Very low frame rate (~ 1 fps) in preview after computer restart

Roger Meier's Avatar

Roger Meier

14 Aug, 2022 01:36 AM


I recently purchased a premium license of SparkBooth, and I'm putting together a setup using a Logitech C930e webcam with a Mac Mini running macOS Catalina. Everything work as expected, but there is one rather annoying issue:

After first attaching my web cam to my Mac and starting SparkBooth, the frame rate was high and the image in the preview tracked very nicely. However, after a reboot of the computer and starting SparBooth, the frame rate was extremely low, about 1 frame per second, which is quite unusable. Restarting SparkBooth and changing the camera settings even to very small picture formats didn't help. I have also noticed that it takes quite long for SparkBooth to start and show the camera preview. It takes several seconds longer that it took the first time around.

One workaround I found is to quit SparkBooth, disconnect the camera, plug it back in, and launch SparkBooth. It launches much quicker and the frame rate is nice and fast. This is not a workaround I'd want to rely on as I'm planning on building an enclosure for my setup where the USB ports on the computer would not be accessible.

Another thing I found is that if I launch FaceTime (or any other app that uses the camera) while SparkBooth is running the frame rate is very low, the camera resets and the frame rate goes back up to normal (in both SparkBooth as well as the other app) as soon as the other app accesses the camera. I can then quit the other app and the camera remains happy in SparkBooth.

So, it seems that:
- The camera gets into a weird mode causing a low refresh rate when the computer first starts and the camera is plugged in.
- Any web cam using app, other than SparkBooth, seem to perform some sort of reset while initializing the camera at launch that gets it out of this weird mode.
- Unplugging and reconnecting the camera also gets it out of this mode.

Thus, SparkBooth's initialization at startup appears to be missing an important step that other apps like FaceTime, etc, seem to include. Any clue as to what that might be? Perhaps it's something simple?

I'd be happy to try out any test builds if you have any fixes you'd like to evaluate.



  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by John on 14 Aug, 2022 03:29 AM

    John's Avatar

    Sorry, I don't know what would cause that. Maybe hardware or another
    application accessing the webcam. Not really sure

  2. 2 Posted by Roger Meier on 15 Aug, 2022 06:29 PM

    Roger Meier's Avatar

    Hi John,

    thanks for the fast reply.

    I had SparkBooth installed in the main user account on my Mac, which was also an administrator accounts. I was going to create a separate user account dedicated to the photo booth use case. So, I went ahead and created a new user account without any administrative privileges. This account also doesn’t use iCloud or any other internet accounts. It’s a barebones account. The camera behaves the same way with this user account. Very laggy when the computer first starts up, and it only starts refreshing more quickly if I reset it by disconnecting it or launching FaceTime, or Skype, etc.

    Som I don’t think any other app is interfering and accessing the camera. In fact, it’s actually when I start another app that the camera starts working.

    I hit a little snag. I entered my license code when I launched SparkBooth with the new user account, it it told me that I now have only one activation left. Is there a way to deactivate the license in the main account? I won’t be using SparkBooth with that account anymore now that I have a dedicated user account for it? I’d like to get one activation back and waste 2 of them on the same computer. Is the any way I can get my 2nd (or 1st) activation back?



  3. 3 Posted by Roger Meier on 15 Aug, 2022 06:40 PM

    Roger Meier's Avatar

    Nevermind the question about deactivating the install. I found the answer in your knowledge base:



  4. John closed this discussion on 27 Aug, 2022 10:37 PM.

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