The Good Creates and plays a huge variety of media, including the new MPEG-4 streaming format.
The Bad Difficult to learn; no Windows tech support; buggy; MPEG-2 plug-in costs an extra $20.
The Bottom Line If you want to create streaming media for your Web site and are willing to put in some long hours, QuickTime Pro 6.0 is a handy tool. But if you simply want to stream movies, download the free player.
Apple QuickTime 6.0 Pro
By Dan Tynan
With the $30 QuickTime 6.0 Pro, Apple lets you create and play streaming video and audio and offers nifty features you won't find in RealNetworks' RealVideo or Microsoft's Windows Media Player. (Full-screen video playback, anyone?) QuickTime 6.0 also supports the new MPEG-4 compression scheme, but QuickTime newbies will find the program's many tools baffling, and the Windows version suffers notable flaws, such as no phone tech support. Buy the full version only if you're serious about creating streaming Web content; everyone else should just download the free player. By Dan Tynan
With the $30 QuickTime 6.0 Pro, Apple lets you create and play streaming video and audio and offers nifty features you won't find in RealNetworks' RealVideo or Microsoft's Windows Media Player. (Full-screen video playback, anyone?) QuickTime 6.0 also supports the new MPEG-4 compression scheme, but QuickTime newbies will find the program's many tools baffling, and the Windows version suffers notable flaws, such as no phone tech support. Buy the full version only if you're serious about creating streaming Web content; everyone else should just download the free player.
QuickTime Pro isn't a full-fledged video editor like Apple iMovie or Pinnacle Studio DV, but it offers rudimentary tools for patching together streaming clips. For example, you can use QuickTime 6.0 to stitch together digital video of all your kids' birthday parties and put a streaming version on your site. Or, use the app to create a simple slide show--mixing text slides, photos, and a soundtrack--and e-mail it to colleagues across the country.
As a playback device--say, just to watch online video or view a DVD on your machine--the free version of QuickTime 6.0 keeps up with its predecessors. Our streaming tests revealed smooth video delivery and superb-sounding audio. And the program's Instant On capability lets cable and DSL users avoid annoying buffer delays while online media streams to the hard drive. (Sorry, dial-up folks; it won't help you.)
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