Chapter 16. Movies & Sound

Macs have been capable of handling sound and graphics from Day One, years before the word multimedia was even coined. MacOS’s QuickTime technology, for example, plays digital movies and live “streaming” broadcasts from the Internet. This chapter covers it all: how to record video and sound, edit it, and play it back.

QuickTime Player

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 creates the illusion of motion by flashing many individual frames (photos) per second before your eyes, while also playing a synchronized soundtrack.

The cornerstone of macOS’s built-in movie-playback software is QuickTime Player, which sits in your Applications folder. Despite its name, QuickTime Player also lets you edit movies and even record new ones, either using your Mac’s built-in camera or by recording screen activity. Finally, when everything looks good, you can post your masterpiece to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, or another online site.

You can open a movie file by double-clicking it. When QuickTime Player opens, you get a very cool, borderless playback window. Just hit the space bar to play the movie.

There’s a control toolbar at the bottom of the window (Figure 16-1), but it fades away after a few seconds—or immediately, if you move the cursor out of the frame. The toolbar reappears anytime your mouse moves back into the movie frame. These are the controls:

  • Volume slider ( ... ). Click in the slider, or ...

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