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iMovie 6 & iDVD: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Advanced QuickTime Pro: Track Tricks

As far as QuickTime Player is concerned, a piece of footage is nothing more than parallel tracks of information: audio and video. Most movies have only two tracks—one video and one soundtrack—but there’s nothing to stop you from piling on multiple audio tracks, overlapping video tracks, and even specialized layers like a text track or an animation track.

The key to understanding the multiple simultaneous tracks in a QuickTime movie is the Movie Properties dialog box (Figure 14-5). It opens when you choose Window → Show Movie Properties (⌘-J).

Here’s some of the fun you can have at this point:

  • Turn off tracks. Turn off the Enabled checkbox for any track you want to hide/mute. This fascinating command highlights an intriguing feature of QuickTime Player Pro—its ability to embed more than one audio or video track into a single movie. If you really wanted to, you could create a movie with six different soundtracks, all playing simultaneously.

    Or maybe you’ve created two different versions of a movie—one with throbbing, insistent background music, and one with New Age noodling. Using this option, you can quickly and easily try watching your movie first with one soundtrack, and then with the other.

  • Extract Tracks. Click a track name and click the Extract button (top left). “Extract” actually means copy and separate into a new Player window. (If you double-click a soundtrack, it appears as nothing but a scroll bar with no picture.) At this point, you ...

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