QuickTime API Overhaul?

ThinkSecret is reporting that Apple is revising the QuickTime APIs in Leopard:

A new Application Programming Interface (API) for video, which may feature a “Core” moniker akin to Apple’s Core Image, Core Audio, and Core Animation components, will deliver most of the improvements to QuickTime. While QuickTime from a end-users perspective is not expected to undergo any substantial improvements, the new API will take years of legacy QuickTime code and replace it with a more modern and efficient architecture to deliver improved performance and maintainability.

This is long, long overdue. If I ever get around to writing my API Design book, I was planning to use QuickTime as a classic example of how not to design an API. Now if only they’d rev QuickTime for Java too.

3 Responses to “QuickTime API Overhaul?”

  1. Slava Pestov Says:

    The Carbon API for QuickTime is somewhat daunting (2000+ functions) but the Cocoa wrappers are not too bad (QTMovie, etc). Even though they don’t offer access to all QuickTime features, you can always drop down to Carbon for the more complex stuff. What exactly is the problem with the QuickTime API? As far as procedural/OOP APIs go, it isn’t too bad, considering the Java standard library really brings the average down here.

  2. Pradeep Says:


    I think Wil Shipley does a pretty good job of listing what’s wrong with Quicktime API in this blog entry.

    “There is usually one, giant, all-encompassing “setAttributes” function and one “getAttributes” function for setting and getting every value associated with a Carbon “object”, which requires to you laboriously build up and then laboriously unparse huge, special parameter structures for even the simplest call. …


    Look at the function to Set the Gain..


  3. alex Says:


    Do you know how to generate a QT Reference file using QuickTime API if we know the location of referenced clip in external drive.

    I can use QuickTime player to see the Video/Audio clip and location info such as \\virsd\dailies\Avid MediaFIles\MXF\Video.mxf ….

    However, I can’t find this location information in QucikTime API AxQTControl1 when I use VB to load the reference mov file with code

    For example

    This QTref.mov is areference file that reference to external actual source OpAtom Clip (V1.mxf A1.mxf A2.mxf in external folder ).



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