Apple Introduces High-Quality
MPEG Software for QuickTime
New QuickTime Extension Allows Playback of Popular
MPEG-1 and VideoCD on PowerPC Mac OS Systems
Quotes and Third-Party Support:
Cupertino, Calif.--Jan. 24, 1997--Apple Computer, Inc. today
announced immediate availability of its' QuickTime MPEG
(Moving Picture Experts Group) extension, enabling
full-screen, software-only playback of MPEG-1 and VideoCD
audio/video files on PowerPC Mac OS computers. MPEG is a
worldwide industry standard for compressing synchronized
audio and video for post-production and entertainment. The
MPEG extension is available immediately for use with
QuickTime 2.5 and may be downloaded from the QuickTime
website at: http://quicktime.apple.com/.
Through the MPEG extension, VHS-quality, full-screen video,
and CD-quality audio are now available as a synchronized data
type in the QuickTime architecture. Apple has long recognized
MPEG as an important industry standard and has supported
hardware MPEG-1 playback on Macintosh since 1994. With
the announcement of this QuickTime Media Layer (QTML)
software extension, Power Macintosh users no longer need
special hardware to view a variety of MPEG files and formats.
The MPEG extension will also work seamlessly with the
QuickTime plug-in for Netscape Navigator and Microsoft
Internet Explorer, enabling real-time, live MPEG playback
inside these browsers. QuickTime's 'fast start' feature enables
MPEG content to be viewed as it downloads, eliminating the
delay associated with large multimedia files across
"The availability of high-quality software MPEG reiterates
Apple's commitment to extending the QuickTime Media Layer
(QTML) as the premier multimedia platform," said Ralph
Rogers, program manager for QuickTime Technologies at
Apple Computer, Inc. "The integration of MPEG into
QuickTime 2.5 will further extend Apple's lead in providing the
highest-quality and most robust architecture for multimedia
development across platforms and operating systems."
The extension is compatible with a wide range of
Internet-based MPEG, including Variable Bit Rate (VBR),
MPEG, audio only or video only streams, and can read
specialized MPEG encoded streams, broadening the ability for
publishers to deliver interactive titles for Macintosh and
The QuickTime MPEG software extension enables high quality
software video decoding on personal computers. QuickTime
provides a number of new capabilities for MPEG compressed
media, a characteristic of codes and media types playing under
the QuickTime platform. Specifically, the extension enables a
number of unique features, including the capability to:
Play MPEG encoded movies from VideoCD and CDi
disks, enabling hundreds of thousands of popular titles in
the European and Asia Pacific marketplace to play on
Power Macintosh systems.
Support CD-quality decode of audio stream (i.e.,
16-bit, 44.1kHz, stereo playback).
Move forward and backward in a frame accurate
manner, essential to interactive multimedia titles.
Add other types of media to an MPEG file directly from
Support standard QuickTime transport controls such as:
play, pause, sound volume control, sound panning and
balance, frame-accurate step-forward and backward,
fast-forward, and rewind.
Support MPEG chapter information. (Display & select
and go to particular location in the stream.)
Support movie layering, compositing, and graphics
Gain the ability of MPEG to use bookmarks and be
referenced by additional applications.
Readily add new tracks to previously compressed
MPEG material--used in embedding MIDI and audio
files or text into the stream.
Edited play of MPEG audio and video.
Support high-performance display of MPEG video in all
monitor display depths. Support hardware acceleration
of clipping, scaling, and color-space conversion.
Play long movies with video and audio tracks staying in
Support the ability to transcode MPEG video to other
QuickTime supported video compressors such as
Cinepak, and low bit rate codes as ClearVideo from
Fully resizable window.
Through the capabilities of QuickTime track synchronization,
MPEG files can also be fully integrated with other QuickTime
media types, including:
All applications updated to be compliant with QuickTime for
Macintosh 2.5 can immediately take advantage of these new
features. Users should check with their tool vendor for
compliance. Apple is providing a new version of MoviePlayer,
version 2.5.1 to allow immediate use of these features. Apple is
committed to giving Windows customers an equally compelling
MPEG experience in 1997.
The MPEG extension can upgrade systems currently installed
with QuickTime for Macintosh 2.5 due to the extensibility of
QTML and the open plug-in architecture of QuickTime.
Quotes and Third-Party Support:
According to The Envisioneering Group (Seaford, NY) over
74 percent of all multimedia titles are authored on the
Macintosh using QuickTime. "Sony was first to produce a
Sony Enhanced MPEG Playback for their premium Pentium
processor PCs. Now Apple has gone Sony one better with the
industry's highest quality software MPEG decoder," said
Richard Doherty, director of the Envisioneering Group.
To coincide with the release of Apple's QuickTime Soft
MPEG, Astarte USA has announced the release of ASTARTE
MPEG EXPORTER, a Macintosh QuickTime extension which
allows users to easily convert any QuickTime movie to MPEG
format. The Exporter is available FREE from Astarte's website
at: www.astarte.de/mpeg_exporter/. This will allow Power
Macintosh users to immediately begin working with MPEG
material without the additional burden of a hardware purchase.
"Having recently introduced the CLM4111 single-chip,
real-time MPEG-1 consumer/PC encoder for home computer
and Internet users, C-Cube sees Apple's incorporation of
MPEG software into QuickTime as a huge motivator for
application developers to embed MPEG support into their
software applications," said Clint Chao, manager of PC
Marketing for C-Cube Microsystems. "Now, our customers
can create high quality videos that can be viewed by millions of
Mac, PC, and Internet users."
"ATI is very excited about Apple's implementation of soft
MPEG support in QuickTime," said Henry Quan, vice
president Marketing, ATI Technologies Inc. "The powerful
scaling capability of ATI's Xclaim VR and Xclaim 3D will now
be extended to provide incredible full screen, full motion soft
MPEG playback on any PCI capable Macintosh."
"Number Nine has anxiously awaited the release of QuickTime
2.5, which supports software playback of MPEG video clips.
No longer is a dedicated hardware MPEG decoder required to
playback and view MPEG video clips. With the release of our
soon-to-be announced high-end graphics accelerator which
will incorporate our second generation, Imagine 128 S2
graphics processor, MPEG movies and video clips can be
played back in full-screen modes--at any resolution up to and
including 1600 x 1200 in millions of colors. The Imagine 128
S2 processor incorporates the world's only 256-bit video
engine and a dedicated front-end Color Space Converter. By
providing the QuickTime extension a direct hook into our video
engine, video clips can be smoothly scaled to full screen, even
on the largest of
monitors, without the blockiness normally associated with
scaled video and without dropping video frames. No special
MPEG hardware is required. We know of no other graphics
accelerator that has this capability," said Phil Parker, director
of Corporate Communications for Number Nine Visual
"Highway One's major artists have delayed releases of exciting
new titles until our computer products would appear the way
they do on standard consumer electronic devices. Now,
groups like Bush, No Doubt and several other Capitol Records
recording artists have given us the green light to go forward on
development of numerous MPEG and DVD titles," said Leo
Rossi, vice president, Highway One Media Entertainment.
"This software release shortens our development process and
production time to the point that we can develop an MPEG
title one time, instead of once for each platform we target." said
"As the developer of over two dozen titles in ten languages,
Sumeria views both QuickTime and the Macintosh as vital to
our publishing process," said Jerry Borell, president and
founder of Sumeria, Inc. "The addition of MPEG as a
QuickTime media type makes our move into DVD-ROM both
viable and efficient."
Jeanette DePatie, Marketing director for HEURIS/Pulitzer
noted: "We're very excited about the release of this product.
Until now multimedia developers typically created their
applications on a Mac and then transferred them to a PC for
playback. The QuickTime MPEG extension is the final piece
that allows developers to edit, compress, author and play back
easily and inexpensively entirely on the Macintosh platform.
With this QuickTime MPEG plug-in, and powerful new MPEG
encoding products from HEURIS/Pulitzer like MPEG Power
Professional, users will be able to integrate MPEG easily and
inexpensively with their applications. "
Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized innovator in the
information industry and leader in multimedia technologies,
creates powerful solutions based on easy-to-use personal
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assistants and Internet content. Headquartered in Cupertino,
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