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When it comes to the wide variety of apps and tools available on a Mac, QuickTime Player is often overlooked. It can’t hold a candle to VLC’s usefulness and is usually opened by mistake when you click on a .MOV file. You’ve probably changed the file association so QuickTime never gets used, so you’ve probably overlooked its bounty of useful features.

QuickTime is better than you think, and performs many tasks you’d expect from premium software for free. You might think differently about this bundled freebie once you’ve seen what it can do!

Movie Recording

When you have QuickTime open, and it is sitting in the dock, simply right-click on the icon and at the bottom, you will see the following:

You can also use the File menu at the top of your screen. This is useful if you suddenly have the urge to make a video of yourself and send it to YouTube, as it uses your Mac’s in-built webcam as a direct recording source. When you click on “New Movie Recording“, this box will appear:

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When you are ready, hit the red button and off you go. Once finished, you have the option to save the file in .MOV format.

Want Some Alternatives?

In OS X mainstay iMovie, there is the option to make a video and have it inserted into a movie you are making. This might be handy if you’re working on a larger project.

Audio Recording

Just like movie recording, right-click the QuickTime logo and choose “New Audio Recording” or open QuickTime Player and find the same option under the File menu. This option is useful if you want to send a friend or relative a quick personal message or record a short podcast. Here’s my humble effort, made on a MacBook Air. QuickTime uses the in-built microphone as a default recording location, though you can change this under System Preferences > Sound > Input.

Want Some Alternatives?

Tim recently rounded up the best free and cheap audio editors for Mac OS X The Best Free & Cheap Audio Editors For Mac OS X The Best Free & Cheap Audio Editors For Mac OS X Considering Apple's media-savvy approach with free apps like iMovie, it's surprising that there's not a simple audio editor bundled with OS X. Read More . When it comes to audio recording on a budget, Audacity tops the list.

Screencasting

Screencasting has become more viable in recent years as storage, Internet speed and bandwidth limitations recede. Bloggers such as myself need it, and there’s a good chance you’ve probably used an instructional screencast to solve a computer problem before.

You can access QuickTime Player’s screencasting function under the File > New Screen Recording menu, or by right-clicking the dock icon. You’ll see the familiar red recording button; click it and away you go.

Want Some Alternatives?

The big player in this arena is Camtasia, although it costs well over $100. If the price tag is enough to make your eyes water, then the same company has a free alternative called Jing.

Trim Video & Audio

If you want to cut out a particular section of a video or audio file and discard the rest, QuickTime Player has you covered. Open the file in QT, click Edit and then Trim.  A yellow bar will appear at the bottom of the screen. Use the edges to adjust the capture range and move the selection if you wan, hit Trim and QT bins the rest.

When you trim a video clip you are presented with thumbnails of the entire video at the bottom. Sometimes the thumbnails look the same and it can be difficult to know where to trim. Enabling the audio track might make it a little more obvious.

To change the thumbnails to the audio track, select Edit then Trim. Next, navigate to View then Show Audio Track.

Want Some Alternatives?

iMovie does this too, but if you want to step outside Apple’s walled garden, then we have profiled the best cheap video tools for Mac The Top 8 Free Video Editors For macOS The Top 8 Free Video Editors For macOS The best video editors for macOS cost a lot of money, but what if your budget is $0? Read More , including VLC and Blender. Don’t forget our OS X audio editor round-up The Best Free & Cheap Audio Editors For Mac OS X The Best Free & Cheap Audio Editors For Mac OS X Considering Apple's media-savvy approach with free apps like iMovie, it's surprising that there's not a simple audio editor bundled with OS X. Read More , too.

Combine Two Or More Videos

You could have a situation where you have two videos and you need to merge them – so how do you do that?

First, have one clip open in Quicktime. Then go to Finder, find part two, and drag it into the Quicktime screen. Use the mouse or trackpad to dump it where you want it (at the end presumably). Hit Done and QuickTime will perform its magic.

Want Some Alternatives?

Check out our previously mentioned video tools round-up for Mac OS X The Top 8 Free Video Editors For macOS The Top 8 Free Video Editors For macOS The best video editors for macOS cost a lot of money, but what if your budget is $0? Read More if you’re looking for more capable editors. The only other credible one I have been able to find is iSkysoft Video Converter for Mac. Do you know of any others?

Upload to YouTube and Vimeo

This might not seem like a biggie to you, but it is really useful to be able to send the video straight to YouTube or Vimeo from the player. It saves you the bother of opening your browser, going to YouTube and fumbling around with uploading settings.

Next to the play/pause button is the Share button, which looks like a little curving arrow coming out of a box. Click that and you will see that you can send your video marvel by several methods. For YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook or Flickr you will need to sign in with your credentials, or visit System Preferences > Internet Accounts.

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Want Some Alternatives?

Your best bet is probably a browser at this point!

Rotate Clips

We’ve all been in the situation where, when shooting video on your iPhone or iPad, you realise that you have been recording in Portrait Mode, instead of Landscape Mode. This is called vertical video syndrome and it ruins your clips – or does it?

Nope. Just export them into your Mac, and open them with QuickTime Player. Go to Edit in the menubar and you’ll see the Rotate Left and Rotate Right buttons, along with tools for flipping the video.

Want Some Alternatives?

Again, iMovie can manage to do this job with its digital eyes shut and is free for every Mac user – but it’s not as quick as QT player. Do you know of any others?

Anything Else?

So now you can see that your neglect of QuickTime was in error, and you should welcome it back into the OS X fold immediately.

Do you know of any other things Quicktime can do that we haven’t mentioned here?

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