QuickTimeTcl on the Mac and Windows SourceForge.net Logo

Several movies

In Dutch

Q logo
quicktimetcl made in sweden

This is a so called extension to the  Tcl/Tk scripting language that provides simple bindings to QuickTime on the Macintosh and Windows. With just a few lines of code you get access to the main parts in QuickTime, and can do amazing things  without writing any C code. Every window you see above are made in Tcl/Tk. The Tcl/Tk language is fairly complete so you can start writing your own applications. The main features of this package are:
  • Simple playback of audio and video in a movie widget; for instance, play mp3, view VR panoramas, most video and sound formats, streaming live content from a broadcaster, shockwave/flash, etc. Remote (URL) connections can be made asynchronously.
  • A sequence grabber widget that previews and captures video and audio from an external source, such as a web camera or a DV video camera, via the serial port, USB, or FireWire.
  • Editing commands, such as cut, copy and paste, both on complete movies and down to individual tracks. Video effects through dialogs.
  • Versatile methods for making movies from individual images, supporting sequence compression, usage of all appropriate QT codecs, compression levels, key frame rate etc.
  • All available video effects in a single line of code.
  • Exporting to a number of audio/video formats via dialogs.
  • Most still image formats are supported implicitly by QuickTimeTcl but via Tk's own image widget.
...and many more things. The package is completely integrated into Tcl/Tk so you can use a movie widget just as any Tk widget.

getting started
There are essentially three components you need here:

  1. Get Tcl/Tk for Macintosh or Windows. Get your Windows copy from tcl.activestate.com, Mac OS X from here or Mac OS 8/9 from SourceForge. The previous links may not highlight the latest releases depending on releases made after this is written. Just pick the latest. It's best you aquire some practice in writing Tcl code before you start with QuickTimeTcl --- it's pretty easy and has a low learning threshold, but some practice is advocated.
  2. Get QuickTime from Apple at www.apple.com/quicktime/download. It is enough with the free version. You just download the lightweight installer, and then the installation takes place over the net when running the installer. There are also stand alone installers at www.apple.com/quicktime/download/standalone which are useful if you sit behind a firewall.
  3. Get QuickTimeTcl from below.


All platforms require a Tcl/Tk installation version 8.4 or later, and QuickTime version 5, prerrably 6.4 or later.

Mac OS Classic: Support for Mac OS 8/9 has ceased with version 3.0. Tcl/Tk 8.4 is recommended.

Mac OS X: Mac OS X 10.2.

Windows: Developed and tested on Windows 2000. It should work on other versions (98, XP) as well.

QuickTime: QuickTimeTcl is currently tested and developed with QuickTime 6 (6.4).

code examples
Some example code and the result (note, this is the complete code!):

package require QuickTimeTcl
movie .m -file U137.mov
pack .m
simple playback
package require QuickTimeTcl
movie .m -url "http://www.apple.com/bbc.mov"
pack .m

(on a 28k modem, sorry; fake url)
package require QuickTimeTcl
movie .m -file Sample.mov
pack .m
movie .n -file giantcow.swf -width 80 \
-height 60 -controller 0
place .n -anchor nw -x 5 -y 5

(one movie running on top of the other; Pict In Pict)
More examples


Pick the installer for your platform. The installer includes the extension, html documentation, and a large number of simple example code files to help you get started. It also includes the complete source code in C.

Macintosh Classic (8 and 9):
Mac OS X:

The present version of QuickTimeTcl is 3.1 beta 5 (except for Mac OS Classic). For more details see the CHANGES file below. Browse all releases.

To run the sequence grabber you need a so called vdig component for the hardware (camera) you are using. This is sadly lacking in many cases on Windows, but you may try an emulated vdig (WinVdig) from www.vdig.com.

Abstractplane has an industrial-strength vdig component for QuickTime on Windows which you can try.

QuickTimeTcl has its code at SourceForge, and the current state of the code may be checked out from CVS.

Online manual pages, CHANGES, and README file:

This package was originally written by Bruce O'Neel, but later extended by me, Mats. The Window port contains some small code fragments from Steve Aronson.
Contact me if you have suggestions, complaints, found any new bugs, or just want to encourage me in my work.

Mats Bengtsson
Email: matben@users.sourceforge.net

© 2000-2005 Mats Bengtsson.