QuickTime is a cross-platform multimedia architecture for recording, playing back, and editing multimedia data. It was developed by Apple, but is also available for Windows. QuickTime provides users with a consistent file format for digitized video, audio sequences, animations and other multimedia data, including various graphics file formats and streaming media. QuickTime has up to 32 tracks for audio and video, supports MIDI, and can synchronize other output devices.
QuickTime is a container format and multimedia framework that can handle still images, digital video, 3D graphics, audio and text. It is modular and consists of the Movie Toolbox, the Image Compression Manager and the Component Manager.
The Movie Toolbox contains the standardized tools, windows, and controls with which the user can create, edit, and play video sequences.
The Image Compression Manager forms the interface between the various application programs and the compression algorithm used for the source data, and the Component Manager is responsible for the integration of device drivers and for compression and decompression. Videos are compressed with MPEG and images with JPEG. When compressing video sequences, a color depth of 24 bits is used, and the compression factors are between 1:5 and 1:25.
QuickTime is mainly used for computer games, presentation CDs and for streaming media from the Internet. As file format QuickTime uses the MOV file format(Movie) with the file extension *.mov or *.qt. The International Standards Organization( ISO) has adopted QuickTime as the basis for MPEG-4.