Help with Using QuickTime Movie with Sprite Track

I’m checking out the iScreensaver version 4 to see if it handles QuickTime movies with sprites the correct way that iScreensaver 3.5 did. I created an iScreensaver 4 project that has a single QuickTime movie which contains a static background and 12 sprites that “float” like fishes across the background. The old 3.5 version displays the movie well. In version 4, only the static background appears – no sprites appear.

I am running on a 2007 Intel 17" MacBook Pro. I have Mac OS X 10.6.3, QuickTime 7.6.6, and QuickTime 10.0 installed. The movie element’s behavior is set to “Play Forever” in the project and I have turned off Loop and Shuffle in the Global Behaviors. I’ve verified that the QT movie still plays correctly in the QuickTime 7.6.6 player.

Thank you for your help.

Frank, this is a good question. Can you email us a sample quicktime movie or a URL to download one, and we’ll check into it?

Frank (I replied via email as well, did you get that?)

Answer: the problem is that there is a bug in 10.6.0, 10.6.1, 10.6.2, and 10.6.3 regarding QuickTime content and Screensavers that makes certain QuickTime content not work.

iScreensaver 4 has special code to handle this, but sadly a side-effect of this is that some quicktime content still won’t work under 10.6 as a screensaver.

Ironically, this same content does work under 10.4, 10.5, and Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

Until Apple fixes the QuickTime bug in 10.6, you are left with some options:

  • re-create your animation in Flash (SWF)

  • re-create your animation directly in iScreensaver 4 (I sent a sample project in email with suggestions)

  • convert your sprite-based movie into a H264 movie by rendering out the individual frames (not a great idea since it will be much larger, but might work if you can tolerate a large screensaver file)