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10.6: QuickTime Player X doesn't handle AC3 soundtracks System 10.6
This may or may not work in all situations, but if you are struggling with opening a video file using the new QuickTime Player in Snow Leopard, this may help you.

I have found that Quicktime X has a little bit of an issue with opening video files that have an AC3 soundtrack. When I attempt to open a file with an AC3 soundtrack, QuickTime will state that "The document could not be opened." These files work without an issue in QuickTime 7 on Snow Leopard, so I know the files are fine.

The solution to this issue is to open the file in QuickTime 7, remove the AC3 soundtrack from the file, and then re-save it. That way, you will be using the stereo track for your sound (should it exist). You can do this by going to the Window » Show Movie Properties dialog and deleting the AC3/Surround track, and ticking the box beside the Stereo track. Re-save and you should be able to open in QT X.

A couple of things to note:
  • Once you re-save the file, you can't get the original AC3 soundtrack back, so you may want to consider not overwriting your existing files for this workaround, as you will be able to go back to them once QuickTime X is updated to support AC3.
  • Front Row does not seem to be affected by this issue; perhaps it is using a different version of the QuickTime framework, or the framework is not the issue and the QuickTime Player application which uses the framework is the issue.
  • You have to completely remove the AC3 soundtrack; disabling it in favor of the stereo track is not going to work (at least it did not for me).
I have posted about this on the Apple Discussions forum, as well as called Apple technical support and provided feedback to them via their website, as it is just not OK for a program like QuickTime to go backwards so staggeringly and stop playing over half of my movie collection! I am hopeful that they will soon release an update to rectify the issue. However, if anyone else comes across the issue, make your thoughts known to Apple, as this will make them work harder on it.

[robg adds: I can't test this one, as I don't have any AC3-enabled movies on my machine -- please post in the comments if you can confirm (or not!) the existence of the problem. Another playback option, of course, is to just continue using the QuickTime 7 Player in Snow Leopard, which is what I've done in general (as I dislike the UI in the new QuickTime Player).]
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10.6: QuickTime Player X doesn't handle AC3 soundtracks | 7 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: QuickTime Player X doesn't handle AC3 soundtracks
Authored by: farlander on Sep 09, '09 09:05:21AM

Awesome! And if QuickTime X can't play your video - just open it in an editor, remove the video - voila! Now it can! (still not play it, I mean) :D

This is a very weird "solution", don't you find? The solution to the problem would be to watch the movie in QuickTime 7 instead of butchering the video file. QTX doesn't offer anything important to find weird ways to use it.



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10.6: QuickTime Player X doesn't handle AC3 soundtracks
Authored by: shavenyak on Sep 09, '09 09:54:41AM

Doesn't Apple actually sell movies with AC3 audio tracks in the iTunes store? What on Earth are they thinking building a "new, improved" Quicktime Player that can't handle them?



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10.6: QuickTime Player X doesn't handle AC3 soundtracks
Authored by: hazkid on Sep 09, '09 04:31:48PM

I have some MKV files with AC3 tracks saved as QT reference movies. While QTX will NOT open the original MKV files, the tiny MOV files
(with AC3 audio) work just fine. And QT7 will still open the MKV files as well.

---
Naren Hazareesingh



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10.6: QuickTime Player X doesn't handle AC3 soundtracks
Authored by: Lo_PhatZ on Sep 09, '09 06:52:47PM

I have over 50 original video DVD's with AC3 tracks that work fine in QuicktimeX.
I have rip's of said DVD's with specifically AC# 2.1 tracks that also play fine..

I wonder what is causing the issue for the people that are having problems?



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10.6: QuickTime Player X doesn't handle AC3 soundtracks
Authored by: rpaege on Sep 09, '09 07:10:20PM

Maybe try the tracks with VLC and make sure they're working properly.



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10.6: QuickTime Player X doesn't handle AC3 soundtracks
Authored by: gxw on Sep 10, '09 05:56:06AM

I cannot confirm the above behaviour...

I installed the Perian 1.1.4 codex package on a fresh copy of Snow (was a clean install). My ac3 videos play fine - Xvid encoded + ac3, 5.1 avi files.
I am surprised Perian works on Snow Leopard though but no issues so far.



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10.6: QuickTime Player X doesn't handle AC3 soundtracks
Authored by: SlalomSkier916 on Oct 13, '09 09:09:14AM

One workaround the did it for me was to launch Quicktime Player X in 32-bit mode.

Right-click and "Get Info" (or Command-I) the Quicktime X app.
Check the "Open in 32-bit mode" checkbox
Re-start Quicktime

Do not know really why this works. But now QtX seems to work nice with Perian as well (or use Qt7 as a backend).

But with this change you can use the new shiny QtX as a movie player.

And really - what use would QtX have of 64-bits? I'm curious?



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