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2181 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Sep 2, 2008 10:17 AM by quinnanya
Currently Being ModeratedAug 29, 2008 7:30 AM (in response to quinnanya)Actually, after some feedback from Apple and some testing it does look like iTunes U and iTunes does support progresive download fast start. With QuickTime 2.1, Apple introduced the Fast Start movie, which is a movie with the header at the start of the file. It works because the movie atom is stored at the beginning of the file. So, QuickTime knows how to interpret the movie sample data even before it arrives, and because the movie data is intelligently interleaved with respect to display time.
When the bandwidth of a connection meets or exceeds the data rate of the movie, a well-formed QuickTime movie file can play as it downloads. This kind of progressive download, or Fast Start movie, provides the same user experience as real-time streaming.
Originally, a special tool was needed to process the move for fast start. However, making fast start movies is now the default move of QuickTime. However, if you do any editing in QuickTime Player, even simple things like changing annotations, the header gets moved to the back of the file again, and fast start no longer works. When this happens, you ned to re-flatten the move, either by doing a Save As of the file from QuickTime Player.
There is a freeware utility that can be used to flatten movie (mov and mp4):
We use have used Sorenson Squeeze, which appears to not have GUI option to enable/disable progressive download fast start.
Most other compression tools let you set the progressive download, fast start option.
So, for example, on our iTunes U site we have progressive download fast start video's that play directly from iTunes U without issues.
But, we also have video that were encoded with Sorenson Squeeze or other tools without the fast start option. Thye do not play properly from iTunes U.
In regards to previewing & downloading media is possible, if the media is progresive download fast start, but the interface could be modified to make it more obvious.
IMHO, iTunes should better optimized to handle playback of non-fast start media, no raindbow beachball and hog resources for iTunes will trying to load media.
Currently Being ModeratedAug 29, 2008 7:51 AM (in response to uurazzledazzle)Thanks! This really helps, and Lillipot sounds like it should solve some of those issues with the existing files.
One quick, related question: is there a way to look at the settings for a video to see if it has Fast Start enabled or not? It's not jumping out at me in any of the Quicktime view file options. Uploading things to iTunes U takes a while, and I'd love to be able to find out which ones I need to run through Lillipot in a faster way than trial-and-error.MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
Currently Being ModeratedSep 2, 2008 5:41 AM (in response to uurazzledazzle)I managed to get in touch with our Apple support contact, and you're right on with fast start. To answer my own question, it looks like there isn't really a way to tell if fast start is enabled, besides trying it (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=3774698�). Sigh.MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
Currently Being ModeratedSep 2, 2008 9:13 AM (in response to quinnanya)IMHO, I think everyone that wants better UI should file a bug report or feature request with Apple.
See the following web site to file a bug or feature request...
And for a FREE ADC account see this web page...
See the "ADC Online Membership" section.
I think Apple should update iTunes to display a dialog, like "Content doesn't support direct playback and will be downloaded" and move it to the "Download" area in iTunes vs displaying a rainbow beachball. Maybe, educate the content providers, add more like "To support this feature content must be progressive download faststart"Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
Currently Being ModeratedSep 2, 2008 10:17 AM (in response to uurazzledazzle)Here's to that! I'm seeing if we already have an account (I figure an official account might get more weight than a free one), but if not, I'll create one and add the feature request.MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.11)