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A peek at Apple's new QuickTime X interface

post #1 of 149
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A widely reported interface overhaul making its debut in early betas of QuickTime X Player distributed with pre-releases of Apple's Snow Leopard operating system this week is reportedly not much to write home about.

Unlike the current version of QuickTime Player 7.6 -- which reserves considerable real estate for sizable, platinum-themed video controls at the base of the each player window -- QuickTime X Player is said to forgo all traditional interface controls in favor of video overlay controls (like those that appear when you mouse over video in full-screen mode of the current Player software).

The only window-based interface element in the QuickTime X Player is reportedly the title bar, which is reminiscent of the iPhone's semi-transparent black glass interface while also adopting hues from the video frames playing beneath it. However, this too fades away and disappears with the new overlay controls so videos appear to float on the screen with nothing more than a deep shadow surrounding all four sides.

AppleInsider has made its best attempt to provide mockups of this reported new interface using existing Apple interface elements, based off descriptions of the new QuickTime X Player provided by people familiar with the software. In addition to the standard overlay for controlling playback, the new player is also said to offer overlay controls for trimming, editing, and viewing scenes of a video like in iMovie.

Apple has described QuickTime X as a new version of its media software due to ship with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard that "optimizes support for modern audio and video formats resulting in extremely efficient media playback."

The current window interface in QuickTime Player 7.6

An artist's mockup of the minimal QuickTime X Player window interface in Snow Leopard.

Another artist's mockup of the minimal QuickTime X Player window interface with the "trim" tools overlay.

A few other features are rumored to be baked into the new player software, such as the ability to export video clips in a variety of sizes to your iTunes library with the help of the CoreMedia framework or publish them through a MobileMe account.

An artist's mockup of CoreLocation in action in the Date & Time preference panel.

Meanwhile, those familiar with the latest betas of Snow Leopard in general say that the previously-reported addition of Apple's CoreLocation framework has been put to work in the Time Zone tab of the Date & Time panel, which attempts to pinpoint a Mac's geographic location, dropping a pin on the world map at the Mac's estimated location.

A handful of other additions and omissions are also being reported. For example, a new version of Apple's Preview app is said by those familiar with the software to include a new annotations toolbar at the base of content windows, while VoiceOver is being upgraded from version 2.0 to 3.0. Also back from early betas are QuickLook icon previews but gone is the awkward interface for drilling down into stacks under grid view that first surfaced in pre-releases of Snow Leopard distributed last month.
post #2 of 149
Reminiscent of Quick Look. Hmm. I always loved those big friendly metal Quicktime buttons, but this is nice too. Minimalism may take some getting used to.
post #3 of 149
I was a bit worried about losing the controls but those mockups look very nice. The only issue I can see is if you are comparing movies and the distance into the movie each clip is at because the controls on background clips will disappear after a while.

As long as the editing controls are still as powerful, I welcome the change. It would be great if the Pro features did turn out to be free too. What would be interesting is if they deprecated iMovie in favor of Quicktime.

All they need is an effects window and maybe an audio track panel that sits under the movie window when active.
post #4 of 149
From what I was told by a friend who is actually working on this project. Quicktime X, will focus solely on playback. While Quicktime 7.6 will still be available for anyone who feels they still need to use those features, but there will be no further development of the old Quicktime.
post #5 of 149
Apple's new war on dedicated title bars continues, but this time even more egregiously than the Safari 4 beta.

A translucent title bar that obscures a portion of its window's contents? Completely braindead.
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post #6 of 149
An "artist mock-up"? Are you kidding me? You might as well have captioned those pics "Here's some random BS that might not look anything like the real thing, but here you go anyway". At first I thought, cool new interface tweaks. pffft!
post #7 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by vassillios View Post

An "artist mock-up"? Are you kidding me? You might as well have captioned those pics "Here's some random BS that might not look anything like the real thing, but here you go anyway". At first I thought, cool new interface tweaks. pffft!

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post #8 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

From what I was told by a friend who is actually working on this project. Quicktime X, will focus solely on playback. While Quicktime 7.6 will still be available for anyone who feels they still need to use those features, but there will be no further development of the old Quicktime.

Could you ask this person about what does all this mean for both the Quicktime API and the Quicktime Player? One thing is Apple updating its player (which needs advancing in so simple features such as, say, letting a web-embedded movie to be played fullscreen a la Youtube), and another one is reforming the API or cleanstarting a new one, which would impact developers.


We videoediting types often need the editing features of Quicktime Player. Whatever Apple does, we would need a substitute that keeps up with Quicktime's features.
post #9 of 149
Got it.. Good to have some time ahead of me to develop practices of catenating two clips... Before SL comes...

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post #10 of 149
I'm in favor of anything that allows me to get rid of mplayer x and vlc. One player to rule them all.
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post #11 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snafu View Post

Could you ask this person about what does all this mean for both the Quicktime API and the Quicktime Player? One thing is Apple updating its player (which needs advancing in so simple features such as, say, letting a web-embedded movie to be played fullscreen a la Youtube), and another one is reforming the API or cleanstarting a new one, which would impact developers.


We videoediting types often need the editing features of Quicktime Player. Whatever Apple does, we would need a substitute that keeps up with Quicktime's features.

Since Quicktime X is a playback only tool it's not competing with legacy Quicktime 7.x for anything involving encoding, transcoding or anything else. This makes sure it's lightweight and should perform well. QTX came from the Quicktime stack on the iPhone.

How it relates to legacy QT is this.

Developers will write to QTkit which is like a cocoa based front end for dealing with media elemenst. QTkit will then parcel out the request to the appropriate tool. So if the request is for playing back a media element I suppose QTX will get the nod and if the if more robust features are being requested then legacy QT will be engaged.

It should all be transparent to the end user.
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post #12 of 149
I prefer the look of QuickTime 7.
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post #13 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensign Pulver View Post

Apple's new war on dedicated title bars continues, but this time even more egregiously than the Safari 4 beta.

A translucent title bar that obscures a portion of its window's contents? Completely braindead.

As long as it's only there when you are using it, that's no problem. When you are using the controls, you are looking at them, not the video, for those moments.

This is also better, because all too often, when resizing a video to fit the screen, the control area at the bottom of the video moves below the edge of the screen, making it impossible to use it at all. You then have to resize using the menu. This is much better.
post #14 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensign Pulver View Post

Apple's new war on dedicated title bars continues, but this time even more egregiously than the Safari 4 beta.

A translucent title bar that obscures a portion of its window's contents? Completely braindead.

I think it would be if it stayed on the screen but I don't think it will be that way, it will probably be like the floating controls when you play videos in iTunes, those auto hide when you're not doing anything with the controls.
post #15 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I prefer the look of QuickTime 7.

To what? Mockups?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensign Pulver View Post

Apple's new war on dedicated title bars continues, but this time even more egregiously than the Safari 4 beta.

A translucent title bar that obscures a portion of its window's contents? Completely braindead.

Read more carefully:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

the title bar, which is reminiscent of the iPhone's semi-transparent black glass interface while also adopting hues from the video frames playing beneath it. However, this too fades away and disappears with the new overlay controls so videos appear to float on the screen with nothing more than a deep shadow surrounding all four sides.

It's like Leopard's Dock's reflections. It does not obscure the video, that would be brain dead.

Furthermore, having the title bar fade away makes sense. It's distracting. No doubt, it will reappear the instant you mouse over it, just as controls reappear when mousing over iTunes videos (which is also kind of in effect in Safari 4; open a .MOV in Safari 4 and watch as the controls fade away when it starts playing).
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post #16 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

To what? Mockups?



Read more carefully:


It's like Leopard's Dock's reflections. It does not obscure the video, that would be brain dead.

Furthermore, having the title bar fade away makes sense. It's distracting. No doubt, it will reappear the instant you mouse over it, just as controls reappear when mousing over iTunes videos (which is also kind of in effect in Safari 4; open a .MOV in Safari 4 and watch as the controls fade away when it starts playing).

The mockups are accurate i,m using the seed right now the title bar goes away when the mouse is not on the window as do the controls looks pretty cool actually
post #17 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverboy31 View Post

The mockups are accurate i,m using the seed right now the title bar goes away when the mouse is not on the window as do the controls looks pretty cool actually

But when the title bar is visible, does it obscure the video?
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post #18 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverboy31 View Post

The mockups are accurate i,m using the seed right now the title bar goes away when the mouse is not on the window as do the controls looks pretty cool actually

Of course!

I can't imagine why anyone would assume anything else.
post #19 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by vassillios View Post

An "artist mock-up"? Are you kidding me? You might as well have captioned those pics "Here's some random BS that might not look anything like the real thing, but here you go anyway". At first I thought, cool new interface tweaks. pffft!

I assumed the opposite: That they're actual screen shots and AI doesn't want to get caught up in who violated their NDA.
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post #20 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

From what I was told by a friend who is actually working on this project. Quicktime X, will focus solely on playback. While Quicktime 7.6 will still be available for anyone who feels they still need to use those features, but there will be no further development of the old Quicktime.

I can't believe Apple will stop all development on editing/encoding with Quicktime. It's too engrained in their pro app workflow.

I could see them implementing playback first in Quicktime X, and then encoding later (no sense trying to do too much at once, and rewriting a media framework is a huge job).

Amorya
post #21 of 149
I tried to ask him detailed questions, but he's under NDA and is really not supposed to say anything. He slipped a couple of things he wasn't supposed to tell me, but in general no I cannot ask him details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snafu View Post

Could you ask this person about what does all this mean for both the Quicktime API and the Quicktime Player?
post #22 of 149
I tried to ask him about many of these issues, he told me they were still deciding what to take out and what to leave in as far as editing/encoding. He said some of these tools will be left in, but he could not tell me which. This was back in December, so I'm sure this is all much further along at this point.

An interesting aside. He told me that a friend of his was working on Quicktime for the iPhone and he had no idea that the project was even going on until the iPhone was announced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorya View Post

I can't believe Apple will stop all development on editing/encoding with Quicktime. It's too engrained in their pro app workflow.

Amorya
post #23 of 149
When windowed, I don't want overlay controls. I want to see the video! Controls should be at the bottom edge. (But if other controls overlay on rollover, that's OK.)
post #24 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

When windowed, I don't want overlay controls. I want to see the video! Controls should be at the bottom edge. (But if other controls overlay on rollover, that's OK.)

Nah, this is better.
post #25 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Furthermore, having the title bar fade away makes sense. It's distracting.

I disagree. When watching videos in window mode, there's plenty of other 'distractions', so it makes no sense to remove the very useful title bar. Having a borderless video overlay would look very odd.

Naturally, the title bar shouldn't be visible in full screen mode, where all other distractions are gone, but it already isn't.
post #26 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorya View Post

I can't believe Apple will stop all development on editing/encoding with Quicktime. It's too engrained in their pro app workflow.

I could see them implementing playback first in Quicktime X, and then encoding later (no sense trying to do too much at once, and rewriting a media framework is a huge job).

Amorya

There is Quicktime (the Framework) and QuickTime Player (the app).

Here is Apple's description of QuickTime X

"Using media technology pioneered in OS X iPhone, Snow Leopard introduces QuickTime X, a streamlined, next-generation platform that advances modern media and Internet standards. QuickTime X features optimized support for modern codecs and more efficient media playback, making it ideal for any application that needs to play media content."

QuickTime X (the FrameWork) will continue to do encoding, transcoding, etc.
QuickTime Player (the app) will focus on playback and will most likely not have a Pro version.
post #27 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

What would be interesting is if they deprecated iMovie in favor of Quicktime.

don't see it happening. quicktime is playback, quick and dirty editing and conversion. far different from what is possible with iMovie.

if they are going to depreciate anything it will be Final Cut Express in favor of iMovie

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post #28 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

There is Quicktime (the Framework) and QuickTime Player (the app).

Here is Apple's description of QuickTime X

"Using media technology pioneered in OS X iPhone, Snow Leopard introduces QuickTime X, a streamlined, next-generation platform that advances modern media and Internet standards. QuickTime X features optimized support for modern codecs and more efficient media playback, making it ideal for any application that needs to play media content."

QuickTime X (the FrameWork) will continue to do encoding, transcoding, etc.
QuickTime Player (the app) will focus on playback and will most likely not have a Pro version.

It is curious though that Apple nowhere in that, mentions encoding, just playback.
post #29 of 149
i like the black bar. i wish apple would allow os x menus to be customized like that. i want themes!!
post #30 of 149
Sorry, I'm not drinking the "floating controls over the video" kool-aid. The controls are harder to see. I'm sure it's "cool" but it's not ergonomic.

- Jasen.
post #31 of 149
Folks who like consistent UI across programs won't like this! Personally I see no reason why each program can't be unique, it certainly makes Expose work better. The learning curve argument doesn't hold much water because even Apple's non-standard interfaces are very intuitive.
post #32 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

QuickTime X (the FrameWork) will continue to do encoding, transcoding, etc.
QuickTime Player (the app) will focus on playback and will most likely not have a Pro version.

Actually, I know the difference between the framework and the app. However, everything I've read about Quicktime X suggests that it will be a separate framework (not a separate app), for playback only. I was responding to the quote "there will be no further development of the old Quicktime": If that is the case, I reckon they'll have to add encoding to Quicktime X, but it'll probably be later than Snow Leopard.

Where did I get that Quicktime X will be playback only (at least in Snow Leopard)? Well, articles like this one speculate that Quicktime X originated on the iPhone, where it was written from scratch to have efficient playback of modern codecs, and then back-ported to Snow Leopard.

Amorya
post #33 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

Sorry, I'm not drinking the "floating controls over the video" kool-aid. The controls are harder to see. I'm sure it's "cool" but it's not ergonomic.

- Jasen.

I agree with you. I want the old Movie Player interface back!



Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Folks who like consistent UI across programs won't like this! Personally I see no reason why each program can't be unique, it certainly makes Expose work better. The learning curve argument doesn't hold much water because even Apple's non-standard interfaces are very intuitive.

Well, I'm not a visual consistency nazi (although I am a vehement supporter of consistency of behaviour), but I don't like this new interface. Why would I want the controls covering the video when there is space below? In full screen, that's another matter, as there's nowhere else for them to go...

Amorya
post #34 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

Sorry, I'm not drinking the "floating controls over the video" kool-aid. The controls are harder to see. I'm sure it's "cool" but it's not ergonomic.

- Jasen.

Agreed. In this case.
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post #35 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorya View Post

Why would I want the controls covering the video when there is space below?

I think the idea of no controls (most of the time) is to emphasize the OS X idea that the menu bar represents a loaded program and the windows represent loaded document. If there are controls on a window you start to view it more as program than document.
post #36 of 149
I like it, always hated that metal look.
But is it me or does the new bar look more than a little Vista-ish?
post #37 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

Sorry, I'm not drinking the "floating controls over the video" kool-aid. The controls are harder to see. I'm sure it's "cool" but it's not ergonomic.

- Jasen.

It will be, once the new touchscreen tablet gets released.
post #38 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I like it, always hated that metal look.
But is it me or does the new bar look more than a little Vista-ish?

The difference here is the transparency isn't showing what's behind the window, but what's in the window. I do get what you're saying though.
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post #39 of 149
The NicePlayer borderless UI is amazing and I'm glad Apple have based the new Quicktime app on that.

http://code.google.com/p/niceplayer/
post #40 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

Sorry, I'm not drinking the "floating controls over the video" kool-aid. The controls are harder to see. I'm sure it's "cool" but it's not ergonomic.

- Jasen.

First off, it bears repeating that AppleInsider's pictures are mockups.

Second, do you have trouble seeing this?


Or this?


Because those are likely what QuickTime X's interface will resemble (especially considering the bottom picture is of the iPhone's video interface, which QuickTime X is derived from).
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