I couldn’t help but notice the logo for the newest installment of Apple’s iTunes. Pretty ugly actually, but that’s beside the point. After further inspection, I detected that it shares some similarities to Apple’s latest QuickTime logo, an application which I believe has become lost in a world of seamless media integration. It also made me wonder if Apple may have something up its sleeve for the two applications.
QuickTime doesn’t serve a lot of purpose anymore. Somewhat of an obscure program, it could be used to record and edit audio and video, but it lacks the horsepower to do much heavy lifting in these areas. It could play various formats of video files, but in a PC world, Windows Media Player and RealPlayer dominate this venue. Apple uses it to display video content on its own website, but I really don’t see it used anywhere else…2005 is long gone. Apple calls it “powerful multimedia technology”, but apparently no one else has gotten the message. It does allow high-quality video, in a very compact, bandwidth-friendly package–H.264 is great, but I see QuickTime as somewhat of a branding issue. No one knows what it is! It hasn’t reached the masses, and it has been surpassed by other industry standards.
I used to create video tutorials in QuickTime’s native export formats, but it often confused people working on a PC…”what’s QuickTime–do I have to download it?”–the answer was yes, unfortunately–we’ve since transitioned to Flash Video format, “used by over 3 million professionals and reaching 99% of Internet-enabled desktops”, according to Adobe. We’ve had no problems since.
iTunes is a part of nearly everyone’s computing repertoire, whether you’re a Mac or a PC. If you’re on a Mac and right-click a .MOV file these days, iTunes will appear as an option–it was actually the default for a file I downloaded just this morning, to my surprise. I opted to open it in iTunes, just months ago, I probably would have used QuickTime.
With the added function and video capability that Apple has packed into iTunes, I just don’t see QuickTime as much of a contender any more. That and the fact that iTunes will sync any videos viewed with my iPhone, so I can take them on the road.
The visual similarities between the two applications could be mere coincidence and Apple may opt to keep QuickTime around for many years to come. I could also see Apple re-branding QuickTime as iPlayer or something more in tune with Apples “iEverything” line of products and brands. I’ll keep QuickTime Player in my dock for now, but an eviction may be pending in early 2011.