Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The QuickTime experiment

Hebden Bridge Millennium Clock Almost exactly two years ago, I uninstalled RealPlayer as an experiment to see if I still actually needed it. About 6 months later, I found that I didn’t – I didn’t encounter any problems with content not playing.

Now comes the news that the Windows version of iTunes 10.5 – released yesterday – no longer requires QuickTime to function. You can install iTunes on a Windows computer without needing to have QuickTime there already, and it’s no longer offered with the download. And for many people, the only reason why they would have needed QuickTime installed is for iTunes.

Of course, if you were to go back a few years the situation was rather different – QuickTime was used for embedding video into web pages from time to time and also used for videos on those interactive CD-ROMs you used to get which had been made in Macromedia Director. But CD-ROMs have basically gone the way of the dodo thanks to the internet and the combined force of video support in Adobe Flash Player and HTML5 <video> have made QuickTime almost irrelevant on modern computers.

Furthermore, Apple haven’t made many changes to QuickTime on Windows lately. Whilst Mac users gained a new version with Snow Leopard¬† – QuickTime X¬† in 2009 – Windows is still on version 7.x which was released in April 2005, and it hasn’t seen any major new features since then. The last update was to fix security bugs in August.

On the basis, I’m therefore uninstalling QuickTime on Windows. Abandoning it on a Mac is more difficult as it’s built-in to the OS, but I have disabled the plugin in Firefox. I’ll see how I get on over the next few months.

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