Apple QuickTime 6 Preview, Broadcast, OS X 10.1.5, eMacs for Everyone

Apple has released a public preview (pre-beta) of QuickTime 6 . New features include MPEG-4 File Format (.mp4), MPEG-4 Video, AAC Audio, Instant-On, Skip Protection, Updated User Interface and more. The standalone installer for Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, and Windows is here. There’s even an uninstaller that removes QT 6 Preview, and reinstalls QT 5.

In tandem with the QT 6 Preview, Apple has released a preview of their free live streaming server software, Broadcaster. It looks like the licensing issues with MPEG-4 will be solved. The Preview supports MPEG-4 audio and video, as well as the associated audio codec, AAC audio. The quality of the sound and audio for these codecs is astonishing, especially when you realize how small the files are, and how much control you have over the quality. Here’s Apple’s comparison gallery for AAC, and comparison for MPEG-4.

Apple has also released OS X 10.1.5, a 22.4 megabyte free update, available via Software Update. 10.1.5 includes lots of support for devices, like more cameras, CD burners, card readers, and “enhancements” which improve the reliability of Mac OS X applications, improved networking, and security. iTools and Mail.app, and Sherlock are all specifically mentioned in the release note, as are improvements to Chinese and Korean language support (an improved input method), improved battery life for many G3 powerbooks, support for 2D and QuickTime hardware acceleration for Rage Pro (a big deal for older G3 hardware).

We’re still waiting for the new OS version, code name Jaguar, which is promised late this summer, and looks very good indeed for both users and developers, with lots of support for standards.

CNET has an interview with Steve Jobs, where, among other things, he discusses the importance of open standards like MPEG-4, LDAP and others to Apple’s future strategy, and reveals that the eMac, the $1099.00 all-in-one 17 inch CRT Mac originally available only to education customers can now be purchased by anyone, at $300.00 less than the stunning flat-panel iMac.