There has been a lot going on in the world of video playback on computers recently.  Two major events have happened.  1) Quicktime announced that it will no longer support its windows software with security updates.  2) Widows 10 updates have caused MP4 playback and compatibility issues.

Let’s take this one at a time and then merge them together for the bigger picture.

Quicktime has been the overall keeper of the MP4 & MOV file formats.  They originated on the MAC platform, but anyone installing Quicktime on their PC had the codec install that would allow the PC, mainly through Quicktime to payback MP4 & MOV files.  More importantly, being able to edit them as well.  Quicktime announced in early 2016 that it would no longer be releasing security updates for the Windows version of the software and it would no longer support it.  Quicktime actually came out and said that after the last update (version 7.7.9) it would actually suggest that windows users uninstall the program from their computer because of security risks.  Security risks means that hackers can use the program to steal information from your computer.  Software companies are constantly dealing with updates in order to prevent hacking.  When they stop, they open up endless possibilities to hackers.

Another issue that many are running into is that the MP4 files that always played in Windows media player no longer play on media player post windows 10 update.  MP4 file are not native to widows, but past versions typically played them, especially if Quicktime had ever been installed on the computer.  Many MP4 files created in the standard H.264 or H.265 codecs will simply not play properly.  Some computers may display the video with no sound, some many just error.

There is a new option out there called QuickTime Alternative and QuickTime Lite.  It allows you to download safe Codecs onto your computer to allow other programs, such as web browsers to play MOV & QT files.  Players such as VLC Media Player or 5KPlayer are good options and safe for the computer.  There is also a player called MOVAVI Media Player.  This product ranges from free to $10 depending on the version.  We have found it to be the most up to date and versatile media player around.

MP4 and MOV files remain good options for creating, editing and storing video.  H.264 codec is a fast and reasonable quality codec option.  AVI remains a stable format for PC’s but are very large files.  MPEG2 are standard DVD quality files.  Most 2 hour CD quality videos run around 4GB.  They tend to be cross platform compatible as well.

Eventually there will be a standard for digital video.  But changes in quality and playback options are constant and make it difficult to standardize.