QuickTime 7: About using MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 media

Learn some of the limitations in QuickTime 7 when working with MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 media.

QuickTime 5, 6, and 7 include the following:

  • MPEG-1 playback on Macintosh and Windows computers
  • Layer 1 and 2 audio support
  • Support for elementary and muxed streams
  • Enabling of frame-accurate access and effects compositing

The optional QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component provides QuickTime 7 users with the ability to import and play back MPEG-2 content, including both multiplexed (in other words, muxed, where the audio and video tracks are interleaved together into one track) and non-multiplexed (elementary) streams. Note: MPEG-2 functionality is built in to OS X Lion and later—the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component is unnecessary and cannot be installed.

It is not possible to export the audio portion of a muxed MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 audio/video stream using QuickTime. For editing purposes, the entire MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 stream is treated as a single sample. You may create edit lists to display parts of the stream in the usual way, but if you flatten the movie data, the entire stream is saved, not just the parts displayed in the movie.

You cannot perform editing functions such as Cut, Copy, Paste, Add, and Add Scaled with MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 media using QuickTime Player, whether or not you have upgraded to QuickTime Pro.

You may want to consider using a third-party utility to convert the muxed file to a format that does allow you to edit or export.

I lost my QuickTime Pro registration key(s). What should I do?

You can retrieve purchased registration keys with these steps:

  1. Visit the Apple Online Store.
  2. Click "Account" in the upper-right corner.
  3. On the "Your Account" page, click "View Order History".
  4. Enter your Apple ID and password.

See these articles for more information:

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