It was one of those features that wowed me when I first got a pre-release glimpse of Tiger back in April. Now H.264 video comes to Windows.
It is kind of ironic that Apple’s QuickTime 7 player is the software that will enable it, but since PC owners (me included) have been twiddling their thumbs waiting for anything H.264 related to pop out of Redmond, we’ll take what we can get.
QT7 appeared on Macs nearly two months ago, and I get the feeling Apple has deliberately been holding a PC incarnation back following the release of Tiger. At this stage, QT7 for Windows is just a preview release too.
Still, on top of H.264, you’ll get 24 channel audio support, revised controls including jog shuffle and variable speed playback, “zero-configuration” auto detection streaming and live resizing for smooth viewing as a user changes the size of the player window.
A Pro version of QT (£19.99) is also available in preview form, with a free upgrade to a final edition when it is released in the summer. It adds full-screen controls, native support for VBScript (enabling QuickTime workflow automation), background exporting and all new movie settings for better movie authoring.
With nearly a billion downloads to date, QT is going strong and Windows Media Player’s slow adoption of new standards can only help it to maintain its healthy market presence. I suggest you skedaddle over to Apple’s QuickTime site (link below), grab a free copy and test out the high def videos here. Just don’t blame me when your jaw hits the floor (watch out for those pearly whites).