QuickTime (.mov, .qt)


    • Registered MIME type: video/quicktime
    • Apple QuickTime file format.
    • Multimedia container format.
    • Commonly used for archiving and exchanging video content.
    • Stores audio and video in a format suitable for synchronous playback.
    • Binary format.
    • Supports a variety of audio and video codecs as well as lossless video.
    • Introduced in 1991 by Apple.

Import & Export

  • Import["file.mov"] imports a QuickTime file and returns a list of frame indices.
  • Export["file.mov",list] exports a list of graphics, images, or arbitrary expressions, taking each element to be a video frame.
  • Export can convert Manipulate, Animate, and ListAnimate expressions to the QuickTime format.
  • Import["file.mov",elem] imports the specified element from a QuickTime file.
  • Import["file.mov",{elem,suba,subb,}] imports a subelement.
  • Import["file.mov",{{elem1,elem2,}}] imports multiple elements.
  • The import format can be specified with Import["file","QuickTime"] or Import["file",{"QuickTime",elem,}].
  • The "QuickTime" format must be explicitly specified when using certain third-party QuickTime add-ons.
  • Export["file.mov",{expr1,expr2,}] exports a list of arbitrary expressions to QuickTime.
  • When exporting a list {expr1,expr2,}, the video is composed from still pictures corresponding to rasterized images of the expri.
  • The duration of the QuickTime video is determined from the number of frames and the specified frame rate.
  • Export["file.mov",Manipulate[]] exports an animated demonstration of a Manipulate object to QuickTime.
  • The exported QuickTime video will play at the same speed and will have the same size as the Manipulate object.
  • If bookmarks are set in the Manipulate object, Export will create a QuickTime file by interpolating between the bookmarks while preserving the speed and duration of the Manipulate.
  • Export["file.mov",ListAnimate[]] exports a ListAnimate object to QuickTime.
  • Export["file.mov",expr, elem] creates a QuickTime file by treating expr as specifying element elem.
  • Export["file.mov",{expr1,expr2,},{{elem1,elem2,}}] treats each expri as specifying the corresponding elemi.
  • Export["file.mov",expr,opt1->val1,] exports expr with the specified option elements taken to have the specified values.
  • Export["file.mov",{elem1->expr1,elem2->expr2,},"Rules"] uses rules to specify the elements to be exported.
  • On Macintosh and Windows versions of the Wolfram System, additional video encodings are enabled if Apple's QuickTime Player is installed on your system.
  • See the reference pages for full general information on Import and Export.
  • ImportString and ExportString support the QuickTime format.

Import Elements

  • General Import elements:
  • "Elements"list of elements and options available in this file
    "Rules"full list of rules for each element and option
    "Options"list of rules for options, properties, and settings
  • Data representation elements:
  • "Animation"animation object
    "Data"array of raw bitmap data for each frame
    "Frames"list of integer indices representing the sequence of still pictures in the file
    "Frames",nthe n^(th) frame
    "GraphicsList"frames represented as a list of graphics objects
    "ImageList"frames represented as a list of images
    "ImageList",nthe n^(th) frame as an image
    "ImageList",{n1,n2,}multiple frames
  • Import by default uses the "Frames" element for the QuickTime format.
  • Metainformation elements available for Import:
  • "BitDepth"bits used to represent each color channel in the file
    "ColorSpace"color encoding used in the file
    "Duration"animation length in seconds
    "FrameCount"number of frames in the file
    "FrameRate"number of frames to be displayed per second
    "ImageSize"raster dimensions
    "VideoEncoding"video codec used in the file


  • General Export options:
  • "FrameRate"15number of frames shown per second
    "VideoEncoding"Automaticvideo codec for file
    BackgroundWhitebackground color
    ImageSizeAutomaticpixel dimensions
  • A list of video codecs available on your computer system is given by Internal`$VideoEncodings.
  • With a setting ImageSize->Automatic, Export will automatically resize and crop raster images to the correct dimensions when using a codec with fixed image dimensions.
  • Export["file.mov",Manipulate[]] exports a Manipulate object to QuickTime. See the documentation pages for "SWF" and "FLV" for full information about supported options.


open all close all

Basic Examples  (3)

Import a QuickTime file:

Click for copyable input

Export a sequence of images to QuickTime:

Click for copyable input

Export a Manipulate to QuickTime:

Click for copyable input

Scope  (6)

Introduced in 2003
Updated in 2017