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Inside Macintosh: QuickTime /

Preface - About This Book

This book describes QuickTime, an extension of Macintosh system software that enables you to integrate time-based data into mainstream Macintosh applications. This book also provides a complete technical reference to the Movie Toolbox, the Image Compression Manager, and the movie resources.

Time-based data types contain data that can be stored and retrieved as values over time. Examples include sound, video, animation, data produced by scientific instruments, and financial results. Time-based data can now be manipulated in the same ways as other standard types of data in the Macintosh environment. In QuickTime, a set of time-based data is referred to as a movie. This book shows in detail how your application can allow users to display, edit, cut, copy, and paste movies and movie data in the same way that they can work with text and graphic elements today.

If you want your application to be able to handle time-based data, you should first read the chapter "Introduction to QuickTime" for an introduction to the QuickTime concepts, architecture, managers, and components.

If you want your application to be able to paste and run QuickTime movies, to edit them, or to create new movies, you should read the chapter "Movie Toolbox." Your application may only need to paste a movie from the Clipboard and play it--for example, a word processor might paste a movie as it does a picture, and the user might use a movie controller to play the movie. A more media-intensive application might add the ability to edit the movie after it is pasted--for example, the user might cut a segment of the movie, add a video segment, or add a different sound track. Full "mediagenic" applications could create a movie from disparate sources such as CD tracks, video clips, sounds, animation from graphics programs, or still images.

If you want your application to use the facilities of QuickTime to compress and decompress still images, you should read the chapter "Image Compression Manager." These single images are not QuickTime movies--they do not contain time-based data. Nevertheless, you can use the image compression and decompression facilities of QuickTime for images that are not stored in movies. The chapter describes the Image Compression Manager, including compression and decompression algorithms, and the steps involved in compressing and decompressing single images and sequences of images.

If you are going to play movies or compress images, you should be familiar with QuickDraw and Color QuickDraw, described in Inside Macintosh: Imaging. If you are going to create QuickTime movies, you should also be familiar with the Sound Manager, described in Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox, and with the human interface guidelines as described
in Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines. If you are going to use QuickTime components, you should be familiar with the Component Manager as described in Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox.

If your application imports or exports movies to other platforms, you should read the chapter "Movie Resource Formats." It presents details of the movie file format used by QuickTime. Most applications do not need this information.

The companion to this book, Inside Macintosh: QuickTime Components, includes descriptions of the Apple-supplied QuickTime components: clock components, compressor components, standard image-compression
dialog components, movie controller components, sequence grabber components, sequence grabber channel components, sequence grabber
panel components, video digitizer components, media data-exchange components, preview components, and media handler components.

Preface Contents
Format of a Typical Chapter
Conventions Used in This Book
Special Fonts
Types of Notes
Development Environment

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© Apple Computer, Inc.
6 JUL 1996

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