There might have been a good reason, at some point, for Apple to try selling QuickTime Pro. Not that I can remember such a time. While Apple forges new ground constantly in the digital media arena with innovative hardware and software such as the iPhone, iPod, Aperture, and Final Cut, the online store still attempts to sell QT Pro with the taglet “Upgrade from video watcher to video maker.”
I’ve already alluded once that almost all of QT Pro’s functionality is easily emulated with iMovie ’06 — and I’ve verified that it continues to be with the completely redesigned iMovie ’08. What exactly are QT Pro’s big selling points according to the Apple Store?
- Convert media formats. So? We can do that with freeware, donationware, charityware, or shareware that is actually worth the asking price.
- Edit with ease. Isn’t this what iMovie is all about? Did I miss a memo?
- Create stunning video. Um… Ditto. Also, iMovie ’08 will export directly to YouTube, while QT Pro does not.
- Build your QuickTime video library. With QT Pro you can save movies from the web. Here’s a hint: You can do that anyway with Safari, Firefox, and most other browsers without even having to open a media player at all.
- Record your podcast. Now that’s just silly. Apple gives us iMovie and GarageBand for that one.
Even the QT Pro product page reads like it hasn’t been updated in two years. I honestly wonder how many people have ever chipped in the $30 Apple asks for the Pro license. QT Pro is superfluous and it couldn’t possibly be contributing to Apple’s profitability. All new Macs come with iLife pre-installed. I rushed out and bought iLife ’08 the day it dropped, like many others; the $80 price tag for iLife is reasonable, but $30 for QT Pro is inane. Can they even continue to justify the costs of sustaining development and marketing?
I say the answer is a big, flat thud of a no. So I call today for Apple to drop QuickTime Pro from their software offerings, and instead of duplicating code across products, to spend those person-hours on more innovation. While there are probably few person-hours spent on QT Pro, why spend any at all? What scarce features still unique to Pro (if any are left) could, and should, be integrated into QuickTime and iLife.
Death to QuickTime Pro! Who’s with me?