QuickTime Basics on Your MacBook - dummies

By Mark L. Chambers

QuickTime on your MacBook is a set of exciting technologies that gives you access to the greatest multimedia experience around. Despite its power, don’t be surprised if you don’t even realize that you’re using it sometimes. Built with the average Joe in mind, QuickTime Player takes multimedia to new heights without forcing its users to become rocket scientists in the process.

QuickTime was created by Apple to perform all sorts of multimedia functions. Although normally associated with movie playback, QuickTime Player can do much more. Whether it’s playing movies, audio, animation, or music, QuickTime acts as the main engine that drives all your multimedia needs. (It’s even behind-the-scenes when Lion displays images on your screen.)

  • Media player: QuickTime Player’s main claim to fame is playing all sorts of media.

    The real beauty of QuickTime Player is that it transparently handles playback of all these media formats and more. You don’t even really have to know what each of these formats is to play them. QuickTime Player takes care of that for you.

  • Internet media tool: When it comes to using media from the Internet, QuickTime is in a league all its own. In addition to playing the usual movies and audio files found on the web, QuickTime can play (or display) 3-D scenes and animations.

    As if that weren’t enough, QuickTime even lets you interact with some media. For example, with QuickTime, you can navigate within 3-D worlds or play Flash games.

QuickTime Playback Formats
Media Type File Types
Movie .mov*, .avi*, .mpg, .dv, .mp4, 3g (cell phones), h.263,
Audio .aiff, .wav, .mp3, .au, .sfil, .aac, .amr
Image .jpeg, .png, .tiff, .gif, .bmp, .pcx, .tga
Music .mid, .kar
3-D QTVR (QuickTime Virtual Reality)
Animation .swf

*Movies in MOV and AVI formats use a wide range of compression schemes, many of them proprietary. For this reason, QuickTime might not be able to play some MOV or AVI movies that you download.