Image Processing Reference
QuickTime has been around probably as long as any video playback system on desktop
computers. Originally, it could only play small-format video and it had no streaming capa-
bilities until the mid-1990s.
QuickTime was the first of the video frameworks to support the idea of pluggable
codecs, and Apple has continued to innovate in the way that components are downloaded
automatically when needed.
With the introduction of the new Telestream and Real Networks codec plug-ins,
QuickTime is the only platform that can export video in its own format, many open stan-
dard formats, and those of all its competitors. This is a significant advantage.
QuickTime also introduced de-interlace and inverse-telecine support earlier than its
competitors, and in 1996 it added the capability to play MPEG video in reverse at a time
when the video format did not support it. We take these capabilities for granted now, but
this was revolutionary back then. QuickTime is very mature and robust because it has
been available for a very long time and is constantly undergoing revision and re-
engineering of various parts of the infrastructure to support more advanced capabilities.
Some good examples of the quality that can be achieved with QuickTime can be
found at the QuickTime trailers web page on the Apple web site and at the Warner Brothers
Matrix web site.
How Is QuickTime Different from Other Formats?
QuickTime is quite different from the other two major players (Real Networks and Windows
Media) in that it is a framework (or platform) on which a rich, diverse, and interactive expe-
rience can be built. A totally nonlinear playback can be constructed that allows the deploy-
ment of portable multimedia experiences to everywhere that QuickTime is supported.
QuickTime movie trailers: http://www.apple.com/trailers/
Matrix trailer: http://whatisthematrix.warnerbros.com/