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The MOV format is a multimedia file type that works with Apple Inc.'s QuickTime player. At one time, it was the only format for audio visual file types, but it has seen a lot of competition from other file types, such as AVI, AMV, FLV, Real Media and many more. MOV provides advantages over similar file types because it delivers simplicity in editing, enjoys enormous popularity and embeds itself well in other programs.
The MOV file type made its first appearance in the early 1990s when Apple began using its QuickTime media player. The player has evolved over that time, growing more complex and increasing its functions, but its file type has stayed simple. The simplicity of the MOV format provides its greatest advantage over other multimedia formats.
An MOV format file is comprised of several tracks that hold a variety of information. Much like with professional audio recording tapes, MOV files can be dissected and edited without having to rewrite code, as would be required with some of its competition. The audio and video components of every file are stored on separate tracks and can be manipulated for time and content. Effects are housed on their own tracks and allow editors to make different transitions and add other extras without ever touching the video track. Similarly, the file's text track allows editors to insert items such as subtitles or credits without permanently changing the entire film.
The MOV format has been around much longer than other file types used for the same purpose, and it therefore has enjoyed a large amount of popularity. There are thousands of MOV files available, all containing video or animation or a combination of the two. Another key advantage is that all of these files are easily played by the QuickTime player, a program available for free.
MOV's other major point of dominance is its ability to fluidly embed itself within programs. Using MOV files with PowerPoint is a good example, because the multimedia MOV files can become part of the the PowerPoint slideshow program, allowing for video to appear along with the text onscreen. MOV also is frequently found on websites that have video playing automatically. Again, its simplicity allows for novice website builders to have a more professional multimedia presentation.
The MOV format has been around for many years, and this longevity has given it many advantages over the competition. It sets itself apart with its simple design, its easy editing, its popularity and its ability to mesh with other media. For these reasons, the MOV format has been used by many multimedia lovers and continues to be utilized widely.
The popularity of the MOV format appears to be on the decline. It seems that MP4 (which iPhones and iPads love) and AVI formats are a lot more common these days. That said, are there any real advantages to using MOV over one of the newer formats these days?
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