QuickTime can play a number of file formats, but it also has its own QuickTime file formats. Because this format is essentially a proprietary format, the best way to read/write these files is through the programming interfaces and software that Apple supplies.
QuickTime movies allow allow a variety of color depths and also support gray scale at variable image size and resolution. The data in the files can be not compressed, or can be compressed using any one of several methods including a Run-length Compression scheme, a JPEG scheme, and others.
A technical discussion of this format can be found in Chapter 31 of Graphics File Formats† by David C. Kay and John R. Levine. The book was published in 1994 and may not cover the latest QuickTime variants. Additionally, the detailed coverage is limited to QuickTime files compressed using the Run-length Compression option.
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