October 2001

October 30, 2001

Ben Waggoner has written "The Top Ten Things I'd Like to See in QuickTime"; you can read this informative list in Ben's 10/25/01 posting on the QuickTime Talk List. (When asked for a username and password, use "archives" for both.)

Lots of software updates:

Available for download at the QuickTime Download page is a new installer for the Windows version of QuickTime that's identical to what was there previously, but the download includes the QuickTime ActiveX component (necessary for playing back QuickTime movies in newer versions of Windows Internet Explorer).

There's a new version of LiveSlideShow, Totally Hip's easy-to-use tool for creating interactive QuickTime slide shows. Available for Mac and Windows, version 2 includes (but is not limited to) such features as QuickTime media skin support (so your slide show appears without the QuickTime Player interface), easy import from digital cameras for OS X users, and the ability to set your slide show to play full-screen automatically. You can read more at the LiveSlideShow web site, or in a MacCentral article, "Totally Hip announces LiveSlideShow for OS X".

Microsoft has a service release for Internet Explorer 5.0 for Mac. According to Microsoft's MacTopia Internet Explorer 5.0 Service Release 1 page, the release resolves a "known issue" where the QuickTime plug-in (and other plug-ins) can cause Internet Explorer to stop responding. (We haven't seen this as a problem ourselves.)

Version 1.0 of Pageot, a free Mac tool that generates QuickTime EMBED and OBJECT code to use in your web pages, is available at the Pageot page.

Ben Bird has released version 5.2 of BTV and BTV Pro (Mac shareware tools for capture and editing, $20 and $40, respectfully). You can read more about these tools on the BTV home page, and download the tool from the BTV Download page.

iScreensaver Designer 2.0 (Mac and Windows software that turns a QuickTime movie into a screen saver) is available at the iScreenSaver Download page.  

Sorenson Media released Sorenson Video 3.1 (about the best codec you can get for QuickTime web video), and Sorenson Squeeze (an easy-to-use compression tool for Macintosh, and currently the only compression tool that will do Sorenson Variable Bit Rate compression). You can find links to info and purchase pages at the Sorenson Media web site. (There's a free download of Sorenson Video 3.1 Pro for those that have already purchased sorenson Video 3.0.)

Wildform has posted QuickTime SWF Enabler, a Mac tool which, via drag-and-drop, converts Flash SWF files to QuickTime files. You can get this at the Wildform Downloads page; look for the "Wildform Macromedia/Quicktime SWF Enabler 1.0".

October 23, 2001

New tools:

FrameSync Studio is a new $349 Macintosh tool that can be used to construct a QuickTime movie from existing media (including video, sound, and QuickTime Flash tracks). It also lets you add text to your creation. You can find out more and download a demo at the FrameSync Studio web site.

There's a new product for creating interactive QuickTime movies, called VideoClix. Though we haven't been able to test it, the VideoClix web site, indicates that you can use it to create hot spots (in linear video), as well as other interactive elements, such as chapters, and time-based URL flips. The interface looks fairly straightforward. (Currently, there's only a Mac version, though a Windows version is forthcoming. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that there's a demo version. The product costs $649.)

New-ish tools that we've forgotten to tell you about:

PanoCube is a free Windows utility, for converting spherical panoramas into QuickTime 5 cubic panoramas; you'll find it at the PanoCube web page. (It works in conjunction with Helmut Dersch's Panorama Tools.)

StrataDV 5.0 is the successor to the old Strata VideoShop (an editing tool that we always liked because, unlike other commercial timeline-based editing tools, it supported QuickTime track types other than sound and video). This new version supports text and music tracks (but no longer 3D tracks, presumably because of Apple's lack of support for 3D tracks). Base version is free; the Plus version (with no nag screens, support for music tracks, more than one video/audio/text tracks, and more transitions and filters) is $149 ($110 academic). Lots more information is at the StrataDV product page.

Software Updates:

iSlideShow ($10 Mac shareware that you can use to create a slide show with transitions) has been updated to version 1.2. Get more information (including user reviews) at the VersionTracker iSlideShow More Info page.

Snapz Pro X (Mac OS X version of Ambrosia Software's screen capture utility) has been updated to version 1.0.1. You can read more and download a demo at the Snapz Pro X page.

Beta 11 of iScreenSaver Designer (Mac and Windows software that turns a QuickTime movie into a screen saver) is available at the iScreenSaver Public Beta Test Page.  

At DV.com there's a page with links to all the compressed test files from his article at DV.com, "Web Video Codecs Compared".

You may have heard that Apple introduced new products today. (Read a MacCentral article, "An overview of iPod, iTunes 2, iDVD2" if you want to be filled in.) Any connection to QuickTime? Not really, but wouldn't it be cool to see an iPod 2, with a color screen that could play QuickTime movies? (One small QuickTime thing: at the iPod User Interface page you'll find a nice interactive QuickTime movie that demos the features of iPod.)

October 16, 2001

Sorenson Broadcaster for Macintosh, the first application for doing live QuickTime broadcasting, will no longer be developed. It has been "replaced" with Live Channel. Read more about this in a 10/15 Channel Storm Press release.

A couple of items that will help Mac users deal with the new HTML code required for embedding QuickTime movies for playback under Internet Explorer 5.5 and 6.0:

PageSpinner 3.1.1 (a $30 HTML Editor for the Mac), can create the proper OBJECT tag to work with the QuickTime ActiveX control. Go to the PageSpinner site, where you'll find more information about the tool, and can download a trial version.

QT Tag Converter (1.0.1) is a new $25 tool that will go through all your HTML pages and convert all your QuickTime EMBED tags into the necessary OBJECT tags. You can find out more and download a save-disabled version from the Retiarius Enterprises QT Tag Converter page.

If you're interested in QuickTime interactivity:

Check out a new draft QuickTime Developer document, "Inside QuickTime: Interactive Movies". While much of the document is for programmers, the first few chapters have good overview and background information on QuickTime interactivity that will be useful to non-programmers. There's also a chapter on SMIL and QuickTime that's useful.

iciMedia (recently acquired by Totally Hip, makers of LiveStage Pro) is holding workshops on LiveStage Pro (Totally Hip's software for creating highly interactive QuickTime movies) at the beginning of December. For more information, start at the iciMedia Course Schedule page.

QuickTime VR specific items:

There's now a QTVR-enabled ActiveX control that you can use in PowerPoint. (We haven't tried it, but if it works it means that Windows users can now include QuickTime VR movies in their PowerPoint presentations.) You'll find it if you go the the QT4Delphi site and click the Downloads link.

Windows users can now download a trial version of Panoweaver Cubic, a tool for creating cubic panoramas for QuickTime VR playback. You'll find more info at the Easypano Products page.

Another draft Apple Developer document, "Inside QuickTime:QuickTime VR" offers much information relevant to those creating QuickTime VR content.

You can now get French, German, Spanish, Italian, or Japanese localized versions of the iMovie 2.1.1 Update. You'll find them in article 120054 of the AppleCare Knowledge Base. (You'll have to register--providing e-mail address, name and postal address--before you can actually get to the page, however.)

QuickMovie, a $20 shareware tool for creating QuickTime movies from a sequence of still images has been upgraded to version 1.4 and is available at Chaotic Software's QuickMovie page. (This tool gives you many more options than QuickTime Player's Open Image Sequence feature. It also runs under Mac OS X)

October 9, 2001

Ben Waggoner has an article at DV.com, "Web Video Codecs Compared", in which he looks at a variety of modern QuickTime codecs (Sorenson Video 3, H.23, VP3, and ZygoVideo) as well as Real and Windows Media codecs. He also includes sample clips compressed with all the codecs.

Brad Smith's article at MacObserver, "Lord of the Rings: From QuickTime To Real Media... And Back Again", provides history and commentary about the choice of QuickTime for the new Lord of the Rings trailer.

This November or December you can get training on streaming (covering Real, Windows Media, and MPEG-4 as well as QuickTime) during a two-day workshop that'll be held in New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia. Check out the Ultimate Streaming Seminar page for information.

A bunch of news on the software front:

Beta 09 of iScreensaver Designer (Mac and Windows software that turns a QuickTime movie into a screen saver) is available at the iScreenSaver Public Beta Test Page.  

A handy, new Mac utility (still in alpha) is Pageot. It generates both EMBED and OBJECT code to use in your web pages. You can download it from the Pageot page.

Those that have iMovie for OS X may want to go to article 120059 of the AppleCare Knowledge Base to get iMovie Plug-in Pack 2.1.1, which includes additional effects, transitions, and titles that will work from within iMovie. (You'll have to register--providing e-mail address, name and postal address--before you can actually get to the page, however.)

There's now a beta of an OS X version of iBuild (multimedia authoring and presentation software for the Mac, with decent QuickTime support). You can get it at the iBuild for OS X public beta page. Get more info about iBuild at the iBuild site.

ChannelStorm introduced LiveChanel Lite, a $200 version of its very impressive LiveChannel Pro as well as a special $400 price for education of LiveChannel Pro. (LiveChannel Pro is software that serves as both a broadcaster and QuickTime Streaming server. It allows you to add graphics, text, recorded audio and video, and effects during a live broadcast. All you need to broadcast, besides the software, is a DV camera and a FireWire Mac. We've been impressed with it. Haven't tried this Lite version, yet however.) For more information check out the ChannelStorm web site, or read a 10/3 ChannelStorm press release.

Version 1.1.6 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 Mac shareware. You can get more info and download the tool at SearchWare Solutions Pix Lite page.

October 2, 2001

Apple has postponed the QuickTime Live conference. It will now take place February 10-14, 2002. (It had been scheduled for October 8-11, 2001.) Slightly more info is available in a September 26 Apple press release.

To read about an interesting project that's making use of QuickTime streaming, go to a MacCentral article, "Apple, QuickTime help with underwater diving trip".

There's an iMovie 2.1.1 update available at an an Apple iMovie updates page. However, you may want to first check out the section on TroubleShooting iMovie 2.1.1 at MacFixit.

Sane Solutions has released Version 5.5 of its NetTracker Web Analytics Software, which can analyze the logs of streaming media servers, including QuickTime Streaming Server. For more info read an October 1 press release, "Sane Solutions Releases Version 5.5 of NetTracker® Web Analytics Software".

And, software news for Mac OS X users:

There's now an OS X version of the Pro version of the ZyGoVideo codec, a codec worth checking out for creating low-bandwidth movies. Read a 10/1 ZyGoVideo press release, or a MacCentral article, "ZyGoVideo Pro ready for Mac OS X".

There's a screensaver module for Mac OS X, SaveHollywood, that'll use one or more QuickTime Movies as a screensaver. Check out the SaveHollywood page.

Apple's QuickTime Streaming Server (for Mac OS X Server) has been updated to version 3.0.2. Read more at the VersionTracker More Info page for QuickTime Streaming Server.