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Web Design in a Nutshell by Jennifer Niederst

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Video File Formats

As for still images, there is a wide variety of formats for video material; however, not all of them are appropriate for the Web. This section looks at the three primary video file formats used for web distribution: .mov, .avi, and .mpg.

QuickTime Movie (.mov)

QuickTime, a system extension that makes it possible to view audio/video information on a computer, was introduced by Apple Computer in 1991. Although developed for the Macintosh, it is also supported on PCs via QuickTime for Windows. QuickTime 3.0 allows Windows users to both view and create QuickTime movies. In the last seven years, QuickTime has grown to be the industry standard for multimedia development, and most hardware and software offer QuickTime support.

Both Netscape Navigator 3.0+ and Internet Explorer 3.0+ come with QuickTime plug-in players, so the majority of web readers are able to view QuickTime movies right in the browser. The most recent version of the QuickTime plugin (as of this writing) is Version 2.0 (a little confusing since it works with the features of QuickTime 3.0). It is installed as part of QuickTime 3.0 installation.

QuickTime movies (which may also contain audio-only information) are very popular for distribution via the Web due to their superior compression rates (meaning smaller files and shorter download times) and cross-platform, cross-browser support. In fact, the QuickTime format has been adopted by the ISO (International Standards Organization) as the starting point ...

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