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   Using QuickTime on Macintosh


Many of the Web pages and learning environments that are created at CCNMTL include the use of QuickTime audio and video media. In order to view these clips, you will need to have the most recent version of QuickTime Player installed on your Macintosh computer. If you have never used QuickTime or need to install the lastest version for Windows, we have created this page to help you get started.

Obtaining the latest version of QuickTime for Macintosh

About QuickTime

QuickTime is available in two forms: QuickTime Player and QuickTime Pro. QuickTime Player is a free, downloadable application that allows you to view QuickTime multimedia on your computer. QuickTime Pro is a paid upgrade which unlocks media creation and editing functions to QuickTime Player. It is only necessary for you to have QuickTime Player to view multimedia on your computer.

quicktime logo

System Requirements

QuickTime is built into the architecture of the Mac OS X operating system. If you are running any version of Mac OS X (10.1, Jaguar, Panther), you do not need to install QuickTime on your machine, but you may want to make sure the QuickTime software is up to date.

QuickTime 6.0.3 was the last version available to Mac OS 9 users, as QuickTime development for this OS has ceased. If you do not have QuickTime installed on your Mac OS 9 system, visit the QuickTime download page.

To install QuickTime Player and view media, your Macintosh machine must meet the following requirements:

  • Mac OS X v. 10.1.5; v. 10.2.3 or later; Mac OS 9 or earlier
  • PowerPC G3/400 MHz or higher
  • At least 128 MB of RAM

The media delivered from CCNMTL's QuickTime streaming server requires that the 'Auto-Play' function of the QuickTime browser plug-in is activated. This setting can be confirmed through these steps:

    Mac OS X
  • Go to 'System Preferences'.
  • Under 'Internet & Network', select 'QuickTime'.
  • From the 'Plug-In' tab, select 'Play movies automatically'.
    Mac OS 9 and Earlier
  • From the 'Edit' menu, select 'Preferences', then 'QuickTime Preferences'.
  • In the 'QuickTime Settings' drop down menu, select 'Browser Plug-In'.
  • Select 'Play movies automatically'.

Updating your QuickTime

If you already have QuickTime Player on your computer but are not sure if it is the latest version, there is an easy way to both check and upgrade at the same time without downloading an entirely new version:

  1. Be sure that you are connected to the Internet.
  2. With the QuickTime Player open, go to the QuickTime Player pull down menu.
  3. Select Update Existing Software, as this will run rhw 'Software Update' function of the Mac OS.
  4. If you have the latest version, a system prompt will tell you so. If you don't, the prompt will give you the option to download the necessary updates.

Sample Media

Now that you have downloaded or upgraded QuickTime Player, you should be ready to receive media. But before diving in, we have selected two samples for you to try, one progressive video download and one streaming media sample, to insure that your QuickTime is able to receive media from the Columbia media servers:

Progressive Download

If you see the QuickTime logo to the right of this paragraph, your computer has the proper components installed to view QuickTime progressive download media.

This is a demonstration of the quality of a 200kbps progressive download media file served from Columbia University's QuickTime Server. Progressive download features movie data that is pushed via HTTP to the client, thus allowing the movie can be viewed by the user as it is being transferred. This is not a form of media streaming.

Click on the QuickTime logo to view our featured selection from the Columbia University lecture series 'Frontiers of Science' - featuring Professor Darcy Kelley.

Streaming Media

If you can see the QuickTime logo to the right of this paragraph, your computer has the proper settings and components installed to view QuickTime streaming media.

Streaming media involves delivery of video or audio data over a network in real-time, as a stream of packets instead of a single file download.

Click on the QuickTime logo to view a streaming media sample at 150/kbps from the CCNMTL Multimedia Study Environment 'Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children' - featuring Professor Arnold Aronson.

QuickTime VR

Some CCNMTL projects also utilize interactive QuickTime Virtual Reality technology. For more information on this process, visit our QuickTime VR page.

Getting Help

If you cannot see any of the QuickTime logos above, Apple offers a comprehensive resource for all QuickTime issues. Visit their QuickTime Support pages for information. Connectivity or access problems to the Columbia University media server only, should be reported to the Computer Help Line at 212 854-1919 or via email to Please be very specific with the problem you are encountering.

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