Apple's QuickTime multimedia technology turned ten over the weekend.

Apple's original QuickTime team unveiled version 1.0 on December 2, 1991. The software was released to the public one month later, at Macworld San Francisco 1992.

The original vision of the QuickTime project was to bring video to anyone using CD-Roms. The QuickTime team was one of the first Apple project-groups to include engineers from different Apple departments. Members came from the Software Graphics Group, Video Hardware, Apple Advanced Technology and the Human Interface Group.

Peter Hoddie, now president of Generic Media and ex-Apple QuickTime engineer, told MacCentral: "A lot of us had a sense it was a big deal, but nobody knew what the whole impact was going to be," he said. "The project got a lot of buzz at Apple when it first started. People wanted to come and see what these crazy guys were doing with video on Macs."

Apple last week released figures that showed QuickTime is being downloaded over a million times every three days by Mac and Windows users. The company predicts that QuickTime 5 downloads should reach 100 million within its first year of release, mostly by Windows users. The figures don't include software titles that license QuickTime for use with their products, or games, or digital-camera manufacturers, who include QuickTime in-the-box with their products.

Future versions of QuickTime are expected to feature MPEG-4 support, Apple is working to support this standard through QuickTime on both Macs and Windows PCs.

MPEG4 set for QT Frank Casanova, director of QuickTime product marketing, told MacCentral: "The DNA of MPEG 4 and the DNA of QuickTime are the same. That gives us a big advantage. As we're developing our own MPEG 4 codecs, we'll be able to playback and author ISO (International Standards Organization)-compliant MPEG 4 files within the QuickTime application itself."

He added: "For Apple, the big advantage is that it's based on our file format, so anything that happens in that space, we're compatible with it."

Apple sits on the body tasked with overseeing MPEG-4 development – the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA). ISMA released a specification for MPEG-4 in October.

Apple's annual QuickTime-focused event, QuickTime Live! takes from place February 11-14, 2002 in Beverly Hills. Apple cancelled the original event – scheduled for mid-October, 2001 – in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.