Apple confirms QuickTime for Windows at end of life

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2016
After an 11-year run, QuickTime for Windows is no more. Apple has confirmed it will no longer issue updates or patch security holes for the PC version of its multimedia software, meaning those who continue to use the software do so at their own risk .




Last week software security outfit Trend Micro disclosed the discovery of two new flaws in QuickTime 7 for Windows, saying Apple was informed of the security threats in November. At the time, Apple said it had no plans to issue a patch, adding the software "would be deprecated on Windows and the vendor would publish removal instructions for users."

Apple has yet to post an official announcement regarding the apparent deprecation, but on Monday confirmed the development to The Wall Street Journal.

As for the vulnerabilities, Trend Micro was able to trigger heap overflows by directing QuickTime to a malicious website or playing back an infected file, thereby opening the door to remote code execution. A common attack vector, heap overflow bugs let nefarious users install data-harvesting malware onto a target computer.

While the security firm has not seen instances of the flaw being exploited in the wild, it said uninstalling QuickTime is the only sure method of protection. With QuickTime deprecated, and its last update now three months old, Windows users are urged to uninstall the software to avoid potential security breaches. Apple in March published a step-by-step uninstall guide on its Support Pages website.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,865member
    So, uninstall QuickTime forever and use vlc instead for everything! 
  • Reply 2 of 23
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,713member
    They still sell QT 7 Pro for Windows. QT 7 had a lot better features and better quality output than QT X in my opinion. I never used the Windows version but I liked the Mac version for quick format conversions. I have FCP X but mostly I use Premier and just re-render if I want to export a different format or size. Takes longer but it works.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    I regret that move by Apple. I don't use Windows and I don't have a Windows machine but it still affects me. I have lots of friends who use Windows exclusively; I used to be able to send them video from my Mac without worrying: they would have or could get Quicktime. Now I have to worry about the video capabilities of Windows. Bah!
  • Reply 4 of 23
    moracmorac Posts: 18member
    It looks like Apple removed the plugin aspects of QuickTime in the last update so it's not as easy to exploit the flaw. It requires downloading a file and having QuickTime open it as opposed to just visiting a web site.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 168member
    After an 11-year run, QuickTime for Windows is no more. Apple has confirmed it will no longer issue updates or patch security holes for the PC version of its multimedia software, meaning those who continue to use the software do so at their own risk .
    11 years? What? I remember using it on Windows before 2000. A quick check confirms QuickTime 4 for Windows was released in 1999, and I'm pretty sure QuickTime 3 was available for Windows, too.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,244member
    command_f said:
    I regret that move by Apple. I don't use Windows and I don't have a Windows machine but it still affects me. I have lots of friends who use Windows exclusively; I used to be able to send them video from my Mac without worrying: they would have or could get Quicktime. Now I have to worry about the video capabilities of Windows. Bah!

    I must be missing something.  Why aren't you saving your videos as .mp4 or some other more universal format? 
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 7 of 23
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,302member
    And the only surefire way to not get cancer is to kill yourself. I don't understand why you would need to uninstall it if you don't stream from a nefarious website. So far there have been no attack vectors reported in the wild. Seems drastic. But I'd just recommend that everyone just gets a Mac.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,586member
    command_f said:
    I regret that move by Apple. I don't use Windows and I don't have a Windows machine but it still affects me. I have lots of friends who use Windows exclusively; I used to be able to send them video from my Mac without worrying: they would have or could get Quicktime. Now I have to worry about the video capabilities of Windows. Bah!
    No you don't' just export as .mp4.
  • Reply 9 of 23
    This is really maddening. The files from my stepdad's action cam are in QuickTime MOV format and won't open in Premiere Pro on Windows without QuickTime installed. -_-
  • Reply 10 of 23
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,179moderator
    command_f said:
    I regret that move by Apple. I don't use Windows and I don't have a Windows machine but it still affects me. I have lots of friends who use Windows exclusively; I used to be able to send them video from my Mac without worrying: they would have or could get Quicktime. Now I have to worry about the video capabilities of Windows. Bah!
    It's also a sign they don't plan to support Quicktime Pro at all. The Mac version is still 32-bit. They contracted out the original port to Windows:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_Canyon_Company
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuickTime

    It's not clear why they made it for Windows in the first place. It was used at one point for the encoding features in iTunes but that came later. Maybe they needed cross-platform support for projects made on the Mac. They had channels in it, which look like what the TV is now:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/new-quicktime-channels.3772/

    The downside to Quicktime Pro one day not working on the Mac is that old clips that have been stored in Quicktime containers with codecs not supported by Quicktime X won't be playable or convertible any more. 3rd party players like VLC etc don't do a good job of handling codecs in Quicktime containers, losing audio, breaking up video.

    Quicktime for Windows is how ProRes is supported so it will affect film workflows. I guess they'll move to Avid formats. There will probably be more use of odd containers too: avi, wmv, mxf, mkv.

    Quicktime X has editing features, some of which work better than 7. You can scrub to a point in the timeline, hit command-y to split the clip, scrub and split and you can crop parts out. But they have an export feature that has a "movie" export option, which means pass-through, similar to 7's 'save as self-contained' and if you edit too much, that option is removed. 7 lets you save as self-contained all the time. It made it easy to quickly chop movies up without having a long encoding time and losing quality. 7 had support for subtitles, plugins, multi-channel editing, masking, video filters. No real-time color correction in X.

    I'd like to see Apple offer plugin support to X for decoders at least and always allow export to self-contained. Also ProRes export would be good and some simple audio features. Just being able to drag and drop an audio clip in and shuffle it back and forward is good for resyncing audio. They don't need to make a full player for Windows. Windows would just need a codec pack to support .mov and certain formats like ProRes.
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 11 of 23
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,328member
    volcan said:
    They still sell QT 7 Pro for Windows. QT 7 had a lot better features and better quality output than QT X in my opinion. I never used the Windows version but I liked the Mac version for quick format conversions. I have FCP X but mostly I use Premier and just re-render if I want to export a different format or size. Takes longer but it works.
    QT 7 was a mess of deprecated utilities and it was 32 bit. For 64 bit it has been rewritten as QT X. QT Player X made things simpler. It does the job without hours of trials and errors, just stick with it and don't worry about the rest...
  • Reply 12 of 23
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,328member

    Marvin said:
    command_f said:
    I regret that move by Apple. I don't use Windows and I don't have a Windows machine but it still affects me. I have lots of friends who use Windows exclusively; I used to be able to send them video from my Mac without worrying: they would have or could get Quicktime. Now I have to worry about the video capabilities of Windows. Bah!
    ...

    The downside to Quicktime Pro one day not working on the Mac is that old clips that have been stored in Quicktime containers with codecs not supported by Quicktime X won't be playable or convertible any more. 3rd party players like VLC etc don't do a good job of handling codecs in Quicktime containers, losing audio, breaking up video.

    Handbrake (which is based on ffmpeg) is very capable in common format / codec conversions such as avi, Xvid, mkv... 
  • Reply 13 of 23
    jdwjdw Posts: 632member
    command_f said:
    I have lots of friends who use Windows exclusively; I used to be able to send them video from my Mac without worrying: they would have or could get Quicktime. Now I have to worry about the video capabilities of Windows. Bah!
    I used to have the same problem when I saved a *.mov file on my Mac and wanted to share it with Windows friends.  I would tell them to install QuickTime, and when they did that, it solved the problem.  But many Windows people are stubborn. They stubbornly stick to their bad OS as strongly as we stick to our good OS.  And so many would refuse to install QuickTime.  Of course, now those people who did install QuickTime need to uninstall it!  Anyway, my solution was to upload videos to YouTube as UNLISTED.  Anyone who has the link can access the video, but people who try to search YouTube for the video won't find it.  And then if the video is no longer needed, you just delete it from YouTube.  You can upload 60fps and even 4k, and those videos will display on any computer, phone or tablet.  It's really the best solution so long as your recient has an internet connection.  If they don't have an internet connection and are stuck in the dark ages, then you may need to buy Flip4Mac like I did.  That software allows you to save in older Windows video formats with ease, and play those videos back on your Mac too, assuming your recipient cannot playback mp4 videos for some reason.
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 14 of 23
    mobiusmobius Posts: 376member
    command_f said:
    I regret that move by Apple. I don't use Windows and I don't have a Windows machine but it still affects me. I have lots of friends who use Windows exclusively; I used to be able to send them video from my Mac without worrying: they would have or could get Quicktime. Now I have to worry about the video capabilities of Windows. Bah!
    Oh, and there's me thinking you were worried about the security of your friends PCs!
  • Reply 15 of 23
    mobiusmobius Posts: 376member
    "We owe it to our customers and we owe it to our country [to protect data]. We will not shrink from this responsibility."

    Tim Cook, March 21st 2016
  • Reply 16 of 23
    command_f said:
    I regret that move by Apple. I don't use Windows and I don't have a Windows machine but it still affects me. I have lots of friends who use Windows exclusively; I used to be able to send them video from my Mac without worrying: they would have or could get Quicktime. Now I have to worry about the video capabilities of Windows. Bah!
    As others have said, just save as .mp4. Done.
    This is really maddening. The files from my stepdad's action cam are in QuickTime MOV format and won't open in Premiere Pro on Windows without QuickTime installed. -_-
    MOV is just a container. The actual file is, most likely, just compressed with H.264 for video and AAC for audio. With ffmpeg, you can convert them losslessly to .mp4 like this:

    ffmpeg -i /path/to/original.mov -acodec copy -vcodec copy /path/to/converted.mp4

    Since the conversion is lossless, there's no re-encoding, and the process will only take about as long as a file copy. You could even make an Automator workflow for it—in fact, I decided to do it for you. Unzip the attached file and put it in your ~/Library/Services folder (or just double-click it and opt to Install when asked), and it'll show up in the Finder's context menu. The script assumes ffmpeg is installed in /opt/local/bin, which is where it'll be if you install it via MacPorts. If you install it somewhere else, alter the script as appropriate.

    If you install both ffmpeg and this workflow, you can just right-click on any .mov file that's encoded using H.264 and it will quickly be converted to MP4 losslessly.
    jdw said:
    If they don't have an internet connection and are stuck in the dark ages, then you may need to buy Flip4Mac like I did.  That software allows you to save in older Windows video formats with ease, and play those videos back on your Mac too, assuming your recipient cannot playback mp4 videos for some reason.
    I would be very, very surprised if anything from this century were unable to play mp4 files.
    edited April 2016 vanfruniken
  • Reply 17 of 23
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 594member
    It's just classic Windows. If you don't connect to the internet and want to use Premiere or After Effects go ahead, but just like classic Windows, if you are in a Web Browser, don't click on any links! Classic Windows, now and forever, land mine city!!!
  • Reply 18 of 23
    Quicktime is junk anyway. Who cares. I wonder if it ever had a life.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    mobius said:
    command_f said:
    I regret that move by Apple. I don't use Windows and I don't have a Windows machine but it still affects me. I have lots of friends who use Windows exclusively; I used to be able to send them video from my Mac without worrying: they would have or could get Quicktime. Now I have to worry about the video capabilities of Windows. Bah!
    Oh, and there's me thinking you were worried about the security of your friends PCs!
    I was. It's the abandonment of security updates for QT that's caused this. I can't now recommend that they download QT - not with a clear conscience, that is. :smiley: 
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 20 of 23

    command_f said:
    I regret that move by Apple. I don't use Windows and I don't have a Windows machine but it still affects me. I have lots of friends who use Windows exclusively; I used to be able to send them video from my Mac without worrying: they would have or could get Quicktime. Now I have to worry about the video capabilities of Windows. Bah!
    No you don't' just export as .mp4.
    Thanks for that, good to know. As a video ignoramus, it still means I need that much knowledge though.
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