October 96

October 28

Apple has re-designed their QuickTime site. The content seems to be about the same, but it's been rearranged; it's now a lot better organized, making it easier to find stuff. One weirdness: they've got a GIF animation (rather than an embedded QT movie) on their first page.

Adobe PageMill 2.0 for Macintosh is now shipping. This web authoring tool now has support for browser plug-ins, including the QuickTime plug-in. More details are in an Adobe press release.

Apple has a patch for Cyberdog that fixes a problem with embedded QuickTime movies.

Last week we showed how to dynamic preview for a movie, using a selection from that movie. You can also use a selection from a completely different movie--useful when you want to create a visual preview for a movie that's audio-only, or when you want the preview to show something other than just a segment from the movie (a few seconds of hilites from different parts of the clip, for example.)

October 21

Terran Interactive has released a new version of Movie Cleaner Pro. Version 1.3. includes support for AppleScript; there are sample scripts provided on their web site. It also has speed and performance improvements, as well as support for the "other" QuickTime tracks--music, sprites and text. It's free and available from Terran's web site.

Apple has introduced the new Performa 6400 Video Editing Edition station at $2,699. This has the Avid Cinema hardware and software for M-JPEG compression. It also has a 200 mHz PowerPC 603e, 32 megs of RAM and a 2.4 gig hard disk. You can read more about the 6400 in an Apple press release. If you're in the market for a home video editing machine or a decent-but-not-quite-professional system for creating video for multimedia projects, take a good look at this system.

Did you know that you can can make a dynamic preview for any of your movies, so that one can actually play a small part of your movie in the open dialog box, before choosing to open it?

October 14

A number of things relevant to those doing web distribution:

Today Paceworks Inc is supposed to release a beta version of Dancer. Dancer is an animation creation tool that makes extensive use of QuickTime tracks. It is the first commercial product that generates a QuickTime sprite track, which is ideal for web distribution since a sprite track uses much less data than a standard video track.

Iterated Systems now has a free evaluation copy of their Clear Video compressor. We also mentioned Clear Video previously (Little QuickTime Page 8/26/96), when only the decoder was available. If you plan to distribute QuickTime video clips on the web, it's worth your while to check out Clear Video, which achieves very low data rates and very small files.

And, if you're interested in distributing your clips as MPEG rather than QuickTime, get a demo version of Astarte's M.Pack, which allows you to convert a QuickTime clip into MPEG, using software only. At under $500, it's a fraction of the cost of a dedicated hardware MPEG encoder, but it's also many times slower. There's a MacWeek review of M.Pack, too.

Last week we forgot to draw your attention to a MacWeek article on Elecede's Artista board, a new low-cost video capture card. At under $400 it's in the same category as the ATI card we previously mentioned (Little QuickTime Page 8/12/96).

Another simple, oldie-but-goodie: making a "startup movie" (one that plays whenever your MacOS computer starts).

October 7

If you're interested in QuickTime's text track, you may want to get ahold of Apple's Interactive Music Toolkit. Though this Toolkit is meant primarily for musicians to create enhanced audio CDs, it comes with a neat little tool called the Lyric Synchronizer which makes it relatively to easy to add a text track to any movie, not just an audio movie. (We found that we had to disable video tracks before we tried to save the movie, or it crashed.) Note that when you go to the Interactive Music Toolkit web site, you can download just the Lyric Synchronizer.However, if you want some documentation get the complete install.

Claris this week announced a new version of HomePage. HomePage 2.0 will support the embedding of QuickTime movies as well as other multimedia "plug-in" elements.

You can use a custom sound as an instrument in a QuickTime music file, in place of one of the instruments there originally.