Video Compression Knowledge Database


   Last updated: February 19, 2011






QuickTime Guide for Website Owners




      1. Self-Contained Movie & Reference Movie
      2. Creating Reference Movies
      3. Protecting Video on a Website
      4. Hosting Video on a Website



A. Self-Contained Movie & Reference Movie

When you select 'Save As ...' under 'File' on an existing file, a window (See Figure A-1) opens with a choice of


  • Self-contained movie or
  • Reference movie


So which one should we choose and what's the difference?  If you are NOT a website owner, then you are most likely to choose the first option.  A self-contained movie contains video and/or audio tracks.  Therefore, it's an independent movie file.  If your QuickTime is upgraded to the Pro version, then choose 'Show Movie Properties' under 'Window' on an existing file.  And you can see audio and/or video tracks.  (See Figure A-2)
     On the other hand, a reference movie is a child file that needs to reference a self-contained movie as a parent file for data.  A file size can be as little as a few KB.  Several different reference movies may be created to serve people who have different connection speeds.


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Figure A-1


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Figure A-2



B. Creating Reference Movies


In order to create a reference movie, you need an application like MakeRefMovie.  You can download and use it for free.  You also need a self-contained movie as a parent file.  Furthermore, if the video file cotains an audio track, it must be compressed in AAC (MPEG-4).  Follow these simple steps to create a reference file.


  1. Launch MakeRefMovie.
  2. You will be prompted to save a file.  (See Figure B-1)  Enter a file name, and a reference movie will be temporarily created.
  3. Drag and drop a self-contained movie onto the application window.  (See Figure B-2)
  4. Under 'Speed,' choose the connection speed.  (See Figure B-3)  There are many speed options.  So you can create many reference movies that reference the same parent movie.
  5. If you host different speeds, then you want to choose one of the options under 'Priority.'  (See Figure B-4)
  6. At the bottom of the window, there is a check box that says 'Flatten into output.'  (See Figure B-5)  Don't check it out.  If you do, the file will become a self-contained movie.  Moreover, you don't really have to choose anything under 'Version' since the latest version is not covered.
  7. Finally, choose 'Save' under 'File'  (See Figure B-6)


For more information on how to prevent self-contained movies from being downloaded, click on the button to watch a video tutorial.  button





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Figure B-1


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Figure B-2


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Figure B-3


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Figure B-4


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Figure B-5


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Figure B-6


C. Protecting Video on a Website


Website owners often ask how to make it impossible for visitors to download video posted on their websites.  The answer is there is NO way of making it impossible for them to download video.  The reason is simple and logical.  Whether there is a hyperlink or a clickable button, you are essentially directing visitors to the location of a movie.  Therefore, the link is traceable.  If it's traceable, then it can be downloadble.  So what you can do is to make it for them to difficult to download your video.  Here are your options.


  1. Export QuickTime movie to Flash.  Depending on how you host Flash video, it can be somewhat difficult to download it.
  2. Create reference movies and disguise the parent movie.  Make the file name of self-contained video complicated with numbers and characters like ''  In this way, you can at least confuse downloaders to tell the exact file name of the self-contained movie.
  3. Simply restrict access to vidoe by protecting a directory with a password.  (See Figure C-1)


D. Hosting Video on a Website


So you have a QuickTime video to show on your website.  Before posting it on a website, there is some work for you to make it ready for Internet streaming.  Without it, Internet surfers will be forced to download the entire video, which will be created as a temporary file.  These are simple steps.


  1. When you export a QuickTime movie for video compression, check the box for 'Prepare for Internet Streaming.'  (See Figure D-1)
  2. Save the self-contained movie with 'Save As.'  Don't use Command + D to duplicate it.
  3. Now, it's ready for Internet streaming.  Just post the movie on your website.


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Figure D-1