Skip navigation
This discussion is archived

Internal iSight recording with delay in all applications

4312 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Jun 2, 2008 9:16 PM by janethepain RSS
janethepain Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 22, 2008 8:47 PM
I've had my new iMac (Intel) for one day and things have gone awry with the internal iSight. Whether I use iMovie or Photo Booth the video and audio are out of synch, with the audio about a half second to a second delayed. When the clip is played in Quick Time, the same delay results. I just downloaded all the software and firmware updates and am at 10.5.2. Any ideas on how to resolve?
iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,255 points)
    Welcome to Apple Discussions, janethepain

    Because you are having problems with a one-day old iMac, my first suggestion is that you IMMEDIATELY contact your retailer, Apple, or an Apple-Authorized Service Provider for service or possible exchange if there is something wrong with your new iMac.

    If you want to try some things on your own, I can offer some suggestions and some questions. The answers to these questions may give us ideas for more specific suggestions.

    You say things have gone awry with your iSight. Have you tried the suggestions in Apple's How to Troubleshoot iSight to determine whether your problem is specifically related to your iSight, your user account, or only one or two applications?

    Photo Booth is a basic, "fun", application, so it is not unusual for PB-recorded audio to be out-of-sync. However, iMovie files played back in the QuickTime Player should be accurate, so I will concentrate my suggestions on improving iMovie operation.

    (1) One of the things that could cause the iMovie problem you describe is that your Mac's processor may be busy with multiple operations. You may be trying to use several apps at once. If you had multiple apps running, close all but iMovie, make a new recording, and test the newly saved file to see if its sound is still delayed when played back in QT Player.

    Additionally, it is possible that OS X is running some of its background functions while you are trying to record video.

    Click on the Spotlight iCon in the upper right corner of your display. If Spotlight tells you that it is "indexing", your Mac is working near capacity, so don't expect best performance. Let you Mac run for a while without going to sleep. Your Mac will speed up after a few hours when Spotlight has finished indexing your new disk. Once indexing is complete, everything on your Mac, including iMovie and finding files, will be much faster, and you can set your EnergySaver back to allow sleep if you like. Once the initial indexing is complete, you will no longer notice indexing working in the background.

    If you have added an external drive specifically for Time Machine backups, your Mac will run slow while the initial backup is being made. You can either let the Mac run as suggested above, or you can change your Time Machine settings to backup at a different time.

    (2) Did you "migrate" info from a previous computer to this Mac? If so, you may have moved an older version of iMovie that was not intended for use on your iNtel iMac

    (3) Slow startup disk operation can also cause the kind of problem you describe. A couple of the most common cause of sluggish operation are that your hard disk does not have enough free space to allow OS X to work efficiently and that your hard disk needs attention.

    If you migrated data and / or apps from another computer, you have put too much on your new disk. Click once on your Hard Drive's iCon and use your Finder > Get Info menu command to check that you have at least 20 GB of free space.

    If you need to make more free space available, backup you important files to other disks, and then use suggestions like those in the Making more disk space available section of this article.

    If you have turned on System Preferences > Security > FileVault, you should try to keep 25-50% of your hard disk space free. FileVault also requires processor time, so it slows you Mac slightly even if nothing is wrong with your Mac.

    (4) If free space is not your problem, use Disk Utility (DU) to "verify" your disk. This will take a few minutes, so be patient.

    If DU reports that your disk looks "OK", also click the "Repair Permissions" button. Again, expect to wait a few minutes for the process to complete. The first time you repair permissions can take several minutes or even a few hours if significant repairs are needed. Let the process run, even it if takes overnight. Subsequent permissions repairs will find few, if any, problems and normally take only a few minutes.

    If you use an external hard disk for Time Machine backups, also repair that disk.

    (5) Are you saving your iMovie files to a networked or external drive? These drives are almost always considerably slower than your startup disk, so writing to them will slow your Mac. It is better to write to your startup disk while you are working in iMovie. You can save the finished movie project to your external disk and then delete the work copy on your startup disk to free up the space.

    (6) If you have added any other peripherals to your system, try disconnecting them to see if your Mac works better without them.

    (7) Have you added any RAM to your iMac since you got it? It is possible for bad RAM to cause slow operation, and even new RAM can be bad. The best way to test whether the new RAM you have added is bad is to remove it and test to see if your Mac works better without it. If your Mac slows down again when you replace the new RAM and speeds up when you remove it again, the RAM you have is bad.

    (8) Use the suggestions in Isolating issues in Mac OS X to try to identify and correct the root cause of your problem. This might include backing up all your data and reinstalling your Mac's application software and/or OS X. Instructions on how to do that are given in the user guide manual that came with your iMac. This is a time consuming process, so don't try it unless you have ruled out everything else and want to try the last thing you can do on your own before you take your Mac in for professional service.

    Please let us know how it goes. If you need to post back for more info, be sure to include the answers to any relevant questions above.

    EZ Jim

    PowerBook 1.67 GHz w/Mac OS X (10.4.11) G5 DP 1.8 w/Mac OS X (10.5.2)  External iSight
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,255 points)
    Hello janethepain

    Having considered everything above, I think you are wise to seek professional help. They will be able to get your new Mac working one way or another.

    We will watch for your status update and notice of a successful fix!

    EZ Jim

    PowerBook 1.67 GHz w/Mac OS X (10.4.11) G5 DP 1.8 w/Mac OS X (10.5.2)  External iSight


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.