How can I tell how many of my website's users have Quicktime 7 installed?
July 16, 2006 4:05 PM   Subscribe

How can I tell how many of my website's users have Quicktime 7 installed?

I run a relatively popular, regularly updated video website, which serves both to casual internet users and to a large podcast audience. I want to switch to the H.264 codec, for its far superior quality and iPod compatibility, but it requires Quicktime 7 (as opposed to Quicktime 6) to play back. (I'm currently compressing to MPEG-4, because I got sick of making separate H264 and Sorenson encodes.)

However, I'm going to need some numbers before I can force them all to upgrade. General statistics about the internet-using population at large aren't helpful, as our audience is relatively young -- I'd wager that most of them are iTunes users, for example, and as Quicktime 7 is part of iTunes 6, I think our demographics are going to skew towards having it installed. However, I still need to know for sure.

So, is there a test I can run that will provide me with statistics of how many users use Quicktime 7, a la browser user statistics? A piece of Javascript on my front page, for example?
posted by tweebiscuit to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Just off the top of my head (don't know if it will work or if it's the best way):

Make two small Quicktime files (e.g. one frame, 10 pixels by 10 pixels). File #1 requires QT7 and calls file #2. Embed file #1 in your home page (or where-ever else is good). Then check your server logs to see how often file #2 is called.

(Now that I think of it, file#2 probably doesn't even have to actually exist)
posted by winston at 4:15 PM on July 16, 2006

It looks like this JavaScript can detect the version of Quicktime installed. You'll have to modify it to provide statistics. Have it grab an image or something and check your server logs as winston suggested.
posted by Amaterasu at 4:40 PM on July 16, 2006

The Apple Developer Connection has an article about plugin detection. Its author says that detecting the particular version is better done from within QuickTime anyway, although this other article tells you how to do it in pure JS.

I'd say Winston's solution is just fine and a lot less trouble.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 4:42 PM on July 16, 2006

Response by poster: Hm... that sounds like it might work at first glance, but will it pop up a "You need a newer version of Quicktime" message for users without Quicktime 7?
posted by tweebiscuit at 4:52 PM on July 16, 2006

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