What is QuickTime Player?

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QuickTime Player is an application included with Mac OS X that allows the playback of files that Quicktime can handle.  It serves as the key Mac OS X multimedia playback application and resides in the Applications folder.
quicktime_player_icon.pngWhat does QuickTime Player do?
QuickTime Player can play audio, MP3 music files, movies, as well other file types located on disk, DVD, CD, or via the Internet.  In fact, it can play live Internet streams without needing a browser.  QuickTime player can also playback 3GPP and 3GGP2 files which are used for delivering media to mobile devices.  Numerous applications on Mac OS X can open QuickTime movies including iTunes, iMovie, Safari, and Finder.  QuickTime movies can even be embedded into documents.

QuickTime Player versus QuickTime Pro Player
The standard QuickTime Player is designed for everyday use and is limited to most basic playback operations.  When you navigate through the various QuickTime menu options you'll see several grayed out items with a "PRO" logo.  In order to use the feature, you'll need to upgrade (currently a $29.95US fee) to QuickTime Pro.  Apple will provide you with a license key which you will have to input into the basic version to unlock the Pro version.  Apple's Professional Applications including Final Cut Studio and Logic Studio bundle a free come QuickTime Pro license.

Key features of QuickTime Pro Player include:
  • Saving Movies you created or movies from the Internet directly on to a hard drive
  • Playing a Movie on a Second Display
  • Exporting video to a video-capable iPod, an iPhone, or to Apple TV
  • Presenting a Movie as a Slideshow
  • Creating a Slideshow or Animation from Still Images
  • Changing the Color Around a Movie
  • Loading Movies into RAM for Better Playback
  • Creating Movies and Other Media
  • Creating a Still Image from a Movie
  • Converting Files into QuickTime Movies
  • Sharing Movies by Email or the Web
  • Edit movies and manipulate movie tracks
  • Combine Two QuickTime Movies into a single movie
Note that this is not an exhaustive list.  Many other features are available.

History of QuickTIme Player

QuickTime Player debuted in 1991 as QuickTime 1.  The following lists the release history:
  • QuickTime 1 (1991)
  • QuickTime 2 (1994)
  • QuickTime 3 (1998)
  • QuickTime 4 (1999)
  • QuickTime 5 (2001)
  • QuickTime 6 (2002)
  • QuickTime 7 (2005)
The current version is QuickTime Player 7.  The next version has been dubbed QuickTIme X and will be released alongside Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the next release of the Mac operating system.


  • May 2, 2009 - content revision
Created: 3:38 PM on Aug 18, 2008
By: switchtoamac