Sustainability of Digital Formats: Planning for Library of Congress Collections

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QuickTime Video, MPEG Codec

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Format Description Properties Explanation of format description terms

Identification and description Explanation of format description terms

Full name QuickTime Video, MPEG Codec

File format that wraps a MPEG video bitstream with other data chunks, e.g., audio.

[The compiler of this document believes that this refers to MPEG-1. Recent releases of QuickTime production software (version 6.x) are capable of producing MPEG-4 files but this may mean files that conform to the ISO BMFF (Basic Media File Format), saved with the mp4 extension.]

Production phase Used as a final-state format for enduser delivery; may also be used as a middle-state format, e.g., as the video source when producing lower-resolution streaming versions.
Relationship to other formats
    Subtype of QuickTime, QuickTime File Format
    Contains MPEG-1, MPEG-1 Video Coding (H.261)
    May contain Audio streams not documented at this time

Local use Explanation of format description terms

LC experience or existing holdings See QuickTime
LC preference See QuickTime

Sustainability factors Explanation of format description terms

Disclosure See QuickTime and MPEG-1
    Documentation See QuickTime and MPEG-1
Adoption Unknown to the compilers of this document.
    Licensing and patents See QuickTime and MPEG-1
Transparency See MPEG-1
Self-documentation See QuickTime
External dependencies See QuickTime
Technical protection considerations See QuickTime

Quality and functionality factors Explanation of format description terms

Moving Image
Normal rendering Good support.
Clarity (high image resolution) Moderate, given that this is a format used for compression and does not support interlaced video. QTV_MPEG would be expected to provide the highest quality of the QuickTime codecs described at this web site, although at relatively high bitrates.
Functionality beyond normal rendering See QuickTime.

File type signifiers and format identifiers Explanation of format description terms

Tag Value Note
Filename extension mov
Internet Media Type See related format.  See QuickTime
Magic numbers See related format.  See QuickTime
Apple Video Sample Description mpeg
Four-character code identifying the MPEG video codec, from QuickTime File Format, p. 92. See note on separate printings of specification.

Notes Explanation of format description terms

General There seem to have been at least two printings of the QuickTime File Format specification carrying the same date. These were not systematically compared by the compiler of this Web page. Pagination varies between these two printings. The table of four-letter codes for compression types ia found on p. 62 or p. 96, depending on printing.

Format specifications Explanation of format description terms

Useful references


Last Updated: 08/04/2021