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Although I’m not privy to actual sales numbers, I find it hard to believe that there are many people out there buying QuickTime Pro. Yes, the extra features come in handy, but you can’t find anything there that isn’t available in other, more “free” programs like VLC. Maybe I’m ignoring a whole segment of video editors out there who need the features and need them specifically to be part of QuickTime, but I’m willing to bet that’s not the case.
For years, Mac users have been annoyed by Apple’s (s aapl) refusal to just give in and offer these features as part of the free version of QuickTime that packages with OS X. Perhaps most useful among these features, at least for most users, is the “Save” function that allows you to download QuickTime files that you’ve played from your browser, including movie trailers and other content normally locked away on the web.
According to MacRumors, Apple may have finally decided that the time is right for the Pro features of QuickTime to come without a price tag. That’s because users working with the latest Snow Leopard builds are reporting that all the features are enabled out of the box, so to speak. No more grayed-out menu items with little, teasing “Pro” icons next to them, trying to make you feel inferior.
This is a great move on Apple’s part, if it makes it through to Snow Leopard’s full release. Even though I argue above that most people don’t generally miss the Pro features, they are definitely very nice to have when and if you find yourself needing them. My favorite use is to save and replay later for others HD movie trailers and Apple ads, so really they’re only helping themselves and their partners by helping more people do that for free. Let’s hope they don’t go and lock it down again when Snow Leopard goes retail.