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What is the "magic" and why picasa or windows live galery, XnViewer can not play them in the same way?

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VLC uses integrated codecs (complete list here) and thus is independent of the (DirectShow) codecs installed on the system. Most apps however are dependent on system codecs and so if you don't have the appropriate ones installed, they will fail to open your media files.

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VLC supports by default a lot codecs built-in.

When you play VLC, some .MOV files are identified with the codec "undf" and others "Apple graphics (SMC)"

The code "undf" is a generic token for an unknown / unsupported codec.

The "Apple graphics (SMC)" or just "smc" is the proper identification for most .MOV files played in QuickTime. You can see more details of how it works

So VLC uses ffmpeg for achieves play the .mov files with the Apple graphics (SMC) decoder. You can see the code implementation for smc in ffmpeg.

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very interesting.... so it is copyright of the SMC decoder that ffmpeg was able to "steal" but windows live galery or picasa would not dare to do that? – user12363 Feb 9 '13 at 2:45
What do suggest with "steal"? The implementation of ffmeg smc decoder is free software. Probably picasa or windows live gallery uses another implementation from Google or Microsoft respectively or even if you have Quicktime installed the own coded shipped from Apple by default. – shakaran Feb 9 '13 at 14:32
I simply want to 'not install quicktime'. It is too agressive to my PC and invades into my browsers. – user12363 Feb 15 '13 at 23:11
Installing VLC you can see .MOV videos. So you don't have the problem of install QuickTime – shakaran Feb 17 '13 at 22:39

You can disable QuickTime browser integration and shell integration too so you'll not notice it's installed, but Picasa will still work. I've been using it like this for years because some cameras use MOV format instead of MP4.

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