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Apple QuickTime lets you play videos stored on your hard drive as well as stream content by supplying the URL of the video source. The app shows its age, but is still usable as long as you install several codecs in order to play a wider variety of movie formats; there is also a small number of free plug-ins that can extend the app’s functionality.
Easy to use: Apple QuickTime adheres to a familiar media player layout that we’re all used to, the only difference being that movies don’t start automatically when opened. On the plus side, this default option can be changed in the software’s settings.
Streaming support: You can feed the app a video URL, and it will play it as long as the URL’s destination is a video in a supported format. You can even stream live feeds in the same manner.
Plug-in support: There are 11 plug-ins available for the software that can extend its capabilities. The plug-ins range from basic codec packs and audio visualizers to apps that will enable you to view and interact with 3D objects rather than playing a movie.
Limited functionality: As you browse through the app’s menus, you will notice that the majority of features are labeled as “Pro” and are inaccessible in the free version of the software. Some of those features include the ability to loop a section of a video, trim a movie, or combine movies.
Third-party codecs required: If you attempt to play a video in a format, which is not natively supported, such as an AVI file, you’ll be taken to a Web page to download additional codec software. In our tests, we had trouble playing AVI files, even after installing the suggested codecs.
Resource-hungry: Apple QuickTime uses more resources to play videos than some other video players. When we compared it with Media Player Classic by playing the same HD movie in both apps, we noticed that this app needed on average 15 percent more CPU cycles.
Apple QuickTime 7 used to be state of the art about a decade ago, but ever since then it has stood still, at least on the Windows side. If you want to enjoy a good movie without worrying if your media player supports it, we would recommend a program like VLC, KM Player, or Media Player Classic.