Update: Don’t try this fix, there is a much better way.
For quite some time now it seemed like every time I would try to open a movie using the standard Quicktime Player, it would take forever to launch. Well, forever… more like 30 seconds, but it sure feels forever for something that should be instantaneous. During those seconds the hard drive would spin and crank and do god-knows-what. The movie was playing fine afterwards, but it sure is frustrating when something is not working as it should.
The path I took to find what was going on was tortuous, including lots of google searches, but the gist of it was :
- I had been watching a lot of movies encoded with some crappy Windows codec lately (mp43)
- Quicktime Player wants to open them with the Flip4Mac codecs, which is all find and dandy ,but (and here lies the rub)
- The “Open Local files immediately” option was selected in the Flip4Mac control panel.
I have no idea why this option was creating problems, but there you have it: I unchecked the option (on a random whim) and lo and behold, the movies started playing happily right away. The long description of the option reads:
Local Windows Media files are completely imported when opened (normally they are imported in the background).
So my question is: imported where? Was the codec loading all the video inside the memory before playing it? That would be very dumb (loading 700Mb movies in-memory), but it would sure explain the hard drive noises…