August and July 96

August 26th

While most of us rely on the free codecs that are built into QuickTime (particularly Cinepak), you may want to check out some alternatives:

If you produce QuickTime movies for the web, you may be interested in an upcoming codec, ClearVideo from Iterated Systems. Check out Iterated's web site, where you can get hold of an extension that will serve as a ClearVideo decompressor and where you can get sample movies compressed with ClearVideo. Some of the clips have extremely low data rates, which is what leads us to believe that this compressor may be ideal for web distribution. (ClearVideo compressed clips may require a powerful computer for playback, however.) You will have to pay $1000 for theClearVideo compressor (no royalties for distribution of your clips, however.) Iterated Systems is planning to release the compressor on September 10.

And, if you produce QuickTime movies for CD-ROM, and you haven't done so already, you may want to look at the Power!Video codec from Horizons Technology. This is the successor to the TrueMotion-S codec which provided very good-looking clips. However, unlike TrueMotion-S there are no fees for distribution of Power!Video compressed clips. There are two versions of Power!Video: Power!Video Easy and Power!Video Pro, which cost $95 and $495 respectively for the compressors.

Ever notice the Copyright Info choice in the Movie menu and wondered how you get text like that into your movies? It's simple to add copyright info using MoviePlayer.

August 19th

Adobe Premiere users who are using Premiere for digitizing, should be sure to get the Movie Capture Module 4.2.2 upgrade from Adobe's web site.

Final versions of Netscape Navigator 3.0 and Apple's QuickTime plug-in for Navigator 3.0 were released this week. If you're running Navigator 3.0 with the plug-in, you can view movies directly on a web page, rather than having the browser call up MoviePlayer or some other player as a helper application. They also allow properly prepared movies to start playing on a page before they're completely downloaded. Get Navigator 3.0 , including the QuickTime plug-in from Netscape . If you want to be able to play QuickTime VR movies on a web page, you'll also need in your Netscape plug-ins folder the QuickTime VR Components file, which you can get from

Want to prepare a movie for web playback so it will start playing before completely downloaded? You can use Apple's Internet Movie Tool to do this, but if it's just one movie that you want to prepare, you can do it with good 'ol MoviePlayer.

August 12th

In the past, we've bemoaned the fact that there are no inexpensive (under $1000) digitizing cards for the Mac, ala the original Video Spigot. Looks like that's about to change:

Avid will be coming out with Cinema, an under $500 combination of video editing software and Motion-JPEG card. The card works in conjunction with the built-in video capture in PCI Macs (6400, 7500, 7600, 8500) or with the Apple Video System on the 5400 to digitize and output video close to what the higher-end Motion-JPEG cards (e.g. VideoVision Studio and Targa) can do. To start, Apple will be selling Cinema; read their press release for more information.

ATI has announced an even cheaper card, the Xclaim VR, that not only digitizes and outputs video but also accelerates QuickDraw (both 2-D and 3-D) and QuickTime movie playback. You'll also be able to add a TV tuner to this card, allowing you to watch television on your Mac; more importantly, you should be able to capture closed captioned text from TV programs into a QuickTime text track if ATI includes the software necessary to do this (which they've promised to do).

And, Miro has cut the price of its DC-20 from $1000 down to $800. This is another Motion-JPEG card that's just a step below the VideoVision Studio and the Targa cards in terms of quality and features. It will work in any PCI computer. If you have or get the card, make sure to get updated drivers (1.1) from Miro's web site.

If you've increased the volume of your QuickTime movie as high as it will go, and it's still not loud enough, you can overdrive the audio.

August 5th

BMUG released its Guide to QuickTime 2.5 at Macworld Boston. This CD-ROM contains 2.5, sample movies, a handful of unsupported utilities, and an electronic 75-page primer on the new features of QuickTime since 2.0.

Terran Interactive has shipped Web-Motion, a plug-in for its Movie Cleaner Pro product. Using the two together, you can properly prepare your QuickTime movies for use on the World Wide Web. It's got an expert system that will help you pick the right settings for optimal compression, and it'll even help you write the html that you need.

July 22nd

Apple finally released QuickTime 2.5!