Mac OS X to the Max: Taking QuickTime Further

You've learned a lot about QuickTime, but even so, there is a lot more you can do. In this section, you'll get some tips to help you go even further with QuickTime.

Using QuickTime Pro to Convert Files into Other Formats

QuickTime supports many types of file formats that you are likely to encounter on the Internet as well as on CD-ROMs and other sources of multimedia files. These files can contain all sorts of content, everything from videos to sounds to still images and combinations of all of these. One of the most powerful features of QuickTime Pro is the ability to use it to convert files into different formats. You can import many file types into QuickTime Player and then export them or save them in a different format.

To import non-QuickTime movie content into QuickTime Player, use the Import command on the File menu.

Table 17.4 lists some of the more useful files you can create using the Export command on QuickTime Player's File menu. In the Save Exported File As dialog box, you can use the Export pop-up menu to choose any of the file formats shown in Table 17.4. After you choose a format, you can set the options used for the export with the Use pop-up menu.

Table 17.4. Useful File Formats to Which QuickTime Player Can Export Content
Export To Format Use
Movie to AVI This exports a movie to the Windows AVI format. The AVI format is a standard on the PC side of things, so this is useful if you want to provide movies for Windows users (although they would be better off using the Windows version of QuickTime).
Movie to BMP You can convert frames of a movie into the BMP format, which is the Windows bitmap image format.
Movie to DV Stream This is an extremely useful function because it enables you to export QuickTime movies in the DV format so that you can then import them into a digital video editing application, such as iMovie.
Movie to MPEG-4 Creates an MPEG-4 version of the movie, which will have high quality and relatively small file size. The only downside is that the recipient's movie player has to be able to handle MPEG-4 content, which not all do.
Sound to AIFF This option enables you to save the movie's sound in the AIFF format, which can be used in almost any application that works with sound. You can also export sounds from your movies in this format to use as system sounds.
Sound to Wave This is a sound format that is common on Windows PCs.

When you choose one of these export formats, you can use the Options button to configure the specifications to export the file with. In the resulting Settings dialog box, you can configure the format you are exporting. For example, when you export a movie as a DV Stream, you can choose the video format and the audio format. If you use the MPEG-4 format, you will see a Settings dialog box with five tabs that enable you to configure various aspects of the resulting MPEG-4 movie, such as its size, video and audio quality, streaming properties, and compatibility. Although covering the options for specific formats is beyond the scope of this book, you should take a look at the options that are available for specific export formats that you use.

Using QuickTime Player Keyboard Shortcuts

QuickTime Player keyboard shortcuts are shown in Table 17.5.

Table 17.5. Keyboard Shortcuts for QuickTime Player
Action Keyboard Shortcut
Add Option+graphics/symbol.gif+V
Add Movie As Favorite graphics/symbol.gif+D
Add Scaled (scale frames to selection) Option+Shift+graphics/symbol.gif+C
Close Player Window graphics/symbol.gif+W
Export graphics/symbol.gif+E
Find graphics/symbol.gif+R
Find Again graphics/symbol.gif+G
Get Movie Properties graphics/symbol.gif+J
Jump crop markers to Playhead, play movie forward, and begin selecting frames Shift+graphics/symbol.gif+Right arrow; hold down Shift+graphics/symbol.gif keys to continue process
Loop graphics/symbol.gif+L
Move to next crop marker or to end of movie Shift+Option+Left arrow
Move to next crop marker or to start of movie Shift+Option+Right arrow
Move Playhead backward one frame Left arrow
Move Playhead and crop marker backward one frame Shift+Left arrow
Move Playhead forward one frame Right arrow
Move Playhead and crop marker forward one frame Shift+Right arrow
New Player Window graphics/symbol.gif+N
Open URL graphics/symbol.gif+U
Pause movie (movie playing) Spacebar or Return
Play movie (movie paused) Spacebar or Return
Play movie at Double Size graphics/symbol.gif+2
Play movie at Half Size graphics/symbol.gif+0
Play movie at Normal Size graphics/symbol.gif+1
Play movie backward (review) graphics/symbol.gif+Left arrow
Play movie forward at higher speed graphics/symbol.gif+Right arrow
Play movie in Full Screen mode graphics/symbol.gif+F
Play movie in reverse while moving right crop marker to deselect frames Shift+graphics/symbol.gif+Left arrow; hold down Shift+graphics/symbol.gif keys to continue process
Play Selected Frames Only graphics/symbol.gif+T
Replace selected frames Shift+Option+V
Select All frames graphics/symbol.gif+A
Select None (no frames) graphics/symbol.gif+B
Show Movie Info graphics/symbol.gif+I
Turn volume down graphics/symbol.gif+Down arrow
Turn volume to maximum Shift+Option+Up arrow
Turn volume to minimum Shift+Option+Down arrow
Turn volume up graphics/symbol.gif+Up arrow

Distributing QuickTime Movies

After you create your QuickTime masterpiece, you want to get it to other people so that they can enjoy it, too. Following are some methods you can use and a few comments about each:

  • E-Mail You can e-mail your movies to others. However, make sure that you only e-mail movies that are relatively small (in file size). Many e-mail gateways choke on files larger than a few megabytes, and it doesn't take much of a QuickTime movie to clog up the works. If the movie file you have created is large, use the Movie Properties tool to make the movie smaller. Also make sure that you remove any unnecessary tracks. Make sure that if your movie isn't self-contained, you send all the movies that the movie references.

  • Web A great way to make your movies available to others is to post them on a Web site, such as one you create with .Mac. The guidelines for e-mailing your movies also apply, although to a lesser degree. Generally, Web movies can be larger than those you e-mail to people because the movies can be streamed.

    To learn how to create a .Mac Web site, see "Using .Mac to Create and Serve Your Web Pages," p. 371.

  • CD A CD is one of the best ways to provide your QuickTime movies to others. It offers better performance than all but the fastest Internet connections, and your movies can be pretty large (up to 650MB for a single CD). Putting a QuickTime movie on a CD is very simple, and CD-R discs are very inexpensive. Of course, you have to physically get the disc to your audience, but as long as you aren't planning something major, that usually isn't too difficult.

  • DVD Using iDVD, you can place your QuickTime movies on DVDs that will play both on your Mac and in most standard DVD players. The DVDs you create can even include interesting features, such as motion buttons, menus, and more.

  • Network You can serve your movies to a local network; on most networks, users can view your movies without even copying them to your hard drive. The performance is likely to be pretty good, so you can use a high-quality version of the movie. To make your movie easily accessible, create an Internet location file for it or e-mail its alias to people on your network.


Consider making different versions of your movie to distribute in different ways. Create a small version for e-mail, a medium version for the Web, and the high-quality version for CD or a network.

Maintaining QuickTime Pro

Apple regularly updates QuickTime and generally, newer versions are better. There are several ways in which you can update the version of QuickTime installed on your Mac. These include the following:

  • Use the Update Existing Software command on the QuickTime Player File menu.

  • Use the QuickTime pane in the System Preferences utility to have the system check for updates automatically.

  • Get the updates from the Software folder in your iDisk.

  • Go to Apple's QuickTime site and download updates.

    Part I: Mac OS X: Exploring the Core
    Part III: Mac OS X: Living the Digital Lifestyle