Gone are times when QuickTime actually meant you could watch movies on your Windows and Mac computers without trouble, when games, such as Myst, could provide richer, more entertaining, content to the consumers. Nowdays, QuickTime more and more means trouble and very unpleasant viewing experience. I’m not talking out of my ass here, I have, unfortunately, experience with QuickTime on both Mac and Windows and I must say that QuickTime is the worst media player you can ever install on your system!
Believe it or not, I used to like QuickTime and I used to even render sequences, previews etc… in it. I preferred it over uncompressed AVIs as well as MPEGs for this kind of work. Of course that I used image sequences for the final deliveries, that’s without a question, but for, especially, previews, it was the MOV that was my favourite. But one beutiful day, I installed a 64bit system and ever since I haven’t stopped wondering what the hell was the one single reason I was using it? Let me put it straight, QuickTime doesn’t work on a 64bit system, it’s as simple as that, it just doesn’t work. The fact that you see a picture, sometimes even with sound, sometimes sounds only, is one thing, but try scrubbing through the timeline for example. You can’t! Why? Well, because the timeline just doesn’t render at all, instead you get a black line. Same applies to the sound volume and other options.
Then comes by a project on which the lead supervisor happens to use a MacBook Pro. Then the magic things start to happen. You’re forced to deliver the dailies and temps in a special Avid codec running in QuickTime (don’t remember the codec’s name unfortunately) which is (my guess) probably the only media player available on Macs? You see, if you’re forced to work with some software package, you need to use it as well in order to deliver the right stuff and since you’re not a general PC user with a bunch of out-of-the-box software packages, one monitor, a gaming graphics card, no network etc… you’re pretty much stuffed with QuickTime.
To get things straight. All I need and expect from a media player is actually playing the media, with sound (if present), scrubbing through the timeline, looping infinitely through the footage, full-screen as well as windowed, and generally a pleasant, non-annoying, user experience. All this is where QuickTime terribly fails. Having more than one monitor is, probably, a sci-fi scenario at Cupertino, as well as something that’s commonly called a networked environment. You get an e-mail saying “check the latest edit here: …. ” and you actually directly click the link in the message’s body which, on any Windows based system invokes a set of actions resulting in opening the linked file in your locally associated program. Sure, the *.mov file really does force the system to execute QuickTime, but don’t expect anything to happen. QuickTime happily pops up but then freezes up until you kill it. This is a sweet feature you have to put up with several times a day. Another great thing about QuickTime is the multi-monitor setup. When you finally get the video playing in QuickTime and you want to make some room for, let’s say a spreadsheet with client’s comments about the edit you’re watching and accidentally touch the second monitor’s edge … bam … real-time playback is gone forever. Well, until you restart QuickTime. The frame rate simply drops down every single cycle until it freezes completely. How sweet is that?! Invisible timeline and sound controls on x64 systems has already been mentioned, moving on. Looping. Yes, looping through the sequence. You need to see the shot a billion times before you can say “this is fine, no problems here, next…”. Simple as that! Well, not for QuickTime. When you finally turn the looping on, let’s say in full-screen, you’re pretty much screwed because exiting the application (that’s right, I don’t know about Mac users, but on Windows, you constantly close and re-open such applications for each file, you don’t keep QuickTime lying on your desktop and drag-drop files to it forever) will result in freezing QuickTime. Or the fantastic, ever so present, “Update to Pro” query box that appears every time you want to close QuickTime, man how much I love that! But the worst thing is, these problems are present on all computers I use every day. A 64bit home workstation as well as a 32bit workplace workstation as well as a 32bit notebook as well as several other computers my friends/colleagues use.
Over the years, QuickTime has become the WORST media player on Windows (can’t speak for the Macers, though), which in other words mean “THE worst media player in the world”. You see, possesing 95% of a given market share means that others should conform and adjust to you, not vice-versa! Get it, Apple? Get it?
Let’s sum it up real quick here:
- No 64bit support at all and, probably, never will as Mac OS is NOT a real x64 platform.
- No pleasant, flawless, user experience.
- Very buggy.
- Huge installer.
- No chance of carrying QuickTime on your portable hard-drive with you without installing it (and messing up with the system registry etc…)
- Very, very slow.
- Free for viewing media, but always annoys you with “Pro” update prompts on every exit.
- Very bad multi-monitor support.
- Very badly implemented on Windows, which destines it to extinction on this platform.
- Extremely limited compatibility.
- Not recommended by many IT professionals.
- It’s an Apple product, which has never been a quality guarantee.
So, in general, DON’T ever install QuickTime on your system! Ever! It’s the worst, the slowest and the most annoying media player available on Windows. If you really need to use QuickTime for whatever reason, don’t go for the Apple’s version, but instead, download one of the many, many, freely available, open-source, media players which are at least 100% better in all aspects than QuickTime. I can personally recommend Media Player Classic for example. With a few codecs (also freely available on the net) it’s the most robust, fastest, most stable, cheapest and the most user friendly media player I have ever seen. And if you need to play video sequences, there’s nothing better than FrameCycler Pro 2007 from Iridas. Personally, I don’t care what extra, uber-special, features Media Player Classic has to offer, but it’s played all the video files I needed flawlessly on x86 as well as x64 systems with one and more monitors, which is all I care about and need to do a million times a day. QuickTime fails terribly in my eyes and I will NEVER EVER consider even downloading it to my system again.