Apple Unveils QuickTime 3.0 for Windows and Mac OS - 04/1997
NAB, LAS VEGAS--April 8, 1997--Apple Computer, Inc. today announced major advances in QuickTime, the industry-standard digital media system software for Windows and Mac OS. QuickTime 3.0 is the newest release of the Company's widely adopted software architecture for creating and publishing digital media. Today's announcement is significant as it marks the first time the full power of QuickTime--including the ability to capture, edit, compress, and playback digital media--is available for all major personal computer platforms, including Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, Mac OS System 7, and Mac OS System 8.
"Professional media producers and publishers have relied on QuickTime's flexibility and performance on Mac OS for years. Today's announcement that Apple is bringing QuickTime's full capabilities to customers using Windows-based systems reasserts clearly and unequivocally our commitment to making QuickTime the universal standard for all digital media," said Ellen Hancock, executive vice president of Apple Computer, Inc. "Furthermore, the introduction of QuickTime 3.0 enhancements in the areas of interoperability, DVCAM and visual effects support, and Internet features shows that QuickTime, now in its seventh year of development, continues to set the pace for innovation in the digital media industry." QuickTime 3.0 Supports Wide Variety of Digital Media File Formats
Digital content creators regularly work with many media types simultaneously, including video, audio, still images, 3D, and text. The task of integrating each of these various media elements into a production is a time-consuming and error-prone process--managing the wide range of relevant file formats is a daunting task. Now, with QuickTime 3.0, the job of combining disparate media types stored in various file formats is greatly simplified.
QuickTime 3.0 supports playback, editing, and integration of QuickTime, MPEG, AVI, OMF (see separate press release, also dated April 8, 1997), DVCAM, and OpenDML files providing one of the highest levels of interoperability with all major video file formats.
QuickTime 3.0 also supports industry standard digital audio file formats, including Wave, AIFF, Sound Designer II, AU, and MPEG Layer 2, as well as many common still image, animation, and MIDI formats. Since the QuickTime architecture is fully extensible, new media types, compression schemes, and file formats to be readily supported as they emerge. Media Abstraction Layer Promotes Compatibility and Innovation
One of the most significant features of the QuickTime 3.0 software architecture is the Media Abstraction Layer. The Media Abstraction Layer ensures that QuickTime's underlying media technologies can be enhanced or accelerated without affecting compatibility with existing applications.
For example, QuickTime 3.0 introduces support for the DVCAM file format. Through the Media Abstraction Layer, existing applications can immediately use this important new media format without requiring software modifications.
For developers, the Media Abstraction Layer greatly reduces the cost of supporting emerging technologies. The Media Abstraction Layer means that QuickTime-enabled applications are ready to take advantage of the latest technology advances--including MMX and multi-processing-- regardless of the platform.
"QuickTime remains the only multiplatform environment for digital media authoring to deliver the level of seamless functionality and no-compromises quality required by broadcast professionals," said John Molinari, president and CEO, Media 100 Inc. (NASDAQ: MDEA, Marlboro, Mass.). "QuickTime is at the heart of our Media 100 digital video systems, used by over 10,000 communicators worldwide--enabling programming of video, animations, compositing, and 3D graphics that might be impossible to do otherwise. Our company remains firmly in support of Apple, and QuickTime is central to our product offerings on both the Macintosh and Windows-NT platforms."
"QuickTime for Mac and Windows is the ideal solution for Macromedia's stringent cross-platform and quality requirements and we are proud to be supporting Apple and QuickTime as a co-developer of the 3.0 standard," said Isaac Babbs, general manager of Audio Video Division from Macromedia. "Final Cut, a software product under development for digital video editing, compositing, and effects being previewed at NAB, is being designed with QuickTime as the first cross-platform open system media layer allowing hardware independence. Using the latest versions of QuickTime on both Windows and Macintosh system software, Final Cut will work with a variety of digital video hardware."
"Indeo video's interactivity, combined with QuickTime for Windows' flexible architecture, will create a powerful PC multimedia authoring environment," said Kevin O'Connell, Intel Indeo Video Product manager. "Through QuickTime Media Layer content developers will get direct access to Indeo video's unique multimedia features, including live 'blue screen' compositing, processor scalability, video assist protection, and real-time video effects. What's more, Indeo video's MMX technology enhancements let QuickTime take advantage of the high performance Intel's latest Pentium processors deliver."
QuickTime 3.0 has garnered widespread industry support, with many leading multimedia companies committing to support QuickTime 3.0 in their products and 66 companies have endorsed the QuickTime architecture. QuickTime 3.0 Supports DVCAM and Accelerated Visual Effects
Other key QuickTime 3.0 features include:
Support for the DVCAM Format
With its built-in support for the DVCAM file format, QuickTime 3.0 makes it possible for all existing QuickTime-enabled applications to work with DVCAM streams today. DVCAM data can be played back, edited, and combined with other digital video standards like Motion JPEG. As DVCAM data can be used from any QuickTime-enabled application, DVCAM sound and video can be easily converted to other formats for delivery to CD-ROM, the Internet or Video CD. While optimum performance is realized through hardware acceleration, QuickTime provides full software support for DVCAM--this enables that virtually any computer running QuickTime can access, display, and manipulate DVCAM data.
Accelerated Visual Effects
QuickTime 3.0 contains enhancements to the QuickTime software architecture that standardize the way QuickTime-based applications work with visual effects and transitions. QuickTime's support for visual effects is comprised of three key elements:
1) Transparent support for both software-based and hardware-accelerated visual effects rendering. This feature makes it easy for video editing applications to use visual effects without regard for the underlying implementations.
2) A complete set of built-in software-based effects including cross-fade, chroma keying, SMPTE wipes and color adjustments. Developer-defined effects and transitions are supported through a powerful plug-in architecture.
3) Standardization of effects descriptions within the media composition. This uniform representation ensures that user-specified effects sequences are accurately rendered across the widest possible range of hardware and software configurations. In addition, this standardization enables plug-in effects added in the future to be accessible from existing applications.
Expanded Support for Motion JPEG (M-JPEG)
QuickTime 3.0 now supports four different formats of M-JPEG compressed video, a compression technique used in most desktop video production hardware. QuickTime's comprehensive implementation enables video professionals and editors to work with M-JPEG video independent of the hardware originally used to capture the video. QuickTime 3.0 adds support for OpenDML M-JPEG and Avid Video Resolution (AVR) M-JPEG, in addition to QuickTime's current support for both Apple defined M-JPEG formats.