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Videoscribe II is unusable because of bugs. How do I revert?

I've spend a very frustrating day wrestling with bugs in the newest videoscribe. For example:

1) The timeline at the bottom occasionally looses its mind---scribes overlap, they won't activate when clicked. They won't deactivate when I click on another frame.

2) Images zoom to random sizes when playing back. Sometimes the image is fine. Other times it's 1/4 the size it was before. Sometimes the image is so large it doesn't fit on the screen. No, I am not changing the camera settings.

3) Sometimes the playback area fills the screen as expected, other times most of the screen is white border with a very small image in the center.

4) Sometimes, the entire page (that is, every scribe) is visible at once (and no, they do not share a single camera point of view).

5) Text sizes seem random. Changing to a different font can render the text twice the size that it was before the change.

6) Etc. etc.

Often, shutting down the program and restarting it fixes things.

I'm wasting way too much time with this stuff. Of the 8 hours I've been working, today, I've probably spent 5 dealing with bugs rather than being productive.

HOW TO I REVERT TO THE OLDER VERSION?  By all accounts, that version worked.

2 people have this question

You can uninstall version 2.0.1 and install version 1.3.26, but be aware that any scribes you made in version 2.0 will not open in 1.3.26

official support post about uninstall and reinstall:


(normal uninstalls should not affect your saved scribes, but if you use third-party hard drive cleanup programs, they may erase your local scribes. Save a copy of your scribes online for extra safety.)

-Mike (videoscribe user)


I concur with Allen.  I am a very frequent of VS. I have a Mac running 10,9,4. The app is (30 seconds) when trying to view library file, SVG file were imported from openclipart is not stating that the there is an error in the fiies. To now do serious work, is just "incredibly" frustrating. 

Windows based machine seem fine, but Mac is just not functioning reliably. Hour and hours are lost in crashes, freezes and unexplained functionality. There must be a QA issue on Mac at Sparkol. V2 is high on eye candy but low of stable performance. I am afraid if this continues, your hard work will be out the window. You have loyal followers here.....if the app cant perform in a stressful business environment, the tool wont be taken seriously.

V2 isnt there yet lads.


It is obvious that Sparkol does not like criticism but I think this has been said before and as a customer I believe it has merit to be repeated.

The best version that Sparkol put out is 1.3.26. It even has some bugs but they are manageable.

I fell in love with Sparkol when it fist came out and seemingly so did the world. But after that initial outing and after 1.3.26, updates, my experience has been more negative than positive  from my point of view.

 There are probably different types of users who use Video Scribe -- some for fun, others for a little fun and education and even others for business. My use is geared towards business and  I believe we put Sparkol through every test imaginable. Time is precious commodity we hate to waste.

One of V.S. weakness -- it wastes too much time. Not only from combating the bugs but form a poorly designed interface.

But you know what, I'd be happy if the Sparkol folks just redid 1.3.26, got rid of existing bugs and added maybe one feature. Why only ONE?

Here is where Sparkol gets defensive but I must say it. I have no faith in who does the coding or programing of V.S.  No faith of quality control afterwards and to ask Spakol to do too much more  than fixing the bugs in 1.3.26 and maybe adding one new feature -- may lighten the load enough so we can get a bug free product. Is asking for a bug free product asking too much?

Sparkol probably spends little time investigating what others say about their product (other than positive reviews), but if you spend any time on whiteboard or explainer or animation forums V.S. is starting to get a rap on being a buggy program.

Lastly.........Sparkol --  why not spend your resources and hire some programmers who can give us a quality product. Video Scribe isn't cheap and for you to ask clients to be patient while you put out bug after bug after bug of updates shows some disrespect for us who lay down our hard earn cash. Shouldn't we expect a little more than what we have been given for the money and time we invest in V.S?

Didn't sparkol just raise their rates? For what, to put out more buggy programs?

And please sparkol don't use the sad commentary you wrote before that all programs have bugs. Yes, they do. But the difference in my 20 years of working on computers in the military and now 20 years in the business world, I never used a program where their bugs caused so much time wasted. Like the poster above says, you spend 30 to 50% of your production time with crashes and bugs when trying to complete a scribe that is more than a few lines and a few pictures. Of all the programs I have used, V.S. bugs take up much of your time in trying to find a work around for bugs or forced to shut it down and restart  when everything else fails. I would think any company would want to avoid wasting 30 to 50% of production time when using their software.

Take the above for what it's worth and my guess form past experience Sparkol will keep doing the same thing over and over and over -- instead of  making the changes needed in how they update their product.

I know one thing. Giving Sparkol more time to put out an update didn't work. How long did we have to wait for version 2 and look what we got for our wait. It was no different than previous updates -- buggy and poorly designed. If more time doesn't work than could it be the coding? I don't know. You tell us Sparkol -- Why is it hard to be out an reasonable bug free update after version 1.3.26.

Thank you for listening.


For the benefit of people who are reading this thread, the first answer, above, just gets you to the version-2 download. You can get version 1.3.26  from

Also, on the off chance that someone from Sparkol is actually reading this note, I want to second Dan B's comments. The new UI is ridiculously difficult to use. It's way to hard to adjust timing other than animation time, to change text or fonts, to save a file to a known place on the disk rather than some mysterious "base folder," to load the file, etc. It's as if nobody at Sparkol has actually tried to use this version to do real work.

I'd be happy to talk about the problems I've been having to someone at Sparkol in the hopes that you can fix some of them. Feel free to get in touch.

It's time to vote with your wallets, folks. I paid good money last year for version 1.3.26, and got one year use out of it. When my account came up for renewal last month, I refused.

I'm sorry to be so negative. But my very first client project on 2.0 fell victim to the defective timeline bug. I reverted to 1.3.26 to get it done. In the last year, Sparkol has shipped versions 1.3.30, 1.3.31, 2.0 and 2.0.1, believing each one to be high enough quality to release them to an increasingly jaded user base. Clearly, none of these releases were ready.

Being optimistic now, if I visit here in a few months and read comments like, "Version 2.5 is great!" then I'll reconsider. But if you feel as I do, that it is wrong to support a company that thought shipping those four releases was a good idea, then don't renew.

Andy and Joe, you've done a good job here supporting flawed software. I'm not ungrateful!

Thanks for all your comments.

We honestly do appreciate good and bad feedback: It's only the bad that helps us see what's wrong.

Please help us help you:

-put ideas for usability and layout in the ideas section (where the developers will read it)

-make good use of a crash by getting the info across to us:

--if it's already been mentioned on these pages then add your comments to confirm it's happening to more than one user.

--if not, note down what happened to get to the crash and raise it.  Post it into a Support Question if you like and include the system log.  We do not ignore these but get them tested, recreated and fixed.

For users with lots of scribes, have a look in your 'task manager' to see what memory is being used by VideoScribe.  If it's a lot (over 200 MB) consider removing old scribes from your homepage as this, among other things, is what's taking up this memory.  Then upgrade to 2.0.2 as soon as it is released as this version will eradicate these issues, making the system much smoother to use.

Version 2.0.2 is going to testing today.

Allen: We haven't seen a number of those points before.  Issues that go away when you restart, are probably all fixed with the memory issues above however anything else, please do raise it as above.

Dave: Our release schedule doesn't have a good history, but it does have a GREAT future.  Check out version 2.1 with bugs fixed and a new feature or two, due in August.  2.2 Due in October and interim releases scheduled in between.

Thanks again for taking the time for these comments.  Oh, and we're currently advertising for developers..

I understand your frustration and to be honest I am canceling my subscription to video scribe right away. I give up after a year of trying to make a decent video for my thesis presentation. It's slow and annoying, it crashes because of everything, there is no tools to make it any easier: no rulers, no multiple select, no snap, layers, scale or even the most common shortcuts like cut, paste or undo have never worked!!! I regret all this time and money wasted. Sparkol could have a really great software and I have recommended it many times with the hope that it will gradually get better on every upgrade but it remains the same time consuming software as always except for more childish like drawings in a  very inefficient library.

Reply to Ian's standard answer.

Ian, we have been reporting these problems for how long?
Ian, we have been complaining about the interface for how long?

And your answer is to put it in your advise section hoping it will appease our frustrations. It won't. Sparkol needs to change how they go about programming and putting out their product. Asking us to repeat the same complaints that have been written on your old forum and this forum more times than I can count is a waste of time, especially if Sparkol keeps putting out the same sad interface and buggy program we have been complaining about.

It gets tiring to keep saying that V.S. interface stinks and it crashes often  and after every update what do we get? more crashes, bugs and lousy interface.  We pay money for a product and we only ask that we get a product that works without crashing and is easy enough to navigate so we can focus on being creative. instead of worrying that if we push VS too much it will crash after hours of work.

We have been repeating these same problems, over and over and over, and nothing changes. That is why after waiting so long for 2.0 to come out and once again being disappointed after several disappointing updates, that the only thing your customers can count on is more of the same update after update. 


Thanks for your comments Adriana and Dan

Dan: you have been commenting on VideoScribe for 6 months, not including one request for more hands 10 months ago.  Some complaints, some suggestions, some requests and some ideas.  If I was to take an overview of your posts I would say that you are currently frustrated but mostly love VideoScribe.  You were eagerly awaiting the new version to come out - and frustrated that it took so long - and then it didn't meet your expectations.  I've appreciated your requests for the new forum as well as your interactions and attempts to get discussions going.. this is a good one ;)

Of course there are bugs.  Beta testing is important and finds a lot but we cannot guarantee that some won't slip through: even big ones.  Since releasing version 2 we have introduced some.  We have also fixed a load.  We're now testing version 2.0.2 with another load fixed as well as building version 2.1's new features.  When 2.1's due we'll also put in fixes for any more bugs any of us have found.  With your software background, you'll know that it's really hard to fix general feelings of something being wrong: however every bug that we get that we can identify and reproduce gets logged in our system and fixed.  Even if we can't reproduce it we'll still log the symptoms and investigate it: that's how it works.  If you're frustrated with the software then please help by identifying bugs that we can fix. Yes, you can vote with your feet and your wallet: we don't have that luxury: we're in this and we're not going anywhere; aiming for perfection and dreaming of how we can enable you, our users, to be more and more effective in engaging with your own audience.

Adriana: let me encourage you that you can succeed with VideoScribe.  Take a quick look at current examples on our Scribe wall, for example, or soak up comments from people like the business scribe competition winner if you need a little more inspiration ;)

Good points Ian

I think the frustration is the fact that many of us WANT V.S. to succeed and instead we are disappointed with every new update.

I think many of us realize the potential of VS but it never comes.  For example, why the same interface when many think it is awkward and hard to navigate.

As far as input, it can be here or anywhere. Why does it matter where it comes from as long as Sparkol is listening and implementing.

And your assessment should be based on the input of many echoing the same thing over and over. As customers we made our assessment based on our experience using V.S. not on Ian's personality (but I will say you guys are always super nice).  The personal assessment you made of me is fine, but based on reading many  posts, it is obvious many feel the same way. You would have to be blind to miss the daily posts that repeat the same problems over and over (crashes, interface problems,  bugs, etc).  Besides, instead of  personally analyzing one of your customers I'd rather you spend that time working on  the problems  that I and  many other customers have repeated over and over to Sparkol.

.So take it from the perspective  of  MANY CUSTOMERS, not just one,  that we want these bugs and issues to be solved and we are a bit skeptical how you go about doing it.  It doesn't matter if Joe, Jim, Tom, Mike or Susie echos those complaints. As long as we  agree with them, we should not have to keep repeating them.

One difference between my use and maybe others (however I'm sure others are in the same boat as we are) is that we have invested a lot of time and money in V.S. Consequently, we keep hanging in there. For us it is not a recreational sport but an investment both in time and money. We would like to see that investment grow and pay off. But if it doesn't,  I guess there comes a time you cut your loses and move on.

Good luck with your next update. Fingers crossed it will be a good one. My hope is that  I at least see one successful update before my year subscription expires. If not, you should give everyone a 50% renewal discount, right? (smiley face).



Ian. I'm sorry, but I don't buy it. I'm a software professional of some stature (I'm trying to use VS to put together training videos), and what you're saying just doesn't hold water. Yes, software has bugs, but bugs of the magnitude I'm finding would prevent most products from being released. More to the point, the UI inadequacies are designed into the product from day one, they aren't bugs. They reek of a design that was made internally without consulting your actual users.

What I'm seeing is a hallmark of both bad process and bad technology decisions. 

First, the decision to implement over Adobe Air is a huge problem. Air, like most Adobe products, is very buggy, and using it divorces you from the native-platform in bad ways (such as VS's unwillingness to provide standard-menu support). Moreover, the fact that the behavior of font's varies from the PC to the Mac version indicate's that the notion of platform independence is chimera. Somebody drank Adobe's Kool-Aid.

Next, the fact that you have a late-stage test process flies in the face of most current thinking about process. True Agile processes (i.e. not Scrum) would have prevented most of your problems. First and foremost, your customers should be heavily involved from the design level throughout product development. This forum is providing you with incredibly valuable information, which as far as I can see, is uninteresting to Sparkol. Instead of responding to customer needs, you are trying to "sell" the customers on something they (we) don't want. Steve Sinofsky at Microsoft lost his job for exactly this reason (vis-a-vis Windows 8), as should whoever's responsible for this way of thinking at Sparkol. Agile techniques would also give you concurrent testing that would have found most of the bugs that I see mentioned on this form.

Most of the issues that I've seen discussed on this forum can be solved by having a few real customer attempt actual work while you look on, and then fixing the problems that are giving them grief. You need on-site customers to do that, and you need to pay attention to what they're saying and address the issues, not try to convince them that they're imagining things.

You also need to look seriously at Sparkol's software-development culture and practices. I do this sort of work regularly on a consulting basis (i.e process analysis and Agile-process infusion), and I see all the usual symptoms of dysfunction in both the product itself and in the responses that I see on this forum. You need to bring somebody in-house for a serious assessment of the way you work. I do that sort of work myself, and can also recommend several good people in the UK (and vicinity) who do the same thing.


To quote Allen Holub above, "I'm sorry, but I don't buy it...What I'm seeing is a hallmark of both bad process and bad technology decisions."

It is unconscionable that Sparkol would inflict four dysfunctional releases over the course of a year on paying users. Can you justify 1.3.30 or 1.3.31? What about 2.0? To be specific, please take a look at these two threads in this sequence:

FIrst :

In that thread, approximately one month before the release of 2.0, Jon Air wrote, "We have implemented all these keystrokes in the new version 2."


In that thread, you can see that Version 2 did not, in fact, implement these keystrokes. 

Ian, please do not reply that, "It's just a key mapping thing, it actually works, and soon the key mapping will be fixed." I am not complaining about this one bug; rather we on this thread are observing that the sheer number of stupid bugs and errors like these mean that SPARKOL'S DEVELOPMENT PROCESS IS BROKEN. There are dozens of examples of issues like these spread throughout and As an insider, you are undoubtedly aware of many more.

Let's look at one that is more insidious: The many problems with the Save function. Most of us never think about the Save function, because every application on the planet got it working decades ago. We just press CONTROL-S (Win) or COMMAND-S (Mac) and move on. As you know (and as a search on either the old forums or the new forums will prove), VideoScribe has many issues with this simple function. I hate to bring ups something that may have been fixed by now, but unbelievably at the time I reported this bug, Sparkol tried to justify this behavior as proper:

Again, I apologize for bringing this old bug up if it has been fixed, but a quick scan of shows that there are many people struggling with various aspects of the Save function. How is it possible that the Save function is still not fixed? 

Perhaps it is improper that I am even posting to this thread, given that I have voted with my wallet and let my subscription lapse. But I am still receiving updates to old threads via email, and I felt it was important to emphasize what Dan and Allen were trying to tell you: When these types of problems continue for this long, it's no longer about the bugs. It means Sparkol's internal development and management processes are broken, and until you fix those processes, you have no hope of fixing the software.

I woke up this morning to email notification that this thread was replied to so here I am. Excellent points above, guys. Keep fingers cross Sparkol meets and discuses the continuing update problems instead of trying to convince us to use something that isn't working.

 I did beta test one product in my life and that was Dreamweaver before it was bought out by Adobe. What an incredible experience. I think after that Beta test the product was released with a few minor bugs but it did not hamper your production at all. No wasted time and crashes. Instead of coming out with a new update, I was provided a update patch to fix the bugs. Actually I didn't even know there was any bugs until I was sent the patch.

Imagine if photoshop, camtasia, illustrator, etc, released a product that wasted 30 to 50% of your production time with crashes and bugs. As far as I know, it never happen in all the years of using those programs.

There are a handful writing on this thread but in my morning browse I noticed, as I do every morning, the number of new threads about crashes, problems, complaints, etc, from users. There is your input, Sparkol. You don't need it to be in  another section for you to consider it a problem. From my perspective, it is there daily for you to digest and ask yourself, "why so many of the same problems are being reported over and over"

Good luck, Sparkol. Prove us all wrong by hiring the needed help and  working around the clock (I know I do) to put out a product that will blow our socks off in the next 3 months. Please, we want it and quite frankly, you owe it to us.


I absolutely LOVE VS, but I would have to say that I am having huge problems with the latest release. I really do want this product to work - I do want you to be successful in this - as it is a product with enormous potential, even though it is fraught with problems at the moment. Right now, I'm pushing through to get what I want out of it, despite the frustrations and heart-ache after hours of creative work.

I am creating a suite of scribes. So far I have completed four of them to my high standard, two are nearly there and the other two are plotted out. But there are problems...frustrating problems. I rendered my 'best' scribe yesterday and posted it to YouTube to brief my colleagues on where I am going. Tonight, wanting to just finesse what I had done, I found that my latest version (the one I had rendered) had disappeared entirely. I've managed to recreate it from an earlier version (another 2 hours, as the timing was not as tight as my later version) - but where did it go?

So...I'm not going to get cross with you or demand my money back, because I'm happy to be part of cutting edge communication possibilities. But I am going to start keeping a log, posting to you when I have problems (in particular, the multiple crashes, which are so damned annoying) and tell you what I would like to see as a user.

On the plus side...and I think this is a mammoth plus...I am highly impressed with your after sales service. When I post a query, I get a reply within 24 hours. There may be problems, but I see a concern from you guys to ensure that your users are getting the best support possible.

As for what I would like - well, for starters, I would like to be able to control my versions a little more easily. I have so many scribes in my base folder that I don't want to delete, as they are experiments and early versions, but I would like to easily move them into folders - everything else on my computer is super organised, so why not VS? Could you contemplate in your next iteration a drag and drop facility to move scribes around instead of having to laboriously open them and re-save? And, along the same topic of organisation, would it be possible in the 'library' to right click and get properties, such as when the scribe was created, how long it is, whether it has music/voice-over etc.? Just a few thoughts at that end.

Keep going - I am impressed, even if I am simultaneously frustrated. At some point every product needs to be released to see consumer expectation and problems. I'm sure you will create a 'bug-free' product some time soon and I'll come along for the ride to support you.

Best wishes


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