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QuickTime 7.6

As I'm sure you are already aware, QuickTime 7.6 was released yesterday. Unlike a lot of recent releases that were provided solely for compatibility with new iTunes versions, this one has a lot of things that can benefit pro users.

First, let's look at the change list:


* Improves single-pass H.264 encoding quality
* Increases the playback reliability of Motion JPEG media


* Improves AAC encoding fidelity
* Audio tracks from MPEG video files now export consistently

Almost all of the main features improve exporting, and so it only benefits Pro App users and people who purchased QuickTime Pro. Furthermore, they all improve quality and performance in one way or another.

But Apple never details every single change made in detail. Discrete Cosine discovered that QT 7.6 can now demux MPEG-1 audio, meaning you can convert an MPEG-1 file to another format and the resulting file will have both video and audio.

Meanwhile, on ProLost, Stu Maschwitz discovered that QT 7.6 fixes clipping issues on footage imported from the Canon 5D MK II. However, as he notes, this could drastically change the look of an existing project if you update in the middle of it.

So in all, this looks like a pretty good update for Pro App users. However, the update has only been out for a day which doesn't leave much scope for discovering potential problems. If you look at the ProLost link above, some commenters are already complaining about slow playback performance with some codecs.

The Golden Rules (TM) of Updating

As always, the Golden Rules (TM) apply:
1. Never update in the middle of a project.
2. Only update if this update fixes a problem you have been experiencing (i.e. don't install it if you don't use these codecs).
3. If you do decide to update, give it a couple of weeks for any significant issues to surface that would affect your workflow.
4. Make a clone or backup of your system drive before you install.

Here are the download links:
QuickTime 7.6 for Leopard
QuickTime 7.6 for Tiger

Important Update!
MacFixIt is reporting many problems with this update. It would seem Apple has made significant changes under the hood that are causing compatibility issues with everything from the Finder to third party codecs - even to video games. The MacFixIt page lists several workarounds.

My advice is to avoid this like the plague until Apple releases 7.6.1 or third party developers update their software to be compatible.
Posted by Jon Chappell on Jan 22 2009 to Apple, QuickTime, Final Cut Studio