Blog/Apple Abandons QT Win

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It's official, Apple has abandoned QuickTime for Windows.

Maybe i'm naïve, maybe i'm suffering from post-reality-distortion blues. Maybe i've got it all wrong. But in my recovering-fanboy-happy-apple-universe, QuickTime is an awesome cross platform technology.

As a developer, i can write one set of code, and have Media Encoding for all iDevices on both platforms. For users, it means they can use Mac OR windows to create content that they can play in their iPod / iPad / iPhone / iWhatever / Mac / Windows / h.264 platform. It's awesome, it's standard, it means choice.

No more. Since Apple has abandoned supporting QuickTime for Windows, developers will no longer support it, and users will be FORCED to buy Apple hardware or software to create content their iDevices. Have an iPod? Want to use your favorite third party software to export some media to it? Too bad for you. You have to purchase the QuickTime Pro license and use Apple's software to do it.

Maybe that's not much of an inconvenience for you, but for folks using third party software, who depend on the ease of use of one-click encoding for their iDevices, must now figure out how to export their media in some agnostic format, then re-encode it *again* using another software (or move to Apple hardware).

And for developers, it means re-writing their Windows encoders, pretty much from scratch, to use something other than QuickTime.

Why, Apple, why hast thou forsaken us?

The Emails

The emails below have been edited for clarity. The original, unretouched emails available upon request.

My email to Apple DTS

October 7, 2011

Using the QuickTime SDK for Windows, when exporting a QuickTime movie that requires an intermediate
 movie (eg: iPhone/AppleTV, or MPEG-4) (using ConvertMovieToDataRef()), it fails on the video (video 
is all white, no video), audio is fine.

if instead i export it directly (using MovieExportFromProceduresToDataRef()), with no intermediate 
movie (which i guess is not recommended), then the video comes thru fine, but no audio samples are 
requested by the function, even tho i'm using the identically configured component instance as in 
above where audio works fine.

The "direct export" option works perfectly fine using QuickTime 7.6.9, but fails o 7.7 or greater.  
i switched to "intermediate export" because it is recommended.


1: download and install kJams Pro for Windows: (ignore the plea 
to use only QT 7.6.9, you should instead get the [ LATEST QuickTime])
2: download sample files:
3: unzip samples folder
4: run kjams, then drag above sample folder into the kJams window, on the right side
5: hold the alt key and pick kJams->preferences.  Holding ALT will enable a special mode (you'll hear 
a beep)
5.5: Go to "Exporting", set "movie encoder" to "MPEG-4", set "encoder preset" to "h.264 Best", (click 
edit to peruse the settings), set "Direct export" to OFF, press OK
6: select "Twist and Shout"
7: go to "File" menu, pick "Advanced->Selection As QuickTime"

--> this will produce an intermediate movie using "QuickTime" encoder with "Animation / Lossless" 
preset, then convert that using ConvertMovieToDataRef() to the selected encoder (above), the result 
will be a movie that is all white, but audio is fine

8: hold the "alt" key while going to preferences again
9: kJams->preferences->exportinng, check "direct export".
10: repeat steps 6 and 7

--> this will export directly to h.264 using MovieExportFromProceduresToDataRef(),  however, no 
audio samples will be requested by quicktime.  the resulting movie has nice video but no audio.

there are logs you can look at:

next to the app you'll see the QTServer log, open that to see what the QTEncoder server sees

the app log is in:
/Users/<you>/AppData/Roaming/kJams Logs/

Apples First Reply

October 11, 2011 (four days later)

Hello David,

Thank you for contacting Apple Developer Technical Support (DTS).  At this time DTS does not 
provide QuickTime code-level support for windows.  We recommend the following sites for more 
relevant information regarding this technology: 

Apple QuickTime Mailing List:

Apple Developer Forums:

My Plea for Help

Same day:

but this is a bug in shipping apple software.  are you saying that you are abandoning all 
developers on windows?    i *paid* for help with this.  

Is there *anything* i can do to get some actual help on this?  the nice folks on the list and 
in the forums don't know about this stuff, it's pretty deep

are you no longer shipping QuickTime for windows?

and if you are, then why don't you support it?

how am i supposed to use this SDK that you provide if i can't get your help with it?

if you're not actually supporting it, shouldn't you take it down from the web site?

sorry i'm just pretty frustrated, i know it's not your fault, but who can i turn to for code 
level help with this supposedly apple-supported SDK, if not you?

I have confirmed that uninstalling 7.7 and reinstalling 7.6.9 makes the problem go away.  so 
this is in FACT a bug in your latest update.  Can you PLEASE consider helping to find a work 
around for me?

No Response from Apple

A week goes by. No response. Another week goes by. No response. Almost another week goes by, and by now i'm kinda hopeless. I hear Tim Cook actually answers emails. So I sent this off to him:

October 30, 2011 (sunday night)

Dear Mr. Cook:

I've been a developer for Mac for more than 20 years, happily paying $500 per year the whole time, 'till the 
recent price change.  In my current project kJams (a mac-first karaoke app), I use QuickTime extensively.  I 
love QuickTime because it is cross platform. 

Recently I ran into a bug in the latest QuickTime, so I used a Developer "tech support incident" to get code 
level help from your awesome tech folks.  They set me straight on the Mac.  But the same or very similar bug 
is also in the latest QT for Windows, however the recommended workaround for the mac did not work.   

So I put in another Developer "TSI" request to get some help with my QuickTime for Windows app.

Do you know what they told me?

They said "At this time DTS does not provide QuickTime code-level support for windows".

Really?  Is that really true?  Are you abandoning your QuickTime for Windows developers?

Thanks for your attention to this matter.


Now suddenly Apple responds again

So I sent the last message to Tim on a sunday, presumably they got it on Monday. So, then, only 2 business days later, I finally (coincidentally?) get a reply from Apple:

Thank you for contacting Apple Developer Technical Support (DTS).  While DTS no longer 
supports QuickTime on Windows, Apple still does though bug reports.


So there you have it. Want to develop using QuickTime cross platform? Good luck with that. Wow Apple, you used to be so awesome, what happened?


apple no longer supports developers in the creation of QuickTime applications
developers no longer create cross platform applications that use QuickTime to encode and decode (play) QuickTime media.
applications are no longer created by third parties that enable QuickTime encoding / playback on Windows
loss of consumer choice is bad

do you think my reasoning is off?

if you agree, will you sign my petition?
can you please digg the article?