So I have this Apple iBook, which has been my faithful notebook computing pocket dimension for the past year or so. (In fact, I'm almost exactly at one year... I wonder when the warranty ends?). It came with two software ABOMINATIONS preloaded, one of which was Microsoft Internet Explorer. I was told by someone on IRC that the mere act of dragging it to the trash and emptying it rid my system of it and all its components forever, so I wasn't really worried about that. (Nope, it's not integrated into *THIS* OS, and Safari is FAR better anyway. Thusly, PLONK.)

The second bit of software vileness is, of course, Quicktime.

I have violent hatred towards Quicktime, which I will proceed to rationalize.

First off, Quicktime is based around the Sorenson video codec, which was revolutionary for its time, providing better video quality vs. file size. Oh yes, it was a great thing... in 1998. Nowadays, all the cool kids use MPEG-4, which is great... good performance, a wide variety of hardware and software support, and a non-proprietary format. I've never seen a DVD player or video camera that understood Quicktime's container format or the Sorenson codec (have I looked hard enough, and do I look like I care?). With MPEG-4, there are already camcorders and standalone DVD players that will happily encode and read MPEG-4 video. QuickTime, of course, does not know what the hell to do with MPEG-4 video. Try to open an MPEG-4 video in QT, and you will get something like this:

If Quicktime were a perfectly sane and rational piece of software, clicking "Continue" would bring you up to a plugin download to handle the MPEG-4 video. Of course, Quicktime is too special to correctly do that. In return for your efforts, you get a friggin' 404 for your troubles. (This is the behavior of the new 7.0 player - the previous 6.? would give you a message that ended in "Unfortunately, the software needed was not availble on the Quicktime server".)

But wait, there's more. You see how I mentioned differences above between two different versions of QuickTime? Well, 7.0 has something exceedingly special to offer that no previous version did, as far as I know. It's got the Colossal Freaking Ad Portal Of Stupidity, as pioneered by RealSpammer.

Does your digital lifestyle seriously lack one of these spamtastic 'portal' pages being loaded every time you open your media player? If so, then Quicktime 7 is just right for you. On the first boot after installing Quicktime 7, an AppleScript icon came up in the dock for a few seconds, which identified itself as "Quicktime Startup" when moused over. That process served only, as far as I can tell, to pop up that page of rubbish.

Worried that you may never see that ever so useful page of advertainment material again after you close Quicktime? Worry not, it WILL resurface *every time* you open the Quicktime player. How reassuring!

Now, I'll be quite frank about this - I hate the Windows operating system. I hate the Windows version of QuickTime even more. See, on Windows, for some reason, software developers have decided to add cute little 'auto-reclaim' features for file associations, as though they were protecting you from thieves in the night or something. Thusly, they create a lametastic startup app that sits there in the background constantly checking to see if the application's file type association has been 'stolen', and to 'steal' it back if so. Quicktime has this, with the added bonus of a stupid SysTray icon, for such rampant stupidity cannot exist without creating obnoxious visual clutter as well. You *can* get rid of that icon, but still, you shouldn't have to, as it shouldn't exist in the first place.

Oh yes, now for the crippleware aspect. See, QuickTime comes in a free version and a "Pro" version. In previous free versions, you had to kill a whack-a-mole window enticing you to buy the Pro version. In 7.0, there are a lot of menu items that have a little "Pro" icon next to them, indicating you can only use them if you have the pro version. (Strangely, it seems that a lot less functionality exists in the free version of 7.0 than in previous ones.) Oh, of course, if you had Pro before, you have to buy it again for the 7.0 version. Oh yes, it's all new, so you have to buy it again. Yet it still doesn't do MPEG-4.

If it wasn't for the fact that it contains the audio codecs used by iTunes, I'd have a special place in my Trash folder for QuickTime. For now, though, it can just go to hell.

Codec missing. Fnord.