January 2001

January 30, 2001

If you're running the Public Preview version of QuickTime Streaming Server 3, go to document 11851 in Apple's Software Updates library where you can get an update that extends the expiration date of this software to May 15,

ici Media is offering a 2 day course on QuickTime Streaming on 2/17 and 2/18 and a 2 day course on LiveStagePro on 2/21 and 2/22. Both courses take place in Toronto, Canada. For details, see ici Media's training page.

A MacObserver article, "New QuickTime Design Studio Available, G4 PowerBook Offered Up As Prize" reports that BoyComputer.com is running a contest to see who can create the "coolest creation" using its new QuickTime authoring tool, Alexander. The winner gets a new G4 Titanium PowerBook.

There's a a MacNN reader report "QuickTime 5.0b8 available"; make sure to read the Reader comments.

A MacNN review of Cleaner 5 (the most widely used compression tool) gives Cleaner 5 good ratings (though erroneously reports that you can use it to transcode from Real to other formats, such as QuickTime; this reminds us of one of QuickTime's unmarketed strengths: the fact that you can transcode from QuickTime to almost any other format.) There's also a streamingmedia.com review, "Terranís Cleaner 5 Raises the Bar", which is also quite positive.

Two articles on iMovie are at Streaming Media World this week. One article is "iMovie: Streaming for the Family" (which covers how to capture video using iMovie) and the other is "iMovie Streaming: Editing for Streaming" (which covers the editing process).

Software updates:

Plato Grande Software has now released ImageViewer 5.4b1, a Mac OS media management tool that can deal with a large number of formats, including all those supported by QuickTime. Go to the ImageViewer web site for more information and to download a trial version.

Buena Software has released Effects Pack #1 v1.5. This is a free update to Effects Pack #1, a $30 set of 6 filters and 4 transitions. These will work with any Mac OS tool that supports QuickTime effects, including QuickTime Player Pro. For more information, to download a trial version, or to purchase go to the Effects Pack #1 page.

Video Funhouse is a new application that lets you alter live video input (or video in a file) just like those fun house mirrors (and more!). Check out the Video Funhouse page at Chaotic Software.

January 23, 2001

Matthew Peterson's QuickTime Stuff page has some QuickTime 5 widgets (actually QuickTime movies with useful functions that you can add to your own movies) you can download. One of these, Mediasearch, is extremely useful because it provides a search function for movies with text tracks; this means that you can have movies on your web pages in which the text tracks can be searched (as long as QuickTime 5 is installed). Thanks, Matthew!

A MacCentral article, "RealPlayer on 28 percent of PCs; QuickTime at 4 percent" cites a 1/22/01 MediaMetrix press release that makes it look like QuickTime is really doing poorly in the market. However, as pointed out in comments to the article, as well as in an addendum to the article, the results are very skewed because they don't count QuickTime plug-in use as QuickTime use; they're only looking at application use.

A fairly lengthy article at HotWired, Digital Video Revolution: Streaming Video for the Masses, offers more insight into QuickTime's place in the streaming market.

QuickRef is a new Mac OS utility, now at beta 0.62, which automates the process of creating reference movies (where the term "reference" refers to the pointer files to rtsp streams, i.e. the QuickTime movies you can embed directly on a web page.) QuickRef requires QuickTime 5 Preview 2, and will be released soon with a price of $49. (But you can download the beta now at the QuickRef page. )

There's a new QuickTime authoring tool, called Alexander, in the works. It's unusual in that it's subscription-based, with subscription fees at such prices as $5 monthly or $30 annually. Check out the press releases at BoyComputer.com for more details. (BoyComputer also has a free on-line tool called QTagger that generates a QuickTime embed tag, but it's not working quite right according to a few simple tests we ran.)

A couple of software updates:

Version 2.5 of QTKeys, a music synthesizer based on the QuickTime music architecture is available at the QTKeys page.

Version 1.0.0 of SoundScript (a tool that lets you have different sounds in a QuickTime movie play or loop individually under script control) is available from Michael Norris's Software page.

You can view our slides from our SF Macworld talk, "Making Movies with the QuickTime Player".

January 16, 2001

New software:

A new QuickTime compression tool has come on the scene. Totally Hip has announced HipFlics, which will retail for $200. One thing that's very cool about it is that it will allow you to easily apply different codecs to different parts of the same movie. You can read more at Totally Hip's web site, or in a MacCentral article, "MWSF: Totally Hip gets hipper with Flics, Pics".

Sorenson Media announced a new codec that will work with QuickTime, Sorenson MPEG-4. (They showed a beta at Macworld, but it doesn't appear to be available on their web site.) For details see a Sorenson 1/9 press release.

Media 100 introduced CineStream, its current incarnation of EditDV. CineStream incorporates the DV capture and editing features of EditDV and adds web authoring features, including their "EventStream" technology which is useful for adding things like HREF tracks (URL flips) and chapters (indexing). For more info read the CineStream product page or a Media 100 1/9 press release about CineStream.

Windows users can go the the Hypnotizer web site to download a beta of hypnotizer.editor, a tool you can use to overlay interactive buttons and menus (and other elements) on QuickTime, Real, and Windows Media files. (The downside of this tool is that it's not using QuickTime's built-in interactivity features, and thus requires that viewers have an additional plug-in to play back the files. There's also currently no Mac OS plug-in. )

If you have a FireWire-equipped Mac and DV camera and want to do some live QuickTime broadcasting, check out LiveChannel, a tool that serves as both a broadcaster and QuickTime Streaming server. It's also capable of mixing video coming from different cameras and adding effects , all live. You can download the software and get more information at the ChannelStorm web site.

VDIG.org is a group that is trying to make the authoring of QuickTime Video Digitizing components (the software drivers allow hardware to talk with QuickTime) easier. They have created testing applications as well as a video digitizing component called "WinVDIG" that will allow the capture of video into a QuickTime movie using Windows hardware that doesn't normally support QuickTime. VDIG.org has released version 0.3 of WinVDIG, which you can get from the VDIG.org site. Be warned that this is alpha software and the author is looking for some constructive feedback.

Software updates:

Version 1.1 of Pix Lite, an alternative movie playing tool, is available. (You'll probably like it, if you hate QuickTime Player's interface.) It's $15 shareware. You can get more info and download the tool at SearchWare Solutions Pix Lite page.

Information sources:

Check out The Visual QuickStart Online Library, which includes our QuickTime 4 book (and others you may be interested in). Annual subscriptions, which give you access to all the Visual QuickStart Guides, are $50, but you can sign up for a free 7 day trial subscription.

For QuickTime Player Pro 4 users having a hard time remembering the keys you hold down to access the Player's hidden editing features, you may want to bookmark Apple's Tech Info Library article 25230.

January 9, 2001

Happy New Year! Happy New Millenium!

Macworld 2001 in San Francisco started today. You can see Steve Jobs' keynote at Apple's Macworld 2001 Keynote page. Jobs introduced a few new pieces of software that you may find interesting: iTunes, iDVD and DVD Studio Pro. iTunes is a free MP3 ripping and CD burning tool. iDVD is a simple end-user tool for making DVD's that can be played back on standard DVD players. And DVD Studio Pro is the full-featured DVD authoring tool that includes a QuickTime MPEG-2 encoder that will work in QuickTime-savvy applications. No news in the keynote about QuickTime 5, however.

Other new and updated software:

Interactive Solutions has released both a Macintosh and Windows version of Movieworks 5, their easy-to-use QuickTime-based content creation and multimedia authoring suite of tools. They also have a Deluxe version for the Macintosh, that includes the ability to break a project into separate scenes and link them together with interactive buttons. Read an Interactive Solutions January 9th press release, or check out the MovieWorks site.

Adobe has released a trial version of GoLive 5. This web page editing tool is unique in that it includes a very good QuickTime editor. You can create HREF tracks, chapter lists, interactive movies and more. You can get the trial version by filling out a form you'll find at the GoLive Download page.

If you need to make QuickTime VR object movies and you have a digital camcorder, you'll be interested in a new product consisting of a Kaidan motorized turntable and software from a company called Autolycus that can convert a video stream of a spinning object into a QuickTime VR movie. Read a MacCentral article, "MWSF: New 3D object app coming to the Mac"

Version 1.0 of iView MediaPro ($45 shareware cataloging software that can handle all the file formats QuickTime can, plus more), has been released. More information and a download link can be found at the and can be downloaded from the iView Multimedia Online site. (Note: iView MediaPro is the successor to iView Multimedia, a tool that was previously at version 3.8)

Totally Hip has come out HipFlics, a new QuickTime batch compression and movie processing tool that will cost $200; one of the interesting things about this tool is that it supports using different compressors (codecs) in a single movie. Totally Hip is also coming out with HipPics, a similar tool for still images, costing $30. There's a MacCentral article "MWSF: Totally Hip gets hipper with Flics, Pics", that has more info. You can also go to the Totally Hip web site where you'll find links to PDF documents describing the tools in detail.

QuickTimeInAWindow (QTIAW) Xtra is a new alpha xtra for Macromedia Director 6 and later that brings up a QuickTime movie in a window that has the look of the native OS. Read more and download the alpha at the QTIAW Xtra alpha page.

And some learning opportunities:

A tutorial at iBoost on combining Flash and QuickTime covers how to include QuickTime movies in a Flash project, add interactivity, and then export as a QuickTime movie.

An article at streamingmedia.com, "Creating Rich Media with QuickTime" shows how to add chapter tracks and href tracks using QuickTime Player, discusses methods for adding interactivity, and provides the steps for creating a slideshow using QuickTime Player.

An article at MacCentral, "Mac Web Servers: QuickTime Streaming Server 3", provides fairly clear, detailed coverage of streaming servers in general, as well as the latest QuickTime streaming server from Apple.

We'll have more news from Macworld SF 2001 next week.