Although the International English version is still in the ether somewhere, Apple has released QuickTime 5 to consumers in the US. Mac and Windows versions of the player can be downloaded from the Apple Web site – and an update for QuickTime Pro has also been made available.
Top new features in QuickTime 5 include support for 360-degree panoramas, media skins, Flash, AppleScript and better video and audio. QuickTime VR, which previously could only work with 180-degree (horizontal or vertical) panoramas, can now view complete panoramic spheres. It also supports custom interfaces, which authors can place within video or audio files to run alongside the media itself.
QuickTime 5 supports MPEG-1, both locally and streamed, and includes an enhanced DV codec for faster rendering within DV applications. On the audio front it support DLS files and SoundFonts. Flash files can be viewed within the player – or included as part of QuickTime files to create interactive video. Authors can also automate video using AppleScript – though this only works with Mac version of the technology.
Authoring and editing tools that use QuickTime 5 have already started to appear – Final Cut Pro 2 being the first – and most applications should add its functionality over the coming months. A release date for the International English version has not yet been announced.