I'm running snow leopard. The try to open any .mov file in Quicktime, and I get an error message that says, "The document xyz.mov could not be opened. The movie is not in a format that Quicktime player understands. I'm a recent upgrade to Snow Leopard.

I'm running snow leopard. The try to open any .mov file in Quicktime, and I get an error message that says, "The document xyz.mov could not be opened. The movie is not in a format that Quicktime player understands. I'm a recent upgrade to Snow Leopard.
Help!
Thanks, Mark

Unfortunately, the error message gives no details about what codec might be missing or what it needs.
If the file can't be opened in QT, it only means you cannot use the QT "Inspector" window to check what compression formats were used to create the file. It does not mean you can't use the Finder "Information" window to check on the compression formats or use a third party media information window (e.g., like VLC which will open many compression formats not supported natively by QT) to determine what kind of data is included in the MOV wrapper. If the file cannot be opened in any app, it is usually a good sign that the file itself is corrupted.
It's a stupid error message. Apple should do better than that.
Error trapping is quite extensive but there are still many areas which require human oversight. The message is telling you that either the container has a problem (e.g., not properly terminated, non-standard, or corrupted) or that one or more of the compression formats used is not supported by your current codec component configuration or that the data was encoded using non-standard settings or preferences not supported by QT or that the fourCC code does not match the data contained in the file or that there are timecode inconsistencies, etc., etc., etc. In short there are a near infinite number of possible problems for which it would be very difficult/nearly impossible to program error trapping depending on your sourcing of content and how you process it before it reaches the player app. Think of it like trying to play a BD disc in an DVD player.
I'll call Apple support when I get a chance.
Chances are good that they will end up sending you back here. In any case, it is often a good idea to post a sample file for examination by other QT users. At the very least, they should be able to tell you if the sample file will play on other systems which would indicate whether or not the file itself is bad and under the best of circumstances whould allow them to examing the file in detail for various common problems.

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