Quick Start

Creating an AutoStart CD-ROM

Change History

QuickMP3 1.6 Documentation

Copyright ©1999-2000 Löwald Interactive

QuickMP3 is a program for playing lists of music files in MP3 and other formats using QuickTime 4. It will work with earlier versions of QuickTime, but requires QuickTime 4 for MP3 support.


This program is provided as shareware. The registration fee is $5 (US). You can pay online via Kagi ( or mail (use the registration program provided).

Please note: this program is not crippled in any way, but does show a mildly (I hope) annoying registration message if you haven't registered.

If you have comments, criticism, or bug reports, please contact me via email: tonio (at) loewald (dot) com.

For the latest version:

System Requirements

QuickMP3 requires a Power Macintosh computer with QuickTime 4 (although it is compatible with earlier versions of QuickTime). QuickMP3 works best under MacOS 8.6 (thanks to improved multitasking).

Quick Start

This shows the "standard skin" for QuickMP3 (as of 1.4).
If you use custom skins, don't blame me if you can't figure out the controls!
  1. Launch QuickMP3. By default, QuickMP3 will open an empty play list.
  2. Use the Add Folder… and Add Item… buttons to add MP3s (and QuickTime movies) to the play list. Or just drag and drop MP3s and QuickTime movies to the Play List window. (Try dragging a CD containg MP3s to a QuickMP3 play list!)
  3. Double-click on an item to start playing it. (Or select it and press Play.)


  • Check Continuous to play the tracks in your play list continuously.
  • Check Loop to have your play list loop endlessly.
  • Check Random to play the tracks in random order.
  • Check Autoplay to have the play list start playing automatically when opened.
  • Try dragging files to your play list from Finder.
  • You can rearrange tracks in a play list using control-up and control-down.
  • Add all sorts of audio files to your play list using Add File...
  • Add a folder full of files at a time by clicking Add Folder...

Creating an AutoStart MP3 CD-ROM

If you want to create a self-playing CD-ROM of your favourite MP3s, then:

  1. Create an autoplay play list (check continuous if you want to play more than the first track, random if you like).
  2. Put a copy of QuickMP3 on the CD-ROM along with your play list, and finally
  3. Make the play list the AutoStart file for the CD, and you're done!

That's about it.

QuickMP3 is intended principally as an MP3 play list manager for QuickTime 4, but it is compatible with earlier versions of QuickTime (and will play any sound-only movies -- it will play other movies too, but it won't show them, so it's kind of pointless).

Change History

1.6 27/6/2000

  • Sound volume now works properly! Instead of messing with your system sound level, QuickMP3 now adjusts the volume of the movie properly. It also remembers you volume setting between sessions.
  • Recompiled with REALbasic 2.1.2.
  • Major bug which caused crashes if you opened the preference dialog fixed.
  • Miscellaneous minor changes.

1.5 31/10/99

  • Fixed problem with loading playlists (top item in list no longer gets moved to bottom).
  • QuickTime 4.1 bug fixed (I hope). For some reason QuickMP3 began crashing with QuickTime 4.1. This problem appears to have been addressed by an update to REALbasic.

1.5b4 1/7/99

  • Fixed problem with dragging files of type "Mp3 " to QuickMP3's icon in Finder.

1.5b3 30/6/99

  • Added list of available play lists, and the tracks in the current play list to the context menu.
  • Fixed bug in behaviour of Play and Stop in the new context menu.

1.5b2 30/6/99

  • Context menu for controlling volume (among other things) in the control widget. Note that this changes the global volume; I will modify this to only affect music being played by QuickMP3 in the future. (Sorry I didn't finish writing this note in the previous version of this page.)

1.5b1 29/6/99

  • QuickMP3 is now AppleScriptable. In particular, you can play a track by name or number (e.g. 'Play 17' or 'Play "Bureau. It is only for sheep"'), list available tracks, and stop playback.

Note: this should make it perfectly practical to turn a Mac running scriptable Finder into a faceless jukebox (turn on program linking and you're off). Tell me what additional scripting functionality you need and I'll add it (if absolutely necessary, I'll support the object model).

Add [track] and save [play list [to path]] are planned; as a workaround, you should have little trouble building playlists on the fly as text files; open a play list in BBEdit to see how simple the format is.

  • You can double-click the titlebar of the control strip to bring QuickMP3 to the front.
  • Cursor no longer changes over various dialogs.

1.4 29/6/99

  • Registration via Kagi is now set up:
  • If you're not online, the registration application included should help (thanks to Peter Lewis and Kagi).
  • Window menu added.
  • Transcript now only pops up if there's an error. You can bring forth the transcript at any time using the window menu.

Apologies to those of you who've submitted new skins. I haven't had time to sort them out and upload them.

1.4b3 14/6/99

(1.4b2 was not released.)

  • Changing skins in the Preferences dialog now updates live without interrupting playback.
  • Period ("."), Escape, and Clear keys stop the track being played. (Space doesn't yet; it will when I get around to implementing Pause properly.)
  • Tab key allows you to cycle through playlist windows (brings the rear-most window to the front).
  • The clipboard is now fully supported.
  • You can no longer accidentally (or deliberately) drag an item back to the same track list.
  • Tracks are now added (via all methods) above the current selection. E.g. if you select a track and then add another track, the new track will appear above it. (If there is no selection, tracks will be appended to the list.
  • Control window "auto minimise" feature is now a preference (default is off).
  • Control window now has close (use Show Controls to bring it back) and minimise (Windowshade-style) buttons.
  • New Skin format (backwards compatible with old format, although if you use the old format the close and minimise widgets will be invisible).

  • Slight reduced memory footprint.
  • Misc. bug fixes. Screen refreshes should be cleaner.

1.4b1 New Interface 12/6/99

This was going to be version 1.3.2 (a minor revision) but I was reviewing Matt Neuberg's excellent upcoming REALbasic book (which will be published by O'Reilly) and just couldn't stop adding features.

  • Major Interface improvements. Control window is now borderless. "Title bar" now shows program name and version or song title, as appropriate.
  • Control window live-drags and snaps to edges of "main screen". (I don't have multiple displays, so I haven't tried implementing this for multiple monitors. Anyone know a good place to buy cheap PCI video cards?)
  • Control window can be option-dragged if only controls are visible.
  • Control window automatically hides itself if docked to left, right, or bottom of "main screen". Comes back within a second if mouse hovers over it.
  • No change to skin file format, but I recommend you flip the text area (vertically and horizontally) to make it an "outie" now that it's turned into a pseudo-title-bar. This has already been done with the skins included.
  • Sorting of the play list is now allowed (either by clicking in a column header or by the Play List | Sort List submenu) (by song title and file path; the latter is useful if you've organised tracks into album folders -- the way MPecker offers to do things by default).
  • Left/Right arrow keys don't bring up diagnostic dialog in runtime any more (oops!). Instead they map to next/previous track.
  • You can toggle the visibility of the controller via a menuitem in the controls menu.
  • The control palette is now better implemented using improved functionality in REALbasic 2.0.2.
  • File extensions are only stripped if five chars or shorter. So "Bureau. Only For Sheep" does not become "Bureau", whereas "Bureau. Only For Sheep.mpeg3" does become "Bureau. Only For Sheep". "Original Sin. INXS" is still screwed; this ain't AI.
  • Slightly improved (I think) the appearance of most windows using new style "bevel" buttons. Note that there are no key equivalents for the new buttons (yet).
  • File | Revert implemented (didn't realise I hadn't done it).
  • Various minor bug fixes.
  • Note the extensive additional menu functionality added in 1.3 (forgot to mention it in the 1.3 notes).

1.3.1 Bug Fix 10/6/99

  • Problem with control palette not appearing fixed.
  • Crashing bugs may have been eliminated by same recompile.

1.3 First Registerable Version 9/6/99

  • Registration function in place.
  • Omitting file extensions (or anything after a period in a filename) is now a preference option. QuickMP3 is also smarter at figuring out which is the extension in a filename. So "Le Bureau. It is Only For Sheep.mp3" will be listed as "Le Burea. It is Only For Sheep".
  • QuickMP3 now accepts most audio formats (in particular, it accepts .WAV and .AIFF files).
  • QuickMP3 now remembers playlist checkbox settings as defaults. When you save a play list, its options become the new default.
  • Extra skins are now included in standard distribution (thanks to Mauro Dalu for both the skins and numerous excellent suggestions for improvements to QuickMP3's user interface). Feel free to send me more skins!
  • Random (or "Shuffle") Play now works without replacement, i.e. it plays each track in random order once (per cycle). It also doesn't start over unless the playlist is set to loop.
    I've tried to make shuffle behave nicely: for example, if you specifically play a track it gets removed from the shuffle list. QuickMP3 may play the same song twice in a row (at the end of one cycle and the start of another).
  • You can now delete movies from a Play List using the delete key.
  • You can now rearrange tracks by using control-up and control-down arrow. (There's a couple of reasons why I haven't made this a mouse-drag; one was that it would make dragging from Finder very finicky; another was that is looked hard. I'll revisit this later.)
  • You can drag files "out of" a play list into another Play List (or even into the Finder -- try it and see, it's pretty wild).
  • Continues playing after failing to load a song. If QuickTime rejects a track, QuickMP3 will (if playing continuously) proceed to the next track.
  • Various minor user interface tweaks.

1.2 7/5/99

  • Next button is now random if play list is random. (Previous has not been changed.)
  • You can hide play lists when QuickMP3 is in the background as a preference option (default is true).
  • You can now have the floating controls window disappear when QuickMP3 is in the background (preference option, default is false).
  • QuickMP3 will remember the (top-most) open Play List and reopen it on launch as a preference option (default is false).
  • Floating Panel now correctly remembers its position; earlier version only remembered its horizontal position (owing to very bizarre bug in REALbasic -- not that I'm ducking responsibility; most of the other bugs are my fault).
  • Bugs in AutoPlay behaviour (e.g. skipping first track) should be fixed.

1.1.2 4/5/99

  • Fixed minor bug where saving preferences always interrupts playback (caused by the skin being marked as changed, even when it hasn't been). Playback will still be interrupted if you've changed your skin preferences.
  • Corrected bug where QuickMP3 would change filetypes it wasn't supposed to.
  • QuickMP3's file type changing behaviour is now a preference item. The default behaviour is as it was previously documented (i.e. it only changes files named "something.mp3" with type "????"; in fact, earlier versions behaved somewhat differently).

1.1.1 30/4/99

  • Added support for recursively adding items in dropped folders.
  • Increased memory partition size to 2000k (preferred). It probably only needs about 1200k for most purposes, but one user reported crashes in 24-bit colour (owing to lack of memory, I suspect).
  • Updated documentation.

1.1 27/4/99

  • Major user interface changes!
  • Many subtle enhancements.
  • Controls are now in a global floating window. (The program remembers the x-position of the control floater, but always places it near the bottom of the screen.)
  • QuickMP3 now has a preferences file (stored in the Preferences folder).
  • Preferences dialog allows you to set default font and font size for lists (also affects the displayed track name). I've allowed for font sizes up to 12 point, but I don't recommend using fonts larger than 10 point.
  • A first cut of Custom Skins has been implemented. A skin is a picture that has a 14-pixel high strip at the top which will look good under white text, and three equally tall strips of eight buttons beneath it showing enabled, active, and disabled states.

    See 1.4 release notes for new skin format.

    Two examples of skins have been provided (one is the default). These are not necessary for the correct functioning of QuickMP3. Also note that you can paste a skin over the internal default skin (using ResEdit) if you like.

  • Eliminated QuickTime controller as this was causing all sorts of confusion and didn't work properly (e.g. setting the volume suffered the same problems as with QuickTime Player). I will eventually put in a seconds readout, etc.
  • Corrected an error in 1.0.2 that resulted in toggling some checkboxes not registering a change to a play list file.
  • QuickMP3 now saves loop property (another dumb mistake).
  • Turning continuous on now starts play automatically.
  • QuickMP3 nows remembers play list window size and position. It treats a window's size as part of its file information, so resizing a window counts as a change.
  • By default new windows are opened at the size of the last window.

1.0.2 26/4/99

  • QuickMP3 now only checks a file's suitability if you're holding down the command key. This means that dragging 100 files from a CD-ROM onto your playlist now takes no time at all -- but if there's a bad file, it may cause an error later.
  • QuickMP3 now does not display filenames beyond the first ".". Thus, for files batched using MPecker which might be called "Bizarre Love Triangle.pcm.mp3" the file will be listed as "Bizarre Love Triangle". I've been asked to parse ID3 tags, but I don't know how yet...
  • Added a "Loop" button (off by default).
  • Dropped 68k support after getting performance complaints from a German user with a 200MHz 604e-based Mac. Figure there are no 68k users out there. If I'm wrong, tell me!
  • After many complaints about lack of support for files with correct file type information but no .mp3 extension, I've added support for files with type "MPEG", "MPG ", "Mp3 ", "MPG3", "MPG2", "MooV", "sooV", "SwaT", and "PLAY". If you still have files that cause problems, please drop me a line.
  • Fixed a bug whereby files typed "MPG3" might not be recognised. (I can't easily tell; all my MP3s have a ".mp3" file name extension, and my test files are on old CD-Rs. I'll assemble a decent set of test files some time. Please don't send me MP3s! I have enough problems with my email as it is...)
  • QuickMP3 now provides a transcript of its activities (e.g. if you drag 50 files to it, it will tell you how many of them it liked, didn't like, etc.).
  • You can play the movie selected in a play list by pressing space, enter, or return.
  • I've put active URL links in the About box. I've also replaced the REALgurus link with the QuickMP3 home page (such as it is).

1.0.1 23/4/99

  • Opening a QuickMP3 MP3 document (e.g. by double-clicking) adds it to the frontmost play list (QuickMP3 will create a new play list if none is open). Double-clicking QuickMP3 MP3 no longer causes it to crash.
  • Changed user interface slightly. You now need to double-click a movie in the list to start playing it (allows you to select and delete entries without interrupting the song being played). Eventually, I'll support dragging movies around to re-order them, and dragging movies between playlists.
  • Fixed crashing bug if you open a playlist file with an unsaved playlist window open.
  • Fixed mysterious crashing bug when you let a playlist play (so much for my amazing QA!).

1.0 (Initial Release) 23/4/99

QuickMP3 was written by Tonio Loewald and is copyright ©1999 Löwald Interactive.