You’re probably well aware that the Finder can preview QuickTime audio and video files—just click once on a QuickTime clip in column view mode, and you’ll see the movie appear in the Preview column, complete with QuickTime controller for easy playback. Alternatively, if you usually work in list or icon view, you can click once to select the QuickTime clip you’d like to watch (or listen to), and then hit Command-I (File: Get Info) and preview it using the Inspector window.
This is a handy timesaver, but not really the point of today’s hint—it’s basically standard behavior for QuickTime files in OS X. Today’s tip is all about volume—how to get more of it out of the Finder’s QuickTime previews. For example, if you’re previewing a video clip and the audio is really too quiet to hear (but your system volume is fine), you’d like to just temporarily bump up the volume for a bit. Sure, you could import the clip into iMovie and increase the volume there…or yea, reach over and crank up your speakers or increase your system volume. But there’s a simpler method, using the QuickTime preview player itself: just hold the Shift key down before clicking on the volume level icon. When you do so, you’ll see that the volume slider has more range than it does normally:
On the left is the normal slider; on the right, the slider as it appears with the Shift key depressed. Once you’ve used the modified slider to maximize the volume, you can return it to normal levels by just using the slider without the Shift key. While the changes you make aren’t permanent, the added loudness may be just enough to let you hear the clip you were previewing.
And here’s a little bonus fun hint for the preview player… try Command-clicking on the left-facing arrow at the end of the progress slider. The video probably won’t keep up with the audio, but it’s an interesting effect nonetheless.