The ideal codec for InqScribe is H.264 (also called "MP4").  But even with a MP4s, there is a wide variety in encoding that can have a huge effect on performance.  These days, most movies are encoded for playback on the web -- the encoding method maximizes forward-playing performance and minimizes the file size.  While this is great for watching a video, it is not ideal for the kinds of scrubbing back and forth you need to do when transcribing or reviewing a video.  Depending on the codec and media player you're using, you may find that you can only rewind by 1 second intervals, or worse, can't rewind at all.  This isn't an InqScribe problem, it is a movie encoding problem.  Play the movie on any media player and you will experience the same problem.

Luckily, this problem can be easily resolved by transcoding the video.  [For the technically curious: In effect, what we do is re-encode the video so that there is a new keyframe every frame.]  With a proper-encoded video, you can fast forward and rewind to your hearts content, including frame by frame rewinds.

The free application "Shutter Encoder" can do this transcoding for you.  Read on for instructions! [The app is free, but please consider donating to the developer so they can continue to work on it!

Install Shutter Encoder

  1. Go to
  2. Click "Download" link at the top of the screen.
  3. Download the installer for your operating system.
  4. Start the installer.
    1. On Mac, if you see ""Shutter Encoder cannot be opened because it is from an unidentified developer ", Right-click or Ctrl-click the installer and select "Open" from the pop up menu, then follow the instructions.
    2. On Windows, if you see "Windows protected your PC ", click on "More info" and then on "Run anyway", then follow the instructions.

Transcode a movie

You will need to transcode any movie that you want to use in InqScribe.

  1. Start "Shutter Encoder"
  2. Drag and drop the movie(s) you want to convert to the "Drop files here" area.  (You can transcode multiple movies at a time -- just drag them all into the "Drop files" area.)
  3. Click the "Choose function" menu, look for the "- Output codecs:" section and select "h.264".
  4. On the right sidebar, click on "Advanced features" to expand it.
  5. Click to enable the "Set GOP to:" setting.  ("GOP" is "Group of Picture")
  6. Enter "1" in the "Set GOP to:" field.
  7. Click "Start Function" to start the processing.
  8. When it is complete, you should find a file with the same name and a  "_H264.mp4" extension in the same location as the source movie.

Open the movie in InqScribe, and rewind away!