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10.6: Stream high-resolution chapter-marked movies OS X Server
Snow Leopard only hintSo here was my problem: I needed to be able to produce high-resolution movies of live screen presentations (PowerPoint as it happens) with audio. And because these presentations were two hours long, people wanted chapter/section marks so they could go directly to the part they were interested in seeing again.

We wanted to stream the movies, so that people did not have to download the entire 2GB+ movie. They movies also had to be on a server I could get to, so that we could get the video online quickly.

This all proved harder than it sounds, and took me about three weeks to figure out and set up -- it wasn't hard, but it was undocumented and not intuitive. I am providing this information because the online information is either wrong, or it doesn't seem to exist.

Here's my step-by-step guide on how I finally accomplished the desired results.

[robg adds: I have reproduced most, but not all, of the linked page in the remainder of this hint, just in case the original site vanishes. However, I suggest you read it on the linked site if possible, because (a) it includes screenshots and (b) the information may be updated at some point in the future.]

Making Movies

Making movies of PowerPoint/Keynote presentations with audio on a Mac is easy because the capability is built into QuickTime Player.
  1. Under QuickTime Player's File menu select "New Screen Recording."
  2. When selected you will get the Screen Recording Controller." From the controller you can set you audio input source.
  3. Since needed to record the presenter and the audience I opted for a Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone. It was recommended to me by a friend and it has worked well.
  4. When you click on the "red ball" to start recording, you get a dialog which, when you click "Start Recording," will place the stop/start recording button in your menu bar at the top of the screen.
  5. When you are done save your "movie." You are done with the easy part.
Streaming the Movies
  1. If you are going to stream movies you need a streaming server and software. If you have and Xserve just laying around that's good but I did not. But I did have my old DP G5 so I erased, reformatted and reinstalled OS X.
  2. I then went out and get Apple's open source streaming sever software Darwin Streaming Server." Since it is a OS X application installation is just a double-click away. Give it an administrator and password and you are in business. If "stream over port 80" is on turn it OFF or it will not work. Movies are streamed over port 554. While sitting at the keyboard of your DSS Mac open the System preferences and open the "Sharing" preferences. Turn on "File Sharing," "Web Sharing" and "Remote Login." Make sure you are an administrator on this box.
  3. When DSS installs it creates a new directory, /Library/QuickTimeStreaming, which contins, among other directories, "Movies." This is where your "Hinted" movies go.
  4. So now you have a server and a movie so time to get to work.
Creating a Hinted Movie
  1. Open the movie you created earlier in QuickTime Pro 7. This is not an option. These steps can not be done in iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD or any other software I know of, because it will lower the resolution of you movie making it unreadable. So go ahead an pony up the $30 for QuickTime Pro 7.
  2. So with your movie open in QuickTime Pro 7 save it as a "hinted movie." Under the File menu select "Export..." and in the dialog that comes up select "Movie to Hinted Movie." This will allow the movie to be streamed instead of being downloaded. Save this hinted movie, name it and put it on your streaming server. /Library/QuickTimeStreaming/Movies. This is the only place you can put your movies.
Creating a Reference Movie

In order for people you play your movie you must provide a another file which calls or references your hinted movie. This is called a reference movie.
  1. To create it open a basic text editor like BBEdit or TextEdit and enter an address to your DSS and your movie:
    rtsptext rtsp://
    You must save this with the extension of ".mov"
When this movie it called it will play your hinted movie on the DSS.

Adding Chapter Marks to your Movie

I must add one more item to my reference movie, chapter marks. That was a requirement. QuickTime Pro will allow you to put chapter marks in your hinted movie but when you stream that movie they will not show up. Here is how to get around that problem.
  1. First you need a Chapter Template to work from. If you use QuickTime Pro you can put in a couple of dummy chapters into your hinted movie and export them. The resulting file (i.e., chapter_list.txt) is as follows:
    {QTtext}{font:Geneva}{plain}{size:12}{textColor: 65535, 65535, 65535}{backColor: 0, 0, 0}
    [00:00:00.000] {textBox: 0, 0, 50, 160}Chapter 1
    [00:20:02.000] {textBox: 0, 0, 50, 160}Chapter 2
    [00:40:04.000] {textBox: 0, 0, 50, 160}Chapter 3
    [01:40:06.000] {textBox: 0, 0, 50, 160}Chapter 4
  2. I then open this text file in my text editor (BBEdit or TextEdit) and add my chapters.
  3. I watch my movie and note where my chapters break and input the time and chapter titles. The format of the time stamp is [hours:minutes:seconds:frame_number] ([00:00:00.000].) You create a new row for each chapter and put one more at the end which is the total runtime of the movie.
  4. Once your chapter list is complete you open it with QuickTime Pro and "Select All" from the Edit menu. Close the chapter list.
  5. Open your "reference movie" and select "Add To Movie" from the Edit menu. It will be added to your reference movie as "Text Track."
  6. Select "Show Movie Properties" from the Window menu.
  7. Uncheck "Text Track"
  8. Select the video track and under Other Settings tell QuickTime that the "Chapters:" are in the "Text Track." (You may not have all the parts in my example.)
  9. Save and close.
Creating a Web Page So People can Play your Movie

So you will need a web page (html) that lets users click a link and play the movie.
  1. Since the code uses JavaScript, in order for it to work, you must download and place on your web server, AC_QuickTime.js which you can get on the Apple Developer's page.
  2. Place the code below in your web page:
    <script language="javascript" src="AC_QuickTime.js" > </script>
    <script language="JavaScript" type="text/JavaScript">
    	'200px', '100px', '', 
    	'target', 'quicktimeplayer',
    	'href', 'http://web_server_with_the_reference_movie/');
  3. Place this html file on your web server. I have mine on my DSS. An example directory path is:
  4. The movie will not load on launching the page. It requires the viewer to click on a graphic the start the movie. This just allows me to keep the movie from starting on page load.
  5. I require that the movie come up in the QuickTime Player to allow the user to scale the movie to fit their screen size.
  6. You can change the size of the graphic '200px', '100px' to suit yourself but you can not remove the following space and comma
    or the script will fail.
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10.6: Stream high-resolution chapter-marked movies | 4 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Stream high-resolution chapter-marked movies
Authored by: Hodag on Mar 26, '10 08:17:44AM

Detailed, Useful, and Fascinating.

Adam C.

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Authored by: googoo on Mar 26, '10 10:23:15AM

This is very useful. I can use several parts of this hint to make video podcasts for my students. I do not actually stream them, though.


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10.6: Stream high-resolution chapter-marked movies
Authored by: djmnet on Mar 26, '10 07:00:25PM

Metadata Hootenanny is an easier, free way to add the chapter markers.

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10.6: Stream high-resolution chapter-marked movies
Authored by: macnixer on Mar 28, '10 12:02:24PM

I have been experimenting with UPnP lately and I would like to share something that would really help here. You can download MediaTomb ( for server and Plex ( or any UPnP renderer for clients. Please can broadcast too but renderers on the iPhone are not very well supported. You need transcoding (converting files on the fly) from one format like avi to something that is playable on the iPhone or any of your various UPnP device like PS3 etc. The benefit of the MediaServer process is - it is 100% cross-platform and the users do not have to download Quicktime. They can continue using whatever system they are using - all you have to do is setup the appropriate transcoder if their system does not play your video. BTW, Media server support tons of features - mime types, chapters, external subtitle files etc. check them out.

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