QuickTime is the most widely used cross-platform multimedia technology available today. QuickTime now has powerful streaming capabilities, so you can enjoy watching live events as they happen. QuickTime 4 is the latest version and it includes streaming capabilities as well as the tools needed to create, edit, and save QuickTime movies. These tools include the QuickTime Player, PictureViewer, and the QuickTime Plug-in. Quicktime 5 is now in Public Beta development and is scheduled for release early in 2001.
QuickTime developed out of a multimedia extension for Apple's Macintosh(proprietry) System 7 operating system. It is now an international standard for multimedia interchange and is avalailbe for many platforms and as Web browser plug ins.
The following main features are summarised below:
Versatile support for web-based media
Sophisticated playback capabilities
Easy content authoring and editing
QuickTime is an open standard -- it embraces other standards and incorporates them into its environment. It supports every major file format for pictures, including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PICT, and PNG. QuickTime also supports every important professional file format for video, including AVI, AVR, DV, M-JPEG, MPEG-1, and OpenDML. Key standards for web streaming, including HTTP, RTP, and RTSP as set forth by the Internet Engineering Task Force, are supported as well. QuickTime supports Timecode tracks, including the critical standard for video Timecode set forth by SMPTE. And for musicians, QuickTime supports MIDI standards such as the Roland Sound Canvas and the GS format extensions. QuickTime is not a proprietary environment. Not only can QuickTime movies be played back on both Windows- and Mac OSbased systems (including Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT), it can also be used on web servers in UNIX, Windows, or Mac OS environments. QuickTime movies can also be played back in any standard web browser, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Netscape Communicator, and America Online. Unlike more limited or proprietary formats, QuickTime makes it easy to combine media types and authoring tools from multiple platforms. Content creators can work on the platform of their choice and then deliver the output to a wide range of playback devices and computer platforms. Robust multiplatform support dramatically reduces production time, because different creators can simultaneously work on the same content using different platforms. QuickTime 4 extends this capability to any RTP/RTSP standards-based server running a QuickTime Streaming Server.