How can I play an old Mac Quicktime VR file on a PC and/or the WWW?
January 25, 2009 10:52 AM   Subscribe

How can I play an old Mac Quicktime VR file on a PC? On the web? Complications inside...

The file has been living in an old Mac diskette since 1997. I remember being able to just run the thing on whatever Mac was nearby when I first got the file. Also on the disk is a folder called "QTVRPlayer1.0.2". I transferred the files to a PC using "softmac".

I don't currently have access to a Mac. Though, now that I have the files off the disk, I can try going back to the Apple store. (They were unable to help me get the files off the disk as they had no floppy drives...)

I have tried opening the file in QT 7.5 ("blank" screen), PS, IrfanView, Firefox, IE, and a few others. I've also tried adding different extensions ".mov", ".QTVR". And, I've made a few attempts "Embedding a QTVR Movie in a Web Page".
My next step is to start searching for old QTVR authoring software, and old PC installers of Quicktime. But I'm hoping there's a simpler solution I've overlooked.

My ultimate goal for this QTVR file is to post it on the web. (Sharing old memories with friends and family.) But, I'd also like to view it on my PC at home.

Thanks in advance.
posted by bodega to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It opens in QT 7.5 on the PC, but you get a blank screen. By the sounds of it, the file itself is fine, but you're probably missing the codec necessary to play it - especially considering the age of it.

Open the file in Quicktime, and then press Ctrl+I to do a "get info" - I'm running from memory here, so that may not be the shortcut, but you'll be able to find something like "Movie Inspector" in the menus. Once you've done a "get info", you should be able to see the name of the codec listed under "format" - it'll either be something obvious (eg, "Intel Indeo 5") or something cryptic (eg, "IV50"). If you take whatever's listed there and google for it plus "quicktime" and "windows", you should be able to find the codec needed to play it back. It should be a simple case of downloading and installing.

If you have no luck, feel free to post back the information here and I'll happily do a search. I'm on a Mac, so we can try a conversion from my end if you're keen.
posted by sektah at 3:57 PM on January 25, 2009

I suggest ripping the images out of the VR file using scalpel. To pull the images out download scalpel and extract it. Checkout the docs on how to do it. (Note: Uncomment lines in the config file ["scalpel.conf"] pertaining to jpgs.)

This should free the images from the quicktime format...

Go and grab Pano2VR and you can use Pano2VR to recreate the VR file.

PM me for more info. I do this kind of stuff all the time.
posted by gregr at 4:36 PM on January 25, 2009

Thanks a bunch for the response.

The movie inspector window displays only the file's location on disk, size, time index, length, and resolution (400x300).
There is an option for "movie properties", but that's only for QT Pro.

Since I know the QT version that it worked under, maybe I can find the codec that way...
posted by bodega at 6:10 PM on January 25, 2009

I just noticed gregr's post. (Weird. I could have sworn it wasn't there during my last response.)

I've just started playing around with scalpel (on a PC, of course). Uncommenting the jpg line yields no results (files carved = 0). The only time I can get a file carved is if I uncomment the first QT line. Then I get one file carved, which appears to just be the same .MOV file.
posted by bodega at 9:13 PM on January 25, 2009

Hmmm, interesting.

If you want, feel free to upload the file somewhere and I can take a look from my end to see if I can crack it open and feast on the gooey, I mean convert it to something usable.
posted by sektah at 2:46 AM on January 26, 2009

I work with some folks who were able to help me out. They were able to convert the MOV into an AVI which had 24 frames of 768x140 pixels, each frame showed 15 degrees. After that it was just a matter of extracting the frames and then stitching them into a pano. I'm playing around with Pano2VR now...

Thanks for the help.
posted by bodega at 7:41 PM on January 26, 2009

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