Media format armistice

October 15, 2006

Is there really any reason to have so many different media formats? WMV, mpeg4, QT, FLV… the list goes on. While Quicktime handles many of the most popular formats, there are still plenty that it doesn’t and that really gets frustrating. Sure, I have VLC running on my Mac Pro, but it is far from a finished product. Why can’t Apple just finish the supported format list for Quicktime? I even upgraded to Quicktime Pro to get some extra formats (like Mpeg2).

Recently I found a plugin for Quicktime that allows it to handle many more formats. I was looking to play some flash FLV files and VLC was giving multiple errors. After downloading and installing the Perian plugin, my dream came true. Here is a list of the supported formats:


Divx, XviD, FLV, AVI, MS-MPEG4 v1, MS-MPEG4 v2, MS-MPEG4 v3, DivX 3.11 alpha, 3ivX, Sorenson H.263, Flash Screen Video, Truemotion VP6

These formats when they are inside an AVI: h.264, mpeg4, AAC, AC3 Audio, and VBR MP3.

Wow! And it plays FLV files better than VLC. It still makes me wonder what is up with WMV format. I really hate using Flip4Mac just to play WMV files. Why can’t Apple just license the format from MS and include it in QT? MS isn’t even making media software for the Mac anymore.

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