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Apple abandons Quicktime for Windows?

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I'm not sure this is actually news as Apple hasn't supported/updated Quicktime for Windows in a long time but... some folks are even recommending an uninstall to avoid exploits that might take advantage of the static code and critical flaws.

 

Ref: LINK

 

The bigger question becomes one of what format to use instead of .MOV format when that is a primary format for A:M (at least the 32bit version).

 

According to a recent Ruetuers report even the US government has an opinion:

 

 


The U.S. government has recommended that Windows PC users uninstall Apple Inc's QuickTime video player...

 

The warning does not apply to QuickTime for Apple's Mac computers.

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Quicktime is THE media standard in the video editing and digital media industries. I don't see this happening too quickly. It is how files are delivered, broadcast, mastered, archived. Sure, there are other players that might have more features and play smoother, but they play .movs mostly.

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Here's a fairly technical overview of the changes.

The takeaway being that the Quicktime 7 API is being deprecated but the .MOV format itself is still relevant.

This is primarily because the .MOV format is a container and that container can still contain video and audio code although upon compilation some warning may be generated to suggest better processing through Apple's AV Foundations that replaces older and deprecated (largely 32bit) frameworks.

 

Link to PDF presentation on Apple's AV Foundations

Note that much of this has been pending since 2013 which is the date of the presentation.

 

It should be no surprise that most of this information is Mac and Apple mobile specific.

 

 

Here's the primary AV Foundations site: LINK

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I'm pretty sure my Quicktime has bugged me to do an update recently.

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I'm pretty sure my Quicktime has bugged me to do an update recently.

 

 

My 'quicktime' update kicks in fairly often but it's almost always for iTunes.

It rarely has anything related to Quicktime so I generally hit 'cancel'.

When I just hit the option to update Quicktime the software said Apple Software updates were available but the update that appeared was only for iTunes.

I'd have to double check but at a guess I'd say the last security update for Quicktime came out back in December/January.

 

 

Here's the write up from US-CERT:

 

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA16-105A

 

One of thehe specific vulnerabilities open in quicktime is said to be the zero day program although, as with many such advisories, there is often no confirmed case of a use of said vulnerability observed in the wild.

 

 

Note that these reports are generally for government entities to include networks where if such vulnerabities are left open that constitutes undue risk.

In my estimation on most personal computers used by an individual where the program is needed the same would constitute an acceptable risk.

 

 

Added: (The following is information regarding Apple's last security update for Quicktime)

Apple last patched QuickTime for Windows on Jan. 7 when it pushed out QuickTime 7.7.9. Nine vulnerabilities were patched in the update, which addressed a number of memory corruption issues that could lead to the application crashing and an attacker taking advantage of the situation to run arbitrary code.

 

See more at: Apple Deprecates QuickTime For Windows, Won’t Patch New Flaws https://wp.me/p3AjUX-uxZ

 

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At some point, quite a few years ago, Apple split Quicktime and abandoned Windows. I'm a little surprised to find that somebody else didn't step in with a replacement.

 

I've viewed the OS X Quicktime mostly as just a player app and I've noticed in the last couple of OS versions, the player has limited what files it plays natively. Now it converts it to a playable format and when you go to close it, it prompts you to save it in the new format. These non-playable formats are usually old .mov files.

 

Since I've been working with video again, I re-purchased Quicktime Pro on my computer and had to install Quicktime 7 and look for the app in the Utilities folder. It still works like it always did, but it doesn't replace the main Quicktime player. It's like a legacy app.

 

As it happens, I haven't really made much use of Pro. I can do so much video stuff with the Adobe apps, there's little need. I almost never export video from A:M, choosing instead to render to frames.

 

Since virtually every app now natively plays movies (browsers, mail, etc. Heck, even the Finder plays them), I would guess Apple could question the need for a stand alone app.

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I've always thought of my Quicktime Pro purchase as an enhancement to the Quicktime Player that enables resaving, recompressing and exporting.

 

I use it to take frame renders from A:M or large AVI screen captures and compress them down to usable sizes, including sound compression which we can't do from A:M.

 

 

 

 

That's what I use it for. Is that not what it is?

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That's what it is, it's just not an enhancement to the Quicktime X player. I'm guessing they figure now that if you're a pro, you'd just shell out for Final Cut Pro and Compressor.

 

I find myself using Photoshop a lot. I open up an image sequence as a video and can do any color work in an environment I'm familiar in. Not as robust as After Effects, but also not as alien to me.

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As far as the exploits... for my computer to be vulnerable I'd have to try to view a Quicktime movie on the internet that was bad, right?

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for my computer to be vulnerable I'd have to try to view a Quicktime movie on the internet that was bad, right?

 

I haven't read very deeply here so take that into account...

According to the write=up the vulnerability would be triggered by code from visiting a website (or launching a program).

While they don't tend to state specific methods (to prevent people who don't know from getting curious and attempting the exploit) the user wouldn't have to watch or download a video. It would be enough for the code to know where Quicktime is installed and how to gain access through the files store/installed there to exploit the vulnerablility.

 

Bad videos aren't necessary for the exploit to work. Those mostly just cause boredom.

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May be off topic a bit, but still about the QT format.

 

Although I spit out Quicktime format quite often, I've found that there is one feature it has that is invaluable during editing. That is exporting the Lossless "Animation"

format setting to export hi res frames of the final edit.

 

From After Effects, Windows Media 9 format exports really nice files that aren't massive. I've found myself using that more than Quicktime for "everyday" tests and such.

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What format is there that can reliably scrub back and forth frame-by-frame, has both compressed and uncompressed video/audio options and won't lose audio sync after you scrub?

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The antivirus software Trend Micro and one the other packages have recommended to remove QT on windows. They stated they have not seen an outbreak yet but the software is vulnerable to allow malicious code to run. I get this from the It sites I belong to. Just yesterday I got another warning to show the vulnerability of QT.

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What format is there that can reliably scrub back and forth frame-by-frame, has both compressed and uncompressed video/audio options and won't lose audio sync after you scrub?

 

 

I don't have an answer to that but for those wanting to get an overview of some of the complexity involved here's a relatively simple overview of formats, containers, and codecs that frame the question from the folks over at Videomaker:

 

Link to article/video: http://www.videomaker.com/article/c10/15362-video-formats-explained

 

 

One of the defining elements of choosing formats, containers and codecs is whether the video (and often audio) is in the area of production or distribution.

Generally speaking, if in production, quality is of utmost importance (and a lossless codec... or no compression at all) will be preferred while if in distribution then a targeted audience will dictate what features to aim for.

 

I wish my answer to the question raised could be 'HTML5 video' but to my understanding HTML5 is more firmly aligned in the distribution category.

It feels a bit wrong to say it but I'll go out on a limb and suggest that HTML5 is primarily a distribution format. What this implies is that it isn't ideal as a production format.

The key to better understanding what we need is to think in terms of loss of data.

 

From the article they offer the following infomation/advice:

 

The highest quality video format is going to be the format you captured your video in. While digital files do not degrade in quality during copying, every time they are compressed with a lossy compression they lose data, so converting your uncompressed HDV formatted files even into a high quality MP4 will result in a loss of quality. While it's necessary to compress files in order to be able to share them, you should avoid re-compressing any more than you have to. Keep your master files in the original format; edit and create versions at whatever sizes necessary — but always from the originals.

 

What this means with regard to A:M is that the best format is going to be the one you originally render from in A:M.

But... danger Will Robinson... this leads us to consider what the best 'video' format is for A:M and the answer to that precedes the creation of the (video) imagery itself.... the raw data formed of splines and patches BEFORE they are rendered. The formatting of splines and patches ensures infinite resolution that is likely to remain optimal. Consideration then must be placed on the formats ingested into A:M that are not of a scalable and similarly lossless resolution.

 

So, the answer to the question of what format exists that can reliably scrub back and forth frame-by-frame, without regard to compression while keeping in sync with audio is the native format of our favorite program; Animation:Master. All derivatives from that original formatting are distributed interpretations (published renderings) of that data.

 

Does this lead to any recommendations? I think so.

A suggestion would be to optimize workflow within A:M to the point where rendering is a secondary consideration, although of relative high importance.**

The degree of importance for distribution (and the targeting of specific formats, containers and codecs) then can be framed in terms of where, when and the degree of quality required for the absolute best presentation affordable within the current budget of time and money.

 

 

 

**This is another way of saying, "keep the production phase of a project inside A:M for as long as it is reasonably possible."

 

 

Added: Apple's answer to this issue is telling. It suggests they recognize a need to move on.

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As of February of this year Apple and Microsoft published an interesting document emphasizing the need to move forward and do so sooner rather than later.

For those with an interest I've converted that document to PDF and attached it here.

 

A few take-aways:

 

The document describes some of the issues Apple is facing with splintered implementations to the MPEG standard

 

From the papers introduction:

Evolution Toward a Common Format

Several MPEG technologies have been adopted for the majority of video delivered over the internet and other IP networks (cellular, cable, broadcast, etc.). Various organizations have taken
MPEG’s core coding, file format and system standards, and combined them into their own specifications for their specific applications. While these specifications share major common
parts, their differences result in both unnecessary duplication of engineering effort, and duplication of identical content in slightly different formats. The industry would benefit if
application consortia could reference a single MPEG specification (a “common format”) that would allow a single media encoding to work across many applications and devices.

 


The Internet Delivery Challenge
By most measures, audio-video content (typically called ‘video’) constitutes the majority of data delivered over the internet today, and the volume is growing at a rate that exceeds the growth of
storage and transmission capacity of the internet. Content delivery networks can distribute media objects to thousands of different users, but their efficiency is impaired when users request the
same media in many different formats.

 

 

This does beg a few questions.

What is the current volume of data delivered over the internet and what are conservative and extreme projections of growth in the future? (easy enough to google)

What is the equivalent of html for video (my term here.... hvml: hyper video markup language?). Future formats need to allow for such connectivity with images as html does with text. In short, how does the technology merge the two together to where there is no discernible difference between woids and picchas? Current realities don't appear to address this.

 

What is the transmission capacity of the internet? (easy enough to google)

How this will change in the future remains to be seen but (presumably) must be engineered.

 

It might be time to dust off Martin's old notes on distribution of content on the internet. ;)

 

The document proposes some likely formats/standards:

MPEG Technologies in the Common Media Application Format
Some of the MPEG technologies that have been widely adopted for internet video and are expected to be referenced by the Common Media Application Format are:
 ISO Base Media File Format (MPEG-4 Part 12)
 MPEG codecs for audio and video
 MPEG-4 file specifications for the delivery of audio, video, and subtitles/captions derived from the Base format (MPEG-4 Part 15, Part 30, etc.)
 Common Encryption (ISO/IEC 23001-7)

 

 

and proposes some constraints:

Each CMAF profile shall define:
a. A video codec, its profile and level, associated color space, EOTF and other rendering constraints;
b. An audio codec, its profile, features, and channel configuration;
c. Optional closed caption and subtitle formats;
d. An optional encryption scheme and key management constraints for Common Encryption (CENC) of media samples;
e. Track and segment encryption metadata that enables the use of any DRM systems that conform to MPEG Common Encryption for key management and decryption;
f. A set of constraints for ISOBMFF files, tracks, movie fragments, samples, and elementary streams bindings;
g. CMAF profile identifier(s) for the conformance points supported by a presentation or device.

 

 

All this quickly gets a bit too technical for the majority of us that just want to render and share our movies. ;)

 

Added: Some of the proposed formats/codecs such as AV1 designed to resolve issues of interest are projected to -begin- to come online in the 2017 timeframe. Apples move with Quicktime may be a strategic part of their effort to have the mass move more fully toward support of that timeline (and beyond).

 

From streamingmedia.com:

Companies such as Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube are pumping billions of hours of content into living rooms as consumers unplug, and more and more content producers are going direct via IP video. YouTube has indicated that it will stop distributing UHD content in H.264, relying solely on VP9 and then AV1. This, plus anticipated AV1 use by Netflix and Amazon, should make AV1 support a checklist item for future connected TVs and set-top boxes. Once this happens, other publishers are free to choose any codec they would like, and why not choose the one that delivers browser-based playback, as well as TV? Certainly HEVC will dominate in the short term as the infrastructure codec for large cable and satellite systems, but its hold over IP delivery to the living room is clearly in doubt.

 

So, they believe that codec-wise VP9/10 and AV1 (or is it AV2 by then?) are on the rise.

VP9/VP10 is a video coding format developed by Google that is open and royalty free.

The AV1 codec is a product of the Alliance for Open Media (which formed in Sep 2015)

w16144 Requirements for CMAF.pdf

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Adobe has chimed in about quicktime on windows (which they require for their video editing apps eg aftereffects, premiere?). They talk of developing something that would be native for their CC programs. Those of us using pre-CC versions will be out of luck.

 

I too, use QT for stepping thru reference videos that I am analyzing for motion and using as potential rotoscope material.

 

And like Robert, also for combining and compressing any sequence of frames that were generated from A:M. As well as for compressing sound tracks with the video. A:M does not do this well.

 

I do not know of any other player that does it as easily or as cheaply ($29 for QT pro).

 

I suspect we will be safe if we don't download vids from internet sources and view them in QT player. But many times the vids I use for reference have been "captured" from web sites, facebook, etc - so that might be a risk?

 

 

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I suspect we will be safe if we don't download vids from internet sources and view them in QT player. But many times the vids I use for reference have been "captured" from web sites, facebook, etc - so that might be a risk?

 

We'll have to seek expert advice but as I understand it this isn't about the movie files... but about the Quicktime program itself.

The program code contains the vulnerability not the files it produces.

Hence the call to uninstall the program.

Of course we can assume that a likely means of gaining access would be through files (movies) the programs opens but any executed code devised for that purpose would do.

 

A:M does not do this well.

 

 

Perhaps it's time to get that A:M code for video editing out of mothballs. ;)

As this is likely a reference that won't resonate I'll offer this image of a feature none of us present (to my knowledge) have ever used.

Disclaimer: I know that A:M can't have the code that it takes teams of programmers to maintain in video editors. I just ocassionally consider things that might have been.

The timeline filmsstrip is only one of many features that had to be set aside for the greater good of all users (and greater priorities) back in the v10/v11 timeframe.

Another would be the little 3D preview image that we could see and manipulate before opening a model back in that same timeframe.

VisualFilmStrip.jpg

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Yeah, the Quicktime Player is unique in its ability to step and scrub frames and does it pretty well in any codec.

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I would be more afraid of Flash and Shockwave than Quicktime. Adobe took what was once a secure player and punched more security holes in it allowing data mining and trackers while absolving liability via the eula. Want to eliminate 99% of your spam and popups of ads that show up as you browse pages in Amazon or where ever? Remove flash from your system...

 

Will AM support wmv? I have some small video editing coming up for a presentation. Not sure what I need to render out as now.

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Will AM support wmv? I have some small video editing coming up for a presentation. Not sure what I need to render out as now.

 

For me the answer is always, what formats does my video editing program accept? If not Quicktime, then image sequences or uncompressed AVI?

 

If I'm going to use footage from A:M in some later video app, then I don't want to render to a compressed format if i don't have to.

 

 

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On the security threat...

 

from the original report:

 

Both vulnerabilities would require a user to visit a malicious web page or open a malicious file to exploit them.

 

 

 

So as long as I'm not using Quicktime in a web pursuit I'll be OK. Using the Quicktime player to process my own footage would not be a problem.

Running After Effects which uses Quicktime but doesn't access the web with it would not be a problem.

 

But... how do cautious people who have uninstalled Quicktime watch work I've done, like my screencam tuts? Are there other players that can view them if they don't' have QuickTime installed?

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Are there other players that can view them if they don't' have QuickTime installed?

VLC will play anything.

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Quicktime Pro has been a very nifty little utility over the years... hasn't changed or updated at all. I've discovered that when compressing QT.movs- NOTHING is better for making Quicktimes than Quicktime itself. Also- you can set the loop/continuos play and save it so the end users file will loop. It is also a VERY simple video editor for stitching QT's together.

 

Several people have recommended FLV player so I have downloaded it and will start getting used to it. When Apple pulls the plug on something- it literally gets 'thrown under the bus'. Final Cut Pro, Motion, they even pulled the plug on Flash and they don't even own Flash!

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The plug is pulled because it is no longer supported. What doesn't make sense is why can't it be kept as a offline player format? I am guessing the vulnerabilities are the same as found in most movie players that access content through the web. They should pull the plug on Flash. Adobe uses your systems information and embeds it in the Flash player which then gets passed on to websites. They absolve themselves in the eula!!

 

Ever notice If you are on a store site and happen by a product or clicked on a product then see deals of that product on other sites? Even get email on similar items even though you never signed up? I have 0 yes ZERO spam now since I removed flash and shockwave from my system.

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The plug is pulled because it is no longer supported. What doesn't make sense is why can't it be kept as a offline player format?

 

Yes. I wish they'd just rip out all the internet-accessing stuff and keep the functionality of the local-file player.

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Wonder if the player part would become open source?

 

 

Probably not if they are still using it on the Mac.

 

 

What is Hash going to use now? Maybe mpg?

 

 

 

Right now the universal format for animation that you are going to use in a post program or NLE is numbered image sequences, which A:M already does.

 

Quicktime's "Animation" codec gave us the opportunity to render to an uncompressed format and have sound included but we can usually get by with out that.

 

 

 

I'm not sure what would be a good format and codec to offer for compressing for the end user, or for compressing just enough to make upload time to Youtube tolerable.

 

MPG usually looks lousy unless you are really careful with the parameters.

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I'm not sure what would be a good format and codec to offer for compressing for the end user, or for compressing just enough to make upload time to Youtube tolerable.

 

 

This is one of the reasons I was looking at containers like Brendan Bolles's MOX.

If I understand correctly, it (and other similar containers) can store sequential images (compressed or not) in a variety of formats and with various codecs.

It seems like an ideal approach but I don't have a deep technical understanding... my understanding is on the surface only.

MOX/NOX is currently at the point where the Dirac codec is being optimized for use and that leads to considerable compression/quality ratios.

 

A downside of MOX might be that it currently appears to require a plugin versus native processing in a given application.

If MOX code is shared widely though perhaps code could be executed internally without plugins.

MOX is also more of a production container... I don't know what potential that presents for distribution, presentation or live streaming.

That doesn't appear to be its purpose.

 

One thing may be certain, companies will look to see if there is an opportunity to make a profit from the end of Quicktime on Windows.

Where there is potential for profit there will be movement.

 

Development on MOX has slowed of late primarily because it has achieved the goals set out in it's Indigogo funderaiser.

Perhaps the removal of Quicktime for Windows might encourage new activity with the format.

 

A few months ago a poster from Swordfish posted this comment on the MOX discussion group related to Dirac compression with MOX:

I can attest to seeing Dirac working last week. Saw AE render a 178MB uncompressed MOX into a 178KB MOX!

 

Although, it looks bad when every site related to the Dirac codec is missing/disconnected.

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