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Mac OS X has been rewritten from the ground up, and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard New Features highlights all of the most important and user-relevant aspects of this release. Experienced instructor and lifelong Mac user Garrick Chow introduces current Mac users to the improvements in the latest OS. While not a complete overhaul of the operating system, this update does address a fair number of internal systems and external user features. Garrick explores all of these updates, including enhancements to the Finder and the Dock and a completely revamped QuickTime player. He shows the wealth of improvements to built-in applications like Safari, Preview, iChat, and Mail, and explains the updated 64-bit support within Snow Leopard.
Installed with Snow Leopard is a brand new version of QuickTime Player, QuickTime X. This is a completely new player application featuring enhancements to the interface, features, and performance. Let's open up a movie file and take a look. I am going to go in my Exercise Files folder and open up the file called 'sunset.mov.' It opens up here in QuickTime X. As you can see, the entire interface is minimalistic with the Playback and other controls appearing on top of the video itself and no borders around the movie other than the title bar here at the top.
When I play the movie and move my mouse away from the window, all the interface elements disappear and you are left with just the movie itself. This is a radical departure from the previous QuickTime interface and will probably take some getting used to. Of course, when I roll my mouse back over the movie the Title bar and the Controller reappear. One of my issues with this is that I sometimes need to play multiple variations of the same movie simultaneously to checkout things like the effects of different compression settings, but without a Title Bar in each movie it's difficult to tell which movie is which.
But if that's not something you often do, then you probably won't notice it and will appreciate the stripped down appearance of the new player. Let's take a closer look at the new controller. Now the controller can be dragged around anywhere in the Viewer in case you are trying to use the controls, but they are covering up the part of the video you are trying to see. Don't worry about not being able to re-center the controller either. Once you close a movie and open it back up again, the controller is always going to be right back in the bottom center. Like the previous QuickTime Player, you have the large Play button in the center of the controller with the Rewind and Fast Forward buttons to its left and right.
When I am playing the video and I hit say the Fast Forward button you can see I actually get different speeds up to eight times as fast in either direction. You no longer have the buttons that jump you to the very beginning or to the very end of the video though. The Volume Control slider is still to the left of the Controller and you can use the slider to adjust the volume or click on the Speaker icons to either mute the audio completely or to bring it up to full volume. To the right, we have a new button for sharing or editing your video, which I will be getting to later, and a button for entering Full Screen mode.
While you are in Full Screen mode the Controller will disappear while the video is playing back if you don't move your mouse for a couple of moments. When you move your mouse again it will come back and we can exit Full Screen mode. In addition to Full Screen view you have a couple of more new view options available under the View menu. We have Actual Size, Fit to Screen, Fill Screen, Panoramic, Increase Size, Decrease Size, and they all have related keyboard shortcuts. Now depending on the display ratio of your video and your monitor some of these might not always be available.
For instance, Fill Screen and Panoramic are not available for me right now. But if I were to play this in Full Screen and hit Command+4, you can see the changes there. And I will hit Command+F to exit Full Screen view. So that's a quick look at the new QuickTime Player X interface. Next, we will examine some of its new capabilities.
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