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QuickTime Conferencing

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QuickTime Conferencing (QTC) is a new Apple Computer technology that helps developers add real-time sharing of sound, video, and data to their applications. This overview suggests the different ways you can use QTC to help users collaborate. The article describes the components that most developers will need to use to take advantage of QTC and discusses Watcher and Caster, two QTC applications that enable users to tune into network broadcasts and create broadcasts for others to view.

QuickTime Conferencing is a standards-based architecture that allows users to:

  • video conference and collaborate -- to share and annotate text, images, screen capture, sound, video and virtual scenes real-time among fellow conference participants in a variety of locations worldwide. QuickTime Conferencing allows users to record conversations and transform those conversations into QuickTime movies. All of this can be done on a variety of networks such as an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), the worldwide Internet, local area and wide area networks and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) networks. QuickTime Conferencing can be used by a number of simultaneous users, the total number being only by available network bandwidth.
  • conduct cross platform video conferencing connectivity between Macintosh computers, PCs, UNIX systems and room-based conferencing systems through the use of the H.320 worldwide teleconferencing standard.
  • broadcast and view multimedia content--digital audio, music and video on a local or wide area network.

Apple is working with a wide range of companies including telcos, network, software and hardware providers and developers to provide a range of solutions that take advantage of the benefits of QuickTime Conferencing. These allies have announced that they expect to make products available in the second quarter of 1995.

From the home office to university campuses to the multinational enterprise network, QuickTime Conferencing will allow users to communicate with people across the country or across the world. Users won't have to worry about whether their hardware equipment, networking equipment and applications are compatible with the solutions being used on the other end of the network line. QuickTime Conferencing is designed to be fully operational with H.320 standards-based systems.

QuickTime Conferencing is based on Apple's award winning QuickTime technology. It is a conferencing architecture which allows support for both industry standards such as H.320, as well as proprietary architectures, and codecs such as Indeo by Intel Corporation. QuickTime Conferencing is transport, compression and media-device independent. Apple's built-in AV capabilities combined with the performance of the PowerPC RISC architecture, make it easy for users to make multimedia connections with others on the information superhighway almost as soon as they pull QuickTime Conferencing out of the box.

To use the Apple Media Conference Kit on the Macintosh, users need at least 16 Megabytes of RAM, a 68040 or PowerPC-based Macintosh, System 7.5, a network interface such as Ethernet, ISDN, Token Ring, and optionally the ability to digitize audio and video using the built-in AV subsystem or a third party digitizer card. To use the Apple Media Conference Pro Kit on Macintosh, users need at least 16 Megabytes of RAM, an AV PowerPC-based Macintosh and an ISDN connection. To communicate with QuickTime Conferencing users from the PC and other platforms, users will need an H.320 compatible codec on their machine, available from a variety of vendors.



See Also