A Brief Introduction about QuickTime History, Supported Formats, Pros and Cons

Diana Joan

Jul 21, 2015 08:02 am / Posted by Diana Joan

QuickTime is an extensible multimedia framework developed by Apple Inc. It is capable of playing various formats of digital video, picture, sound, animation, graphics, text, interactivity and music with built-in media player. QuickTime is bundled with OS X while QuickTime for Microsoft Windows is always been downloaded as a standalone installation, as well as being bundled with Apple’s iTunes.


Want to dig deeper for more beneficial information about QuickTime, continue to read this article to get a better comprehension of this application.

History of QuickTime:

The first version of QuickTime – QuickTime 1. x was released by Apple on December 2, 1991. It helps bring video to personal computers and had a great impact on personal computer, mutimedia and the Internet. History vesions of QuickTime including QuickTime 1. X, QuickTime 2. x, QuickTime 3. x, QuickTime interactive, QuickTime 4. x, QuickTime 5. X, QuickTime 6. x, QuickTime 7. X and QuickTime X(QuickTime Player v10.x).

Media formats supported by QuickTime player:

Video formats: QuickTime Movie (.mov), MPEG-4 (.mp4, .m4v), MPEG-2 (OS X Lion or later), MPEG-1, 3GPP, 3GPP2, AVCHD (OS X Mountain Lion or later), AVI (Motion JPEG only), DV

Video codec or components: MPEG-2 (OS X Lion or later), MPEG-4 (Part 2), H.264, H.263, H.261, Apple ProRes, Apple Pixlet, Animation, Cinepak, Component Video, DV, DVC Pro 50, Graphics, Motion JPEG, Photo JPEG, Sorenson Video 2, Sorenson Video 3

Audio formats: iTunes Audio (.m4a, .m4b, .m4p), MP3, Core Audio (.caf), AIFF, AU, SD2, WAV, SND, AMR

Audio codecs or components: AAC (MPEG-4 Audio), HE-AAC, Apple Lossless, MP3, AMR Narrowband, MS ADPCM, QDesign Music 2, Qualcomm PureVoice (QCELP), IMA 4:1, MACE 3:1 (Mac OS X v10.6.x only), MACE 6:1 (Mac OS X v10.6.x only), ALaw 2:1, ULaw 2:1, 24-Bit Integer, 32-Bit Integer, 32-Bit Floating Point, 64-bit Floating Point.

From the above lists, we can see the media file formats supported by QuickTime are very limited, if you want to enjoy other file formats such as AVI, WMV, FLV, MKV, DVD or Blu-ray, etc with QuickTime, you will need a powerful media conversion program such as Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate or Pavtube iMedia Converter for Mac to convert those unsupported file formats to QuickTime playable formats mentioned above.

QuickTime advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of QuickTime:
1. Works perfectly with HD videos, you can experience excellent video quality of any HD and full-HD movies or videos with QuickTime Player.
2. Perfect audio playback integration. It offers audio integration with your browser to allow you watch videos right from its window without the need the save the content to disk.
3. Features advanced H.264 video compression technology to help deliver brilliant, crisp HD video with less bandwidth and storage space.

Disadvantages of QuickTime:
1. You have to install extra codecs manually to playback video and audio.
2. Has no playback support for many common file formats such as AVI, WMV, MKV, FLV, etc, you will need a conversion process before play them on QuickTime.
3. You have to install bloatware which will not only occupy more space on your computer but also cause follow-up problems such as software updates and application support.

QuickTime alternatives

Although QuickTime has perfect video playback capability, but it is still very limited in codec and common video format support, in addition, it requires you to install unfriendly bloatware, therefore, it is very essential for you to find a QuickTime alternatives such as VLC Media Player, MPlayer, etc.