QuickTime Quirkiness

A couple of my pet peeves with software are applications that once installed, are very difficult if not impossible to completely remove from your system without nuking you hard drive. The other type of software is the kind that makes a mess on your system when it is installed. Case in point for this post, is QuickTime. Since I use iTunes, I have to have QuickTime on my system. I never use the QuickTime player as I use GOM Player (QuickTime videos via the QuickTime Alternative codec) for all my video player needs.

So I launched iTunes which I hadn’t done in a while and was informed there is new version available. Once the Apple Software Installer finally launched (it needs to scan the system looking for software you don’t already have installed) it wants to install QuickTime + iTunes which I didn’t have a problem with. However, Apple also wanted me to install the Safari Browser as well. Recall from back in June, I did take Safari for a ‘test drive‘ while it was still in Beta and wasn’t all that impressed. At least it gave me the option NOT to install the Safari browser (but it did prompted me after QuickTime + iTunes was done that I had not installed the Safari Browser yet).

I was busy doing other things while QuickTime + iTunes installed and a couple hours later I finally got back to my desktop. That was when I saw the mess QuickTime left behind. Not only did it create a new program group for itself, it placed a short-cut on the desktop and in the Quick Launch Bar. Then I also discovered it places itself in the system tray which if you dig deep enough in the preferences you get rid of the icon. To do so you need to either launch QuickTime or click on the icon and select (Edit) Preferences, then under the Advanced Tab there at the very bottom is a check box for the system tray icon.

But wait, there’s more! What you don’t know is QuickTime also sets itself up to run at Windows Start Up. Further, you won’t find it in the Startup menu. To disable the automatic startup you will need to run (via stat menu) msconfig then go into the Startup tab and find QuickTime, uncheck the box and click OK. Changes will be effective the next time you boot-up.

I had inquired on the CyberNet Forum if there was a way to install iTunes without QuickTime. According to Pieter De Decker, there really isn’t a way and you sort of do need to have QuickTime if you are going to use iTunes:

iTunes relies on QuickTime – not Windows Media Player like much programs do – to play audio and video. Sure, you could uninstall QuickTime from Control Panel > Software but that will most likely cripple iTunes. Besides, removing QuickTime would make it impossible for you to listen to DRMed songs you purchased from the iTunes Store.

His answer got me to thinking, I have never had problems playing my iTunes purchased music with WinAmp. After a little more discussion I determined all the music I have purchased are iTune Plus. Since iTune Plus music is DRM-free, it can be played outside the Apple-powered software environment.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against QuickTime. I just don’t need their player and I don’t appreciate the application leaving such a mess on my system. At least with Firefox, Thunderbird and any other Mozilla application, they ask you during the install process if you want short cuts created. Further they don’t automatically decide for you that they will run at startup. People wonder why their Windows takes so long to start, it because all these programs such as QuickTime (and Adobe Acrobat) that load themselves into the background during startup. Further, unlike some programs (AOL) you can cleanly remove Mozilla applications from your system without having to nuke your had drive (but then again, AOL would some how manage to survive).