What is QuickTime?

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QuickTime is a cross-platform multimedia framework and architecture developed by Apple Inc., that is used to handle digital video, audio, animation, text, and image formats.  Quicktime is built into the Mac OS X operating system and is also available for use on Microsoft Windows as a standalone install or bundled with iTunes.
What does QuickTime do?
Quicktime is used by Mac OS X and applications including QuickTime Player, iTunes, and Safari (via the QuickTime browser plug-in) to play video, sound, and image files.  In fact, Quicktime is the foundation on which the popular iTunes software and iPod technologies are built.  QuickTime provides file format converters for more than 250 common video, audio, and image file formats.  QuickTime competes with a number of other standards.

QuickTime Use and Features
Key tasks that QuickTime is useful for include:
  • Playing movies and other media, including MP3 audio and Flash
  • Editing of movies and other media.  QuickTime is used by Apple applications including Final Cut.
  • Compressing and decompressing of video and sound
  • Importing and exporting images between formats
  • Capturing and storing content from real-time sources, such as video cameras and audio devices
  • Creating movies
  • Creating presentations
  • Real-time broadcast streams
  • Media distribution over the Internet or physical storage including DVDs and discs
What is a QuickTime Movie File?
At a high level, a QuickTime movie file encapsulates the various media types into a file that QuickTime can play including images, text, audio, and video.


  • May 2, 2009 - content revision
Created: 3:20 PM on Aug 18, 2008
By: switchtoamac