Bugs & Fixes: QuickTime WMV exports end suddenly

Let’s say you open a typical movie (.mov) file in Apple’s $30 QuickTime Pro. Select File -> Export and then, in the pop-up menu, choose Movies to Windows Media. Now, save the file and play it. Chances are, your file will end after 29 seconds or less, even though the original file was longer.

This is not a bug. The Windows Media export option is not actually part of a QuickTime Player installation. Rather, it is added when you install Telestream’s Flip4Mac software.

While the Flip4Mac WMV player itself is free, the ability to export files to a WMV format requires a paid upgrade to one of the WMV Studio versions (which sell for $49 for the standard version, $99 for the Pro version, and $179 for the Pro HD version). The free version allows the export feature only in “trial” mode… limiting your exported clips to 29 seconds.

If the point of creating a Windows Media file is to allow your PC-using pals to view your movie, you can save yourself some money and skip Windows Media altogether. The MPEG-4 video format is playable on both Macs and Windows PCs (and iPods and iPhones and just about any other video player on earth).

To create an MPEG-4 movie choose File -> Export and from the Save Exported File window that appears choose Movie to MPEG-4 from the Export pop-up menu. By clicking the Options button you can change the image size, data rate, and audio settings for your movie.

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