Operating system: XP (Service Pack 2 or later), Windows Vista or Windows 7
From the Publisher:
A powerful multimedia technology with a built-in media player, QuickTime lets you view Internet video, HD movie trailers, and personal media in a wide range of file formats. And it lets you enjoy them in remarkably high quality.
With its simple design and easy-to-use controls, QuickTime Player makes everything you watch even more enjoyable. Its clean, uncluttered interface never gets in the way of what you’re watching. Want to speed through a movie or slow things down? A handy slider lets you set playback from 1/2x to 3x the normal speed. And you can search through individual movie frames quickly.
From the Wikipedia:
QuickTime is an extensible proprietary multimedia framework developed by Apple Inc., capable of handling various formats of digital video, picture, sound, panoramic images, and interactivity. It is available for Mac OS classic (System 7 onwards), Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems. The latest version is QuickTime X (10.0) and is currently only available on Mac OS X v10.6.
QuickTime Player 7.6.6 running on Microsoft Windows
|Initial release||December 2, 1991|
|Website||Apple – QuickTime|
Related Videos: QuickTime
QuickTime is integrated with Mac OS X, but it was once an optional component at install for earlier versions of Mac OS. QuickTime for Microsoft Windows is downloadable, either as a standalone installation or bundled with iTunes.
Software development kits (SDKs) for QuickTime are available to the public with an Apple Developer Connection (ADC) subscription.
QuickTime is available free of charge for both Mac OS X and Windows operating systems. Some other free player applications that rely on the QuickTime framework provide features not available in the basic QuickTime Player. For example:
- iTunes can export audio in WAV, AIFF, MP3, AAC, and Apple Lossless.
- In Mac OS X, a simple AppleScript can be used to play a movie in full-screen mode. Since version 7.2 the QuickTime Player now also supports full-screen viewing in the non-pro version.
QuickTime Player is limited to only basic playback operations unless the user purchases a QuickTime Pro license key, which Apple sells for US$29.95. Apple's "Pro Applications" (e.g. Final Cut Studio, Logic Studio) come with a QuickTime Pro license. Pro keys are specific to the major version of QuickTime for which they are purchased and unlocks additional features of the QuickTime Player application on Mac OS X or Windows (although most of these can be accessed simply by using players, video editors or miscellaneous utilities from other sources). Use of the Pro key does not entail any additional downloads.
Features enabled by the Pro license include, but are not limited to:
- Editing clips through the cut, copy and paste functions, merging separate audio and video tracks, and freely placing the video tracks on a virtual canvas with the options of cropping and rotation.
- Saving and exporting (encoding) to any of the codecs supported by QuickTime. QuickTime 7 includes presets for exporting video to a video-capable iPod, Apple TV, and the iPhone.
- Saving existing QuickTime movies from the web directly to a hard disk drive. This is often, but not always, either hidden or intentionally blocked in the standard mode. It should be noted that two options exist for saving movies from a web browser:
- Save as source – This option will save the embedded video in its original format. (i.e., not limited to *.mov files.)
- Save as QuickTime movie – This option will save the embedded video in a *.mov file format no matter what the original container is/was.
Mac OS X v10.6 "Snow Leopard", includes QuickTime X, the latest version of the player. This version lacks cut, copy and paste and will only export to 4 formats, but its limited export feature is free. Users do not have an option to upgrade to a pro version of QuickTime X, but those who have already purchased QuickTime 7 Pro and are upgrading to Snow Leopard from a previous version of Mac OS X will have QuickTime 7 stored in the Utilities folder. Otherwise, users will have to specify during installation that they want to install QuickTime 7 on their computers.
The native file format for Quicktime video, QuickTime File Format, specifies a multimedia container file that contains one or more tracks, each of which stores a particular type of data: audio, video, effects, or text (e.g. for subtitles). Each track either contains a digitally-encoded media stream (using a specific format) or a data reference to the media stream located in another file. The ability to contain abstract data references for the media data, and the separation of the media data from the media offsets and the track edit lists means that QuickTime is particularly suited for editing, as it is capable of importing and editing in place (without data copying).
Other file formats that QuickTime supports natively (to varying degrees) include AIFF, WAV, DV-DIF, MP3, and MPEG program stream. With additional QuickTime Components, it can also support ASF, DivX Media Format, Flash Video, Matroska, Ogg, and many others.
QuickTime and MPEG-4
On February 11, 1998, the ISO approved the QuickTime file format as the basis of the MPEG-4 file format. The MPEG-4 file format specification was created on the basis of the QuickTime format specification published in 2001. The MP4 (.mp4) file format was published in 2001 as the revision of the MPEG-4 Part 1: Systems specification published in 1999 (ISO/IEC 14496-1:2001). In 2003, the first version of MP4 format was revised and replaced by MPEG-4 Part 14: MP4 file format (ISO/IEC 14496-14:2003). The MP4 file format was generalized into the ISO Base Media File Format ISO/IEC 14496-12:2004, which defines a general structure for time-based media files. It in turn is used as the basis for other multimedia file formats (for example 3GP, Motion JPEG 2000). A list of all registered extensions for ISO Base Media File Format is published on the official registration authority website www.mp4ra.org. This registration authority for code-points in "MP4 Family" files is Apple Computer Inc. and it is named in Annex D (informative) in MPEG-4 Part 12.
By 2000, MPEG-4 formats became industry standards, first appearing with support in QuickTime 6 in 2002. Accordingly, the MPEG-4 container is designed to capture, edit, archive, and distribute media, unlike the simple file-as-stream approach of MPEG-1 and MPEG-2.
QuickTime 6 added limited support for MPEG-4; specifically encoding and decoding using Simple Profile (SP). Advanced Simple Profile (ASP) features, like B-frames, were unsupported (in contrast with, for example, encoders such as XviD or 3ivx). QuickTime 7 supports the H.264 encoder and decoder.
Because both the MOV and MP4 containers can use the same MPEG-4 codecs, they are mostly interchangeable in a QuickTime-only environment. MP4, being an international standard, has more support. This is especially true on hardware devices, such as the Sony PSP and various DVD players; on the software side, most DirectShow / Video for Windows codec packs include an MP4 parser, but not one for MOV.
In QuickTime Pro's MPEG-4 Export dialog, an option called "Passthrough" allows a clean export to MP4 without affecting the audio or video streams. One recent discrepancy ushered in by QuickTime 7 is that the MOV file format now supports multichannel audio (used, for example, in the high-definition trailers on Apple's site), while QuickTime's support for audio in the MP4 container is limited to stereo. Therefore multichannel audio must be re-encoded during MP4 export
Apple released the first version of QuickTime on December 2, 1991 as a multimedia add-on for System Software 6 and later. The lead developer of QuickTime, Bruce Leak, ran the first public demonstration at the May 1991 Worldwide Developers Conference, where he played Apple's famous 1984 TV commercial on a Mac, an astounding technological breakthrough at the time. Microsoft's competing technology—Video for Windows—employed several thousand lines of allegedly stolen Quicktime source code and did not appear until November 1992.
The original video codecs included:
- the Apple Video codec (also known as "Road Pizza"), suited to normal live-action video
- the Animation codec, which used run-length encoding and better suited cartoon-type images with large areas of flat color
- the Graphics codec, for 8-bit images, including ones that had undergone dithering
The first commercial project produced using QuickTime 1.0 was the CD-ROM From Alice to Ocean. The first publicly visible use of QuickTime was Ben & Jerry's interactive factory tour (dubbed The Rik & Joe Show after its in-house developers). The Rik and Joe Show was demonstrated onstage at MacWorld in San Francisco when John Sculley announced QuickTime.
Apple released QuickTime 1.5 for Mac OS in the latter part of 1992. This added the SuperMac-developed Cinepak vector-quantization video codec (initially known as Compact Video), which managed the previously unheard-of feat of playing back video at 320 x 240 resolution at 30 frames per second on a 25 MHz 68040 CPU. It also added text tracks, which allowed for things like captioning, lyrics, etc., at very little addition to the size of a movie.
In an effort to increase the adoption of QuickTime, Apple contracted an outside company, San Francisco Canyon Company, to port QuickTime to the Windows platform. Version 1.0 of QuickTime for Windows provided only a subset of the full QuickTime API, including only movie playback functions driven through the standard movie controller.
QuickTime 1.6.x came out the following year. Version 1.6.2 first incorporated the "QuickTime PowerPlug" which replaced some components with PowerPC-native code when running on PowerPC Macs.
Apple released QuickTime 2.0 for Mac OS in February 1994—the only version never released for free. It added support for music tracks, which contained the equivalent of MIDI data and which could drive a sound-synthesis engine built into QuickTime itself (using a limited set of instrument sounds licensed from Roland), or any external MIDI-compatible hardware, thereby producing sounds using only small amounts of movie data.
Following Bruce Leak's departure to Web TV the leadership of the QuickTime team was taken over by Peter Hoddie.
QuickTime 2.0 for Windows appeared in November 1994 under the leadership of Paul Charlton. As part of the development effort for cross-platform QuickTime, Charlton (as architect and technical lead), along with ace individual contributor Michael Kellner and a small highly effective team including Keith Gurganus, ported a subset of the Macintosh Toolbox to Intel and other platforms (notably, MIPS and SGI Unix variants) as the enabling infrastructure for the QuickTime Media Layer (QTML) which was first demonstrated at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in May 1996. The QTML later became the foundation for the Carbon API which allowed legacy Macintosh applications to run on the Darwin kernel in Mac OS X.
The next versions, 2.1 and 2.5, reverted to the previous model of giving QuickTime away for free. They improved the music support and added sprite tracks which allowed the creation of complex animations with the addition of little more than the static sprite images to the size of the movie. QuickTime 2.5 also fully integrated QuickTime VR 2.0.1 into QuickTime as a QuickTime extension. On January 16, 1997, Apple released the QuickTime MPEG Extension (PPC only) as an add-on to QuickTime 2.5, which added software MPEG-1 playback capabilities to QuickTime.
The release of QuickTime 3.0 for Mac OS on March 30, 1998 introduced the now-standard revenue model of releasing the software for free, but with additional features of the Apple-provided MoviePlayer application that end-users could only unlock by buying a QuickTime Pro license code. Since the "Pro" features were the same as the existing features in QuickTime 2.5, any previous user of QuickTime could continue to use an older version of the central MoviePlayer application for the remaining lifespan of Mac OS to 2002; indeed, since these additional features were limited to MoviePlayer, any other QuickTime-compatible application remained unaffected.
QuickTime 3.0 added support for graphics importer components that could read images from GIF, JPEG, TIFF and other file formats, and video output components which served primarily to export movie data via FireWire. Apple also licensed several third-party technologies for inclusion in QuickTime 3.0, including the Sorenson Video codec for advanced video compression, the QDesign Music codec for substantial audio compression, and the complete Roland Sound Canvas instrument set and GS Format extensions for improved playback of MIDI music files. It also added video effects which programmers could apply in real-time to video tracks. Some of these effects would even respond to mouse clicks by the user, as part of the new movie interaction support (known as wired movies).
During the development cycle for QuickTime 3.0 part of the engineering team was working on a more advanced version of QuickTime to be known as QuickTime interactive or QTi. Although similar in concept to the wired movies feature released as part of QuickTime 3.0, QuickTime interactive was much more ambitious. It allowed any QuickTime movie to be a fully interactive and programmable container for media. A special track type was added that contained an interpreter for a custom programming language based on 68000 assembly language. This supported a comprehensive user interaction model for mouse and keyboard event handling based in part on the AML language from the Apple Media Tool.
The QuickTime interactive movie was to have been the playback format for the next generation of HyperCard authoring tool. Both the QuickTime interactive and the HyperCard 3.0 projects were canceled in order to concentrate engineering resources on streaming support for QuickTime 4.0, and the projects were never released to the public.
Apple released QuickTime 4.0 on June 8, 1999 for Mac OS 7.5.5 through 8.6 (later Mac OS 9) and Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT. Three minor updates (versions 4.0.1, 4.0.2, and 4.0.3) followed. It introduced features that most users now consider basic:
- Graphics exporter components, which could write some of the same formats that the previously-introduced importers could read. (GIF support was omitted, possibly because of the LZW patent.)
- Support for the QDesign Music 2 and MPEG-1 Layer 3 audio (MP3)
- QuickTime 4 was the first version to support streaming. It was accompanied by the release of the free QuickTime Streaming Server version 1.0.
On December 17, 1999, Apple provided QuickTime 4.1, this version's first major update. Two minor versions (4.1.1 and 4.1.2) followed. The most notable improvements in the 4.1.x family were:
- Support for files larger than 2.0 GB in Mac OS 9. (This is a consequence of Mac OS 9 requiring the HFS Plus filesystem.)
- Variable bit rate (VBR) support for MPEG-1 Layer 3 (MP3) audio
- Support for Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL)
- Introduction of AppleScript support in Mac OS
- The requirement of a PowerPC processor for Mac OS systems. QuickTime 4.1 dropped support for Motorola 68k Macintosh systems.
QuickTime 5 was one of the shortest-lived versions of QuickTime, released in April 2001 and superseded by QuickTime 6 a little over a year later. This version was the last to have greater capabilities under Mac OS 9 than under Mac OS X, and the last version of QuickTime to support Mac OS versions 7.5.5 through 8.5.1 on a PowerPC Mac and Windows 95. Version 5.0 was initially only released for Mac OS and Mac OS X on April 14, 2001, and version 5.0.1 followed shortly thereafter on April 23, 2001, supporting Mac OS, Mac OS X, and Windows. Three more updates to QuickTime 5 (versions 5.0.2, 5.0.4, and 5.0.5) were released over its short lifespan.
QuickTime 5 delivered the following enhancements:
- MPEG-1 playback for Windows, and updated MPEG-1 Layer 3 audio support for all systems.
- Sorenson Video 3 playback and export (added with the 5.0.2 update).
- Realtime rendering of effects & transitions in DV files, including enhancements to DV rendering, multiprocessor support, and Altivec enhancements for PowerPC G4 systems.
- Flash 4 playback and export.
- A new QuickTime VR engine, adding support for cubic VR panoramas.
On July 15, 2002, Apple released QuickTime 6.0, providing the following features:
- MPEG-4 playback, import, and export, including MPEG-4 Part 2 video and AAC Audio.
- Support for Flash 5, JPEG 2000, and improved Exif handling
- Instant-on streaming playback
- MPEG-2 playback (via the purchase of Apple's MPEG-2 Playback Component)
- Scriptable ActiveX control
QuickTime 6 was initially available for Mac OS 8.6 – 9.x, Mac OS X (10.1.5 minimum), and Windows 98, Me, 2000, and XP. Development of QuickTime 6 for Mac OS slowed considerably in early 2003, after the release of Mac OS X v10.2 in August 2002. QuickTime 6 for Mac OS continued on the 6.0.x path, eventually stopping with version 6.0.3.
QuickTime 6.1 & 6.1.1 for Mac OS X v10.1 and Mac OS X v10.2 (released October 22, 2002) and QuickTime 6.1 for Windows (released March 31, 2003) offered ISO-Compliant MPEG-4 file creation and fixed the CAN-2003-0168 vulnerability.
Apple released QuickTime 6.2 exclusively for Mac OS X on April 29, 2003 to provide support for iTunes 4, which allowed AAC encoding for songs in the iTunes library. (iTunes was not available for Windows until October 2003.)
On June 3, 2003, Apple released QuickTime 6.3, delivering the following:
- Support for 3GPP, including 3G Text, video, and audio (AAC and AMR codecs)
- Support for the .3gp, .amr, and .sdv file formats via separate component
QuickTime 6.4, released on October 16, 2003 for Mac OS X v10.2, Mac OS X v10.3, and Windows, added the following:
- Addition of the Apple Pixlet codec (only for Mac OS X v10.3 and later)
- ColorSync support
- Integrated 3GPP
On December 18, 2003, Apple released QuickTime 6.5, supporting the same systems as version 6.4. Versions 6.5.1 and 6.5.2 followed on April 28, 2004 and October 27, 2004. These versions would be the last to support Windows 98 and Me. The 6.5 family added the following features:
- 3GPP2 and AMC mobile multimedia formats
- QCELP voice code
- Apple Lossless (in version 6.5.1)
QuickTime 6.5.3 was released on October 12, 2005 for Mac OS X v10.2.8 after the release of QuickTime 7.0, fixing a number of security issues.
Initially released on April 29, 2005 in conjunction with Mac OS X v10.4 (for version 10.3.9 and 10.4.x), QuickTime 7.0 featured the following:
- Improved MPEG-4 compliance
- An H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec (does not support the AVCHD H.264 AVC format from HD camcorders)
- Support for Core Audio, a set of Application programming interfaces that supports high resolution sound and replaces Sound Manager
- Support for using Core Image filters in Mac OS X v10.4 on live video (Not to be confused with Core Video)
- Support for Quartz Composer (.qtz) animations
- Support for distinct decode order and display order
- QuickTime Kit Framework (QTKit), a Cocoa framework for QuickTime
After a couple of preview Windows releases, Apple released 7.0.2 as the first stable release on September 7, 2005 for Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Version 7.0.4, released on January 10, 2006 was the first universal binary version. But it suffered numerous bugs, including a buffer overrun, which is more problematic to most users.
Apple dropped support for Windows 2000 with the release of QuickTime 7.2 on July 11, 2007. The last version available for Windows 2000, 7.1.6, contains numerous security vulnerabilities. References to this version have been removed from the QuickTime site, but it can be downloaded from Apple's support section. Apple has not indicated that they will be providing any further security updates for older versions. QuickTime 7.2 is the first version for Windows Vista.
Apple dropped support for Flash content in QuickTime 7.3, breaking content that relied on Flash for interactivity, or animation tracks. Security concerns seem to be part of the decision. Flash flv files can still be played in QuickTime if the free Perian plugin is added.
In QuickTime 7.3, a processor that supports SSE is required. QuickTime 7.4 does not require SSE. Unlike versions 7.2 and 7.3, QuickTime 7.4 cannot be installed on Windows XP SP1 system (its setup program checks if Service Pack 2 is installed). QuickTime 7.5 was released on June 10, 2008. QuickTime 7.5.5 was released on September 9, 2008, which requires Mac OS X v10.4 or higher, dropping 10.3 support. QuickTime 7.6 was released on January 21, 2009.
QuickTime X (pronounced QuickTime Ten) was initially demonstrated at WWDC on June 8, 2009, and shipped with Mac OS X v10.6.
QuickTime X includes visual chapters, conversion, and sharing for YouTube and MobileMe, video editing, capture of video and audio streams, screen recording, GPU acceleration, and live streaming.
The reason for the jump in numbering from 7 to 10 (X) was to indicate a similar break with the previous versions of the product that Mac OS X indicated. QuickTime X is fundamentally different from previous versions, in that it is provided as a Cocoa (Objective-C) framework and breaks compatibility with the previous QuickTime 7 C-based APIs that were previously used. QuickTime X was completely rewritten to implement modern audio video codecs in 64-bit. QuickTime X is a combination of two technologies: QuickTime Kit Framework (QTKit) and QuickTime X Player. QTKit is used by QuickTime player to display media. QuickTime X does not implement all of the functionality of the previous QuickTime as well as some of the codecs. When QuickTime X attempts to operate with a 32-bit codec or perform an operation not supported by QuickTime X, it will start a 32-bit helper process to perform the requested operation. The website Ars Technica revealed that QuickTime X uses QuickTime 7.x via QTKit to run older codecs that have not made the transition to 64-bit.
QuickTime 7 may still be required to support older formats on Snow Leopard such as QTVR, interactive QuickTime movies, and MIDI files. In such cases, a compatible version of QuickTime 7 is included on Snow Leopard installation disc and may be installed side-by-side with QuickTime X. Users who have a Pro license for QuickTime 7 can then activate their license.
A Snow Leopard-compatible version of QuickTime 7 may also be downloaded from Apple Support website.