, especially with the Splash Screens found on the Control Panel and Installers, to create your images at the resolution that they will be displayed. Thus, for example, save your Splash Screens at 392x120 and 72 dpi (dpi really does not matter, but some clients ask). iScreensaver Designer converts all images to the JPG file format, unless they are already saved as JPGs, so if you pre-compress and save them as JPG files in your external application, then you will know exactly what your images will look like.

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How many images can you add to a screensaver?

Short answer = as many as you want.
Long answer = it all depends on how large a 'footprint' you want to make on your hard drive for screensavers. We've made screensavers with thousands of images. Note that the building of the installers will require approximately 3x the total space.

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What's the best way to work with movies?

We have an entire page devoted to exporting movies. Click here.

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Does your software support Mac OSX?

Yes! As long-time Mac supporters, we are happy to have OSX fully in the iScreensaver family of products with our version 3 release.

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How do I make my screensaver available for Download from my Home Page?

We have an entire page devoted to webpages. Click here.

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How do I make my screensaver available on a CD-ROM?

We have an entire page devoted to distribution. Click here.

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What are the differences in Licenses?

Browse the actual differences here. We use the term 'branding' for the amount of corporate trademarking available in the different License Levels. Our Price List short-hands the amount of branding as Low, Medium, and High.

Low - means consumer-level, some but not a lot of customized options.
Medium - means standard-level of customization for corporate needs (splash screens, text and URL modifications).
High - means just about everything can be modified except the software copyright (you can point people to your own tech support pages, switch out the 'Licensed To:' text, and alter the sales info on the 'help' tabs on the control panels).

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Where are the Non-Profit licenses?

We welcome our Non-Profit customers! The rules and regulations for qualifying for a Non-Commercial license can be found here.

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Is a University eligible for the Non-Profit license?

Maybe yes, maybe no. Depends on how many students, and whether screensavers are to be created under a single department name. The rules and regulations for qualifying for a Non-Commercial license can be found here.

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What is a Site License?

if you need a large group of people and/or computers to have individually installed versions of iScreensaver Designer, then you qualify for, and must order, a Site License, which covers multiple installations in one location.

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What does '10,000 units' mean?

Those units can be divided up any number of ways among screensavers and platforms, as long as the number of distributed screensavers stays within a total of 10,000. Otherwise the size of your projects require you to upgrade to the Unlimited Distribution License.

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What is the definition of Non-Profit/Non-Commercial?

The rules and regulations for qualifying for a Non-Commercial license can be found here. We have information concerning non-commercial entities, as well as important specific College and University FAQs and non-profit definitions for schools, located on that page.

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What about just giving them away for free?
We are not selling screensavers. Can I get a Non-Commercial license?

No. A For-Profit or Commercial entity giving the screensavers away does not qualify for a non-commercial license.

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Can businesses just use them locally?
We are a for-profit company, but we only intend to use the screensavers on our corporate computers (i.e. we will neither give them away or sell them to the general public).

No. A For-Profit or Commercial entity using the screensaver does not qualify for a non-commercial license. The rules and regulations for qualifying for a Non-Commercial license can be found here.

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How long does it take to get License Codes?

After all credit card processing and approvals, usually we are able to send out License Codes within four hours during business hours Monday through Friday, Pacific Standard Time. However, we have staff working at all different times during parts of the week and weekends, so we always respond as soon as we possibly can. Please triple-check all of your Junk Mail-filtered folders, as receipts and registration emails can accidentally be auto-sorted into the wrong place.

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How would we pay by Purchase Order?

See our Purchase Order Instructions. Click here.

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