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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition by David Pogue

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QuickTime Movies

A QuickTime movie is a video file you can play from your hard drive, a CD or DVD, or the Internet. Like any movie, it flashes many individual frames (photos) per second before your eyes, while also playing a synchronized soundtrack.

QuickTime Player

Thousands of Mac OS X programs can open QuickTime movies, play them back, and sometimes even incorporate them into documents: Word, FileMaker, Keynote, PowerPoint, Safari, America Online, and even the Finder (Figure 15-4).

But the cornerstone of Mac OS X's movie-playback software is QuickTime Player, which sits in your Applications folder (and even comes factory-installed in the Dock). It's designed not only to play movies, but also to show pictures, and to play sounds, in all kinds of formats—and it's been seriously beefed up in Tiger.

Playing movies with QuickTime Player

You can open a movie file by double-clicking it, dragging it onto the QuickTime Player icon, or launching QuickTime Player and then choosing FileOpen File (c-O). As shown in Figure 15-5, a number of controls help you govern the movie's playback:

  • Scroll bar. Drag the triangle to jump to a different spot in the movie.

    Tip

    You can also press the right and left arrow keys to step through the movie one frame at a time. If you press Option-right or -left arrow, you jump to the beginning or end of the movie. In the Pro version, Option-arrow also jumps to the beginning or ending of a selected stretch of the movie.

  • Resize handle. Drag diagonally to make the window ...

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