Image Processing Reference
open-sourced by Apple, so if you wanted to do the necessary work, getting the streaming
server to run on Linux would not be that difficult. Before embarking on a porting exercise,
check the Internet for implementations. Someone else has probably done it for you already.
Making a QuickTime player for Linux presents some issues, too. The QuickTime file
format has been published, but any proprietary codecs will likely be stored in those files
as chunks of opaque data that you will not be able to interpret.
There are video formats and codecs that are best processed with a workflow built
around the QuickTime architecture. Most of the non-Apple proprietary formats may be
available as external, application-driven codecs, but no other system embodies the range
and flexibility of QuickTime.
When you deploy applications such as Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Adobe Photoshop,
Adobe Illustrator, Media 100, and Microsoft Excel, you can wrap the process in AppleScript
and achieve a high degree of workflow automation. You'll find coverage of this at the
Apple web site under the heading of “Showtime.” It makes a very compelling case for
AppleScript, which is not available on any other platform.
Situations in Which QuickTime Is Useful
While Real Networks and Microsoft cut deals to distribute massive quantities of their
products, it is worth noting that QuickTime has been available on enhanced CD products
for years. Huge numbers of CD singles are shipped with QuickTime for Windows
installers. It has even been given away on free CDs mounted on the front of cereal pack-
ets. The distribution and reach of QuickTime must be more ubiquitous than any other
video player, and yet it shows quite low on any industry-based measurements. This is
QuickTime is embedded in a couple of hundred different digital camera models, and
this is evident when you shoot those 15-second movies with a still camera. They upload
to the computer as .mov files because that is the format used in the camera.
QuickTime provides a lot of translation services for image formats and all kinds of
media handling. This support facilitates applications such as iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto, and
Keynote on the Macintosh platform. The iTunes for Windows application could not be
delivered without the underlying QuickTime support. Installing iTunes onto a Windows
machine also ensures that a library of very useful media tools is there for other application
writers to take advantage of.
So in the previous chapter we considered Windows Media and in this one we've looked at
QuickTime. The other major player in this game is Real Networks, which has been at the
forefront of streaming audio and video since those formats first started to become popu-
lar. In the next chapter we'll look at their strengths and weaknesses.