Friday, August 28, 2009

QuickTime Player in Snow Leopard

Sven-S. Porst:

Film playback is a bit weird as the new-style window will hide its title bar after a while. The idea sounds all nice, clean and efficient but I find all the additional appearing / disappearing animation triggered by it worse than the waste of space a persistent title bar would have caused. The playback controls now appear on top of the film and fade out as well (making the width of the controls the minimum width a film can be played back at). Unfortunately the controls and the ‘scrubber’ have a fixed width and don’t grow width-wise with the window to allow easier jumping inside films. Although the playback controls can be moved to a position of your choice in the movie, QuickTime Player immediately forgets about your preferred position for them and displays them in the standard position for the next film you open.

I wish I could get the controller out of the way instantly.

Update (2009-08-30): Lee Bennett writes:

As for the new QuickTime Player, I have numerous observations of behavior and gotchas. As much as Apple might have you believe that the new version folds in all the features that were available in QuickTime Pro, I most heartily assure you it’s only a half-baked effort.

I wish I’d known about those keyboard shortcuts earlier. Perhaps this is a third-party opportunity for a basic QuickTime editor that isn’t iMovie.

18 Comments RSS · Twitter

Moving the cursor out of the movie frame gets rid of the controls right away. Unless I'm mis-understanding what you want it to do.

If you start the movie by tapping space or the Play key and the cursor is outside the window, you have to wait about two seconds for the controls to fade away, unless you move it into the movie (which triggers "the cursor moved over the window while it's playing") and then move it out of it again.

In full screen mode, you *can't* move out of the window, and if you try by reflex, the controls will only stay up longer because they will only be able to fade once you stop moving the cursor around.

Also, as far as I can tell, there is no way to hide the controls when the movie is paused or when you’re stepping through it.

The "stepping through it" one gets me the most. I routinely like to or need to view golf swings and I step through them frame by frame. Now, the stupid thing obscures a bunch of the video.

I'll have to alias QuickTime Player to QuickTime Player 7 or something. :-P Or switch them.

I haven't installed 10.6 yet, so I'm just going on web reports. But the crazy part from what I've read is that Apple has disabled the ability to export multiple movies at once.

The Quicktime "Legacy" Player will still allow exports with normal control over export options, (which the new QT Player doesn't), but QT Legacy Player now only allows one export at a time.


I loved being able to set 10 big export jobs going, and letting the CPU chug for hours while I slept. That is apparently no longer available.

"Perhaps this is a third-party opportunity for a basic QuickTime editor that isn’t iMovie."

The problem with that idea is that QT Legacy Player is a damn good basic editor already.

There are a lot of advanced capabilities hidden in the "Movie Properties" window, not to mention lots of little known advanced functionality hidden with odd keycommands in the Edit menu.

You can really do a tremendous amount of traditional digital A/V editing and manipulation with the app.

As long as Apple keeps that working, a developer would have to put in a lot of work to beat the free competition. (Though perhaps advancement in API's for QT provide enough functionality "for free" at low effort levels to make such a project sensible...)


Apple ought to rename QT Legacy Player to MovieEdit and allay fears from people like me that it'll stop working in 10.7.

But, of course, we all know that won't happen.

Chucky: Well, I'm assuming that Apple will eventually dump the old QuickTime Player (or, rather, stop keeping it compatible/updated), just like Classic, PowerPC-based Macs, Carbon, etc.

"Chucky: Well, I'm assuming that Apple will eventually dump the old QuickTime Player (or, rather, stop keeping it compatible/updated), just like Classic, PowerPC-based Macs, Carbon, etc."


I certainly have fears that will happen, though maybe someone at Apple loves it enough to keep it stuck in the Utilities folder for the next 5 years. If it still works with 10.6, it likely won't be too resource intensive to maintain it for future releases, no? They can just drop the stuff like QTVR that they need to drop while maintaining the basic editor.

(I was terrified they were going to drop it for 10.6 when I first saw the descriptions and screenshots of QT Player X, so it's continued existence leads me to be slightly optimistic that Apple understands the need to keep a basic editor available in the future.)

If it does go away, there will definitely be a developer opportunity.

The problem from the user perspective is that QT Legacy Player does enough obscure stuff, and does the simple stuff well enough that even a reasonably well executed 3rd party editor will likely represent a significant step down in experience and functionality...

"Perhaps this is a third-party opportunity for a basic QuickTime editor that isn’t iMovie."

And FWIW, since the last major rewrite, iMovie is no longer useful as a "traditional" A/V editor.

So, as of now, there is nothing between QT Legacy Player and Final Cut Express, if you want the kind of hands-on control over your A/V material that word processors give you over your textual material...

This page of Siracusa's Snow Leopard review covers QT in 10.6 in good detail.

It explains lots of things, including why QT Player X is funky (it's verson 10.0 for QT 64 bit), and implies that QT Legacy Player will likely still be around in 10.7.

He thinks the QT X back-end won't have editing support until 10.8.

At that point, QT Player X will develop editing controls, or the 3rd party developer opportunity will appear. (But I'd be astounded if Apple doesn't ship some basic editor with the OS.)


The story is more intricate and interesting than I'd anticipated.

When I have a .wmv on Desktop and Double Click on it to open it doesn't recognize the QuickTime Player 10.0 installed by my newly installed Snow Leopard. A pop up tells me 'I must have QuickTime Player installed.' If I drag it to the dock and QTP it opens. Weird! [My old QTP and Flip4Mac worked fine. Jack

i have the same problem as jack, wmv's are set to open by default with flip4mac and double clicking the file displays the error messages that snow leopard doesnt think quick time is installed. right clicking the file and opening with quicktime itself works fine

I cannot export from quicktime 10.0, in snow leopard. weak.

Control-click in the Quicktime window while paused to hide the controls and top bar...found it by accident.

Andrew: It seems that a plain click will do that, too.

Is there really no preference setting to have the controller bar outside the main movie window? It makes for a horrible user experience otherwise. Apple tried to fix something that wasn't a problem in the first place.

I am a physically disabled user and use a switch control to access buttons etc. Using the Quicktime player in Snow Leopard is a nightmare - what happened to Apple's equal access policy?

Thanks Andrew and Micahel!!

Leave a Comment