UPDATE 2008-12-16: Mac OS 10.5.6 is out and http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3194 says that it “Includes fixes for possible graphics distortion issues with certain ATI graphics cards.” It does appear that thousands of colors now displays properly.

UPDATE 2008-10-25: Working with the good folk at ScreenFlow, it does seem that the problem is pretty clearly with the Mac OS. If you switch to thousands of colors the title bar for other applications gets stripes in the title bar–even without ScreenFlow running.

UPDATE 2008-10-05: Further investigation suggests that the problem occurs when the display colors is set to Thousands. The problem does not occur when the colors is set to Millions.

According to Apple, the latest update to Leopard (10.5.5) “[i]ncludes extensive graphics enhancements.” Unfortunately, these “enhancements” do not play well with ScreenFlow.

I have been using ScreenFlow for a couple weeks, and have been generally quite pleased with it. (Randal Schwartz, who had recommended ScreenFlow, described my recent work as “a well produced video” and was surprised when I told him it had been done with ScreenFlow!)

A couple days ago my MacBook Pro offered to install the latest OS X update that promised better security and stability. I’m generally a “bleeding-edge” sort of guy, so willingly take anything offered.

Yesterday, when trying to do a screen capture, I found a problem. By way of background, when I do a screen capture, I usually set the resolution to 800×600 since that is as big as the resulting movie is likely to be and I generally want people to be able to read the screen. Well, I set the screen resolution down, started the recording, and then looked at the result:

ScreenFlow after Mac OS X 10.5.5 Update

ScreenFlow after Mac OS X 10.5.5 Update

It has taken me half the day to recover back to 10.5.4. At first I tried to use Time Machine to simply restore my System folder. This ended up corrupting things badly enough so the computer would not boot. I then did a full disk restore to the latest backup (which went quite smoothly). Then, I copied the /System directory out of the backup disk (using the Finder, not using the Time Machine user interface) to a temp folder. From there, I use the Terminal to move the current /System/Library to a backup, and move in the old one as the current one. When I rebooted, I was on 10.5.4 and ScreenFlow works fine.

I’ve no idea of the cause of the problem, but I’ve put in a support request for ScreenFlow to address the problem. I’m glad to be back in business with ScreenFlow and hope I can upgrade to 10.5.5 soon!