Snapshot: MPEG-4 Boosts Quicktime 6

With the release of Version 6 last week at Macworld, QuickTime moves to the front of the streaming media line.

With the release of Version 6 last week at Macworld, QuickTime moves to the front of the streaming media line. The latest version of Apple Computer Inc.s popular media format is an important upgrade, including full support for the MPEG-4 format and thus excellent-quality video and audio in much smaller file sizes. Along with QuickTimes standing as the default format for most leading video and media authoring tools, Version 6s support for MPEG-4 may be all it takes to keep sites from bothering to convert their QuickTime files to other formats.

Other new features in QuickTime 6—which runs on Mac OS X and Windows—include quicker stream starts and better buffer handling. The basic QuickTime Player is free; the professional version costs $30. Current users of QuickTime Pro will need to purchase new keys. (A longer review is online at www.eweek.com/links.)