[MD1] MPEG for QuickTime
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[MD1] MPEG for QuickTime

Apple Introduces High-Quality MPEG Software for QuickTime

New QuickTime Extension Allows Playback of Popular MPEG-1 and VideoCD on
PowerPC Mac OS Systems

Cupertino, Calif.--Jan. 24, 1997--Apple Computer, Inc. today announced
immediate availability of its' QuickTime MPEG (Moving Picture Experts
Group) extension, enabling full-screen, software-only playback of MPEG-1
and VideoCD audio/video files on PowerPC Mac OS computers. MPEG is a
worldwide industry standard for compressing synchronized audio and video
for post-production and entertainment. The MPEG extension is available
immediately for use with QuickTime 2.5 and may be downloaded from the
QuickTime website at: http://quicktime.apple.com/.

Through the MPEG extension, VHS-quality, full-screen video, and
CD-quality audio are now available as a synchronized data type in the
QuickTime architecture. Apple has long recognized MPEG as an important
industry standard and has supported hardware MPEG-1 playback on Macintosh
since 1994. With the announcement of this QuickTime Media Layer (QTML)
software extension, Power Macintosh users no longer need special hardware
to view a variety of MPEG files and formats.

The MPEG extension will also work seamlessly with the QuickTime plug-in
for Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, enabling
real-time, live MPEG playback inside these browsers. QuickTime's 'fast
start' feature enables MPEG content to be viewed as it downloads,
eliminating the delay associated with large multimedia files across
low-bandwidth connections.

"The availability of high-quality software MPEG reiterates Apple's
commitment to extending the QuickTime Media Layer (QTML) as the premier
multimedia platform," said Ralph Rogers, program manager for QuickTime
Technologies at Apple Computer, Inc. "The integration of MPEG into
QuickTime 2.5 will further extend Apple's lead in providing the
highest-quality and most robust architecture for multimedia development
across platforms and operating systems."

The extension is compatible with a wide range of Internet-based MPEG,
including Variable Bit Rate (VBR), MPEG, audio only or video only
streams, and can read specialized MPEG encoded streams, broadening the
ability for publishers to deliver interactive titles for Macintosh and
Intel-based audiences.

The QuickTime MPEG software extension enables high quality software video
decoding on personal computers. QuickTime provides a number of new
capabilities for MPEG compressed media, a characteristic of codes and
media types playing under the QuickTime platform. Specifically, the
extension enables a number of unique features, including the capability
to:

- Play MPEG encoded movies from VideoCD and CDi disks, enabling hundreds of
thousands of popular titles in the European and Asia Pacific marketplace to
play on Power Macintosh systems.

- Support CD-quality decode of audio stream (i.e., 16-bit, 44.1kHz, stereo
playback)

- Move forward and backward in a frame accurate manner,
essential to interactive multimedia titles.

- Add other types of media to an MPEG file directly from the clipboard.

- Support standard QuickTime transport controls such as: play, pause,
sound volume control, sound panning and balance, frame-accurate
step-forward and backward, fast-forward, and rewind.

- Support MPEG chapter information. (Display & select and go to particular
location in the stream.)

- Support movie layering, compositing, and graphics mode controls.

-Gain the ability of MPEG to use bookmarks and be referenced by additional
applications.

- Readily add new tracks to previously compressed MPEG material--used in
embedding MIDI and audio files or text into the stream.

- Edited play of MPEG audio and video.

- Support high-performance display of MPEG video in all monitor display
depths.

- Support hardware acceleration of clipping, scaling, and color-space
conversion.

- Play long movies with video and audio tracks staying in sync.

- Support the ability to transcode MPEG video to other QuickTime supported
video compressors such as Cinepak, and low bit rate codes as ClearVideo
from Iterated.

- Fully resizable window.

Through the capabilities of QuickTime track synchronization, MPEG files
can also be fully integrated with other QuickTime media types, including:

- Sprites
- MIDI
- Text
- 3D files

All applications updated to be compliant with QuickTime for Macintosh 2.5
can immediately take advantage of these new features. Users should check
with their tool vendor for compliance. Apple is providing a new version
of MoviePlayer, version 2.5.1 to allow immediate use of these features.
Apple is committed to giving Windows customers an equally compelling MPEG
experience in 1997.

The MPEG extension can upgrade systems currently installed with QuickTime
for Macintosh 2.5 due to the extensibility of QTML and the open plug-in
architecture of QuickTime.

Quotes and Third-Party Support:

According to The Envisioneering Group (Seaford, NY) over 74 percent of
all multimedia titles are authored on the Macintosh using QuickTime.
"Sony was first to produce a Sony Enhanced MPEG Playback for their
premium Pentium processor PCs. Now Apple has gone Sony one better with
the industry's highest quality software MPEG decoder," said Richard
Doherty, director of the Envisioneering Group.

To coincide with the release of Apple's QuickTime Soft MPEG, Astarte USA
has announced the release of ASTARTE MPEG EXPORTER, a Macintosh QuickTime
extension which allows users to easily convert any QuickTime movie to
MPEG format. The Exporter is available FREE from Astarte's website at:
www.astarte.de/mpeg_exporter/. This will allow Power Macintosh users to
immediately begin working with MPEG material without the additional
burden of a hardware purchase.

"Having recently introduced the CLM4111 single-chip, real-time MPEG-1
consumer/PC encoder for home computer and Internet users, C-Cube sees
Apple's incorporation of MPEG software into QuickTime as a huge motivator
for application developers to embed MPEG support into their software
applications," said Clint Chao, manager of PC Marketing for C-Cube
Microsystems. "Now, our customers can create high quality videos that can
be viewed by millions of Mac, PC, and Internet users."

"ATI is very excited about Apple's implementation of soft MPEG support in
QuickTime," said Henry Quan, vice president Marketing, ATI Technologies
Inc. "The powerful scaling capability of ATI's Xclaim VR and Xclaim 3D
will now be extended to provide incredible full screen, full motion soft
MPEG playback on any PCI capable Macintosh."

"Number Nine has anxiously awaited the release of QuickTime 2.5, which
supports software playback of MPEG video clips. No longer is a dedicated
hardware MPEG decoder required to playback and view MPEG video clips.
With the release of our soon-to-be announced high-end graphics
accelerator which will incorporate our second generation, Imagine 128 S2
graphics processor, MPEG movies and video clips can be played back in
full-screen modes--at any resolution up to and including 1600 x 1200 in
millions of colors. The Imagine 128 S2 processor incorporates the world's
only 256-bit video engine and a dedicated front-end Color Space
Converter. By providing the QuickTime extension a direct hook into our
video engine, video clips can be smoothly scaled to full screen, even on
the largest of monitors, without the blockiness normally associated with
scaled video
and without dropping video frames. No special MPEG hardware is required.
We know of no other graphics accelerator that has this capability," said
Phil Parker, director of Corporate Communications for Number Nine Visual
Technology.

"Highway One's major artists have delayed releases of exciting new titles
until our computer products would appear the way they do on standard
consumer electronic devices. Now, groups like Bush, No Doubt and several
other Capitol Records recording artists have given us the green light to
go forward on development of numerous MPEG and DVD titles," said Leo
Rossi, vice president, Highway One Media Entertainment. "This software
release shortens our development process and production time to the point
that we can develop an MPEG title one time, instead of once for each
platform we target." said Rossi.

"As the developer of over two dozen titles in ten languages, Sumeria
views both QuickTime and the Macintosh as vital to our publishing
process," said Jerry Borell, president and founder of Sumeria, Inc. "The
addition of MPEG as a QuickTime media type makes our move into DVD-ROM
both viable and efficient."

Jeanette DePatie, Marketing director for HEURIS/Pulitzer noted: "We're
very excited about the release of this product. Until now multimedia
developers typically created their applications on a Mac and then
transferred them to a PC for playback. The QuickTime MPEG extension is
the final piece that allows developers to edit, compress, author and play
back easily and inexpensively entirely on the Macintosh platform. With
this QuickTime MPEG plug-in, and powerful new MPEG encoding products from
HEURIS/Pulitzer like MPEG Power Professional, users will be able to
integrate MPEG easily and inexpensively with their applications. "

Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized innovator in the information industry
and leader in multimedia technologies, creates powerful solutions based
on easy-to-use personal computers, servers, peripherals, software,
personal digital assistants and Internet content. Headquartered in
Cupertino, California, Apple develops, manufactures, licenses and markets
solutions, products, technologies and services for business, education,
consumer, entertainment, scientific and engineering and government
customers in more than 140 countries.

Press Contact:
Jonathan Hirshon
Horizon Public Relations for Apple Computer, Inc. (408) 982-2555 email:
jh@horizonpr.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: To access Apple press releases, background material, and
contact information on the web, visit The Source at:
http://www.apple.com/source/. If you are interested in receiving Apple
press releases by fax, call 1-800-AAPL-FAX (1-800-227-5329) and enter
your PIN number. If you do not have a PIN number, contact Apple's Media
Helpline at (408)974-2042 to request one. If you would like to receive
Apple press releases by email, please send an email message to
pressrel@thing2.info.apple.com. In the subject field, type the text
"subscribe [your full name]."

-30-

Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, Performa, Power Macintosh, and
PowerBook are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Additional
company and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of
the individual companies and are respectfully acknowledged.

 

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