Apple Releases QuickTime 6 As Preview Release

Apple has released QuickTime 6 as a preview release. QuickTime 6 is a massive upgrade of the QuickTime platform, and includes support for the industry standard MPEG-4 video and music encoding technology. It also includes new tools for Apple to push QuickTime Streaming Server, as well as improved content streaming for consumers, even ones on a dial-up connection. From Apple:

Apple® today announced that the public preview of QuickTime® 6 is now available as a free download from Apple for both Mac® and Windows. QuickTime 6 is the industryis first mainstream MPEG-4 solution for streaming media to all MPEG-4 compliant players. In addition, Apple announced the public preview of QuickTime Broadcaster, which captures and encodes QuickTime content in MPEG-4 for live streaming over the web.

MPEG-4, the next-generation international standard for digital video, was created by the group that created MPEG-2, the "gold standard" of digital video used by every DVD player and DVD. There are hundreds of companies committed to the MPEG-4 standard, including Apple, Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, Motorola, Panasonic, Phillips, Real Networks, Samsung and Sun.

"QuickTime 6 delivers the worldis first complete media solution for creating, streaming and viewing MPEG-4 content," said Steve Jobs, Appleis CEO. "MPEG-4 is an open standard being adopted by wireless, computer and entertainment companies around the world because it delivers the highest quality digital video, and allows content creators to scale the quality/bandwidth tradeoff all the way from MPEG-2 quality to dramatically lower bandwidths for streaming over the Internet."

QuickTime 6 includes the new Instant-On Streaming feature that eliminates frustrating buffer delays and provides users with the ability to quickly and easily scrub through streaming media content to locate and instantly view specific sections. In addition, QuickTime 6 running on Mac OS X now supports JPEG 2000, the next generation JPEG standard that allows users to capture still images in a higher quality and smaller file size than ever before.

QuickTime 6 also includes Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), the standard MPEG-4 audio format. AAC is the next-generation professional-quality audio format that delivers vastly superior sound quality at drastically reduced file sizes—better than MP3 and better than Windows Media Player (WMA).

Additional features of QuickTime 6 include:

  • a new ISO-compliant video codec for encoding and decoding MPEG-4 video content;
  • adherence to the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) 1.0 specification;
  • DVC Pro (PAL) support; and
  • an updated user interface for easier access to QuickTime content.

Key features of QuickTime Broadcaster include: 

  • live encoding with real time preview;
  • the ability to record and hint in real time to the computeris hard disk  for quick video-on-demand posting;
  • support for QuickTime codecs as well as MPEG-4 video and AAC audio;
  • AppleScript support;
  • the ability to create custom settings;
  • support for reliable communication via TCP between Broadcaster and Server; and
  • auto configuration of connections between Broadcaster and Server.

You can find more information and download links for QuickTime 6 at Appleis Web site. The company also has a separate page for information on Advanced Audio Coding. That page includes information and links to outside AAC information and resources. Likewise, Apple has a separate page for MPEG-4.

See our full analysis of QuickTime 6 in a separate article.