The last few versions of Mac OS X have shipped with QuickTime X as the default media player app. So why, you may ask, would you want to know about QuickTime 7? Well, although QuickTime X is a newer technology, it actually gives you less control over the way you export and render content than QuickTime 7 did, providing only a few presets, and they are presets that can't be tweaked. And while there are many video conversion apps out there, using QuickTime to export and convert audio and video is actually a really quick and easy process that doesn't bog you down in proprietary interfaces or gaudy graphics.
OS X doesn't have QT7 installed by default but you can grab it from here. Although the basic installer is free, in order to unlock the full export functionality you will need to buy a Pro license from here. It's Â£20 / $29.99 and while you might grumble, remember that Mavericks was free and your money is buying you a great video converter, albeit one without fancy graphics.
Once you have installed and unlocked QT7 Pro you can open any supported video or audio file in it (it's well worth installing Perian to enhance codec support for playback and conversion) and if you wish, change the file link between certain movie types and their helper app by performing Get Info on a file, then from the Open With menu choosing QT Player 7. Choose 'Change All' if you want to make this link permanent.
Drag and drop movies onto QT Player 7 or use the Get Info window to change the helper app association.
Let's say you want to quickly export a web version of a video. Choose File > Export for Web and you get some quick options to create up to three device-specific versions at once as well as setting the poster frame.
Quick and simple device-specific presets.
The beauty of QT7 Pro is that it gives you more options that simple device presets. Go to the File menu again and this time, choose Export to reveal the format window. From the Export menu you can select a format. Some are named after devices but for some, like Movie to QuickTime Movie, you can set options.
Not all menu options have settings available, but some do.
Click on the Options button to reveal the Settings window. Now for both picture and sound you can fine tune the render settings. In the video codec menu, select from the installed codecs on your system. Since I have some pro video software installed on mine, there are quite a few pro level options.
You might not have all these, but you'll have some good codec options.
A simpler choice might be to use the now-standard H.264 codec and here you can make tweaks to the format, including setting quality, a specific data rate and a multi-pass encode. When you're done making settings, confirm your way out of this menu and chose to encode the video.
Each codec has its own set of tweakable controls.
QT7 Pro is also a great tool for quickly format converting audio. Here for example we have opened an AIFF file, chosen Export and then chosen Sound to Wave. In the Options/Settings section we can choose to change its sample rate and render quality settings as well as making it mono, if for any reason we should want to do that.
Also a great audio format converter.
Learn more Mac OS X tips and tricks in this macProVideo course: