I don’t use iTunes and I don’t want Apple’s version of Quicktime on my computer. I have a pretty low opinion of Apple’s skills at writing software for PCs.

If you have iTunes, you also have Quicktime. Or perhaps you’ve installed it separately. This isn’t for you. In fact, this isn’t for any of you unless you specifically need it and you know with confidence that you don’t already have Quicktime installed.

If you don’t have Quicktime, you may sooner or later wish you did. There are web sites that stream Quicktime videos, especially movie trailers, and you can’t watch unless Quicktime is installed. In my case, I came up against it because my camera takes low-resolution movies in .MOV format and I wanted to watch the videos of the kids doing ski jumps.

There are a couple of alternatives to Quicktime that will allow Quicktime videos to be played by your regular media player or by Internet Explorer with a minimum of fuss, and without all the extra crud that Apple includes.

This violates all my instincts. I don’t know anything about the software – I don’t know who wrote it, I don’t know if it’s any good. But there was a referral from a moderately trusted web site so I went ahead and installed QT Lite version 2.8. It only took a second – no restart required, no visible change to the computer, no icon by the clock, no new programs, no new network services, no hijacking my Internet Explorer file extensions. So far it appears to be exactly what was promised.

When I click on the movies, I get to watch my kids flying through the air. They look marvelous!